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Xi Jinping may be introducing sweeping reforms in China that amount to something of a revolution – but he’s no Mao

15 6 1
06.09.2021

There have been many commentaries in the Western media over the past few weeks about China’s growing shakeup of its tech sector, social institutions and economy. The vast majority view it in strictly ideological terms, and argue that President Xi Jinping’s limitations of the fundamental “virtues” of the free market can only spell disaster for China.

Some of these takes have compared Xi to the first leader of the People's Republic of China, Mao Zedong, who was known for his one-man and deeply ideological rule which forcibly established the new state against the odds, but at a heavy price. His Cultural Revolution – a massive political movement encouraged by Mao and the infamous “gang of four” – mobilized a generation of young people into Red Guards to forcibly impose his ideological vision on the country and to sweep away the “four olds” – old customs, culture, habits and ideas – deemed to be holding the country back.

Now – according to the Financial Times at least, with its headline blaring, “The Chinese control revolution: the Maoist echoes of Xi’s power play” – we are witnessing a similar upheaval instituted by a strong leader.

It is always tempting to brand such reformist moves in China as a new Cultural Revolution – because it appeals to the Western public’s propagandized belief that communism is both chaotic and tyrannical, and delivers a simplistic representation of what “one-man rule” means. But this is an ahistorical and cliched take: Xi Jinping is no Mao Zedong.

Whilst Xi is more orthodox than his........

© RT.com


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