Regarding an article which appeared in the Taipei Times on Tuesday, Oct. 24th on P. 8 entitled “‘Chinese Dream’ will become a nightmare”, and with a nod to Chen Fang-ming (陳芳明), who wrote the article, confusion regarding Xi Jinping’s real motivations and intent can be discerned from reference to the Chinese Communist Party Manual of Commonly Misunderstood Terms (the “Manual”), which is essential when attempting to parse CCP policies, statements and doctrine. Now that Xi has become Chairman Xi, and venerated to the status of Mao, it becomes important to understand Xi’s true intentions.
First, the article refers to a proposal by the Chairman/ President/Leader/Commander/Icon/Top Guy/Numero Uno Xi Jinping called his “Chinese dream”, a slogan which came with the goals (according to the article) of “prosperous, strong, democratic, civilized, harmonious, free, fair, abide by the rule of law, patriotic, just, honest and friendly”, words which are uncommon normally having anything to do with the Chinese Communist Party run government in Communist China, possibly the world’s worst and most repressive totalitarian regime.
Referring then to the Manual, we can more easiliy understand what Xi meant when he talked about these goals in the context of his “Chinese dream”. Xi has used the word ‘democracy’ before, but clearly he is referring to the definition of “democracy” in the Manual, which is “democracy with Chinese characteristics”. In the Manual, the definition of “democracy with Chinese characteristics is “the right to vote for the Chinese Communist Party slate of candidates in the order provided, a right given to only those members of the Party given permission to attend and vote according to Party directions at the National Congress held every 5 years”. There is another second definition, written in smaller print that says that the definition of democracy in the Manual is “2. No democracy – see Freedom”
Going on then to the definition of ‘freedom’ in the Manual, we find some help in understanding Xi’s animus. “Freedom” is defined in the Manual as “The right and legal obligation to obey each and every order, rule, regulation, law, statute, directive, policy and dictate of the Chinese Communist Party and each and every of its representatives at all times and in all places, failure to follow which is punishable by any means dictated by the Party.” That clears that up, doesn’t it? The Manual offers a secondary definition as follows “Freedom – 2. No freedom”.
Now we are getting a better idea of just what Xi meant by his liberal pronouncement for the future of Communist China.
As to “prosperity”, there can be no question that China has been more prosperous than at any time in the history of the Chinese Communist Party, in large part because it abandoned ‘communism’ and adopted “communism with Chinese characteristics”. In the Manual, ‘communism with Chinese characteristics’ is defined as “not communism per se, but rather allowing free enterprise under strict control by the Party, and all enterprises subject to control by the Party to the greatest extent possible, and otherwise open to free exchange of capital subject to Party rules and regulations, violation of which are punishable by death”. Basically this is capitalism with Chinese characteristics, otherwise known as “prosperity” for Party members, until the Party decides a member is too powerful, and then prosecution for corruption is required.
As for “strong”, the Chinese Communist Party is certainly set to become stronger under “Chairman” Xi, considering the power the Communist Party has accumulated, and Communist China itself has become stronger partly because it has been devoting double digit parts of its GDP to its military, partly because through espionage it keeps stealing technology and advances from others (mostly the US). Also, as liberal democracies in Europe have become weaker and more reliant on Chinese Kommunist Kash, Communist China has become stronger through weakening resistance to China’s temptations, large bucks and its enormous supposedly “open” markets. However, in the Manual, “open markets” has been defined as “segments of the Chinese economy open to foreign entities under strict regulation by the Party, and only when a local Chinese partner participates in at least 50% ownership of the entity, such Chinese partners subject to absolute control by the Party”. Also, though the Manual is silent, it is well-known that the Party philosophy on local partners is they have 3 years from acquiring their interest in the foreign business to steal all available IP, set up backdoor avenues for walking products and technology out the back door, and to acquire complete control of the business, or set up a competing entity which can take over the business that is left when the foreign owner runs away.
As for civilized, I presume Xi is referring to the Party no longer starving its citizens or murdering them in public. However, all that the Party has done is taken these tools inside, where all options are available to the Party to ensure compliance with any of its dictates. Being one of the worst human rights violators in the world, Beijing has a long way to go to reach “civilized”. In the manual “civilized” is defined as “The Party rules require the government to conduct its security processes in a civilized manner, especially during official secret arrests, torture, and blackmail.” It’s not much, but it’s an improvement.
Xi loves using the term “harmonious”, but the true nature of this concept is set out in the Manual, where “harmonious” is defined as “every citizen following the Party’s instructions in every aspect of life in Communist China obediently, and making sure not to criticize the Party or the government under any circumstances.” It is easy to see how wonderful it is for China to be harmonious for Chairman Xi.
As for “fair” and “abide by the law”, we need to jump around a bit to understand this core principle of the Communist Party. First, “justice” in China is defined as “any ruling made by a Court with the approval of the Party shall be considered full justice.” Though you have to dig through the Manual to find it, “justice process” (also called due process in the Manual) is defined as “having the absolute right as a citizen in the People’s Republic of China to be subjected to the Party’s justice through the rulings made by judges in the Party’s courts with the abolute directives of the Party”. It reads a little differently than other common views of due process. There is a footnote under the entry for “due process” as follows: “2. Due Process – no due process”. Actually, as Xi knows, there can be no due process without an independent judiciary, but as the Manual identifies in the definition of “Court”, there is no independent judiciary in China (in the Manual “Court” is defined as “the tribunal dealing with legal matters subject to the directives of the Party to do justice as the Party shall see fit.” Gotta love dictators. They really know how to get results.
As for honest, the Manual defines honest as follows: “Honest: The truth is what the Party says is the truth. Honesty is absolutely keeping to the truth as mandated by the Party in all things, no matter how ridiculous it seems, upon pain of death.”
As for “friendly”, there is a reference in the Manual as follows: “friendly: see Taiwan”. Under the entry for “Taiwan”, for some reason, it says only: “Grrrrrrrrr.” There is a secondary entry under Taiwan that says “Taiwan: 2. Chinese Taipei, Taiwan, China, China, China, China”.
As we can see, Xi’s Chinese Dream is really not much of a dream, unless you define dream to include nightmare. In the Manual, “Chinese dream” is defined as “the Party becoming the most powerful government in the world, adopting the slogan ‘My name is Chairman Xi, Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!'”