(1/x) The General Office of the CCP released a new central opinion on ramping up united front (统战工作) work aimed at the private sector - i.e., clearly marking private business as a major political target for Party ideological work.

Two thoughts:
gov.cn/zhengce/2020-0…
(2/x) First, the thrust of this is utterly clear: the private sector needs to toe the Party line, period.
教育引导民营经济人士用习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想武装头脑、指导实践,在政治立场、政治方向、政治原则、政治道路上同党中央保持高度一致,始终做政治上的明白人
(3/x) Ideologically, that feels like we're clearly back in the early 1950s. Private enterprise exists, but only so far as they can paint themselves as loyalists.

Next Q: Might Beijing at some point take the next (i.e. late 1950s) step of tightening controls yet *further*?
(4/x) Second, note that this opinion came out 2 months after Xi Jinping's symposium with a slate of private +SOE entrepreneurs - where it appears that the same talking points were delivered (see @niubi below).

i.e. - this is a coherent policy rollout.

sinocism.com/p/xi-chairs-sy…
(5/x) Now note Xi just held another similar conference w/ scientists just a few days ago.

One of Xi's calls: for scientists to remember their national identity: 科学无国界,科学家有祖国.

xinhuanet.com/politics/2020-…
(6/x) In two months, might we see a similar central opinion on increasing united front work/ideological work among scientists?

If so, that's how the demands for ideological purity will start to expand - for the value of 红 ("red") to start to get elevated over 专 ("expert").
(7/x) Naturally, one might think that's nuts - how could Beijing start turning the clock back in that manner?

But recognize that is *exactly* what Party ideologues have just done with respect to the private business sector.

And now the question should be: who's next?

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More from @CarlMinzner

13 Aug
(1/x) Extended paen to Xi Jinping on @PDChina pg. 3 today. Very flowery language (see below). Note people’s leader (人民领袖) language.

Best guess: maneuvering surrounding Party conferences + question of whether to elevate Xi yet closer to Mao's status.
politics.people.com.cn/n1/2020/0813/c…
(2/x) 习近平总书记是从人民中走出来的、对人民怀有真挚感情和强烈责任感的人民领袖,无论是在基层、地方工作,还是在中央工作,都始终把人民挂在心头、念在心里。
(3/x) 习近平总书记高瞻远瞩、深谋远虑,鲜明指出要胸怀“两个大局”,将其作为“谋划工作的基本出发点”,进一步揭示了我们所处的历史方位、所经历的历史进程。
Read 5 tweets
31 Jul
(1/x) Really worth starting to think through the Hong Kong - Xinjiang comparison for understanding why what might be coming down the pike in Hong Kong could be much more severe than people expect.

A thread ...
(2/x) It’s easy to think that Hong Kong & Xinjiang are just two totally different issues. One, a cosmopolitan global city with a primarily Han population. The other, a heavily rural Central Asian region with a large Muslim population (Uighurs being the most well known minority).
(3/x) But from the standpoint of a stability-obsessed one-Party state, they look similar.

Both are border regions with populations that embrace identities that do not fully conform with the increasing narrow ethnocentric line being promoting by Beijing.
Read 9 tweets
18 Jul
@lingli_vienna (1/x) The primary way I can imagine Xi’s power getting expanded is a scenario in which the institution of “the Party” itself begins to get cannibalized in name of Xi himself.

[Note: really dark. Major implications for political instability. But I think we’re in that zone now.]
@lingli_vienna (2/x) I can imagine two ways in which this might happen.

First, resort to bottom-up mobilization. That’s the Cultural Revolution analogy. You’d need to see the top leader calling the disgruntled in society into the streets to attack his enemies – perceived or real.
@lingli_vienna (3/x) And of course, there’s *zero* sign at the moment of that happening. Everything at the moment appears to be top down. At least so far …
Read 13 tweets
16 Jul
(1/x) Some thoughts on why Xi Jinping's new article in the flagship CCP Party ideological journal Qiushi is a *big* deal.

h/t to @niubi, who flagged this in his Sinocism newsletter.

qstheory.cn/dukan/qs/2020-…
(2/x) First, because Party propaganda says it is.

It’s the lead article on all China’s major state media channels right now – CCTV evening news, Xinhua, People’s Daily, etc. Everywhere.
(3/x) Second, because it’s not actually an “article” in any meaningful sense of the word.

Instead, it’s just a series of 18 extended quotes strung together from Xi Jinping’s speeches and reports over the past seven years.
Read 13 tweets
11 May
(1/x) There’s deep controversy in the U.S. and Europe over wearing face masks – their merit and accompanying social norms.

Here’s a thread on a specific example from Taiwan on why they’re a very good idea – particularly as some countries and states start re-opening.
(2/x) Overall, Taiwan's response to the virus has outstanding.

It moved EARLY, w/expert-led epidemic control center set up in Jan. – *before* Wuhan even locked down. Contact tracing & effective quarantine policies of both infected & close contacts worked out in Feb. And so on..
(3/x) All of that has allowed Taiwan to avoid the incredibly disruptive lockdown policies most of the world is going through.

Here, we’re on Day 28 of no new domestic cases. 440 cases total. Only 6 deaths. Schools & businesses have more or less just stayed open the whole time.
Read 19 tweets
7 Apr
(1/x) Now that advice in the West has finally shifted on wearing masks, can people please focus on the *other* anti-virus strategy that has made a big difference in Asia: central quarantine of the infected - particularly the lightly ill?
(2/x) In Wuhan, the city-wide lockdown helped *slow down* increase in #s of infections. (see @XihongLin paper). Exactly what may be happening in NYC now.

But sending sick people home to families in small apartments ensures *rising* household infections.

medrxiv.org/content/10.110…
(3/x) In Wuhan, it was centralized quarantine - figuring out how to isolate sick people, even the 80% for whom virus is less serious, so that they don't infect others - that was crucial.

That was what led to a decrease in #s of infected. Not just slowing increase. A *decrease*.
Read 10 tweets

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