Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

At 100, Chinese Communist Party claims credit for the Chinese dream

Chinese Communist Party leaders are pulling out all the stops to celebrate the party's founding 100 years ago.

The big picture: As China's geopolitical prominence is cemented abroad while authoritarian pressures grow at home, the CCP claims to have delivered the modernity and prosperity Chinese people have dreamed of for over a century.


What's happening: From elementary school essay competitions to patriotic films to an unending parade of speeches, banners and news headlines, China is in the midst of celebrating the CCP's 100-year anniversary.

Background: When the party was founded in July 1921, China was riven by feuding warlords, deeply mired in poverty, and powerless on the international stage.

  • By that time, a generation's worth of Chinese intellectuals had already dedicated their lives trying to reform and modernize China, proposing everything from enlightened imperial rule to a constitutional monarchy to a democratic republic.
  • The Republic of China was established in 1912, but its government was weak and largely unable to solve China's problems.

By contrast, the China of 2021 is an emerging superpower. Beijing has a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, a nuclear arsenal and the world's second-largest economy.

  • The CCP continues to claim full credit for these accomplishments. But this isn't new: A well-known 1950s-era propaganda song popularized the slogan "Without the Communist Party, there would be no new China."
  • The centennial celebrations are "an opportunity to draw continuity across the party and across Chinese civilization," says Peter Mattis, a senior fellow at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
  • "Especially since the 19th party congress in 2017, Xi Jinping has been talking about Chinese solutions and providing Chinese contributions to humanity. This is an opportunity to speak of a Chinese project, not just a party project — but they can say the party is the one who achieved this."
Photos: Wikimedia Commons, Getty Images; Graphic: Shoshana Gordon, Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Details: Top party leaders, including Xi, are trying to further associate China's achievements over the past 40 years with the party, especially through emphasizing the realization of several specific goals laid out years ago.

  • In 2012, the same year Xi was selected as party secretary, the party began heavily promoting the "centenary goal" of achieving a "moderately well-off society" by 2021.
  • Related goals included eliminating poverty, building China's own space station and becoming an "Internet power."
  • Xi has often connected this centenary goal to the "Chinese dream," his signature slogan referring to achieving a modern, powerful and prosperous nation.

Between the lines: "Linking the two concepts means that there is effectively a deadline for achieving the Chinese dream. By 2021, the 'dream' must be at least partially complete," Diplomat editor Shannon Tiezzi wrote in 2015.

  • That explains, in part, the big push over the past few years to alleviate poverty — including initiatives for funding local infrastructure and incentives for businesses to invest in China's inland region as well as relocating some populations and forcibly putting others, including Uyghurs, to work.
  • In February, Xi declared the end of extreme poverty in China.
  • Earlier this month, China successfully launched a key part of its new space station into orbit and successfully landed a rover on Mars.
  • And its internet and fintech sectors are among the largest and most profitable in the world.

Yes, but: China's GDP per capita remains far below that of developed countries and hovers just under the global average of around $11,000. Access to high-quality health care and education is still out of reach for many.

  • For many Chinese people, especially ethnic and religious minorities, a succession of ideological crackdowns carried out by Xi and his hardline supporters has also cast a shadow over their futures.

The bottom line: The Chinese Communist Party has made it through a century of turbulence, and it's come out on the other side more powerful than ever.

GM boosts investment in electric, autonomous vehicles by $8 billion

General Motors plans to boost its cumulative investment in electric and autonomous vehicles to $35 billion from 2020-2025, a significant jump from a $27 billion target.

Driving the news: GM said this morning that the initiative will include building two new battery cell manufacturing plants in addition to the two already under construction in Tennessee and Ohio.

Keep reading... Show less

Biden administration buys 200 million additional doses of Moderna’s COVID vaccine

The Biden administration has purchased an additional 200 million doses of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine, the biotech company announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: Moderna says the additional doses could be used to vaccinate children or — if necessary — as a booster shot.

Keep reading... Show less

Live updates: Biden and Putin land in Geneva ahead of summit

President Biden is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva for five hours of talks on Wednesday, a highly anticipated summit that comes as both sides say U.S.-Russia relations have sunk to a new post-Cold War low.

The latest: Putin arrived in Geneva shortly before 7 a.m. ET and traveled via motorcade to Villa La Grange, a mansion set in a 75-acre park overlooking Lake Geneva. Biden arrived at around 7:20 a.m. ET. The two leaders are expected to take a photo with Swiss President Guy Parmelin before the meeting begins.

Keep reading... Show less

Biden-Putin summit: What to expect when you're not expecting much

After a bitter blast from Putin and tough talk from Biden, both sides agree: Don't count on much from Wednesday's summit between President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

What they're saying: "We’re not expecting a big set of deliverables out of this meeting," a senior Biden administration official told reporters on Air Force One from Brussels to Geneva. "No breaking of bread."

Keep reading... Show less

Florida's early reopening could make it a business travel mecca

As post-pandemic business travel comes back, experts say Florida's reopening policies should allow it to lock in a significant share of returning corporate events and meetings.

Why it matters: There's a lot of money to be made — with a lot of people itching to travel — after the sector lost $97 billion in spending last year, according to a new Tourism Economics analysis by the U.S. Travel Association.

Keep reading... Show less

There isn’t a worker shortage in the U.S. — there’s been a worker awakening

Many politicians, pundits and business owners have said pandemic-era enhanced unemployment benefits are keeping would-be workers at home. But that's a much too simplistic explanation of today's employment situation.

The big picture: Many hard-hit sectors are rebounding faster than anecdotal evidence would suggest. And when jobs are hard to fill, a broader worker awakening over the past year is part of the reason.

Keep reading... Show less

Biden's surprise pick for FTC chair, a leading tech critic, is already rocking boats

By naming tech critic Lina Khan to chair the Federal Trade Commission Tuesday, the White House made clear it is dead serious about antitrust enforcement and other measures to rein in Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon.

The intrigue: By naming Khan FTC chair just hours after the Senate confirmed her appointment as one of five commissioners at the agency, the White House took both the industry and many D.C. insiders by surprise.

Keep reading... Show less

MedPAC says higher prices drove up Medicare drug spending

The amount Medicare spent on drugs that are dispensed at pharmacies increased 26% from 2013 through 2018, members of the Medicare Advisory Payment Commission wrote in their new annual report.

Why it matters: MedPAC members put the spotlight on pharmaceutical companies, attributing "nearly all of the growth ... to higher prices rather than an increase in the number of prescriptions filled by beneficiaries."

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories