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Este blog trata basicamente de ideias, se possível inteligentes, para pessoas inteligentes. Ele também se ocupa de ideias aplicadas à política, em especial à política econômica. Ele constitui uma tentativa de manter um pensamento crítico e independente sobre livros, sobre questões culturais em geral, focando numa discussão bem informada sobre temas de relações internacionais e de política externa do Brasil. Para meus livros e ensaios ver o website: www.pralmeida.org. Para a maior parte de meus textos, ver minha página na plataforma Academia.edu, link: https://itamaraty.academia.edu/PauloRobertodeAlmeida;

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domingo, 25 de fevereiro de 2024

China, de volta ao seu passado imperial sob o imperador Xi - Carl Minzner (Council on Foreign Affairs)

 Eu já chamava o Xi de imperador desde a sua recondução à liderança total pela segunda vez. No terceiro mandato é evidente que ele é mais imperador do que secretário geral do PCC. PRA

Beijing’s Ideological Pivot Back To the Past

As China turns the page from its reform era, the Chinese Communist Party's official discourse increasingly references the country's imperial past. 
Blog Post by Carl Minzner
Council on Foreign Relations, February 23, 2024 3:42 pm (EST)


China’s official discourse is pivoting back to its imperial past. 

Since his rise to power in 2012, Xi Jinping has steadily infused his official speeches and pronouncements with an increasing number of classical Chinese idioms and historical references. Chinese state television now hosts a regular program (平“语”近人——习近平喜欢的典故) in which scholars analyze idioms and references invoked by Xi, helping to interpret classical concepts for the public and tie them to both central Party slogans and China’s current social realities. Naturally, these trends are entirely consistent with the overall direction of Party ideology, including the Party’s 2021 resolution on history, which emphasizes the need to fuse Marxism with China’s “traditional culture.”

Such uses of imperial history are not limited to current officials. After China’s former central bank governor Yi Gang stepped down from his post, his first interview in January 2023 was an extended discursive analysis of Song dynastic paper currency reforms of the late 10th century. For at least one Chinese commentator, such comments read as a careful, coded warning against government overspending and the risk of currency devaluation and inflation.

Interpreting the political rhetoric emanating from Beijing is far from a new problem—particularly as it has regularly shifted over time. During the 1950s and 60s, foreign analysts had to parse abstract Marxist formulations in the People’s Daily for signals as to which cadres had fallen into disrepute, or whether tensions with the Soviet Union were on the rise. With the birth of the reform era in the late 1970s, invocations of Western or Japanese models became de rigueur for officials seeking to promote economic or legal reform.

But the era in which it was politically acceptable to—at least publicly—frame policy proposals in China by direct comparison with desirable foreign models is drawing to a close. And a new one is dawning - one in which the increasingly preferred, and politically correct, framework will be to search China’s own past (including its own imperial and classical heritage) for the proper model or reference point. As current ideological and political trends deepen, it is quite likely that both official Chinese Party pronouncements and what careful, studied criticism of those policies can still exist in Beijing’s ever-stultifying atmosphere will be increasingly cloaked in yet deeper and deeper references to China’s own past. 

For foreign analysts and scholars of China, this will be particularly challenging. It is already hard enough figuring out what is taking place within the black box of Chinese politics, particularly as other sources of information (such as databases of academic articles and court decisions) steadily dry up. Numbers of American college students specializing in Chinese language or studies are declining; those actually studying in China now number only in the hundreds, compared with over 10,000 in the late 2010s. 

Are we really ready for an era in which our ability to appreciate complex debates over Chinese financial policies may hinge on our ability to understand how Song dynastic practices are being invoked in financial circles in Beijing? Or understand whether a given classical Chinese expression that begins to gain traction in military journals is a call for action, or restraint? 

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