Xi Jinping era is well and truly upon China, with Xi Jinping Thought, “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era”, enshrined today in the charter of the Communist Party of China (CPC). It marks the end of the 3-decade long epoch of Jiang Zemin, who has exercised considerable influence even after his retirement in 2002.
In having the ideology named after him, Xi has achieved what eluded Jiang and Hu Jintao : Both their thoughts were hardwired in the party constitution sans their names. It means two things. One, Xi’s Thought is ground-breaking and will serve as the guiding light in years to come. Two, Xi’s place in CPC’s history has surpassed that of Jiang and Hu.
And well-deserved too. When Xi took over the reins from Hu, rampant and severe corruption in China threatened the legitimacy of CPC as the ruling party, and the continuity of the Socialist State. Xi’s hard and merciless crackdowns on corruption, unprecedented since the Ming dynasty 700 years ago, restore the legitimacy and credibility of CPC, and stop the rot that could destroy the Socialist republic.
Not only that. Xi is close to eradicating extreme poverty from China, an epochal feat no Chinese leader has ever succeeded in almost 3 millennial of China’s recorded history. Even at the height of prosperity during periods of Han, Tang and Qing dynasty, large pockets of poverty co-existed with swathes of riches.
This is not just the Xi Jinping Moment. It’s the Panda Moment for CPC and the entire Chinese nation, comparable to Mao Zedong declaring that “the Chinese people have stood up” on 1 October, 1949 when the People’s Republic of China was founded. More precisely, it’s the vindication of the merits of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and the Chinese nation having fully emerged from the Century of Humiliation after the Opium Wars in the 19th century.