The second decade of the 21st century. it began in China on the traces of historical memory: centenary of the 1911 Revolution which put an end to the millennial imperial system; centenary of the birth of China republican (1912); 90th anniversary of the founding of the CCP (1921); 110th anniversary of the Protocol which put an end to the Boxer insurrection and inflicted one of the greatest humiliations in modern China (1901); 80th anniversary of the outbreak of the Mukden accident (now Shenyang), which started the Japanese occupation of Manchuria (1931). In particular, speaking at the commemoration ceremony of the 1911 revolution, Hu Jintao highlighted how patriotism was the soul of the Chinese nation: a powerful force capable of mobilizing and uniting the entire nation in order to revitalize China.
The historical memory, centered on the political but also psychological overcoming of the so-called century of humiliations (1840-1947), is closely linked to the concept that only the CCP was able to lead the country and the people to overcome the tragedies and the humiliations of ‘semi-colonial and semi-feudal China’ and only the CCP was in the present capable of leading the entire national community along the path of ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’, in which China was modern and internally developed as a protagonist and key player in the outside world. This link between past and present represented the heart of the political and ideal legitimation of the party and of the system of government and power centered on it. However,
The link, mentioned above, between past and present has been assuming, particularly in the last few years, a clear future projection following the formulation of the password of the ‘Chinese dream’ (Chinese dream) launched by the new leader of the CCP, Xi Jinping starting with the 18th National Congress of the party in November 2012. One of the most important acts of the Congress and the subsequent session (March 2013) of the National People’s Assembly (the highest legislative body of China) was to formalize the advent of the so-called fifth generation of leadership, centered on the figures of the party general secretary (as well as president of the Republic), Xi Jinping, and premier Li Keqiang. The new political-institutional organization chart led to the election of a Politburo made up of 25 members, of which 7 were members of the Standing Committee and another 18 regular members (2 were women, none of whom were members of the Standing Committee). In general,
According to COMPUTERMINUS, Xi Jinping started, as mentioned, the first steps of the ‘fifth generation’, highlighting how the future goal was the realization of the Chinese dream. It essentially consisted in achieving the purpose of building a moderately prosperous socialist society in all fields (the appointment was in 2021, the centenary of the founding of the CCP) and on this basis to create a modern socialist country that is strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious (the appointment was here at 2049, the centenary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China). In the two years or so following his rise to power, Xi constantly highlighted his strong confidence in the future of his country and the importance of strengthening the sense of belonging to the nation, while not hiding the need to improve the system, to fully develop the superiority of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics,
In the wide internal and international debate following the enunciation of the ‘Chinese dream’, various possible interpretations of this concept were raised, underlining some essential elements such as: a development model based on efficiency, an equitable distribution of the benefits of growth, political reforms, reduction of government interference in the market, social stability, ecological urbanization and so on. On the subject of the possible process of ‘democratization’ as part of the political reforms inherent in the ‘Chinese dream’, various articles on the Chinese side highlighted the limited scope of the possible reform, in clear contrast to the widespread analysis and expectations in the West. In general, the theme of the ‘dream’ to be realized in the future was ideally connected to the constructed ‘dreams’,
In the latter part of 2013 and in the first months of 2014, the Chinese press gave particular attention to the start of preparations relating to the thirteenth five-year plan for the period 2016-20. In particular, the first prospects and assessments by the National Commission for Development and Reforms highlighted how the plan was called to verify whether or not the conditions existed for the achievement of the objective of creating a harmonious and characterized society. from moderate well-being by 2020, of which one of the most important targets was the doubling of per capita income for both urban and rural residents.
After Bo Xilai was sentenced to life in prison in 2013, party secretary in the Chongqing municipality until the previous year, the last part of 2014 saw the emergence of a new, very serious political scandal in China, involving Zhou Yongkang, a former member of the Politburo Standing Committee as well as minister in various departments (including that of Public Security). Zhou, accused of serious violations of discipline and corruption, was sentenced to life in prison in June 2015. He was the highest-ranking executive involved in a scandal, and investigations into him showed – in the opinion of numerous observers – determination of the new leadership to stamp out corruption.