Xi’s Congress Report Lays Bare an Aggressive and Statist Worldview
The following is an excerpt of Kevin Rudd's op-ed originally published in Financial Times.
It is now clear that the Chinese Communist party no longer rules out the possibility of war in the foreseeable future.
Chinese president Xi Jinping’s work report to the 20th Communist party congress this week provides a framework for understanding the underlying ideological direction of China’s domestic and foreign policy for the next five years. Indeed, it is more ideological in tone and content than any that we have seen in the past 40 years. It underscores the Marxist-Leninist worldview that drives Xi’s ambition of making China the pre-eminent regional and global power by mid-century.
The document also makes clear that the shift in economic policy direction over the past five years will continue over the next half-decade. It suggests a continuing drift away from market principles towards the more comfortable disciplines of state direction and control. While it does make reference to an earlier party mantra of “giving full play to the role of the market in resource application”, this continues to be tempered by reference to the need for “a decisive role being played by the state”.
Also notable is an emphasis on national self-reliance in science and technology, the “strategic” allocation of resources for the development of new technologies and the central deployment of human capital, rather than allowing talent to move according to the competitive opportunities of the market. Add to this a call to “increase the security and resilience of China’s own industrial supply chains” in anticipation of future national security interruption.