The August 6 edition of the Party’s house newspaper the People’s Daily included a full-page spread (in Chinese) comprising three opinion pieces under the headline “New characteristics appear in the crisis of contemporary capitalism.”
- The major article on the page is titled “Western countries’ Democratic rights and civil liberties in Western countries continue to decline.” It uses a Marxist approach to explain the rise of Donald Trump, and attacks liberal political values such as the separation of powers, which it says constrains the power of the government so that it “cannot make important decisions on major economic and social issues.”
- A piece titled “Economic development and improvement in people’s livelihood in Western countries is sluggish” argues against excessive privatization and lax government controls on markets.
- The third piece, titled “The crisis in capitalist society is intensifying,” says that Marx and Engels predicted the current crisis in the West, as social crises in capitalist countries are ubiquitous and unavoidable.
The Communist Party frequently uses the People’s Daily to signal policy shifts. Does this full-page spread of Marxism indicate a return to more doctrinaire ideology in China?
Just like Xi Jinping’s speech to the world about the benefits of globalization at the World Economic Forum in January 2017 (see Kaiser Kuo’s report from Davos), the People’s Daily spread on Marxism aimed at Party members is one way of reaffirming that the Communist Party is legitimate, large, and in charge.
On social media, many users were unimpressed with the People’s Daily’s view on the West: One popular comment reads (in Chinese): “The eunuchs are talking again about the harmful effects of sex on the human body! (太监又在说性生活对身体的危害啦！tàijiàn yòu zài shuō xìng shēnghuó duì shēntǐ de wéihài la!)
South China Sea
ASEAN, China adopt framework for crafting code on South China Sea / Reuters
Australia, Japan, U.S. call for South China Sea code to be legally binding / Reuters
Has China managed to weaken opposition in South China Sea? / SCMP
China cancels Vietnam meeting over South China Sea spat / Bloomberg
Chinese people have lots of faith in China, but not so much in their fellow Chinese / Quartz
“87% of respondents in China said they believe their country is headed in the right direction.”
Trump company moves to protect brand in Chinese gambling hub / NYT (paywall)
China may conduct ‘small-scale military operation’ to remove Indian troops from Bhutan border region / The Independent