Xi Jinping and the Party are stronger than you think

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UPDATE 9/25/18: Deng Yuwen’s essay has been translated into English by China Matters. Read it here.


Deng Yuwen 邓聿文 is one of the most interesting Chinese thinkers writing on contemporary politics. The New York Times has published a new essay by Deng, so far in Chinese only. Deng’s main argument is that observers — especially Chinese dissidents, liberals, and other malcontents — underestimate the resilience of both Xi Jinping and the Communist Party.

  • Deng identifies two theories or strains of thought: that the Party is rapidly decaying (中共速朽论 zhōnggòng sùxiǔ lùn), and that Xi Jinping is incompetent (习近平无能论 xíjìnpíng wúnéng lùn).
  • Both theories are incorrect, says Deng, who warns liberals and democracy activists not to “miss historical opportunities” by underestimating the adaptability of the Party, or ignoring their real achievements.
  • See also: Peak Xi Jinping? Two essays, six years apart, offer perspective on Chinese president on SupChina which looks at a Deng essay from 2012.