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Chinese Identity - EastRussia | Our neighbours






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Chinese identity

Devotion is the key to Chinese society

Chinese identity

The more we know about what different lives the Chinese live, the more this stratification becomes irrelevant. When it comes to it, it all sounds like a bizarre relic of a much simpler world that has not existed for a long time.

Over the years, foreign analysts have spent a lot of effort trying to classify the population of China in some way. Class and ethnicity were, as a rule, frequently used criteria, and both received good coverage during the reign of Mao Zedong (until 1976 year). However, since China began to start capitalism in its life, the question of what the social identity of the inhabitants of the country has become more urgent.

This is emphasized by the fact that the current Chinese leaders avoid talking about classes as such - altogether. While foreigners are talking about the elite, farmers, the class of professionals, migrant workers and entrepreneurs, Xi Jinping and his subordinates in power talk about the people of their country in a completely different way.

The currency they use is not material wealth, but loyalty. More specifically, the loyalty of the Chinese Communist Party and its large-scale modernization project.

Devotion is a problem for the Communist Party, which has long-standing roots. In the early stages of its history, there were often campaigns to exterminate people who left in their hearts a corner in which counter-revolutionary ideas nested. Politicians were often attacked by their opponents, if there were doubts about loyalty to the "cause of the Party". Even such a figure now revered as the former Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, Zhou Enlai, did not stand aside from attacks due to doubts about "true devotion" to Chinese communism - in this case, personified in the words and ideas of Mao Zedong. Devotion has always been an important issue for the party. So it is now.

It becomes clear what the Politburo member and Chairman of the Chinese Political Consultation Conference Yu Zhengsheng said, who raised the issue of classification according to Party loyalty several years ago when he was the party secretary in charge of Shanghai.

According to him, there are four large groups. The first is an elite who is loyal to the bone, except for a few “black sheep” who have stained themselves with corruption and greed, and are very much interested in keeping the Communist Party in power.

Next - devotees are somewhat less extensive ranks of ambitious and gradually richer middle class members, a group that is plentiful both in the city and in the countryside, as well as 230 million migrant workers. This group is loyal to a certain point. Its representatives positively assess the stable rule of the party and the economic growth that it supports. However, their real feelings, which will manifest themselves in the event that growth stagnates - and their living standards with it (or, worse, it starts to fall) remain in question.

The third part of the population - those who are opposed to the party because of problems with land rights or pensions, and at the same time send petitions to the government. Members of this group do not question the legitimacy of the Communist Party's rule, but are unhappy with certain realities and try to resolve these issues with the help of "just protest." They can be managed, but they were the social base of tens of thousands of manifestations of public discontent that occurred in the country in recent years.

And, finally, there is a group of "enemies" who are hopelessly disloyal, those whom, according to Yu Zhengsheng, the influence of the Party will never interest. Consequently, they are regarded by her as hardened opponents. This includes dissidents, human rights activists, some businessmen and other elements branded as "hooligans". For these people, the party holds severe methods at the ready, and this is unlikely to change in the near future.

In such a system, loyalty is a type of currency, something that you can both earn and lose, like capital in a market. The second group, which is loyal, but only superficially, is the main object of the party’s policy, as it is the most numerous and, as a result, the most important. Its representatives agree with the idea of ​​a powerful, influential and self-confident China, but they hardly think about Marxism. Their “contract” with the party is pragmatic. As long as she provides economic growth and material well-being, they are happy to proclaim toasts in her honor. But if this ends, their devotion will quickly melt.

This group is the heart of the country's urbanization campaign, and it is trying to get maximum people to move from the countryside to the city, as well as to create a competently modernized economy, where most people work in the service sector, creating good opportunities for growth and thus reproducing the model, in accordance with with which the economies of developed countries operate. These people need stable financial services, decent social security, better quality jobs and access to quality education - all this has been discussed at the plenary meetings of the Communist Party in this and previous years.

When Xi Jinping talks about the "Chinese Dream", he first of all speaks of the aspirations of the continuing formation of the middle class, whose loyalty can be bought through successful management, the continuation of economic development and the feeling that its representatives are really involved in decision-making rather than passively Receive orders and instructions.

If the crisis ever happens (the economy collapses, an ecological catastrophe or clashes occur in the country), this group will most seriously affect the determination of the fate of the Communist Party of China. And it is to its representatives Xi Jinping and his colleagues among the country's top leadership that they turn first. If their loyalty is shaken or collapsed, so will the fate of the party itself.