Premier Li Keqiang on Dec. 15 declared at the Global CEO Committee that the Chinese Communist Party “will stick to economic construction as the center, face new downward pressure, and place steady growth in a more prominent position…”

Aboluo Wang noted that this statement Li quoted had not been uttered by the party for a while. 

In 1978, at the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee, the Chinese Communist Party had switched from saying “class struggle as the key link” to “economic construction as the center.” Despite the change, the paper suggested both phrases carry the same meaning. 

After years, the re-emergence of “economic construction” has been worth paying attention to. But it had not been clear why the party may have wanted to revitalize a slogan that had not been mentioned for years.

Recent days also marked signs of conflicts within the party about reforms and opening-up policies.

Qu Qingshan, director of the Chinese Communist Party’s Institute of History and Literature, published an article praising reform and opening up on Dec. 9. The report mentioned Deng Xiaoping nine times and mentioned Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, but completely omitted to mention Xi Jinping and Mao Zedong.

Then on Dec. 13, Xi Jinping’s media writer Jiang Jinquan released another article with the opposite content. He quoted Xi Jinping six times and Mao Zedong two times, but left out Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, and Hu Jintao. This version particularly implies that there has been a deviation in “reform and opening up” by the previous leaders, and Xi was the person who “turned the chaos around the other way.”

The following day, the News of China Discipline Inspection and Supervision published another report praising Xi and Mao. It also omitted Deng, Jiang, and Hu.

On Dec. 15, the Liberation Army Daily released an article promoting Deng, Jiang, Hu, and others without mentioning Xi.

This shows just the tip of the iceberg in the internal struggle of the CCP to maintain and accumulate power, which might seem difficult to analyse by the rest of the world.

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