Xi Jin­ping and the Four Com­pre­hen­sives

Pro­pa­ganda ▶ Re­form and party dis­ci­pline are dom­i­nant themes ▶ “Ev­ery leader tries to come up with his trade­mark”

Bloomberg Businessweek (North America) - - News -

“Have you heard of the Four Com­pre­hen­sives?” a kindly-look­ing man asks a pig­tailed girl with huge eyes, in a car­toon video re­leased by China’s of­fi­cial Xin­hua News Agency on Feb. 2. “Is it some­thing to do with the Chi­nese Dream?” she re­sponds. “Ha-ha, well, let me tell you,” he says, be­fore launch­ing into an ex­plana­tory rap while they walk through a psy­che­delic land­scape, com­plete with a swing­ing mon­key, tigers in cages, rocket ships, hot air bal­loons, and backup disco dancers in­clud­ing a nurse, farmer, con­struc­tion worker, and sol­dier.

The Four Com­pre­hen­sives— pro­mot­ing pros­per­ity, deep­en­ing re­forms, strength­en­ing rule of law, and stress­ing party dis­ci­pline—are Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping’s con­tri­bu­tion to a tra­di­tion of Com­mu­nist Party lead­ers coin­ing slo­gans. Deng Xiaoping pop­u­lar­ized the Four Mod­ern­iza­tions, and later came up with Deng Xiaoping The­ory; for­mer Pres­i­dent Jiang Zemin gave China the Three Rep­re­sents. Dur­ing the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress, the Four Com­pre­hen­sives were cited— along­side the slo­gans of Deng, Jiang, and for­mer Pres­i­dent Hu Jin­tao— by Premier Li Ke­qiang when he gave the an­nual re­port on the state of the coun­try on March 5.

Af­ter lead­ers “come to power, the slo­gans be­come very im­por­tant in pol­i­cy­mak­ing,” says Ding Xueliang, a pro­fes­sor of so­cial sci­ence at the Hong Kong Univer­sity of Sci­ence & Tech­nol­ogy. “And ev­ery leader tries to

“Say it with me, the Four Com­pre­hen­sives!”

“The Chi­nese Dream is al­most here”

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