China’s Historic Resolution Paints a New Picture of the Past

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Palácio do Planalto, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

(Brasília – DF, 13/11/2019) Presidente da República Popular da China, Xi Pinping..Foto: Alan Santos/PR

On November 11, China’s ruling communist party approved a historical resolution that could re-write history to be in favor of the current ruling party and would ensure its reign for decades to come. This new document attempts to summarize Chinese history, but does so in a way that is most acceptable to and favorable of current leader Xi Jinping.  It is likely that this new resolution will help Xi Jinping to secure a third term in office, as it portrays him as a hero of the country.

Xi Jinping is not the first leader to re-write history. Former powerful Chinese leaders such as Mao Zedong and  and Deng Xiaoping have also done this. This latest version will radically move and attempt to unite people in his direction with principles like: the Chinese communist party is great; China will soon be the greatest country in the world, and that Xi Jinping will bring them to that new level of greatness.

This contributes to the concerning view of China, which seems to be becoming rapidly more authoritarian over its citizens. Critics argue that the ruling party is limiting rights of Chinese citizens with policies like the social credit system.  This is a system that determines a person’s opportunities in life-based on how favorable that person is toward the Chinese Communist party. Those with little social credit are greatly limited in what they can do and where they can go in the country. This has led observers to note that Chinese citizens are now living under a surveillance state.

Students are not very familiar with recent developments in China, but they do have a sense that there are many restrictions there. Junior Brad Davidson said of the historical resolution, “It seems like it would be bad, but I think Xi Jinping knows what he is doing.” Another junior, Both Mony, summed up how the resolution appear to young people in the west.  He said, “it is very uncool.” Many people are surprised by such a bold effort to rewrite history, but some like Brad seem to recognize what Xi Jinping is trying to do with his country.