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Persevere in Placing Political Security in the Predominant Position

坚持把政治安全放在首要位置

Introduction

For China’s first generation of communist leaders, revolution meant baptism by smoke and gunpowder. Their path to political power snaked through battlefields and prison cells littered with the bodies of dead comrades. Only narrowly did their party escape total annihilation. Decades spent shadowed by death instilled a keen awareness of peril in the psyche of the cadres who survived. Neither political power nor battlefield victory ever soothed away this sense of threat. However, the Party’s successful seizure of power did change which danger its leaders perceived as most threatening. Mao Zedong would label this peril the threat of “peaceful evolution.”1 Though warnings of peaceful evolution are still issued, contemporary party documents, such as the translated material presented below, more often frame the danger in terms of “political security” [政治安全].2 Both phrases articulate a fear that hostile foreign powers seek to leverage dissent in China to subvert or overthrow communist rule of China.

Translated below is an authoritative discussion of this threat as party leaders perceive it. It was originally published as the sixth chapter of The Total National Security Paradigm: A Study Outline 《总体国家安全观学习纲要》a 150 page textbook created jointly by the Office of the Central National Security Commission and the Central Propaganda Department of the Communist Party of China. The Study Outline was released on April 14th, 2022 and subsequently distributed to party committees at all administrative levels as an “an important and authoritative auxiliary text for the broad mass of cadres” to include in their group study sessions.3 Published shortly after the creation of the PRC’s National Security Strategy [国家安全战略] and concurrently with a bureaucratic expansion of the state security complex to the local administrative level,4 the book is designed to provide an accessible and unclassified overview of the security doctrine millions of cadres are now expected to implement. 

At the center of these ideas is the Total National Security Paradigm, a set of concepts that party sources describe as Xi Jinping’s signature contribution to Chinese security theory. The textbook’s publication was carefully timed to coincide with the eighth anniversary of the meeting where Xi first introduced this paradigm. In that meeting Xi instructed party cadres to “pay attention to both traditional and non-traditional security, and build a national security system that integrates such elements as political, military, economic, cultural, social, science and technology, information, ecological, resource, and nuclear security.”5 Threats to “traditional security” include those that can be handled through normal military means; “non-traditional security threats” comprise the rest of Xi’s long list—a list that has only gotten longer in the years since, as terms like “food security” and “biosecurity” have been added to the catalog. Yet not all non-traditional fields of security are created equal. In that same 2014 speech Xi informed the Party that “political security is our fundamental task.”6 This judgment is echoed in the structure of the Study Outline, where it is the only field of security—including the traditional military sort—to be given its own chapter length discussion.7

The Study Outline makes clear why political security deserves such high priority. “Political security,” it instructs, “means safeguarding the ruling position and leadership status of the Chinese Communist Party and safeguarding the institution of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics.” The manual describes Socialism with Chinese Characteristics as “a rigorous, comprehensive, and scientific system of institutions” whose institutional integrity guarantees China’s return to national greatness. “If institutions are stable, so is the state.” On the other hand, if “political security cannot be guaranteed, the state will inevitably disintegrate like a sheet of loose sand.”  

The Study Outline warns that this “is a real and present danger.” China is engaged in an “institutional competition,” the “most fundamental type of competition between states.” Arrayed against the Chinese system are powerful “hostile forces” who “persistently seek to ferment a ‘color revolution’ within our state, vainly attempting to subvert the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and the socialist institutions of our state.” Party members should not be fooled by periods of tranquility or moments of détente: these hostile forces “have never abandoned their subversive intent to Westernize and divide our state. They do not rest, not even for a moment.” Nor is compromise or concession a workable solution. “In the realm of ideological conflict,” the Study Outline instructs, “we have no way to compromise and no place to retreat to. We must obtain total victory.”

The Study Outline views ideology as the primary battlefield of institutional competition: Those who “sow chaos and subvert sovereign power often begin by piercing a hole in the realm of ideology and sowing chaos in the thoughts of the people.” The ideological realm must be defended, for “once the defensive line in thought has been breached it is difficult for other defensive lines to hold.” The Study Outline directs cadres to pay special attention to three domains where the defensive lines must hold: on the internet, in the schools, and among China’s religious and ethnic minorities.

In all three domains the Study Outline describes events that Western observers tend to depict as spontaneous reactions to government policy as incidents carefully orchestrated by party enemies. When viral outrage leads to mass protests, cadres can be assured that such events are “intentionally chosen, follow a plan, and are organized and contrived ahead of time” by hostile forces. If university students have learned to “bite the hand that feeds them and kick the wok that fills them” it is because the hearts of “our youth are the territory that hostile forces spend the most effort fighting for.” If the “ethnic consciousness” of minority groups is not “subordinate to and serving the common Chinese national identity” this is because “hostile forces at home and abroad use ethnic problems to carry out separatism, infiltration, and sabotage activities.” Though “disintegration of sovereign power” may “begin in the realm of thought,” the enemies and weapons faced in that realm are just as dangerous as those faced in the more tangible world of blood and bullets.

The Study Outline’s assertion that “the disintegration of sovereign power often begins in the realm of thought” presents a sharp contrast with Mao’s famous argument that “sovereign power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” Underlining Xi Jinping’s Total Security Paradigm is the recognition that not all problems can be solved by gun barrel. But that recognition is not new. Mao himself reached the same realization when he credited the de-Stalinization of Europe to ideological subterfuge, fearing that a similar combination of internal sabotage and external pressure might derail China’s revolution. Deng Xiaoping reached a similar conclusion following the fall of the Berlin Wall and the protests at Tiananmen Square. The United States and its allies “engage in peaceful evolution,” Deng declared. Their strategy is to “wage a world war without smoke or gunpowder.”8   

The dangers Mao and Deng feared in their twilight years dominated Xi formative ones. Xi Jinping does not believe the threat has abated: the close attention he pays to the Party’s political security has been a defining thread of his rule. Manuals like this Study Outline signal his determination to overcome the threat of peaceful evolution. They are a survival guide to wars waged without smoke or gunpowder.

THE EDITORS

 1. The label was inspired by U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles’s 1958 judgment that “internal pressures are bound to alter the character of the communist regimes,” thus American foreign policy should seek to “accelerate [this] evolution within the Sino-Soviet bloc” through peaceful means: John Foster Dulles, Policy for the Far East (United States: Department of State, 1958), 10-11.

Bo Yibo provides an insider account of Mao’s reaction to Dulles’ speech and his subsequent understanding of the ‘peaceful evolution’ threat; it is translated into English in Qiang Zhai, “Mao Zedong and Dulles’s ‘Peaceful Evolution’ Strategy: Revelations from Bo Yibo’s Memories,”
Cold War International History Project Bulletin (Winter 1995/96), issue 6/7, pp. 228-232.
2. The evolution of these concerns between the Mao and Xi eras is traced by Matthew Johnson in “Safeguarding Socialism: The Origins, Evolution and Expansion of China’s Total Security Paradigm,” Sinopsis (Prague: AcaMedia z.ú., June 2020) and  “Securitizing Culture in Post-Deng China: An Evolving National Strategic Paradigm, 1994–2014.’ Propaganda in the World and Local Conflicts, 4, no. 1. See also Russel Ong, ‘Peaceful Evolution’, ‘Regime Change’ and China's Political Security, Journal of Contemporary China (2007), vol 16, issue 53, 717-727.
3. Taken from “Zongti Guojia Anquan Xuexi Gongyao: chuban faxin 《总体国家安全观学习纲要》出版发行” [The Total National Security Paradigm: A Study Outline is Published]Renmin Wang 人民网 [People’s Daily Online], 16 April 2022. In Chinese the passage reads 广大干部群众学习贯彻总体国家安全观的重要权威辅助读物。
4. For a concise overview of these developments, see Jude Blanchette, “The Edge of an Abyss: Xi Jinping’s Overall National Security Outlook,” China Leadership Monitor, 1 September 2022.

 For a broader discussion of the Total National Security Paradigm, also see Sheena Chesnut Greitens, "Internal Security & Chinese Strategy," hearing on "The United States' Strategic Competition with China" § Senate Armed Services Committee (2022); Joel Wuthnow, "Transforming China’s National Security Architecture in the Xi Era” hearing on CCP Decision-Making and the 20th Party Congress” § U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission Hearing (2022); Samantha Hoffman, “Programming China: the Communist Party’s autonomic approach to managing state security,” PhD diss, University of Nottingham (2017).
5. Xi Jinping, The Governance of China, vol 1 (Beijing: Foreign Language Press, 2014), 221-222.
6. Ibid., 222

7. Three prominent scholars associated with one of the leading state-controlled research centers on the Total National Security Paradigm note that the first chapters of the manual present broad, general principles that apply to all fields of security; the later chapters deal with specific applications, with the chapter on political security intentionally placed at the head of this second section. They further note that this organization of the material is an intentional echo of Xi Jinping’s own presentation of the subcomponents of the Concept as he presented them in a December 2021 speech. An English translation of this speech can be read in Xi Jinping,
Governance Of China, vol 4 (Beijing: Foreign Language Press, 2022), 453-456 

For the observations on the manual see 陈向阳, 董春岭, 韩立群 [Chen Xiangyang, Deng Chunling, and Han Liqun], “
Shenru Xuexi Xuanzhuan Guanche Zongti Guojia Anquan Xuexi Gangyao 深入学习宣传贯彻《总体国家安全观学习纲要》[Deeply Study, Publicize, and Implement Total National Security Concept: A Study Outline]”, Qiushi 求是 [Seeking Truth], 22 August 2022. Available here
8.邓小平 [Deng Xiaoping], Deng Xiaoping Wenxuan《邓小平文选》 [Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping], vol 3 (Beijing: People’s Press, 1993), 325.

Author
Office of the Central National Security Commission
中央国家安全委员会办公室
original publication
The Total National Security Paradigm: A Study Outline
《总体国家安全观学习纲要》
publication date
April 14, 2022
Translator
Kitsch Liao
Translation date
January 2023
Tags
Tag term
Tag term
Discursive Power
话语权

Those who wield discursive power possess the ability to shape, select, or amplify the ideas, frames, and sources of authority that guide political decision making. The concept was developed in response to the puzzlement and frustration many Chinese nationalists felt as their country’s mounting material power failed to translate into commensurate influence over global affairs. They concluded that China’s dazzling economic growth and rising military might was insufficient to change the structure of the international order because the norms that govern interstate relations are downstream of cultural values China had little influence over. The West’s intellectual hegemony allows it to embed its value set and viewpoint in the structure of international politics. This is a form of power: discursive power.

Often translated as “discourse power,” more rarely as “the right to speak,” and sometimes simply as “say” or “voice,” the neologism rose to prominence in Chinese academic writing in the mid-aughts and was subsequently elevated to the party lexicon in the 2010s. The various alternative translations of the term reflect an ambiguity present in the original Chinese. Huàyǔquán [话语权] is a compound word that combines huàyǔ [话语], the Chinese word for “speech,” “language,” or “discourse,” with the more ambiguous quán [权], whose meaning shifts between “authority,” “rights,” or “power” depending on the context in which it is used. “Right to speak” is therefore a reasonable translation of huàyǔquán, for the right to speak about the Party’s accomplishments through a “Chinese” frame is precisely what party leaders believe the hegemonic culture of the West denies them. However, neither dictionary listings for the word nor academic discussion of its role in international affairs emphasize freedoms or entitlements. Their focus is on influence and control. They suggest that control of the world rests with those who control the words that the world is using.

This is not an entirely new concept in Party thought. Following in Marx and Lenin’s footsteps, Mao rejected the notion of a neutral public sphere where policy can be hashed out in a process of rational deliberation. He was insistent that the world of ideas was in fact a central domain in the struggle for power, and that no idea could be divorced from the class interest or political program of those who proposed it. Chinese discussions of Western discursive power take a similar approach, treating concepts like “human rights,” “universal values,” and other guiding liberal ideals not as genuine moral or intellectual commitments but as tools of power used to legitimize American hegemony and weaken America’s enemies. Here the Soviet Union’s sad fate serves as a warning: failure to challenge the discursive power of the hegemon abroad can lead to the collapse of discursive power at home. Thus discursive power does not just influence China’s international standing, but also the political security of its ruling regime.

Chinese leaders have found no easy solutions to the problems posed by the West’s discursive dominance.  Censorship at home and interference operations abroad allow the Party to stifle some ideas that might otherwise find their way into discourse. However, Party leadership recognizes the limits to this negative approach. In their view, if China wishes to successfully reshape the operating norms of the international system, then China must articulate a positive vision of the world it wants to build; if China desires renown and acclaim on the international stage, then it must articulate a value set less hostile to Chinese success than the human rights paradigm now normative across the globe. Xi Jinping has thus directed Chinese academics to develop “new concepts, new categories, and a new language that international society can easily understand and accept so as to guide the direction of research and debate in the international academic community” (Xi Jinping, “Speech at the Symposium on Philosophy and Social Sciences,” Xinhua, 17 May 2016). Cadres and diplomats are charged with a simpler mission: “tell China’s story well” [讲好中国故事]. As Xi recently put it, to secure China's NATIONAL REJUVENATION the Party must:

Collect and refine the defining symbols and best elements of Chinese culture and showcase them to the world. Accelerate the development of China’s discourse and narrative systems, tell China’s story well, make China’s voice heard, and present a China that is worthy of trust, adoration, and respect. Strengthen our international communications capabilities, make our communications more effective, and strive to strengthen China’s discursive power in international affairs so that it is commensurate with our composite national strength and international status (Xi Jinping, “Political Report to 20th Congress,” 2022).

See also: COMMUNITY OF COMMON DESTINY FOR ALL MANKIND; HEGEMONISM; PEACEFUL EVOLUTION; TOTAL NATIONAL SECURITY PARADIGM

Hostile Forces
敌对势力

The first warnings about the dangers posed by “hostile forces” were issued in the Soviet Union of Lenin and Trotsky. The basic meaning of the term has shifted little over the subsequent century: then, as now, “hostile forces” refer to the constellation of individuals, organizations, and nations that communist party leaders believe are ideologically committed to overthrowing or subverting communist rule. The phrase does not distinguish enemies foreign and domestic; it is often used when party leaders or theorists wish to blur that distinction altogether. To label an unwelcome episode the product of ‘hostile forces’ is to insinuate that dissent and disorder within China is ultimately dependent on malicious actors outside of it.

The revolutionary leadership of the Soviet Union saw in the setbacks, reversals, and disasters that haunted their cause the malign hand of “hostile forces,” “hostile elements,” and “hostile classes.” A passage from Stalin's Short Course, an official primer on Soviet history avidly studied by Mao and his contemporaries as a textbook on socialist construction, provides an illustration of both the term itself and the mindset behind its employment:

Survivals of bourgeois ideas still remained in men’s minds and would continue to do so even though capitalism had been abolished in economic life. It should be borne in mind that the surrounding capitalist world, against which we had to keep our powder dry, was working to revive and foster these survivals….. [For example] the Party organizations had relaxed the struggle against local nationalism, and had allowed it to grow to such an extent that it had allied itself with hostile forces, the forces of intervention, and had become a danger to the state…. Comrade Stalin [thereupon] called upon the Party to be more active in ideological-political work, to systematically expose the ideology and the remnants of the ideology of the hostile classes and of the trends hostile to Leninism (History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks), ch. 11; emphasis added).

This bit of Stalinist rhetoric blends fear of foreign intervention, dissident ideology, and state weakness into one fearsome whole. In the late Mao era Chinese communists imported the term into their own lexicon, and have consistently used it to describe this same threatening trinity.  An editorial in the People’s Daily published shortly after the Tiananmen Square Massacre provides a characteristic example. It blames that incident on both “the [larger] international climate and the domestic climate” which allowed  "hostile forces at home and abroad” to “manufacture this storm [for the purpose of] overthrowing the leadership of the CPC, subverting the socialist system, and turning China into a vassal of the capitalist developed countries” (People’s Daily, 4 June 1990).

Classifying social groups and foreign powers by their hostility to the communist cause is a rhetorically clever solution to an otherwise difficult set of problems. Most warnings about the threat posed by hostile forces do not explicitly identify the hostile actors in question. This fuzziness allows party propagandists to imply that internal opposition relies on external support without ever having to engage themselves in the messy business of proving which organizations, individuals, or social groups are linked to foreign powers, which foreign powers they are linked to, or how these links are maintained. Diplomatic crises are avoided in a similar fashion, with the Party exploiting the threat of hostile combinations to instill urgency in its cadres without needing to accuse any specific group of foreigners of wrongdoing.

This ambiguity has proved less sustainable in the age of Xi Jinping. As Sino-American relations have worsened, the phrase “hostile forces” is often reduced to a thinly veiled label for the United States and its allies. Yet foreign pressure has only exacerbated Xi's anxieties about China's internal cohesion. Over his tenure Xi Jinping has re-engineered the state security complex to make it more sensitive to and capable of resolving internal political shocks. This overhaul has been both costly and comprehensive. Guiding this transformation is Xi’s signature TOTAL NATIONAL SECURITY PARADIGM, a set of ideas which places the threat posed by ideological and political threats to one-party rule on the same plane as national defense. One doctrinal summary of Xi's paradigm returns to the problem of hostile forces to justify such great effort:

Hostile forces inside and outside our borders have never abandoned their subversive intent to Westernize and divide our state. They do not rest, not even for a moment... This is a real and present danger to the security of our sovereign power. (The Total National Security Paradigm: A Study Outline, ch. 6).

See also: HEGEMONISM; PEACEFUL EVOLUTION; TOTAL NATIONAL SECURITY PARADIGM

Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation
中华民族伟大复兴

General Secretaries of the Communist Party of China have described “national rejuvenation” [民族复兴] as the central mission of their Party since the Thirteenth Party Congress in 1987. Their wording intentionally echoes the language used by Sun Yat-sen and the nationalist revolutionaries who overthrew the Qing Dynasty at the cusp of the modern era.  Those revolutionaries dreamed of restoring a broken nation to its traditional station at the center of human civilization. Though he lives a century after Sun Yat-sen’s death, Xi Jinping rarely gives a speech without endorsing the same aspiration. As Xi describes it, national rejuvenation is a “strategic plan” for “achieving lasting greatness for the Chinese nation” (Xi Jinping, “Political Report to the 20th Congress,” 2022). The formal term for this plan is the "National Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation," a term that could be alternatively translated as the "National Rejuvenation of the Chinese Race."

The work of a Leninist party is inherently goal oriented. Chinese governance depends on a  “high pressure system” [压力型体制] that uses a mix of campaign tactics and career incentives to focus the work of millions of cadres on a shared set of tasks, all of which are nested in a hierarchy of overarching goals. During the Maoist era China’s leadership identified the  “the realization of communism” as the “ultimate aim of the Party,” and proposed “victory in class struggle” as the path for reaching this end (Fundamentals of the Chinese Communist Party, 1976). The CPC of today still endorses the “realization of communism” as the “highest ideal and ultimate aim” of the Party, but argues that “the highest ideal of communism pursued by Chinese Communists can be realized only when socialist society is fully developed and highly advanced,” a historical process that will “take over a century” to achieve (Constitution of the CPC, 2022). In contrast, the “lasting greatness” associated with national rejuvenation can be accomplished on a more feasible timescale. The Party expects to lead the Chinese race to this desired end state by 2049, the centenary of the People’s Republic of China. Achieving the Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation by this date is the overarching goal of the Chinese party-state.

To attain national rejuvenation, party leadership has argued that China must become a “great and modern socialist state” [社会主义现代化强国]. In Xi Jinping’s NEW ERA this imperative has been broken down into five aspirational end states: prosperity and strength [富强], democracy [民主], advanced culture [文明], social harmony [和谐], and beauty [美丽]. The first category emphasize the Party’s drive to build a country whose COMPOSITE NATIONAL POWER is commensurate with a civilization at the leading edge of modernity; the next three identify the desired relationship between the Communist Party and a unified Chinese nation; the last is associated with campaigns to reduce pollution and forge a healthier relationship between industrial development and the natural environment. 

With sub-components as broad as these, almost any policy promoted by THE CENTER falls under the remit of ‘national rejuvenation.’ The breadth of this mandate is intentional. As communist utopia retreats ever further into the future, Party leadership has bet that reclaiming lost Chinese greatness is the one cause “the entire Party and all the Chinese people [will] strive for”  (Xi Jinping, “Political Report to the 20th Congress,” 2022). 

See also: ADVANCING TOWARDS THE CENTER OF THE WORLD STAGE; CENTURY OF NATIONAL HUMILIATION

National Rejuvenation
民族复兴

1).政治安全是国家安全的根本

政治安全的核心是政权安全和制度安全, 最根本的就是维护中国共产党的领导和执政地位、 维护中国特色社会主义制度。如果政治安全得不到保障,国家必然会陷入四分五裂、一盘散沙的局面,中华民族伟大复兴就无从谈起。

新形势下,我国面临复杂多变的发展和安全环境,各种可以预见和难以预见的风险因素明显增多, 如果得不到及时有效控制也有可能演变为政治风险, 最终危及党的执政地位、危及国家安全。

全党同志特别是各级领导干部必须增强风险意识,提高防范政治风险能力。要增强政治敏锐性和政治鉴别力,以国家政治安全为大,对容易诱发政治问题特别是重大突发事件的敏感因素、苗头性倾向性问题,做到眼睛亮、见事早、行动快,及时消除各种政治隐患,防止非公共性风险扩大为公共性风险、非政治性风险蔓延为政治风险,坚决防止和克服嗅不出敌情、分不清是非、辨不明方向的政治麻痹症。

2.维护国家政权安全、制度安全

习近平总书记指出,“要把维护国家政治安全特别是政权安全、制度安全放在第一位”。我们治国理政的本根,就是中国共产党领导和社会主义制度。任何人以任何借口否定中国共产党领导和我国社会主义制度,都是错误的、有害的,  都是违反宪法的,都是绝对不能接受的。

必须毫不动摇坚持和巩固党的领导地位和执政地位。我们是中国共产党执政,各民主党派参政,没有反对党,不是三权鼎立、多党轮流坐庄。我国宪法确认了中国共产党的执政地位,确认了党在国家政权结构中总揽全局、协调各方的核心地位。党是领导一切的。

中央委员会,中央政治局,中央政治局常委会, 这是党的领导决策核心。党的领导是做好党和国家各项工作的根本保证,人大、政府、政协、监察机关、 审判机关、检察机关、武装力量,各民主党派和无党派人士,各企事业单位,工会、共青团、妇联等群团 组织,既各负其责,又相互配合,一个都不能少。

在坚持党的领导这个重大原则问题上,绝不能有任何含糊和动摇,要始终把握正确政治方向,坚持政治立场和政治原则。

必须毫不动摇坚持和完善中国特色社会主义制度。制度优势是一个国家的最大优势,制度竞争是国家间最根本的竞争。

制度稳则国家稳。中国特色社会主义制度是一个严密完整的科学制度体系,起四梁八柱作用的是根本制度、基本制度、重要制度,其中具有统领地位的是党的领导制度。

中国特色社会主义制度好不好、优越不优越,中国人民最清楚,也最有发言权。过去不能搞全盘苏化,现在也不能搞全盘西化或者其他什么化。我们既不走封闭僵化的老路,也不走改旗易帜的邪路,保持政治定力,坚定制度自信,不断革除体制机制弊端,推动各方面制度更加成熟更加定型,推进国家治理体系和治理能力现代化。

在政治制度模式上,要咬定青山不放松、任尔东西南北风。坚定不移走中国特色社会主义政治发展道路,坚持党的领导、人民当家作主、依法治国有机统一,坚持和完善人民代表大会制度、中国共产党领导的多党合作和政治协商制度、民族区域自治制度以及基层群众自治制度。照抄照搬他国的政治制度行不通,会水土不服,会画虎不成反类犬,甚至会把国家前途命运葬送掉。只有扎根本国土壤、汲取充沛养分的制度,才最可靠、也最管用。

各种敌对势力一直企图在我国制造“颜色革命”,妄图颠覆中国共产党领导和我国社会主义制度。这是我国政权安全面临的现实危险。西方国家策划“颜色革命”,往往从所针对的国家的政治制度特别是政党制度开始发难,大造舆论,大肆渲染,把不同于他们的政治制度和政党制度打入另类,煽动民众 搞街头政治。结果很多国家陷入政治动荡、社会动乱,人民流离失所。

境内外敌对势力对我国实施西化、分化战略一刻也没有放松。我们头脑一定要清醒、一定要坚定,面对大是大非敢于亮剑,面对矛盾敢于迎难而上。

3.坚决打嬴意识形态斗争

意识形态关乎旗帜、关乎道路、关乎国家政治安全。历史和现实反复证明,搞乱一个社会、颠覆一个政权,往往先从意识形态领域打开缺口,先从搞乱人们思想入手。思想防线被攻破了,其他防线就 很难守住。在意识形态领域斗争上,我们没有任何妥协、退让的余地,必须取得全胜。

新形势下,意识形态领域斗争复杂尖锐。在国内,一些错误思潮和观点不时出现,有的人借口现实中存在的问题攻击我们党的领导和我国社会主义制度,有的人极力歪曲、丑化、否定我们的党、我们的国家、我们的军队和我国革命、建设、改革的伟大实践,有的人大肆宣扬西方的价值观。

国际上,西方敌对势力一刻也没有停止对我国进行意识形态渗透。他们极力宣扬所谓的“普世价值”,是挂羊头卖狗肉, 目的就是要同我们争夺阵地、争夺人心、争夺群众; 千方百计利用一些热点难点问题进行炒作,煽动基层群众对党委和政府的不满,挑动党群干群对立情绪, 企图把人心搞乱。“谎言重复一千遍就会变成真理。” 各种敌对势力就是想利用这个逻辑,把我们党、我们 国家说得一塌糊涂、一无是处,诱使人们跟着他们的魔笛起舞。如果我们不主动宣传、正确引导,别人就 可能先声夺人,抢占话语权。

意识形态工作是党的一项极端重要的工作。我们必须把意识形态工作的领导权、管理权、话语权牢牢 掌握在手中,任何时候都不能旁落,否则就要犯无可挽回的历史性错误。要落实意识形态工作责任制,把做好意识形态工作摆在重要位置,及时掌握意识形态 形势和动态,对各种政治性、原则性、导向性问题要敢抓敢管,对各种错误思想必须敢于亮剑,要当战 士、不当绅士,不做“骑墙派”和“看风派”,不能搞爱惜羽毛那一套。

对那些恶意攻击党的领导、攻击 社会主义制度、歪曲党史国史、造谣生事的言论,一 切媒体、平台等都不能为之提供空间、提供方便。要 防止各种敌对势力借机干扰和破坏,避免一些具体问 题演变成政治问题、局部问题演变成全局性事件,避免出现大的意识形态事件和舆论漩涡。

做好党的新闻舆论工作,营造良好舆论环境,是治国理政、定国安邦的大事。要坚持党管媒体的原则和制度不能变,所有从事新闻信息服务、具有媒体属性和舆论动员功能的传播平台都要纳入管理范围,所有新闻信息服务和相关业务从业人员都要实行准入管理。要坚持巩固壮大主流思想舆论,弘扬主旋律,传播正能量,激发全社会团结奋进的强大力量。

马克思主义是我们立党立国的根本指导思想。在坚持马克思主义指导地位这一根本问题上,我 们必须坚定不移,任何时候任何情况下都不能有丝毫动摇。一个政权的瓦解往往是从思想领域幵始的, 马克思主义政党一旦放弃马克思主义信仰、社会主义和共产主义信念,就会土崩瓦解。共产党人如果没有信仰、没有理想,或信仰、理想不坚定,精神上就 会“缺钙”,就会得“软骨病”,就必然导致政治上变质、经济上贪婪、道德上堕落、生活上腐化。

社会上也存在一些模糊甚至错误的认识。有的认为马克思主义已经过时,中国现在搞的不是马克思主义;有的说马克思主义只是一种意识形态说教,没有学术上的学理性和系统性。实际工作中,在有的领域中马克思主义被边缘化、空泛化、标签化,在一些学科中“失语”、教材中“失踪”、论坛上“失声”。这种状况必须引起我们高度重视。

要全面贯彻习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想,坚持把马克思主义基本原理同中国具体实际相结合、同中华优秀传统文化相结合,推进马克思主义中国化时代化大众化,建设具有强大凝聚力和引领力的社会主义意识形态。

要教育引导全党从党的非凡历程中领会马克思主义是如何深刻改变中国、改变世界的,感悟马克思主义的真理力量和实践力量,深化 对中国化马克思主义既一脉相承又与时倶进的理论品质的认识,坚持不懈用党的创新理论最新成果武装头脑、指导实践、推动工作。要围绕中国共产党为什么“能”、马克思主义为什么“行”、中国特色社会主义为什么“好”等重大问题,广泛开展宣传教育,加 强思想舆论引导,。画出最大的思想同心圆,使全体人民在理想信念、价值理念、道德观念上紧紧团结在一 起,让正能量更强劲、主旋律更高昂。

互联网已经成为意识形态斗争的主阵地、主战场、最前沿。互联网是我们面临的“最大变量”,搞不好会成为我们的“心头之患”。西方反华势力一 直妄图利用互联网“扳倒中国”,多年前有西方政要 就声称“有了互联网,对付中国就有了办法”,“社会主义国家投入西方怀抱,将从互联网开始”。随着联网快速发展,包括新媒体从业人员和网络“意见领 袖”在内的网络人士大量涌现。在这两个群体中,有些经营网络、是“搭台”的,有些网上发声、是“唱戏”的,往往能左右互联网的议题,能量不可小觑。 在互联网这个战场上,我们能否顶得住、打得赢,直接关系我国意识形态安全和政权安全。

对网上舆论热点,要深入研判。事实证明,网上 发生的一些重大事件以及由此引发的重大社会事件, 从来都不是个别人一时心血来潮搞起来的,而是各路角色粉墨登场、联手行动的结果,是有选择、有预 谋、有计划、有组织的。对这些情况,要有高度的政治警惕性和政治鉴别力,线上线下要密切联动,不能云里来、雾里去,决不能任由这些人造谣0生事、煽风点火、浑水摸鱼。

管好用好互联网,重点要解决好谁来管、怎么管的问题。要把党管媒体的原则贯彻到新媒体领域,加大舆论引导力度,加快建立网络综合治理体系。要依法加强网络空间治理,教育引导广大网民遵守互联网秩序,依法上网、文明上网,理性表达、有序参与。

要高度重视网上舆论斗争,消除生成网上舆论风暴的各种隐患,加强网络内容建设,做强网上正面宣传, 培育积极健康、向上向善的网络文化,用社会主义核 心价值观和人类优秀文明成果滋养人心、滋养社会, 为广大网民特别是青少年营造一个风清气正的网络空间。各级党委和党员干部要把维护网络意识形态安全作为守土尽责的重要使命,充分发挥制度优势, 坚持管用防并举,方方面面齐动手,坚决打赢网络意 识形态斗争,切实维护以政权安全、制度安全为核心的国家政治安全。

学校是意识形态工作的前沿阵地,可不是 一个象牙之塔,也不是一个桃花源。各种敌对势力从来没有停止对中国共产党领导和我国社会主义制度进行颠覆破坏活动,他们下功夫最大的一个领域就是 争夺我们的青少年。

境外一些势力经常在我国高校开展活动,一些境外宗教组织以高校为重点开展渗透活动,还有宗教极端势力对一些高校少数民族学生渗透。我们培养人的目标是什么要搞清楚,现在非常明确坚定地提出要培养社会主义建设者和接班人。如果培养了半天,培养出来的是吃里扒外、吃哪家饭砸哪家锅的人,甚至是我们这个制度的掘墓人,那就会是 失败的教育!

各级党委要把高校思想政治工作摆在重要位置,加强领导和指导,形成党委统一领导、各部门各方面齐抓共管的工作格局。高校、院(系)等党 组织书记、行政负责人要担负起政治责任和领导责 任,认真落实意识形态工作责任制,敢抓敢管、敢于亮剑,做到守土有责、守土负责、守土尽责。如果有 人以所谓“学术自由”为名诋毁马克思主义、否定 马克思主义指导地位,那就应该旗帜鲜明予以抵制。要加强校报校刊和网络治理,严明教学纪律,牢牢掌 握意识形态工作领导权,用马克思主义占领高校意识形态阵地。

做好学校思想政治工作,要因事而化、因时而进、因势而新。要开展马克思主义理论教育,用近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想铸魂育人,引导学‘生增强中国特色社会主义道路自信、理论自信、制度自信、文化自信,厚植爱国主义情怀。

要遵循思想 政治工作规律,遵循教书育人规律,遵循学生成长规律,不断提高工作能力和水平,坚决防范和清除各种 错误政治思潮、分裂主义、宗教活动等对学校的侵 蚀。要用好课堂教学这个主渠道,推动思想政治理论课改革创新,不断增强思想性、理论性和亲和力、针对性,满足学生成长发展需求和期待。要运用新媒体 新技术使工作活起来,推动思想政治工作传统优势同信息技术高度融合,增强时代感和吸引力。

4.全面贯彻党的民族政策和宗教政策

团结稳定是福,分裂动乱是祸。要准确把握和全面贯彻我们党关于加强和改进民族工作的重要 思想,以铸牢中华民族共同体意识为主线,坚定不移走中国特色解决民族问题的正确道路,构筑中华民族共有精神家园,促进各民族交往交流交融,推动民族地区加快现代化建设步伐,提升民族事务治理法治化水平,防范化解民族领域风险隐患,推动新时代党的 民族工作高质量发展。

铸牢中华民族共同体意识是新时代党的民族工作 的“纲”,所有工作要向此聚焦。要引导各民族始终把中华民族利益放在首位,本民族意识要服从和服务于中华民族共同体意识,构建起维护国家统一和民族团结的坚固思想长城。要高举各民族大团结旗帜,引导各族群众增强对伟大祖国、中华民族、中华文化、 中国共产党、中国特色社会主义的认同,像石榴籽那 样紧紧抱在一起。要依法治理民族事务,推进民族事务治理体系和治理能力现代化,依法妥善处理涉民族因素的案事件。要坚决防范民族领域重大风险隐患, 守住意识形态阵地,坚决遏制和打击境内外敌对势力利用民族问题进行的分裂、渗透、破坏活动,筑牢民族团结、社会稳定、国家统一的铜墙铁壁。

宗教工作在党和国家工作全局中具有特殊重要性,关系中国特色社会主义事业发展,关系党同人民群众的血肉联系,关系社会和谐、民族团结,关系国家安全和袓国统一。必须建立健全强有力的领导机制,必须坚持和发展中国特色社会主义宗教理论,必须坚持党的宗教工作基本方针,必须坚持我国宗教中国化方向,必须坚持把广大信教群众团结在党 和政府周围,必须构建积极健康的宗教关系,必须支持宗教团体加强自身建设,必须提高宗教工作法治化水平。

要完整、准确、全面贯彻党的宗教信仰自由政 策,尊重群众宗教信仰,依法管理宗教事务,坚持独立自主自办原则,积极引导宗教与社会主义社会相适应。

党的宗教工作的本质是群众工作。信教群众和不 信教群众在政治上经济上的根本利益是一致的,都是党执政的群众基础。既要保护信教群众宗教信仰自由 权利,最大限度团结信教群众,也要耐心细致做信教群众工作。

我国宪法法律保障公民信仰宗教的权利, 但必须警惕宗教渗透的危险,警惕带有政治意图的宗教诉求。敌对势力越是想借宗教问题做文章,我们就越是要把信教群众紧紧团结在党的周围,更好组织和 引导信教群众同广大人民群众一道为全面建成社会主义现代化强国、实现中华民族伟大复兴的中国梦而团 结奋斗。

要深入推进我国宗教中国化,引导和支持我国宗教以社会主义核心价值观为引领,增进宗教界人士和信教群众对伟大祖国、中华民族、中华文化、中国 共产党、中国特色社会主义的认同。支持宗教界对宗教思想、教规教义进行符合时代进步要求的阐释,坚决防范西方意识形态渗透,自觉抵御极端主义思潮影响。提高宗教工作法治化水平,依法对宗教工作进行管理,不允许有法外之地、法外之人、法外之教,坚持保护合法、制止非法、遏制极端、抵御渗透、打击犯罪的原则。宗教活动应当在法律法规规定范围内开展,不得损害公民身体健康,不得违背公序良俗,不得干涉教育、司法、行政职能和社会生活。

要坚持独 立自主自办原则,统筹推进相关工作。要加强互联网 宗教事务管理。要切实解决影响我国宗教健康传承的突出问题。

5.防范化解党的建设面临的风险

坚持自我革命,确保党不变质、不变色、 不变味。我们党历史这么长、规模这么大、执政这么久,如何跳出治乱兴衰的历史周期率?毛泽东同志在延安的窑洞里给出了第一个答案,这就是“只有让人民来监督政府,政府才不敢松懈”。经过百年奋斗特别是党的十八大以来新的实践,我们党又给出了第二 个答案,这就是自我革命。

勇于自我革命是我们党区别于其他政党的显著标志。中国共产党的伟大不在于不犯错误,而在于从不讳疾忌医,敢于直面问题,勇于自我革命,具有极强的自我修复能力。中国共产党从来不代表任何利益集团、任何权势团体、任何特权阶层的利益。我们党没有任何自己特殊的利益,这是我们党敢于自我革命的勇气之源、底气所在。正因为无私,才能本着彻底的唯物主义精神经常检视自身、常思己过,才能摆脱一 切利益集团、权势团体、特权阶层的“围猎”腐蚀, 并向党内被这些集团、团体、阶层所裹挟的人开刀。

党的十八大以来,我们以坚定决心、顽强意志、 空前力度推进全面从严治党,正本清源、拨正船头, 保证全党沿着正确航向前进,推动党和国家事业取得 历史性成就、发生历史性变革,对党、对国家、对民族都产生了不可估量的深远影响。

同时,也要看 到,全面从严治党还远未到大功告成的时候。党面临的长期执政考验、改革开放考验、市场经济考验、外部环境考验具有长期性和复杂性,党面临的精神懈怠危险、能力不足危险、脱离群众危险、消极腐败危险具有尖锐性和严峻性,党内存在的思想不纯、政治不 纯、组织不纯、作风不纯等突出问题尚未得到根本解 决。如果管党不力、治党不严,人民群众反映强烈的 党内突出问题得不到解决,那我们党迟早会失去执政资格,不可避免被历史淘汰。

全党同志要永葆自我革命精神,增强全面从严治党永远在路上的政治自觉,决不能滋生己经严到位、 严到底的情绪。要坚持党的政治建设,始终保持党的 团结统一,增强党自我净化、自我完善、自我革新、 自我提局能力,把党的伟大自我革命进行到底。凡是 影响党的创造力、凝聚力、战斗力的问题都要全力克服,凡是损害党的先进性和纯洁性的病症都要彻底医 治,凡是滋生在党的健康肌体上的毒瘤都要坚决祛 除。特别是对那些攫取国家和人民利益、侵蚀党的执政根基、动摇社会主义国家政权的人,对那些在党内搞政治团伙、小圈子、利益集团的人,要毫不手软、 坚决查处。

反腐败斗争是一场输不起也决不能输的重 大政治斗争。习近平总书记指出:“党面临的最大风 险和挑战是来自党内的腐败和不正之风.” 腐败问题 对党的执政基础破坏力最大、杀伤力也最大,是最容易颠覆政权的问题。不得罪成百上千的腐败分子,就 要得罪十四亿人民,这是一笔再明白不过的政治账、人心向背账。

必须清醒认识到,腐败和反腐败较量还 在激烈进行,并呈现出一些新的阶段性特征,防范形形色色的利益集团成伙作势、“围猎”腐蚀还任重道远,有效应对腐败手段隐形变异、翻新升级还任重道远,彻底铲除腐败滋生土壤、实现海晏河清还任重道 远,清理系统性腐败、化解风险隐患还任重道远。

打铁必须自身硬。坚持无禁区、全覆盖、零容忍,坚持重遏制、强高压、长震慑,坚持受贿行贿一 起查,坚决防止党内形成利益集团,坚决防范各种利 益集团“围猎”和绑架领导干部。把权力关进制度的 笼子里,依法设定权力、规范权力、制约权力、监督 权力。要保持惩治腐败高压态势,巩固反腐败斗争压 倒性胜利,一体推进不敢腐、不能腐、不想腐,强化敢腐的震慑,扎牢不能腐的笼子,增强不想腐的自觉,通过不懈努力换来海晏河清、朗朗乾坤。

1. Political Security is the Foundation of National Security.9

At the core of political security is the security of our sovereign power10 and the security of our institutions. At its most fundamental, political security means safeguarding the ruling position and leadership status of the Chinese Communist Party and safeguarding the institution of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics. If political security cannot be guaranteed, the country will inevitably disintegrate like a sheet of loose sand. Then there will be no possibility for the Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation.

Under New Conditions, our state faces a complex and changing developmental and security environment. It is clear that all kinds of risk factors – both the foreseeable ones and those that are hard to foresee – are on the rise. If [these risk factors] cannot be controlled promptly and effectively, they could evolve into political risks and could endanger the Party's leadership and national security.

As such, comrades of the Party, especially the leadership cadres at all administrative levels, must sharpen their risk awareness and hone their ability to guard against political risks. It is necessary to hone our political acuity and political discernment, and to treat the political security of the state as our top priority. Be on high alert for, spot early, and act swiftly [to resolve] problems that could easily induce political risks. It is necessary to pay special attention to sensitive problems whose initial stirrings or inherent tendencies [suggest that the problem] might escalate into a major crisis. All hidden perils must be promptly eradicated. Act swiftly to prevent non-public risks from growing into public risks and non-political risks from growing into political risks. Resolutely prevent and overcome the political paralysis that incapacitates our ability to sniff out enemy intentions, differentiate right from wrong, and discern the correct [political] direction.

2. Safeguard the Security of our Sovereign Power and the Security of our Institutions

As General Secretary Xi Jinping remarked, "The state’s political security, especially the security of our sovereign power and the security of our institutions, is our first priority."11  The foundation of our governance is the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and the institution of socialism. It is erroneous, harmful, and unconstitutional for any person to repudiate the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and our socialist institutions under any pretext. No one who behaves in such a manner will be tolerated.  

It is necessary to unwaveringly uphold and strengthen the party's leadership and governing status . Our regime rests on Chinese Communist Party rule, with the consultative participation of various democratic parties.12 There are no opposition parties. There is no separation of powers between three branches [of government], with multiple parties taking turns to rule. The Constitution of our state affirms the ruling position of the Chinese Communist Party. It affirms the Party's place as the core of the political power structure, coordinating the various parts with total authority over the greater whole. The Party leads all.

The leadership and decision making core of the Party are the Central Committee, the Central Committee Political Bureau, and the Standing Committee of the Central Committee Political Bureau. The leadership of the Party is the fundamental guarantee of the proper execution of the various tasks of the Party and the State. The National People's Congress, the government, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the oversight organs, the judicial organs, the prosecutorial organs, the armed forces, various democratic parties and non-aligned persons, various corporate institutions and enterprises, the unions, the Communist Youth League, the [All-China] Women's Federation, and the other people’s organizations13 [shall] conduct their respective duties while collaborating with each other. We [cannot afford] for a single one to be missing.  

On the important principle of upholding the Party's leadership, there can be no ambiguity or wavering. We must grasp the correct political direction, and persevere in our political stance and principles.

We must unwaveringly persevere in and perfect the institution of socialism with Chinese characteristics. An institutional advantage is a state’s greatest advantage. Institutional competition is the most fundamental type of competition between states.14

If institutions are stable, so is the state. Socialism with Chinese characteristics is a rigorous, comprehensive, and scientific system of institutions. Serving as the pillars and beam of [this system of institutions] are the fundamental institutions, the foundational institutions, and the important institutions. Among these the institution of Party leadership has the overall commanding position.

It is the Chinese people who most clearly see and have the greatest right to speak on whether the institution of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics is good or bad, superior or inferior. We did not completely carry out Sovietization in the past. Now we will not completely carry out Westernization, nor any other “ization.” We do not walk the old path of rigidity and isolation, but neither will we walk the evil path of changing banners.15   We must maintain political resolution16 and strengthen our confidence in our institutions. We must continuously eliminate flaws in our apparatus, refine our institutions [so that they] become more mature and set in stone, and advance the modernization of our state’s governance system and governing capacity.

As for how we model our political institutions, we must grip “hard into the mountain green, whether from the East, South, West or North the wind gusts blow.”17  Socialism with Chinese Characteristics is the path on which our politics develop. Uphold the organic unity18 that occurs when the Party acts as leader, the people act as masters, and the state is governed by law.  We must uphold and perfect the institution of the National People's Congress, the institution of multiparty collaborative political consultation under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, the institution of ethnic minority autonomous regions, and the institution of grassroot self-governance.19  It is evident that transplanting the institutions of other countries on our soil would fail. These institutions would not match our water and soil: it would be like setting out to paint a tiger but ending up with the likeness of a dog. This sort of [blind imitation] would bury the future prospects of the state. Only an institution that is rooted in the soil of our own state, absorbing its rich nutrients, can be relied on or put to good use.20

Hostile forces persistently seek to ferment a "color revolution" within our state, vainly attempting to subvert the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and the socialist institutions of our state. This is a real and present danger to the security of our sovereign power. As they plot “color revolutions,” Western countries often target their attacks on political institutions, especially its party institutions. They distort public opinion and amplify narratives that condemn the institutions and ruling parties of countries that are simply different from theirs, inciting the masses to take politics onto the streets. As a result, many countries fall into political turmoil and social upheaval, with their people uprooted and displaced.

Hostile forces at home and abroad  have never abandoned their subversive intent to Westernize and divide our state. They do not rest, not even for a moment. In response, we must be clear-headed. We must be steadfast. When confronted with major issues of right and wrong, we must not be afraid to brandish our swords.21  In the face of contradictions, we must bravely rise to the challenge.

3. Resolutely Claim Victory in Ideological Struggle

Ideology concerns the banner [we follow], the path [we tread], and the political security of the state. History and real world conditions have repeatedly proven that [those who] sow chaos in a society and subvert sovereign power often begin by piercing a hole in the realm of ideology and sowing chaos in the thoughts of the people. Once the defensive line in thought has been breached it is difficult for other defensive lines to hold. In the realm of ideological conflict, we have no way to compromise and no place to retreat to. We must obtain total victory.

Under New Conditions, conflict in the ideological realm is sharp and complicated. Domestically, some erroneous perspectives and trends of thought emerge from time to time. Some use [the inevitable] problems of real world [execution] as a pretext to attack the leadership of our party and the institution of socialism in our country. Some do everything in their power to distort, vilify, and repudiate our party, our state, and our military, as well as our profound practice of [socialist] revolution, construction and reform. Some brazenly preach Western values.

On the international stage, Western hostile forces have not ceased their ideological infiltration of our country, not even for a moment. They do everything in their power to promote so-called “universal values.” This is [just like the proverb] “to advertise lamb chops but sell dogmeat.”22 Their goal is to vie for our defensive positions, vie for the people’s hearts and minds, and vie for the masses. They employ all possible means to hype up hot issues and difficulties, instigate dissatisfaction with Party committees and the government among the grassroots, stir up antagonistic feelings between the masses and the Party or between cadres and the masses, and to attempt to bring disorder to the hearts and minds of the people. “A lie told a thousand times becomes the truth.”23  Hostile forces think they can use this logic to condemn our Party and our state as an absolute disaster without a single redeeming feature, seducing people to dance along to their magical flute.24  If we do not actively educate and correctly guide [the masses], others could strike the first blow, and preemptively seize discursive power.

For the Party, ideology work is an extremely important type of work.  In ideology work we must firmly grasp in our hands the power of leadership, the power of supervision, and discursive power. We must not let it fall by the wayside lest we make an unsalvageable mistake of historic proportions. Implement the accountability system for ideology work, give it due importance, and have a timely  grasp on the trajectory and  dynamics of ideological trends. Dare to catch and intervene in problems of a political nature, problems whose nature is [related to fundamental] principles, and problems whose nature is related to guiding [the masses].25  Have the courage to brandish our swords against all kinds of erroneous thoughts. Be a warrior, not a gentleman. We must not be a fence-sitter, watch which way the wind blows, or cherish personal reputation to the point of inaction.

No media outlet or platform should ever provide space for or facilitate rhetoric that maliciously attacks the Party’s leadership or the institution of socialism, distorts the history of the Party and the state, or spreads rumors and stirs up trouble. [We must] prevent hostile forces from seizing the chance to interfere in or undermine [our relationship with the people], prevent concrete problems from developing into problems with political import, and prevent local problems from developing into a system-wide incident, and prevent the emergence of major ideological incidents or public opinion vortexes.

Doing well in the Party’s journalistic and public opinion work and fostering a benign public opinion environment: these are great matters of national stability and state governance.26 [As such] it is necessary to uphold the Party’s principles and institutions for media management. All communication platforms that engage in news information services, have the properties of media, or have public opinion mobilization functions must be included under the purview of this management. All news information services and personnel must be subject to access control.27 It is necessary to uphold the consolidation and expansion of mainstream public opinion, amplify the main melody, and propagate positive energy, and arouse the great power of an entire society pressing forward in unity.

Marxism is the fundamental guiding thought behind the founding of our Party and state. On the fundamental question of upholding Marxism’s guiding position, we must be resolute. We cannot waver even the slightest at any time or under any circumstance. The disintegration of sovereign power often begins in the realm of thought. Once a Marxist party abandons its Marxist faith–its socialist and communist convictions–it will crumble and disintegrate. Should  communist party members be without faith and  ideals, or should their faith and ideals not be sufficiently resolute, [they will suffer] from a sort of spiritual “calcium deficiency” and be afflicted with “soft bone disease.” In politics this will inevitably lead to deterioration; in economics, to greed; in morality, to degeneration; in everyday life, to corruption.

In society, unclear and even erroneous understandings [of Marxism] can also be found. Some believe that Marxism is obsolete and that what China is doing right now is not Marxism. Some say that Marxism is merely an ideological homily, lacking in theoretical rigor and systematicity. In practical work there are some fields where Marxism has been marginalized, emptied, and reduced to a label. It has experienced “aphasia” in certain academic subjects, disappeared from certain curricula, and lost its voice in certain forums. This situation demands a high degree of attention.

[In response to this situation] it is necessary to comprehensively implement Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, uphold the combination of fundamental principles of Marxism with China’s concrete realities and its outstanding traditional culture, and promote the Sinicization,  contemporization, and popularization of Marxism, [thereby] constructing a socialist ideology of great cohesiveness and pioneering prowess.

It is necessary to educate and direct the entire Party to understand how Marxism, through the Party’s extraordinary journey, transformed  China and the world; to comprehend [both] Marxism’s power [to reveal] the truth and its power [to direct] current practice; to deepen [the entire Party’s] understanding the theoretical qualities of Sinicized Marxism that allows it to both stay true to its origin and progress with the times; and to arm minds, guide practice, and to promote work by unremittingly upholding the latest achievements of the Party’s innovations in theory. It is necessary to carry out extensive propaganda and education campaigns and to strengthen ideological and public opinion guidance by centering [our work] on the important questions of why the Chinese Communist Party is “capable,” why Marxism “works,” and why socialism with Chinese characteristics is “good.”  Draw the largest possible circle of thought, so that the entire people are tightly united through [shared] ideals, values, and sense of morality. This will cause [our] positive energy to be that much stronger and our main melody that much more majestic.

The internet has become the primary battlefield and the frontline of ideological conflict. It is the largest variable we are facing, and could very well become a thorn in our side.28  For a long time, Western Sinophobic forces have vainly sought to use the internet to “topple China.” Many years ago, Western politicians claimed that “with the internet, we have a new method to deal with China” and that “socialist countries throwing themselves into the embrace of the West will begin on the internet.”29  Following the rapid development of the internet a large number of internet personages, including new media professionals  and internet “opinion leaders,”  emerged online. Among them, some provide online platforms (merely “sharing their table”) and some are content contributors (acting as the “stars of the show”). [Both groups] are often able to influence internet discourse and should not be taken lightly. Our state’s ideological security and the security of our sovereign power depend on whether we can protect ourselves, hold out, and seize victory on the internet battlefield.

It is necessary to deeply study and assess hot topics on the internet. It is an evident reality that major incidents on the internet, as well as the major societal incidents induced by [these internet incidents], have never been the work of individuals acting on sudden impulses, but are the fruit of numerous actors rising up to act in concert. [These incidents] are intentionally chosen, follow a plan, and are organized and contrived ahead of time. In face of situations like these, it is necessary to possess a high degree of political vigilance and political discernment, and to maintain a high degree of connectivity – both online and off of it. We cannot allow them to wisp in and out of the fog, and must never allow these people to spread rumors, fan the flames [of discontent], or profit from muddied waters.30

The effective management of the internet depends on [two central] questions: who manages the internet and how one should manage it. Apply the Party’s principles for managing traditional media to the realm of new media. Increase the vigor of public opinion control. Accelerate the construction of a comprehensive internet management system. It is necessary to strengthen the management of the internet in accordance with the law, teach and guide netizens to follow rules on the internet, to use the internet in accordance with law and in a civilized manner, to express opinions rationally, and to participate in an orderly fashion.

It is necessary to attach a high importance to: online public opinion struggle; eliminating hidden dangers that will generate storms of negative opinion; strengthening online content construction; reinforcing positive publicity; nurturing an internet culture that is positive and healthy, uplifting and kind, that utilizes the core values of socialism and the fruits of human civilization at its finest to nourish [both] society and the minds of the people; and creating a clean and upright online environment for the netizen masses, especially the youth. Party committees and Party cadres at all levels must treat the maintenance of online ideological security as a mission crucial to protecting their patch.31 They must give full play to the advantages of our institutions, pay close attention to the threefold task of management, utilization and defense, advance on all fronts, resolutely win the struggle over internet ideology, conscientiously maintain the political security of the state, with security of our sovereign power and the security of our institutions at its core of political security.

Schools are not ivory towers, nor some type of Shangri-La, but the frontline positions of the ideological battlefield.32 Hostile forces have never ceased their subversion and sabotage of the leadership of the Communist Party of China or the socialist institutions of our state. The realm that they spend the most effort fighting for is [the loyalty of] our youth.

Foreign hostile forces regularly hold events at our schools. Some foreign religious organizations have centered their infiltration efforts on  our institutions of higher learning. Some religious extremist forces even conduct infiltration aimed at minority students. We must clearly grasp the goal of education and cultivation. We must clearly, steadfastly affirm that the goal is to cultivate the next generation of socialist builders and successors. If all this cultivating only cultivates people who bite the hand that feeds them and who kick the wok that fills them, if it only cultivates the gravediggers of our institutions – that would be a failure in education!

Party committees at all levels must prioritize political and ideology work in institutions of higher education, strengthen leadership and guidance [over this work], form a work atmosphere where the leadership of party committees is unified and administrative efforts in all aspects with all departments are coordinated. Secretaries and administrators of high schools, universities, and department level party organizations must shoulder political and leadership responsibilities. They must earnestly implement a responsibility-based system for ideology work. They must dare to discipline, punish, and to brandish the sword. They must understand, shoulder, and fulfill the responsibility of protecting their patch. If anyone uses so-called “academic freedom” to slander Marxism and repudiate its guiding position, we should stand by our banner and resist these falsehoods. We must strengthen the management of school newspapers, academic journals, and the internet, enforce clear and strict discipline in teaching, securely grasp leadership over ideological work, and use Marxism to occupy the ideological battle lines in institutions of higher learning.

Political thought work in the schools must be done well. We must adjust our approach to reflect on past challenges and successes, advance our goals to reflect the times, and renew our methods to reflect historical trends. We must expand theoretical education on Marxism. We must use Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era to educate and forge the souls of our students, guide the students in strengthening their self-confidence in the path, theory, institutions, and culture of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, and to deeply plant patriotic sentiment [in their hearts].

It is necessary to abide by the necessary rules of political and ideological [education], abide by the necessary discipline of education, and abide by the necessary patterns of student development.33  We must unceasingly increase our capability to guard against and purge the corrosive influence that erroneous political thought, separatism, and religious activity exerts on schools. Classroom teaching is the primary medium; we must make good use of it to promote reform and innovation in political theory courses, strengthening the rigor of thought, the depth of the theory, and its targeted application so as to satisfy the needs and expectations of the students’ growth and development. It is necessary to utilize new media and new techniques to revitalize this work, to promote a high level of integration between the traditional advantages of political thought work and information technology, and to increase the attractiveness and timeliness of [our work].

4. Comprehensively Implement the Party’s Ethnic Policies and Religion Policies

Unity and stability are blessings. Separatism and chaos are disasters. It is necessary to accurately grasp and comprehensively implement our Party’s important thought regarding the strengthening and reform of ethnic work, take forging the consciousness of common Chinese national identity as the main line, and resolutely and unwaveringly march on the correct path of resolving ethnic issues with Chinese characteristics. We must establish a shared spiritual homeland for the Chinese nation; advance the interaction, exchange and fusion of ethnic groups; promote the acceleration of modernization within ethnic regions; increase the extent by which ethnic affairs are managed by the rule of law; guard against and resolve hidden dangers and risks within the realm of ethnic affairs; and promote the high quality development of the Party’s ethnic work in the New Era.  

Forging a consciousness of common Chinese national identity is the “connecting framework” of the Party’s ethnic work in the New Era. All work must fall within this framework. We must guide all ethnic groups to place the interests of the Chinese nation first in all circumstances. Their ethnic consciousness must be subordinate to and serve the common Chinese national identity. To safeguard ethnic unity and the unification of the state we must build a solid ideological Great Wall. We must raise the banner of ethnic unity, guide the masses from all ethnic groups to strengthen their identification with our great state, the Chinese nation, Chinese culture, the Chinese Communist Party, and socialism with Chinese characteristics, all bound together as tightly as pomegranate seeds. We must manage ethnic affairs in accordance with the law, promote the modernization of the ethnic affairs management system and capabilities, and properly handle cases involving ethnic factors in accordance with the law. We must resolutely guard against major hidden dangers and risks in the ethnic realm. We must hold to our ideological battle positions. We must resolutely contain and combat the hostile forces at home and abroad that use ethnic problems to carry out separatism, infiltration, sabotage activities.  We must construct a steel bastion of ethnic unity, social stability, and a unified state.

In the overall layout of the work of the Party and the state, religious work is of special importance. It is related to the development of the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the flesh-and-blood ties of the masses and the Party, social harmony, ethnic unity, and a secure and unified state. We must: establish a comprehensive and powerful leadership mechanism, uphold and develop religious theory based on socialism with Chinese characteristics, uphold the Party’s basic guidelines for religious work, uphold the Sinicization of religion in our state,34  persist in uniting the mass of religious believers around the Party and government, and construct positive and healthy religious relations. We must support religious organizations to strengthen their [capacity for] self-construction, and increase the extent by which religious work is conducted according to the rule of law.

We must comprehensively, accurately, and in all respects implement the Party’s policy on religious freedoms and rights, respect the religious faith of the masses, manage religious affairs in accordance with the law, uphold the principle of independence and autonomy, actively guiding the mutual adaptation of religion and socialist society to each other.

The Party’s religious work is, in its essence, mass work. The believing masses and the non-believing masses have the same fundamental political and economic interests; politically and economically, both are [part of] the popular foundation of the Party’s rule. Not only should we protect the right to religious freedom of the believing masses and unite the religious masses to the greatest possible extent, but we also must patiently and meticulously work among the religious masses.

Our state’s constitution guarantees religious rights to citizens, but we must also be vigilant against the danger of religious infiltration and the hidden political agenda of some religious appeals. The more hostile forces want to use religion as a pretext to make trouble, the more we must tightly unite the religious masses around the Party, and the better we must organize and lead the religious masses to work along with the broader masses to construct a modern and strong socialist state, and to unite in the struggle to realize the Chinese dream of the Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation.

It is necessary to thoroughly promote the Sinicization of religion in our state, guiding and supporting the religions in our state to recognize core socialist values as their head, and strengthening the identification of leading religious figures and the believing masses with the motherland, the Chinese people, Chinese culture, the Chinese Communist Party, and socialism with Chinese characteristics. Support the religious sphere in interpreting religious doctrine, laws, and teachings in a manner consistent with the demands of progress and the present era, resolutely guard against Western ideological infiltration, and self-consciously resist the influence of extremist doctrine.  Increase the extent to which religious work is conducted according to the rule of law and manage religious work in accordance with the law. Do not permit any locality, groups, or religion to exist outside of the law. While we protect the lawful practice of religion, we must prevent the growth of unlawful religious practices, contain religious extremism, guard against infiltration, and strike against criminality. Religious activities should take place within the scope of the designated restrictions under the law. They must not damage the physical health of citizens, disrupt public order and good morals, interfere with state education, judicial and administrative functions, or social life.

It is necessary to uphold the principle of independence and autonomy, and make overall plans to advance the relevant work. It is necessary to strengthen the management of religious affairs on the internet. It is necessary to steadfastly resolve outstanding problems affecting the healthy perpetuation of religion in our state.

5. Guard Against and Resolve the Risks Facing Party Construction

It is necessary to uphold self-revolution, and ensure that the Party does not spoil, change color, or change its taste. Our party has such a long history, operates at such a large scale, and has held power for so long–how did it escape the historical cycle of rise and fall? Comrade Mao Zedong gave the first answer from the Yan’an cave: “The government will not become complacent only if it is under the supervision of the people.”35  After a hundred years of struggle, especially since the adoption of new practices after the 18th Party Congress, our Party has come up with a second answer: self-revolution.

Courage in conducting self-revolution clearly distinguishes our Party from other governing parties. The greatness of the Communist Party of China has not come from an inability to commit errors, but from [our determination to] never conceal fault for fear of criticism,36  from daring to face problems head-on, from courageous self-revolution, and our strong capacity for self-directed restoration and repair. The Chinese Communist Party has never represented any interest group, any power bloc, or the interests of any privileged class. Our Party does not have any special interest of its own. This is the source of our courage and confidence. [It is the reason] we dare to conduct self-revolution. It is precisely because of this selflessness we constantly reflect on our mistakes and regularly examine ourselves in a spirit consistent with historical materialism. [It is precisely because of this selflessness] we not only can escape being captured and corrupted by interest groups, power blocs, and privileged classes, but also excise those within the Party who are held hostage by these groups, organizations and classes.

Since the Party’s 18th Congress, we have pushed for the comprehensive and strict governance of the Party with steadfast resolve, stubborn willpower, and an unprecedented amount of effort. We have cleansed our moral foundation. We have kept our bearings to ensure that the entire Party is sailing the correct course. We have had great historical achievements and promoted great historical transformations in the cause of the Party and the state. We have had an immeasurable and far-reaching impact on the Party, the state, and the nation.

Yet at the same time it is necessary to recognize that comprehensive and strict governance of the Party has not yet been successfully accomplished. The Party faces the test of long-term rule, the test of reform and opening-up, the test of a market economy, and the test of the external environment. [These tests] are all distinguished by their long term and complex nature. The Party also faces the danger of slacking spirit, the danger of incompetence, the danger of losing touch with the masses, and the danger of passivity and corruption.37  These [dangers] are all distinguished by their acuity and severity. Within the Party, impurities in ideology, politics, organization, and work style are still outstanding problems that have not been fundamentally resolved. If Party discipline is not enforced, intra-party governance is not strict, and the outstanding intra-Party problems that the masses are strongly reacting to are not resolved, then it’s a matter of time before our Party loses its qualifications for rule. It will then inevitably be eliminated by history.

All comrades across the party must persist in an undying spirit of revolution. We must strengthen the political awareness that comprehensive and strict governance of the Party will always be a goal to strive for, and reject the sentiment that [intra-Party governance] is already strict enough, or that it cannot be made stricter. It is necessary to uphold the political construction of the Party, and always maintain the Party’s unity and unification. We must strengthen the Party’s ability to purify itself, enhance itself, renew itself, and elevate itself, and conduct the Party’s great self-revolution to the finish. No effort can be spared in overcoming any problem affecting the Party’s creativity, coherence, and combat power. All symptoms of diseases that injure the Party’s advanced nature and purity must be thoroughly eliminated. All malignant tumors growing from the Party’s healthy tissue must be resolutely excised.  In particular, those who organize political gangs, small cliques, or interest groups within the party in order to plunder the interests of the state and the people, corrode the foundation of Party rule, or shake the sovereign power of the socialist state must be shown no mercy, resolutely investigated, and prosecuted.

The anti-corruption struggle is an important political struggle that we can neither afford to nor ever shall lose. General Secretary Xi Jinping has pointed out that “the biggest risk and challenge the Party faces comes from corruption and unhealthy trends within the party.”38  Corruption is the problem that is most destructive and lethal to the Party's ruling foundation, the one that will most easily overthrow the Party’s sovereign power. [Choosing] not to offend hundreds and even thousands of corrupt individuals, is to offend 1.4 billion people. The political ledger could not be clearer, nor the ledger of popular sympathy and support.

We must soberly recognize that a fierce competition between corruption and anti-corruption is still underway. [This competition] exhibits certain new features characteristic to this phase. Preventing numerous interest groups from combining into a force that captures [opportunities for] corruption is still a weighty and protracted task; effectively responding to the stealthy mutation, revival, and improvement of corrupt devices is still a weighty and protracted task; thoroughly clearing the breeding grounds of corruption and building an honest political environment is still a weighty and protracted task; cleaning up systematic corruption and eliminating hidden risks is also a weighty and protracted task.

The blacksmith’s hammer must be as firm as the iron it strikes.39  Uphold our policy of no restricted areas, full coverage, and zero tolerance, as well as uphold [a posture of] strict containment, high pressure, and long-term deterrence. Uphold the prosecution of both the party that initiates and the party that takes bribes, resolutely guard against the formation of interest groups within the Party, resolutely guard against various interest groups from capturing leading cadres. Lock power within an institutional cage. Set up, regulate, constrain, and supervise power in accordance with the law. Maintain the high-pressure posture of punishing corruption. Consolidate an indisputable victory in the struggle against corruption. Join together to advance [an environment] where none dare to be corrupt, none can be corrupt, and none want to be corrupt.40  Strengthen deterrence so that none will dare to be corrupt; reinforce the institutional cage that prevents corrupt; and strengthen the conscience of not wanting to be corrupt. Through this unceasing effort we will eventually attain an honest political environment41  and a harmonious society.42

[9] The Chinese word guójiā 国家 is properly translated either as “country” or “state,” and the phrase guójiā ānquán 国家安全, here translated as“national security” is probably best translated as “state security”instead. The phrase “state security” would accord with many older official translations (as in “Ministry of State Security,” or the Guójiā Ānquán Bù 国家安全部), but in recent years official translations have favored “national security,” perhaps to better align Chinese institutions with American norms. To avoid confusing readers accustomed to terms like “National Security Commission”we are compelled to accept the subpar translation and relegate our objections to this footnote.

 These objections go as follows: Like its English counterpart, the Chinese word for nation (mínzú 民族) refers to a large group of people who share a common history and culture but who do not necessarily live within the boundaries of the same polity. In contrast, guójiā explicitly denotes a political community. The security of a guójiā, therefore, is fundamentally about the integrity of the state institutions that bind this political  community together, not the security of all members of a given nationality. This is stated explicitly in the 2015 National Security Law, which defines guójiā ānquán as a“situation where the state’s sovereign power [see note 10, below], sovereign rights, unity and territorial integrity, people’s welfare, and economic and social development, along with other state interests, do not face internal or external threat. [指国家政权、主权、统一和领土完整、人民福祉、经济社会可持续发展和国家其他重大利益相对处于没有危险和不受内外威胁的状态].”

See “Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo Guojia Anquan Fa (Zhuti Ling Diershijiu Hao) 中华人民共和国国家安全法(主席令第二十九号)[National Security Law of the People's Republic of China (Chairman Order No. 29)]”, Zhongyang Zhengfu Menhu Wangzhan 中央政府门户网站 [Central Government Web Portal], 1 July 2015.
[10] Translated here as “security of our sovereign power,”the term zhèngquán ānquán [政权安全] is difficult to render accurately into English. When Chinese translate English phrases like “regime change” into Chinese,  政权 (zhèngquán) is the word they most often us for “regime.”  “Regime security” is therefore an acceptable gloss. Yet unlike the English “regime,”  zhèngquán does not describe institutional architecture of rulership so much as the sovereign power that rulership grants.Thus its appearance in Mao’s most famous aphorism: “枪杆子里面出政权” [usually translated as “political power (zhèngquán) grows from the barrel of a gun”].
[11] Xi Jinping first said this on Jan 12th, 2017, in an address to the Central Political and Legal Work Conference. “Xi Jinping: Yao ba weihu guojia zhengzhianquan tebie shi zhenquan anquan, zhidu anquan fangzai diyiwei 习近平:要把维护国家政治安全特别是政权安全、制度安全放在第一位 [Xi Jinping: We Must Place Safeguarding the State’s Political Security, Especially the Security o four Sovereign Power and the Security of our Institutions, as Our First Priority]”, Xinhua 新华社, 14 January 2017. Available here.
[12] In addition to the Communist Party of China, there are eight other legally authorized political parties in China. These parties are a relic from the Civil War, where numerous political groups joined with the CPC in a United Front to first defeat the Japanese and then drive out the Nationalists. Though Mao promised these groups a real share of political power,once the Communist Party of China secured control of China it swiftly moved to neuter their allies and strip them of any real influence. These parties still exist today under tightly controlled conditions. All must accept the leadership of the Communist Party of China, and none are allowed to freely recruit members absent supervision or restriction. The eight parties have a combined membership of 1.3 million people–a membership 90 times smaller than the CPC’s. That statistic comes from Susan Lawrence and Mari Lee, “China’s Political System in Charts: A Snapshot Before the 20th Party Congress,”Congressional Research Service Report No. R46977 (Washington DC, November 24,2021).
[13] All of these organizations are either official state organs (e.g. the National People’s Congress, the PLA, the judicial and prosecutorial branches) or part of the United Front system (the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the democratic parties, the official sanctioned unions, the Communist Youth League, and the Women’s Federation). The latter category are a set of social organizations designed towin over a broad array of social groups (students, the youth, workers in various industries, women) to support Party goals. For more information on this system see the glossary entry CHINESE PEOPLE’S POLITICAL CONSULTATIVE CONFERENCE.
[14] Here translated as “institution,” Zhìdù 制度 is often translated as“system.” It would thus be valid to translate this passage as
We must unwaveringly persevere in and perfect the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics. A systemic advantage is a state’s greatest advantage. A competition between systems is the most fundamental type of competition between states.
We favor translating Zhìdù as “institution” to preserve the distinction between this word and tǐxì 体系 (translated below as“system”). There is one danger in this translation choice: the English word“institution” has two meanings. Institution can either mean a large,established organization (like an NGO, bank, or regulatory body) or an established set of procedures, practices or relationships (as in the“institution of marriage” or “institutionalized transfer of power”). The semantic range of the Chinese term zhìdù 制度 generally lies closer to the second of these meanings.
[15] In Communist rhetoric banners and flags are standard metonyms for a political-ideological system as a whole (thus the name of the Party’s premier theoretical journal in the days of Mao: Hóng Qí [红旗 Red Flag]). To switch banners,therefore, would mean abandoning the Leninist system for some other form of government.
[16] Dìng lì 定力, translated here as resolution, is a term most often associated with the disciplined concentration Buddhist monks muster in meditation. By implication, the passage is less an exhortation to stand resolute in the face of fear or danger than instruction to steel yourself with a spiritual resolution capable of banishing distraction and temptation.
[17] The Study Outline quotes Qing Dynasty poet Zheng Banqiao (1693-1766)’s famous poem 《竹石》[“Bamboo Rock”]. The verse quoted praises the unyielding nature of bamboo that grows on sheer mountain tops, standing tall despite the savage weather it is exposed to. The analogy between this bamboo and the character of the ideal official would be obvious to Chinese readers.
[18] From the era of Hu Jintao through the present, the phrase “organic unity” has been used to describe the Party’s putative ability to resolve the contradiction between the Party’s desire for a rule of law based governance–protection from arbitrary and exploitative behavior on the part of officials is judged necessary for economic development–with the Party’s countervailing desire to maintain a free and unencumbered ruling position. The unity of these desires was achieved largely by reinterpreting ‘rule of law’ to mean something closer to ‘rule by law’–that is, the use of law and regulation to subject cadre behavior to the will of the Center without applying such controls to the Center itself. For a longer explanation of the concept and its history,see Evan Smith, “The Rule of Law Doctrine of the Politburo,” China Journal (2018),vol 79, 40-61.
[19] On the multi party system, see note 12. Ethnic autonomous regions are administrative regions inside China where a large percentage of its inhabitants belong to a non-Han ethnic group. In its original conception this system promised to provide minority groups with the tools needed to preserve their unique cultural lifeways and a measure of local self government. In practice these regions were far less autonomous than on paper, and even that limited autonomy has been sharply restricted in wake of social disturbance in Xinjiang and Tibet. A similar story can be told for the system of grassroots self governance, an experiment in government which once allowed local village and neighborhood committees a free hand to manage local affairs,but which have more recently been folded back into traditional Party hierarchies.
[20] This is an allusion to a story from ancient China concerning the famed diplomat Master Yan. Dispatched from the state of Qi to negotiate with the king of Chu, Master Yan was subject to several tests by the foreign monarch. On one occasion the king tried to embarrass Master Yan by showing him an imprisoned thief who came from Qi. Whereupon:
The king looked at Master Yan and said: “Do the people of Qi enjoy stealing things?” Master Yan got up from his mat and responded: “I have heard it said that when an orange tree is planted south of the Huai River it produces oranges as fruit, but if you transplant it north of the Huai River, it produces bitter oranges. The leaves are the same, but the taste of the fruit is completely different. What is the reason for this? It is because the water and the soil are different. Now a person who is born and brought up in Qi would never think of stealing anything, but when they move to Chu they become thieves. Perhaps this is because the water and soil of Chu makes people enjoy stealing things?”
The implied parallel is clear: those who seek to graft Western institutions onto China are like southerners who try to plant oranges in winter climes, only to find that their favored fruit grows bitter instead of sweet. Olivia Milburn, trans., The Spring and Autumn Annals of Master Yan (Leiden: Brill, 2016), 349-350.
[21] This figure of speech is rhetorical exhortation to be firm and unyielding in the face of opposition. It is not a call for physical violence against this opposition. A comparison might be made to English idioms like “going in guns blazing” or “bringing out the big guns” which despite their violent undertone are more often used metaphorically than in reference to actual armed conflict.
[22] Literally, “hanging a sheep’s head but selling dogmeat.” This idiom dates to the Song Dynasty: it is used to describe any situation where someone advertises falsely or feigns good to do ill.
[23] As is true in the United States, in China this quotation is often attributed to the Nazi minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels. The quotation is spurious. Neither Goebells nor other leaders of the Nazi Party ever openly endorsed the use of such “big lies.” Quite the opposite: Hitler claimed that it was the Jews of Germany who used the tactic of the “big lie,” while Goebbels’ clearest discussion of the concept came in accusations directed towards the British government, as when he wrote:  “The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.”  
In this context it is interesting to see Chinese officials resurrect the term ‘big lie’ to describe Western proclamations on repression in Xinjiang, as Qin Gang did in an NPR interview last year.

See Steve Inskeep, “China's ambassador to the U.S. warns of 'military conflict' over Taiwan,” National Public Radio, 28 January 2022; Randall Bytwerk, “False Nazi Quotations,” German Propaganda Archive, 2008.  
[24] The allusion is to the pied piper of Hamelin, who in legend used a flute to enchant all of the children in the village of Hamelin into abandoning their home. Given the anxieties expressed later in this chapter about losing the next generation of communists to the ideology of hostile forces, the story neatly fits the fears of the CPC leadership.
[25] The language in this section is lifted directly from Xi Jinping’s address to the Sixth Plenary Session of the Eighteenth Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. See “Xi Jinping: Zai Dishiba Jie Zhongyang Jilu Jiancha Weiyuanhui Diliu Ci Quanti Huiyi Shang de Jianghua 习近平:在第十八届中央纪律检查委员会第六次全体会议上的讲话 [Xi Jinping: Address to the Sixth Plenary Session of the Eighteenth Central Commission for Discipline Inspection],”  中国民航局, 3 May 2015.
[26] The use of the term zhìguó lǐzhèng 治国理政, translated here as “state governance,” is significant. Xi Jinping’s collected works are known in English as the Governance of China, but in Chinese their title is Xi Jinping On State Governance 《习近平谈治国理政》. Describing public opinion work as a “great matter” of state governance is thus a (fairly unsubtle) way to emphasize its importance to Xi Jinping’s broader program.
[27] Zhǔn rù guǎnlǐ 准入管理 is the Chinese translation for “access control,” a term whose origin lies in the fields of physical and information security, where it signifies a technique or system that manages who has access to resources in a computing environment. Many of the concepts that inform China’s internal state security system are drawn from information systems and information security theory. For more examples of these links, see Samantha Hoffman, “Programming China: the Communist Party’s autonomic approach to managing state security,” PhD diss, University of Nottingham (2017).
[28] This section draws from the language of Xi Jinping’s August 19th, 2013 speech (in Chinese sometimes referred to as as the “8-19 Speech” [8-19 講話]), where Xi argued that the Internet is a double-edged sword  that, if not properly regulated, can allow“hidden negative energy” [负面言论] to swell until it becomes the “biggest variable” [最大变量] impacting governance and social stability. Thus the internet has become the central battlefield in which ideological struggle plays out. The text of this leaked speech can be found at “Xi Jinping8-19 Jianghua Jingshen Zhuanda Ti Wangquanwen 习近平"8·19"讲话精神传达提纲全文 [The full text of Xi Jinping's "8.19" Speech on Spirit ]”, China Digital Times, 4 November 2013, available here.
[29] Chinese media attribute these quotes to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. CST editors have not been able to find any speech or document where Albright made this argument so explicitly. The quotation is likely spurious. Most of Albright’s statements on China were delivered in the context of the debate over China’s entry to the WTO. Here is how she positioned the internet in those debates:
Joining the WTO will not transform China overnight. But it will reinforce trends in China that will certainly lead to greater economic openness and possibly political liberalization, as well…by accelerating the spread of telecommunications technologies and the Internet in China, we will help to reduce the power and reach of government censorship.
President Clinton was less circumspect, and famously defended China’s entry into the WTO by arguing that:
The change this agreement can bring from outside is quite extraordinary. But I think you could make an argument that it will be nothing compared to the changes that this agreement will spark from the inside out in China… When China joins the W.T.O., by 2005 it will eliminate tariffs on information technology products, making the tools of communication even cheaper, better and more widely available. We know how much the Internet has changed America, and we are already an open society. Imagine how much it could change China. Now there's no question China has been trying to crack down on the Internet. Good luck! That's sort of like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall. But I would argue to you that their effort to do that just proves how real these changes are and how much they threaten the status quo. It's not an argument for slowing down the effort to bring China into the world. It's an argument for accelerating that effort.Bringing China into the W.T.O. doesn't guarantee that it will choose political reform. But . . . the process of economic change will . . . make the imperative for the right choice stronger.
These quotations are a far cry from the Study Outline’s claim that the Clinton administration believed the internet would cause China to “throw itself into the embrace of the West,” but are sufficient, perhaps, to justify Chinese fears of the internet’s regime-shattering potential.
左晓栋 [Zuo Xiaodong],“Tongyi Sixiang, Tigao Renshi, Jiakuai Tuijin Wangluo Qiangguo Jianshe 统一思想、提高认识,加快推进网络强国建设 [“Unify ideology,raise awareness, and hasten the construction of a strong internet power”] , Zhongguo Ribao 中國日報 [China Daily] 17 October 2016, available here; Madeleine Albright, “Address to the World Trade Center,” speech delivered at Denver, Colorado (9 May 2000), available here; Bill Clinton, “Full Text of Clinton's Speech on China Trade Bill,” New York Times, 9 March2000, available here.
[30] Or more literally, “to muddy the waters to catch fish.” The phrase is one of the traditional Thirty Six Stratagems; it describes anyone who fosters crisis to distract from or enable their pursuit of private gain.
[31] The word translated here as “patch” [tu 土] is more literally translated as “soil,” and this soil can be seen as a metonym for the state as a whole. However, it is most often used in a narrower sense (as in Governance of China, vol 3: 263, where the phrase 守土尽责 is reduced in English translation down to cadres’ “due responsibilities”). As historian John Fitzgerald points out, most cadres are assigned to territorial administrative units; those who are not (such as those working in universities, SOEs, or central government agencies) have their pay and benefits “classified according to their equivalents in the hierarchy of territorial administration at central, provincial, city, and county levels, as if they were all positioned in a spatial grid of administrative authority.”This has a long precedent in imperial era China; then, as now, officials are encouraged to think of themselves as having special responsibilities for the specific spatial area they have been given authority over–their own “patch.”For a larger discussion of this issue see John Fitzgerald, Cadre Country:How China Became the Chinese Communist Party (Sydney: University of New South Wales Press, 2022), 215-230. 
[32] Shangri-la is the closest English language equivalent to the actual allusion used here, the “Peach Blossom Spring” [桃花源]. The Peach Blossom Spring is a utopian fable reported by the 4th century poet Tao Yuanming, who imagined a serene village whose remote and hidden location kept it isolated from the rest of China for centuries, and was therefore unsullied by the violence and misfortune attendant to the rise and fall of dynasties. The manual thus reminds its readers that university campuses are neither intellectual utopias nor disconnected from broader Chinese society. Unlike the village of peach blossom spring, academia rises and falls with the rest of the political order–and indeed, university campuses might be the origin of the next fall if they are not carefully watched over.
[33] In Chinese the phrase translated here as “rules,”“discipline” and “pattern” are all the same word [guīlǜ 规律], which connotes a governing law inherent to a process or activity.
[34] In Chinese there are multiple terms for “China,” some denoting an ethnic group or nationality, others a cultural tradition, and yet others the Chinese state. It is this last term, Zhōngguó [中国], that is used inside the term we have translated as “Sinicization” [中国化]. Thus the manual is not directing religious groups to align their beliefs with Chinese culture so much as it is directing them to align these beliefs with the guidance and priorities of Chinese statecraft. For a larger discussion of this term see Joanne Pittman, “3 Questions: Sinicization or Chinafication?,” China Scope, 3 February 2020.
[35] This is a quote picked out from a dialogue between Mao and Huang Yanpei in July 1945, known as the “cycle conservation” or the “cave dialogue” [窑洞对]. Huang Yanpei was the founding pioneer of the China Democratic League, one of the six parties that joined the Communist Party of China under the United Front. He was invited by the CPC to tour Yan’an. After seeing the Communist base in Yan’an he asked how Mao was going to break out of the dynastic cycle of rise and fall. Mao replied that the Communists had already found a way out:
 “We've already discovered a new path. We can break out of this cycle. This new path is democracy. The government will not become complacent only if it is under the supervision of the people. If everyone takes responsibility, a good system of governance will prevail.”
 See “Lishi de Xiansheng: Zhiyou Rang Renmin Lai Jiandu Zhengfu,Zhengfu Cai Bugan Songxie 历史的先声:只有让人民来监督政府,政府才不敢松懈 [Voice of History: The government will not become complacent only if it is under the supervision of the people],” 中国数字时 [China Digital Times], accessed January 9, 2023.
[36] Or more literally, “concealing sickness for fear of the treatment.”
[37] In party literature these are known as the “four tests” 四个考研 and “four dangers” 四个危险. Xi Jinping usually discusses these dangers and tests in the context of securing the Party’s role over the longue durée. See, for example,Xi Jinping, Governance of China, vol 3 (Beijing: Foreign Language Press, 2020), 586.
[38] This quote is pulled from Xi Jinping’s address to the Politburo Standing Committee on October 16, 2014. See “Xi Jinping: Dang Mianlinde Zuida Fengxian he Tiaozhan shi Dangnei Fubai he Buzheng Zhifeng 习近平:党面临的最大风险和挑战是党内腐败和不正之风 [Xi Jinping: The Biggest Risk and Challenge the Party Faces Comes From Corruption and Unhealthy Trends Withinthe Party],” 人民网, 16 January 2015. Availablehere.
[39] This well-known Chinese aphorism is roughly equivalent to the English phrase “you must practice what you preach.” Xi Jinping used the phrase in his first press conference as General Secretary, at the conclusion of the 18th Congress on November 15, 2012.“Da tie Xuyao Zishen Ying 打铁还需自身硬 [The blacksmith’s hammer must be as firm as the iron it strikes]”, China Keywords, 7 September 2015.  
[40] I.e. create a political environment where the incentives for corruption are missing, while the incentives for integrity flourish.
[41] Literally, “a future where the ocean waves cease and the river water clears.” This idiom originates in a Tang dynasty poem; it is a metaphor for a harmonious world.
[42] Or more literally, “a future where heaven and earth are bright and glorious.”  This idiom originates in the Yi Jing, a divination manual that dates to the Western Zhou period.

1).政治安全是国家安全的根本

政治安全的核心是政权安全和制度安全, 最根本的就是维护中国共产党的领导和执政地位、 维护中国特色社会主义制度。如果政治安全得不到保障,国家必然会陷入四分五裂、一盘散沙的局面,中华民族伟大复兴就无从谈起。

新形势下,我国面临复杂多变的发展和安全环境,各种可以预见和难以预见的风险因素明显增多, 如果得不到及时有效控制也有可能演变为政治风险, 最终危及党的执政地位、危及国家安全。

全党同志特别是各级领导干部必须增强风险意识,提高防范政治风险能力。要增强政治敏锐性和政治鉴别力,以国家政治安全为大,对容易诱发政治问题特别是重大突发事件的敏感因素、苗头性倾向性问题,做到眼睛亮、见事早、行动快,及时消除各种政治隐患,防止非公共性风险扩大为公共性风险、非政治性风险蔓延为政治风险,坚决防止和克服嗅不出敌情、分不清是非、辨不明方向的政治麻痹症。

2.维护国家政权安全、制度安全

习近平总书记指出,“要把维护国家政治安全特别是政权安全、制度安全放在第一位”。我们治国理政的本根,就是中国共产党领导和社会主义制度。任何人以任何借口否定中国共产党领导和我国社会主义制度,都是错误的、有害的,  都是违反宪法的,都是绝对不能接受的。

必须毫不动摇坚持和巩固党的领导地位和执政地位。我们是中国共产党执政,各民主党派参政,没有反对党,不是三权鼎立、多党轮流坐庄。我国宪法确认了中国共产党的执政地位,确认了党在国家政权结构中总揽全局、协调各方的核心地位。党是领导一切的。

中央委员会,中央政治局,中央政治局常委会, 这是党的领导决策核心。党的领导是做好党和国家各项工作的根本保证,人大、政府、政协、监察机关、 审判机关、检察机关、武装力量,各民主党派和无党派人士,各企事业单位,工会、共青团、妇联等群团 组织,既各负其责,又相互配合,一个都不能少。

在坚持党的领导这个重大原则问题上,绝不能有任何含糊和动摇,要始终把握正确政治方向,坚持政治立场和政治原则。

必须毫不动摇坚持和完善中国特色社会主义制度。制度优势是一个国家的最大优势,制度竞争是国家间最根本的竞争。

制度稳则国家稳。中国特色社会主义制度是一个严密完整的科学制度体系,起四梁八柱作用的是根本制度、基本制度、重要制度,其中具有统领地位的是党的领导制度。

中国特色社会主义制度好不好、优越不优越,中国人民最清楚,也最有发言权。过去不能搞全盘苏化,现在也不能搞全盘西化或者其他什么化。我们既不走封闭僵化的老路,也不走改旗易帜的邪路,保持政治定力,坚定制度自信,不断革除体制机制弊端,推动各方面制度更加成熟更加定型,推进国家治理体系和治理能力现代化。

在政治制度模式上,要咬定青山不放松、任尔东西南北风。坚定不移走中国特色社会主义政治发展道路,坚持党的领导、人民当家作主、依法治国有机统一,坚持和完善人民代表大会制度、中国共产党领导的多党合作和政治协商制度、民族区域自治制度以及基层群众自治制度。照抄照搬他国的政治制度行不通,会水土不服,会画虎不成反类犬,甚至会把国家前途命运葬送掉。只有扎根本国土壤、汲取充沛养分的制度,才最可靠、也最管用。

各种敌对势力一直企图在我国制造“颜色革命”,妄图颠覆中国共产党领导和我国社会主义制度。这是我国政权安全面临的现实危险。西方国家策划“颜色革命”,往往从所针对的国家的政治制度特别是政党制度开始发难,大造舆论,大肆渲染,把不同于他们的政治制度和政党制度打入另类,煽动民众 搞街头政治。结果很多国家陷入政治动荡、社会动乱,人民流离失所。

境内外敌对势力对我国实施西化、分化战略一刻也没有放松。我们头脑一定要清醒、一定要坚定,面对大是大非敢于亮剑,面对矛盾敢于迎难而上。

3.坚决打嬴意识形态斗争

意识形态关乎旗帜、关乎道路、关乎国家政治安全。历史和现实反复证明,搞乱一个社会、颠覆一个政权,往往先从意识形态领域打开缺口,先从搞乱人们思想入手。思想防线被攻破了,其他防线就 很难守住。在意识形态领域斗争上,我们没有任何妥协、退让的余地,必须取得全胜。

新形势下,意识形态领域斗争复杂尖锐。在国内,一些错误思潮和观点不时出现,有的人借口现实中存在的问题攻击我们党的领导和我国社会主义制度,有的人极力歪曲、丑化、否定我们的党、我们的国家、我们的军队和我国革命、建设、改革的伟大实践,有的人大肆宣扬西方的价值观。

国际上,西方敌对势力一刻也没有停止对我国进行意识形态渗透。他们极力宣扬所谓的“普世价值”,是挂羊头卖狗肉, 目的就是要同我们争夺阵地、争夺人心、争夺群众; 千方百计利用一些热点难点问题进行炒作,煽动基层群众对党委和政府的不满,挑动党群干群对立情绪, 企图把人心搞乱。“谎言重复一千遍就会变成真理。” 各种敌对势力就是想利用这个逻辑,把我们党、我们 国家说得一塌糊涂、一无是处,诱使人们跟着他们的魔笛起舞。如果我们不主动宣传、正确引导,别人就 可能先声夺人,抢占话语权。

意识形态工作是党的一项极端重要的工作。我们必须把意识形态工作的领导权、管理权、话语权牢牢 掌握在手中,任何时候都不能旁落,否则就要犯无可挽回的历史性错误。要落实意识形态工作责任制,把做好意识形态工作摆在重要位置,及时掌握意识形态 形势和动态,对各种政治性、原则性、导向性问题要敢抓敢管,对各种错误思想必须敢于亮剑,要当战 士、不当绅士,不做“骑墙派”和“看风派”,不能搞爱惜羽毛那一套。

对那些恶意攻击党的领导、攻击 社会主义制度、歪曲党史国史、造谣生事的言论,一 切媒体、平台等都不能为之提供空间、提供方便。要 防止各种敌对势力借机干扰和破坏,避免一些具体问 题演变成政治问题、局部问题演变成全局性事件,避免出现大的意识形态事件和舆论漩涡。

做好党的新闻舆论工作,营造良好舆论环境,是治国理政、定国安邦的大事。要坚持党管媒体的原则和制度不能变,所有从事新闻信息服务、具有媒体属性和舆论动员功能的传播平台都要纳入管理范围,所有新闻信息服务和相关业务从业人员都要实行准入管理。要坚持巩固壮大主流思想舆论,弘扬主旋律,传播正能量,激发全社会团结奋进的强大力量。

马克思主义是我们立党立国的根本指导思想。在坚持马克思主义指导地位这一根本问题上,我 们必须坚定不移,任何时候任何情况下都不能有丝毫动摇。一个政权的瓦解往往是从思想领域幵始的, 马克思主义政党一旦放弃马克思主义信仰、社会主义和共产主义信念,就会土崩瓦解。共产党人如果没有信仰、没有理想,或信仰、理想不坚定,精神上就 会“缺钙”,就会得“软骨病”,就必然导致政治上变质、经济上贪婪、道德上堕落、生活上腐化。

社会上也存在一些模糊甚至错误的认识。有的认为马克思主义已经过时,中国现在搞的不是马克思主义;有的说马克思主义只是一种意识形态说教,没有学术上的学理性和系统性。实际工作中,在有的领域中马克思主义被边缘化、空泛化、标签化,在一些学科中“失语”、教材中“失踪”、论坛上“失声”。这种状况必须引起我们高度重视。

要全面贯彻习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想,坚持把马克思主义基本原理同中国具体实际相结合、同中华优秀传统文化相结合,推进马克思主义中国化时代化大众化,建设具有强大凝聚力和引领力的社会主义意识形态。

要教育引导全党从党的非凡历程中领会马克思主义是如何深刻改变中国、改变世界的,感悟马克思主义的真理力量和实践力量,深化 对中国化马克思主义既一脉相承又与时倶进的理论品质的认识,坚持不懈用党的创新理论最新成果武装头脑、指导实践、推动工作。要围绕中国共产党为什么“能”、马克思主义为什么“行”、中国特色社会主义为什么“好”等重大问题,广泛开展宣传教育,加 强思想舆论引导,。画出最大的思想同心圆,使全体人民在理想信念、价值理念、道德观念上紧紧团结在一 起,让正能量更强劲、主旋律更高昂。

互联网已经成为意识形态斗争的主阵地、主战场、最前沿。互联网是我们面临的“最大变量”,搞不好会成为我们的“心头之患”。西方反华势力一 直妄图利用互联网“扳倒中国”,多年前有西方政要 就声称“有了互联网,对付中国就有了办法”,“社会主义国家投入西方怀抱,将从互联网开始”。随着联网快速发展,包括新媒体从业人员和网络“意见领 袖”在内的网络人士大量涌现。在这两个群体中,有些经营网络、是“搭台”的,有些网上发声、是“唱戏”的,往往能左右互联网的议题,能量不可小觑。 在互联网这个战场上,我们能否顶得住、打得赢,直接关系我国意识形态安全和政权安全。

对网上舆论热点,要深入研判。事实证明,网上 发生的一些重大事件以及由此引发的重大社会事件, 从来都不是个别人一时心血来潮搞起来的,而是各路角色粉墨登场、联手行动的结果,是有选择、有预 谋、有计划、有组织的。对这些情况,要有高度的政治警惕性和政治鉴别力,线上线下要密切联动,不能云里来、雾里去,决不能任由这些人造谣0生事、煽风点火、浑水摸鱼。

管好用好互联网,重点要解决好谁来管、怎么管的问题。要把党管媒体的原则贯彻到新媒体领域,加大舆论引导力度,加快建立网络综合治理体系。要依法加强网络空间治理,教育引导广大网民遵守互联网秩序,依法上网、文明上网,理性表达、有序参与。

要高度重视网上舆论斗争,消除生成网上舆论风暴的各种隐患,加强网络内容建设,做强网上正面宣传, 培育积极健康、向上向善的网络文化,用社会主义核 心价值观和人类优秀文明成果滋养人心、滋养社会, 为广大网民特别是青少年营造一个风清气正的网络空间。各级党委和党员干部要把维护网络意识形态安全作为守土尽责的重要使命,充分发挥制度优势, 坚持管用防并举,方方面面齐动手,坚决打赢网络意 识形态斗争,切实维护以政权安全、制度安全为核心的国家政治安全。

学校是意识形态工作的前沿阵地,可不是 一个象牙之塔,也不是一个桃花源。各种敌对势力从来没有停止对中国共产党领导和我国社会主义制度进行颠覆破坏活动,他们下功夫最大的一个领域就是 争夺我们的青少年。

境外一些势力经常在我国高校开展活动,一些境外宗教组织以高校为重点开展渗透活动,还有宗教极端势力对一些高校少数民族学生渗透。我们培养人的目标是什么要搞清楚,现在非常明确坚定地提出要培养社会主义建设者和接班人。如果培养了半天,培养出来的是吃里扒外、吃哪家饭砸哪家锅的人,甚至是我们这个制度的掘墓人,那就会是 失败的教育!

各级党委要把高校思想政治工作摆在重要位置,加强领导和指导,形成党委统一领导、各部门各方面齐抓共管的工作格局。高校、院(系)等党 组织书记、行政负责人要担负起政治责任和领导责 任,认真落实意识形态工作责任制,敢抓敢管、敢于亮剑,做到守土有责、守土负责、守土尽责。如果有 人以所谓“学术自由”为名诋毁马克思主义、否定 马克思主义指导地位,那就应该旗帜鲜明予以抵制。要加强校报校刊和网络治理,严明教学纪律,牢牢掌 握意识形态工作领导权,用马克思主义占领高校意识形态阵地。

做好学校思想政治工作,要因事而化、因时而进、因势而新。要开展马克思主义理论教育,用近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想铸魂育人,引导学‘生增强中国特色社会主义道路自信、理论自信、制度自信、文化自信,厚植爱国主义情怀。

要遵循思想 政治工作规律,遵循教书育人规律,遵循学生成长规律,不断提高工作能力和水平,坚决防范和清除各种 错误政治思潮、分裂主义、宗教活动等对学校的侵 蚀。要用好课堂教学这个主渠道,推动思想政治理论课改革创新,不断增强思想性、理论性和亲和力、针对性,满足学生成长发展需求和期待。要运用新媒体 新技术使工作活起来,推动思想政治工作传统优势同信息技术高度融合,增强时代感和吸引力。

4.全面贯彻党的民族政策和宗教政策

团结稳定是福,分裂动乱是祸。要准确把握和全面贯彻我们党关于加强和改进民族工作的重要 思想,以铸牢中华民族共同体意识为主线,坚定不移走中国特色解决民族问题的正确道路,构筑中华民族共有精神家园,促进各民族交往交流交融,推动民族地区加快现代化建设步伐,提升民族事务治理法治化水平,防范化解民族领域风险隐患,推动新时代党的 民族工作高质量发展。

铸牢中华民族共同体意识是新时代党的民族工作 的“纲”,所有工作要向此聚焦。要引导各民族始终把中华民族利益放在首位,本民族意识要服从和服务于中华民族共同体意识,构建起维护国家统一和民族团结的坚固思想长城。要高举各民族大团结旗帜,引导各族群众增强对伟大祖国、中华民族、中华文化、 中国共产党、中国特色社会主义的认同,像石榴籽那 样紧紧抱在一起。要依法治理民族事务,推进民族事务治理体系和治理能力现代化,依法妥善处理涉民族因素的案事件。要坚决防范民族领域重大风险隐患, 守住意识形态阵地,坚决遏制和打击境内外敌对势力利用民族问题进行的分裂、渗透、破坏活动,筑牢民族团结、社会稳定、国家统一的铜墙铁壁。

宗教工作在党和国家工作全局中具有特殊重要性,关系中国特色社会主义事业发展,关系党同人民群众的血肉联系,关系社会和谐、民族团结,关系国家安全和袓国统一。必须建立健全强有力的领导机制,必须坚持和发展中国特色社会主义宗教理论,必须坚持党的宗教工作基本方针,必须坚持我国宗教中国化方向,必须坚持把广大信教群众团结在党 和政府周围,必须构建积极健康的宗教关系,必须支持宗教团体加强自身建设,必须提高宗教工作法治化水平。

要完整、准确、全面贯彻党的宗教信仰自由政 策,尊重群众宗教信仰,依法管理宗教事务,坚持独立自主自办原则,积极引导宗教与社会主义社会相适应。

党的宗教工作的本质是群众工作。信教群众和不 信教群众在政治上经济上的根本利益是一致的,都是党执政的群众基础。既要保护信教群众宗教信仰自由 权利,最大限度团结信教群众,也要耐心细致做信教群众工作。

我国宪法法律保障公民信仰宗教的权利, 但必须警惕宗教渗透的危险,警惕带有政治意图的宗教诉求。敌对势力越是想借宗教问题做文章,我们就越是要把信教群众紧紧团结在党的周围,更好组织和 引导信教群众同广大人民群众一道为全面建成社会主义现代化强国、实现中华民族伟大复兴的中国梦而团 结奋斗。

要深入推进我国宗教中国化,引导和支持我国宗教以社会主义核心价值观为引领,增进宗教界人士和信教群众对伟大祖国、中华民族、中华文化、中国 共产党、中国特色社会主义的认同。支持宗教界对宗教思想、教规教义进行符合时代进步要求的阐释,坚决防范西方意识形态渗透,自觉抵御极端主义思潮影响。提高宗教工作法治化水平,依法对宗教工作进行管理,不允许有法外之地、法外之人、法外之教,坚持保护合法、制止非法、遏制极端、抵御渗透、打击犯罪的原则。宗教活动应当在法律法规规定范围内开展,不得损害公民身体健康,不得违背公序良俗,不得干涉教育、司法、行政职能和社会生活。

要坚持独 立自主自办原则,统筹推进相关工作。要加强互联网 宗教事务管理。要切实解决影响我国宗教健康传承的突出问题。

5.防范化解党的建设面临的风险

坚持自我革命,确保党不变质、不变色、 不变味。我们党历史这么长、规模这么大、执政这么久,如何跳出治乱兴衰的历史周期率?毛泽东同志在延安的窑洞里给出了第一个答案,这就是“只有让人民来监督政府,政府才不敢松懈”。经过百年奋斗特别是党的十八大以来新的实践,我们党又给出了第二 个答案,这就是自我革命。

勇于自我革命是我们党区别于其他政党的显著标志。中国共产党的伟大不在于不犯错误,而在于从不讳疾忌医,敢于直面问题,勇于自我革命,具有极强的自我修复能力。中国共产党从来不代表任何利益集团、任何权势团体、任何特权阶层的利益。我们党没有任何自己特殊的利益,这是我们党敢于自我革命的勇气之源、底气所在。正因为无私,才能本着彻底的唯物主义精神经常检视自身、常思己过,才能摆脱一 切利益集团、权势团体、特权阶层的“围猎”腐蚀, 并向党内被这些集团、团体、阶层所裹挟的人开刀。

党的十八大以来,我们以坚定决心、顽强意志、 空前力度推进全面从严治党,正本清源、拨正船头, 保证全党沿着正确航向前进,推动党和国家事业取得 历史性成就、发生历史性变革,对党、对国家、对民族都产生了不可估量的深远影响。

同时,也要看 到,全面从严治党还远未到大功告成的时候。党面临的长期执政考验、改革开放考验、市场经济考验、外部环境考验具有长期性和复杂性,党面临的精神懈怠危险、能力不足危险、脱离群众危险、消极腐败危险具有尖锐性和严峻性,党内存在的思想不纯、政治不 纯、组织不纯、作风不纯等突出问题尚未得到根本解 决。如果管党不力、治党不严,人民群众反映强烈的 党内突出问题得不到解决,那我们党迟早会失去执政资格,不可避免被历史淘汰。

全党同志要永葆自我革命精神,增强全面从严治党永远在路上的政治自觉,决不能滋生己经严到位、 严到底的情绪。要坚持党的政治建设,始终保持党的 团结统一,增强党自我净化、自我完善、自我革新、 自我提局能力,把党的伟大自我革命进行到底。凡是 影响党的创造力、凝聚力、战斗力的问题都要全力克服,凡是损害党的先进性和纯洁性的病症都要彻底医 治,凡是滋生在党的健康肌体上的毒瘤都要坚决祛 除。特别是对那些攫取国家和人民利益、侵蚀党的执政根基、动摇社会主义国家政权的人,对那些在党内搞政治团伙、小圈子、利益集团的人,要毫不手软、 坚决查处。

反腐败斗争是一场输不起也决不能输的重 大政治斗争。习近平总书记指出:“党面临的最大风 险和挑战是来自党内的腐败和不正之风.” 腐败问题 对党的执政基础破坏力最大、杀伤力也最大,是最容易颠覆政权的问题。不得罪成百上千的腐败分子,就 要得罪十四亿人民,这是一笔再明白不过的政治账、人心向背账。

必须清醒认识到,腐败和反腐败较量还 在激烈进行,并呈现出一些新的阶段性特征,防范形形色色的利益集团成伙作势、“围猎”腐蚀还任重道远,有效应对腐败手段隐形变异、翻新升级还任重道远,彻底铲除腐败滋生土壤、实现海晏河清还任重道 远,清理系统性腐败、化解风险隐患还任重道远。

打铁必须自身硬。坚持无禁区、全覆盖、零容忍,坚持重遏制、强高压、长震慑,坚持受贿行贿一 起查,坚决防止党内形成利益集团,坚决防范各种利 益集团“围猎”和绑架领导干部。把权力关进制度的 笼子里,依法设定权力、规范权力、制约权力、监督 权力。要保持惩治腐败高压态势,巩固反腐败斗争压 倒性胜利,一体推进不敢腐、不能腐、不想腐,强化敢腐的震慑,扎牢不能腐的笼子,增强不想腐的自觉,通过不懈努力换来海晏河清、朗朗乾坤。

1. Political Security is the Foundation of National Security.9

At the core of political security is the security of our sovereign power10 and the security of our institutions. At its most fundamental, political security means safeguarding the ruling position and leadership status of the Chinese Communist Party and safeguarding the institution of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics. If political security cannot be guaranteed, the country will inevitably disintegrate like a sheet of loose sand. Then there will be no possibility for the Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation.

Under New Conditions, our state faces a complex and changing developmental and security environment. It is clear that all kinds of risk factors – both the foreseeable ones and those that are hard to foresee – are on the rise. If [these risk factors] cannot be controlled promptly and effectively, they could evolve into political risks and could endanger the Party's leadership and national security.

As such, comrades of the Party, especially the leadership cadres at all administrative levels, must sharpen their risk awareness and hone their ability to guard against political risks. It is necessary to hone our political acuity and political discernment, and to treat the political security of the state as our top priority. Be on high alert for, spot early, and act swiftly [to resolve] problems that could easily induce political risks. It is necessary to pay special attention to sensitive problems whose initial stirrings or inherent tendencies [suggest that the problem] might escalate into a major crisis. All hidden perils must be promptly eradicated. Act swiftly to prevent non-public risks from growing into public risks and non-political risks from growing into political risks. Resolutely prevent and overcome the political paralysis that incapacitates our ability to sniff out enemy intentions, differentiate right from wrong, and discern the correct [political] direction.

2. Safeguard the Security of our Sovereign Power and the Security of our Institutions

As General Secretary Xi Jinping remarked, "The state’s political security, especially the security of our sovereign power and the security of our institutions, is our first priority."11  The foundation of our governance is the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and the institution of socialism. It is erroneous, harmful, and unconstitutional for any person to repudiate the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and our socialist institutions under any pretext. No one who behaves in such a manner will be tolerated.  

It is necessary to unwaveringly uphold and strengthen the party's leadership and governing status . Our regime rests on Chinese Communist Party rule, with the consultative participation of various democratic parties.12 There are no opposition parties. There is no separation of powers between three branches [of government], with multiple parties taking turns to rule. The Constitution of our state affirms the ruling position of the Chinese Communist Party. It affirms the Party's place as the core of the political power structure, coordinating the various parts with total authority over the greater whole. The Party leads all.

The leadership and decision making core of the Party are the Central Committee, the Central Committee Political Bureau, and the Standing Committee of the Central Committee Political Bureau. The leadership of the Party is the fundamental guarantee of the proper execution of the various tasks of the Party and the State. The National People's Congress, the government, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the oversight organs, the judicial organs, the prosecutorial organs, the armed forces, various democratic parties and non-aligned persons, various corporate institutions and enterprises, the unions, the Communist Youth League, the [All-China] Women's Federation, and the other people’s organizations13 [shall] conduct their respective duties while collaborating with each other. We [cannot afford] for a single one to be missing.  

On the important principle of upholding the Party's leadership, there can be no ambiguity or wavering. We must grasp the correct political direction, and persevere in our political stance and principles.

We must unwaveringly persevere in and perfect the institution of socialism with Chinese characteristics. An institutional advantage is a state’s greatest advantage. Institutional competition is the most fundamental type of competition between states.14

If institutions are stable, so is the state. Socialism with Chinese characteristics is a rigorous, comprehensive, and scientific system of institutions. Serving as the pillars and beam of [this system of institutions] are the fundamental institutions, the foundational institutions, and the important institutions. Among these the institution of Party leadership has the overall commanding position.

It is the Chinese people who most clearly see and have the greatest right to speak on whether the institution of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics is good or bad, superior or inferior. We did not completely carry out Sovietization in the past. Now we will not completely carry out Westernization, nor any other “ization.” We do not walk the old path of rigidity and isolation, but neither will we walk the evil path of changing banners.15   We must maintain political resolution16 and strengthen our confidence in our institutions. We must continuously eliminate flaws in our apparatus, refine our institutions [so that they] become more mature and set in stone, and advance the modernization of our state’s governance system and governing capacity.

As for how we model our political institutions, we must grip “hard into the mountain green, whether from the East, South, West or North the wind gusts blow.”17  Socialism with Chinese Characteristics is the path on which our politics develop. Uphold the organic unity18 that occurs when the Party acts as leader, the people act as masters, and the state is governed by law.  We must uphold and perfect the institution of the National People's Congress, the institution of multiparty collaborative political consultation under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, the institution of ethnic minority autonomous regions, and the institution of grassroot self-governance.19  It is evident that transplanting the institutions of other countries on our soil would fail. These institutions would not match our water and soil: it would be like setting out to paint a tiger but ending up with the likeness of a dog. This sort of [blind imitation] would bury the future prospects of the state. Only an institution that is rooted in the soil of our own state, absorbing its rich nutrients, can be relied on or put to good use.20

Hostile forces persistently seek to ferment a "color revolution" within our state, vainly attempting to subvert the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and the socialist institutions of our state. This is a real and present danger to the security of our sovereign power. As they plot “color revolutions,” Western countries often target their attacks on political institutions, especially its party institutions. They distort public opinion and amplify narratives that condemn the institutions and ruling parties of countries that are simply different from theirs, inciting the masses to take politics onto the streets. As a result, many countries fall into political turmoil and social upheaval, with their people uprooted and displaced.

Hostile forces at home and abroad  have never abandoned their subversive intent to Westernize and divide our state. They do not rest, not even for a moment. In response, we must be clear-headed. We must be steadfast. When confronted with major issues of right and wrong, we must not be afraid to brandish our swords.21  In the face of contradictions, we must bravely rise to the challenge.

3. Resolutely Claim Victory in Ideological Struggle

Ideology concerns the banner [we follow], the path [we tread], and the political security of the state. History and real world conditions have repeatedly proven that [those who] sow chaos in a society and subvert sovereign power often begin by piercing a hole in the realm of ideology and sowing chaos in the thoughts of the people. Once the defensive line in thought has been breached it is difficult for other defensive lines to hold. In the realm of ideological conflict, we have no way to compromise and no place to retreat to. We must obtain total victory.

Under New Conditions, conflict in the ideological realm is sharp and complicated. Domestically, some erroneous perspectives and trends of thought emerge from time to time. Some use [the inevitable] problems of real world [execution] as a pretext to attack the leadership of our party and the institution of socialism in our country. Some do everything in their power to distort, vilify, and repudiate our party, our state, and our military, as well as our profound practice of [socialist] revolution, construction and reform. Some brazenly preach Western values.

On the international stage, Western hostile forces have not ceased their ideological infiltration of our country, not even for a moment. They do everything in their power to promote so-called “universal values.” This is [just like the proverb] “to advertise lamb chops but sell dogmeat.”22 Their goal is to vie for our defensive positions, vie for the people’s hearts and minds, and vie for the masses. They employ all possible means to hype up hot issues and difficulties, instigate dissatisfaction with Party committees and the government among the grassroots, stir up antagonistic feelings between the masses and the Party or between cadres and the masses, and to attempt to bring disorder to the hearts and minds of the people. “A lie told a thousand times becomes the truth.”23  Hostile forces think they can use this logic to condemn our Party and our state as an absolute disaster without a single redeeming feature, seducing people to dance along to their magical flute.24  If we do not actively educate and correctly guide [the masses], others could strike the first blow, and preemptively seize discursive power.

For the Party, ideology work is an extremely important type of work.  In ideology work we must firmly grasp in our hands the power of leadership, the power of supervision, and discursive power. We must not let it fall by the wayside lest we make an unsalvageable mistake of historic proportions. Implement the accountability system for ideology work, give it due importance, and have a timely  grasp on the trajectory and  dynamics of ideological trends. Dare to catch and intervene in problems of a political nature, problems whose nature is [related to fundamental] principles, and problems whose nature is related to guiding [the masses].25  Have the courage to brandish our swords against all kinds of erroneous thoughts. Be a warrior, not a gentleman. We must not be a fence-sitter, watch which way the wind blows, or cherish personal reputation to the point of inaction.

No media outlet or platform should ever provide space for or facilitate rhetoric that maliciously attacks the Party’s leadership or the institution of socialism, distorts the history of the Party and the state, or spreads rumors and stirs up trouble. [We must] prevent hostile forces from seizing the chance to interfere in or undermine [our relationship with the people], prevent concrete problems from developing into problems with political import, and prevent local problems from developing into a system-wide incident, and prevent the emergence of major ideological incidents or public opinion vortexes.

Doing well in the Party’s journalistic and public opinion work and fostering a benign public opinion environment: these are great matters of national stability and state governance.26 [As such] it is necessary to uphold the Party’s principles and institutions for media management. All communication platforms that engage in news information services, have the properties of media, or have public opinion mobilization functions must be included under the purview of this management. All news information services and personnel must be subject to access control.27 It is necessary to uphold the consolidation and expansion of mainstream public opinion, amplify the main melody, and propagate positive energy, and arouse the great power of an entire society pressing forward in unity.

Marxism is the fundamental guiding thought behind the founding of our Party and state. On the fundamental question of upholding Marxism’s guiding position, we must be resolute. We cannot waver even the slightest at any time or under any circumstance. The disintegration of sovereign power often begins in the realm of thought. Once a Marxist party abandons its Marxist faith–its socialist and communist convictions–it will crumble and disintegrate. Should  communist party members be without faith and  ideals, or should their faith and ideals not be sufficiently resolute, [they will suffer] from a sort of spiritual “calcium deficiency” and be afflicted with “soft bone disease.” In politics this will inevitably lead to deterioration; in economics, to greed; in morality, to degeneration; in everyday life, to corruption.

In society, unclear and even erroneous understandings [of Marxism] can also be found. Some believe that Marxism is obsolete and that what China is doing right now is not Marxism. Some say that Marxism is merely an ideological homily, lacking in theoretical rigor and systematicity. In practical work there are some fields where Marxism has been marginalized, emptied, and reduced to a label. It has experienced “aphasia” in certain academic subjects, disappeared from certain curricula, and lost its voice in certain forums. This situation demands a high degree of attention.

[In response to this situation] it is necessary to comprehensively implement Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, uphold the combination of fundamental principles of Marxism with China’s concrete realities and its outstanding traditional culture, and promote the Sinicization,  contemporization, and popularization of Marxism, [thereby] constructing a socialist ideology of great cohesiveness and pioneering prowess.

It is necessary to educate and direct the entire Party to understand how Marxism, through the Party’s extraordinary journey, transformed  China and the world; to comprehend [both] Marxism’s power [to reveal] the truth and its power [to direct] current practice; to deepen [the entire Party’s] understanding the theoretical qualities of Sinicized Marxism that allows it to both stay true to its origin and progress with the times; and to arm minds, guide practice, and to promote work by unremittingly upholding the latest achievements of the Party’s innovations in theory. It is necessary to carry out extensive propaganda and education campaigns and to strengthen ideological and public opinion guidance by centering [our work] on the important questions of why the Chinese Communist Party is “capable,” why Marxism “works,” and why socialism with Chinese characteristics is “good.”  Draw the largest possible circle of thought, so that the entire people are tightly united through [shared] ideals, values, and sense of morality. This will cause [our] positive energy to be that much stronger and our main melody that much more majestic.

The internet has become the primary battlefield and the frontline of ideological conflict. It is the largest variable we are facing, and could very well become a thorn in our side.28  For a long time, Western Sinophobic forces have vainly sought to use the internet to “topple China.” Many years ago, Western politicians claimed that “with the internet, we have a new method to deal with China” and that “socialist countries throwing themselves into the embrace of the West will begin on the internet.”29  Following the rapid development of the internet a large number of internet personages, including new media professionals  and internet “opinion leaders,”  emerged online. Among them, some provide online platforms (merely “sharing their table”) and some are content contributors (acting as the “stars of the show”). [Both groups] are often able to influence internet discourse and should not be taken lightly. Our state’s ideological security and the security of our sovereign power depend on whether we can protect ourselves, hold out, and seize victory on the internet battlefield.

It is necessary to deeply study and assess hot topics on the internet. It is an evident reality that major incidents on the internet, as well as the major societal incidents induced by [these internet incidents], have never been the work of individuals acting on sudden impulses, but are the fruit of numerous actors rising up to act in concert. [These incidents] are intentionally chosen, follow a plan, and are organized and contrived ahead of time. In face of situations like these, it is necessary to possess a high degree of political vigilance and political discernment, and to maintain a high degree of connectivity – both online and off of it. We cannot allow them to wisp in and out of the fog, and must never allow these people to spread rumors, fan the flames [of discontent], or profit from muddied waters.30

The effective management of the internet depends on [two central] questions: who manages the internet and how one should manage it. Apply the Party’s principles for managing traditional media to the realm of new media. Increase the vigor of public opinion control. Accelerate the construction of a comprehensive internet management system. It is necessary to strengthen the management of the internet in accordance with the law, teach and guide netizens to follow rules on the internet, to use the internet in accordance with law and in a civilized manner, to express opinions rationally, and to participate in an orderly fashion.

It is necessary to attach a high importance to: online public opinion struggle; eliminating hidden dangers that will generate storms of negative opinion; strengthening online content construction; reinforcing positive publicity; nurturing an internet culture that is positive and healthy, uplifting and kind, that utilizes the core values of socialism and the fruits of human civilization at its finest to nourish [both] society and the minds of the people; and creating a clean and upright online environment for the netizen masses, especially the youth. Party committees and Party cadres at all levels must treat the maintenance of online ideological security as a mission crucial to protecting their patch.31 They must give full play to the advantages of our institutions, pay close attention to the threefold task of management, utilization and defense, advance on all fronts, resolutely win the struggle over internet ideology, conscientiously maintain the political security of the state, with security of our sovereign power and the security of our institutions at its core of political security.

Schools are not ivory towers, nor some type of Shangri-La, but the frontline positions of the ideological battlefield.32 Hostile forces have never ceased their subversion and sabotage of the leadership of the Communist Party of China or the socialist institutions of our state. The realm that they spend the most effort fighting for is [the loyalty of] our youth.

Foreign hostile forces regularly hold events at our schools. Some foreign religious organizations have centered their infiltration efforts on  our institutions of higher learning. Some religious extremist forces even conduct infiltration aimed at minority students. We must clearly grasp the goal of education and cultivation. We must clearly, steadfastly affirm that the goal is to cultivate the next generation of socialist builders and successors. If all this cultivating only cultivates people who bite the hand that feeds them and who kick the wok that fills them, if it only cultivates the gravediggers of our institutions – that would be a failure in education!

Party committees at all levels must prioritize political and ideology work in institutions of higher education, strengthen leadership and guidance [over this work], form a work atmosphere where the leadership of party committees is unified and administrative efforts in all aspects with all departments are coordinated. Secretaries and administrators of high schools, universities, and department level party organizations must shoulder political and leadership responsibilities. They must earnestly implement a responsibility-based system for ideology work. They must dare to discipline, punish, and to brandish the sword. They must understand, shoulder, and fulfill the responsibility of protecting their patch. If anyone uses so-called “academic freedom” to slander Marxism and repudiate its guiding position, we should stand by our banner and resist these falsehoods. We must strengthen the management of school newspapers, academic journals, and the internet, enforce clear and strict discipline in teaching, securely grasp leadership over ideological work, and use Marxism to occupy the ideological battle lines in institutions of higher learning.

Political thought work in the schools must be done well. We must adjust our approach to reflect on past challenges and successes, advance our goals to reflect the times, and renew our methods to reflect historical trends. We must expand theoretical education on Marxism. We must use Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era to educate and forge the souls of our students, guide the students in strengthening their self-confidence in the path, theory, institutions, and culture of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, and to deeply plant patriotic sentiment [in their hearts].

It is necessary to abide by the necessary rules of political and ideological [education], abide by the necessary discipline of education, and abide by the necessary patterns of student development.33  We must unceasingly increase our capability to guard against and purge the corrosive influence that erroneous political thought, separatism, and religious activity exerts on schools. Classroom teaching is the primary medium; we must make good use of it to promote reform and innovation in political theory courses, strengthening the rigor of thought, the depth of the theory, and its targeted application so as to satisfy the needs and expectations of the students’ growth and development. It is necessary to utilize new media and new techniques to revitalize this work, to promote a high level of integration between the traditional advantages of political thought work and information technology, and to increase the attractiveness and timeliness of [our work].

4. Comprehensively Implement the Party’s Ethnic Policies and Religion Policies

Unity and stability are blessings. Separatism and chaos are disasters. It is necessary to accurately grasp and comprehensively implement our Party’s important thought regarding the strengthening and reform of ethnic work, take forging the consciousness of common Chinese national identity as the main line, and resolutely and unwaveringly march on the correct path of resolving ethnic issues with Chinese characteristics. We must establish a shared spiritual homeland for the Chinese nation; advance the interaction, exchange and fusion of ethnic groups; promote the acceleration of modernization within ethnic regions; increase the extent by which ethnic affairs are managed by the rule of law; guard against and resolve hidden dangers and risks within the realm of ethnic affairs; and promote the high quality development of the Party’s ethnic work in the New Era.  

Forging a consciousness of common Chinese national identity is the “connecting framework” of the Party’s ethnic work in the New Era. All work must fall within this framework. We must guide all ethnic groups to place the interests of the Chinese nation first in all circumstances. Their ethnic consciousness must be subordinate to and serve the common Chinese national identity. To safeguard ethnic unity and the unification of the state we must build a solid ideological Great Wall. We must raise the banner of ethnic unity, guide the masses from all ethnic groups to strengthen their identification with our great state, the Chinese nation, Chinese culture, the Chinese Communist Party, and socialism with Chinese characteristics, all bound together as tightly as pomegranate seeds. We must manage ethnic affairs in accordance with the law, promote the modernization of the ethnic affairs management system and capabilities, and properly handle cases involving ethnic factors in accordance with the law. We must resolutely guard against major hidden dangers and risks in the ethnic realm. We must hold to our ideological battle positions. We must resolutely contain and combat the hostile forces at home and abroad that use ethnic problems to carry out separatism, infiltration, sabotage activities.  We must construct a steel bastion of ethnic unity, social stability, and a unified state.

In the overall layout of the work of the Party and the state, religious work is of special importance. It is related to the development of the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the flesh-and-blood ties of the masses and the Party, social harmony, ethnic unity, and a secure and unified state. We must: establish a comprehensive and powerful leadership mechanism, uphold and develop religious theory based on socialism with Chinese characteristics, uphold the Party’s basic guidelines for religious work, uphold the Sinicization of religion in our state,34  persist in uniting the mass of religious believers around the Party and government, and construct positive and healthy religious relations. We must support religious organizations to strengthen their [capacity for] self-construction, and increase the extent by which religious work is conducted according to the rule of law.

We must comprehensively, accurately, and in all respects implement the Party’s policy on religious freedoms and rights, respect the religious faith of the masses, manage religious affairs in accordance with the law, uphold the principle of independence and autonomy, actively guiding the mutual adaptation of religion and socialist society to each other.

The Party’s religious work is, in its essence, mass work. The believing masses and the non-believing masses have the same fundamental political and economic interests; politically and economically, both are [part of] the popular foundation of the Party’s rule. Not only should we protect the right to religious freedom of the believing masses and unite the religious masses to the greatest possible extent, but we also must patiently and meticulously work among the religious masses.

Our state’s constitution guarantees religious rights to citizens, but we must also be vigilant against the danger of religious infiltration and the hidden political agenda of some religious appeals. The more hostile forces want to use religion as a pretext to make trouble, the more we must tightly unite the religious masses around the Party, and the better we must organize and lead the religious masses to work along with the broader masses to construct a modern and strong socialist state, and to unite in the struggle to realize the Chinese dream of the Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation.

It is necessary to thoroughly promote the Sinicization of religion in our state, guiding and supporting the religions in our state to recognize core socialist values as their head, and strengthening the identification of leading religious figures and the believing masses with the motherland, the Chinese people, Chinese culture, the Chinese Communist Party, and socialism with Chinese characteristics. Support the religious sphere in interpreting religious doctrine, laws, and teachings in a manner consistent with the demands of progress and the present era, resolutely guard against Western ideological infiltration, and self-consciously resist the influence of extremist doctrine.  Increase the extent to which religious work is conducted according to the rule of law and manage religious work in accordance with the law. Do not permit any locality, groups, or religion to exist outside of the law. While we protect the lawful practice of religion, we must prevent the growth of unlawful religious practices, contain religious extremism, guard against infiltration, and strike against criminality. Religious activities should take place within the scope of the designated restrictions under the law. They must not damage the physical health of citizens, disrupt public order and good morals, interfere with state education, judicial and administrative functions, or social life.

It is necessary to uphold the principle of independence and autonomy, and make overall plans to advance the relevant work. It is necessary to strengthen the management of religious affairs on the internet. It is necessary to steadfastly resolve outstanding problems affecting the healthy perpetuation of religion in our state.

5. Guard Against and Resolve the Risks Facing Party Construction

It is necessary to uphold self-revolution, and ensure that the Party does not spoil, change color, or change its taste. Our party has such a long history, operates at such a large scale, and has held power for so long–how did it escape the historical cycle of rise and fall? Comrade Mao Zedong gave the first answer from the Yan’an cave: “The government will not become complacent only if it is under the supervision of the people.”35  After a hundred years of struggle, especially since the adoption of new practices after the 18th Party Congress, our Party has come up with a second answer: self-revolution.

Courage in conducting self-revolution clearly distinguishes our Party from other governing parties. The greatness of the Communist Party of China has not come from an inability to commit errors, but from [our determination to] never conceal fault for fear of criticism,36  from daring to face problems head-on, from courageous self-revolution, and our strong capacity for self-directed restoration and repair. The Chinese Communist Party has never represented any interest group, any power bloc, or the interests of any privileged class. Our Party does not have any special interest of its own. This is the source of our courage and confidence. [It is the reason] we dare to conduct self-revolution. It is precisely because of this selflessness we constantly reflect on our mistakes and regularly examine ourselves in a spirit consistent with historical materialism. [It is precisely because of this selflessness] we not only can escape being captured and corrupted by interest groups, power blocs, and privileged classes, but also excise those within the Party who are held hostage by these groups, organizations and classes.

Since the Party’s 18th Congress, we have pushed for the comprehensive and strict governance of the Party with steadfast resolve, stubborn willpower, and an unprecedented amount of effort. We have cleansed our moral foundation. We have kept our bearings to ensure that the entire Party is sailing the correct course. We have had great historical achievements and promoted great historical transformations in the cause of the Party and the state. We have had an immeasurable and far-reaching impact on the Party, the state, and the nation.

Yet at the same time it is necessary to recognize that comprehensive and strict governance of the Party has not yet been successfully accomplished. The Party faces the test of long-term rule, the test of reform and opening-up, the test of a market economy, and the test of the external environment. [These tests] are all distinguished by their long term and complex nature. The Party also faces the danger of slacking spirit, the danger of incompetence, the danger of losing touch with the masses, and the danger of passivity and corruption.37  These [dangers] are all distinguished by their acuity and severity. Within the Party, impurities in ideology, politics, organization, and work style are still outstanding problems that have not been fundamentally resolved. If Party discipline is not enforced, intra-party governance is not strict, and the outstanding intra-Party problems that the masses are strongly reacting to are not resolved, then it’s a matter of time before our Party loses its qualifications for rule. It will then inevitably be eliminated by history.

All comrades across the party must persist in an undying spirit of revolution. We must strengthen the political awareness that comprehensive and strict governance of the Party will always be a goal to strive for, and reject the sentiment that [intra-Party governance] is already strict enough, or that it cannot be made stricter. It is necessary to uphold the political construction of the Party, and always maintain the Party’s unity and unification. We must strengthen the Party’s ability to purify itself, enhance itself, renew itself, and elevate itself, and conduct the Party’s great self-revolution to the finish. No effort can be spared in overcoming any problem affecting the Party’s creativity, coherence, and combat power. All symptoms of diseases that injure the Party’s advanced nature and purity must be thoroughly eliminated. All malignant tumors growing from the Party’s healthy tissue must be resolutely excised.  In particular, those who organize political gangs, small cliques, or interest groups within the party in order to plunder the interests of the state and the people, corrode the foundation of Party rule, or shake the sovereign power of the socialist state must be shown no mercy, resolutely investigated, and prosecuted.

The anti-corruption struggle is an important political struggle that we can neither afford to nor ever shall lose. General Secretary Xi Jinping has pointed out that “the biggest risk and challenge the Party faces comes from corruption and unhealthy trends within the party.”38  Corruption is the problem that is most destructive and lethal to the Party's ruling foundation, the one that will most easily overthrow the Party’s sovereign power. [Choosing] not to offend hundreds and even thousands of corrupt individuals, is to offend 1.4 billion people. The political ledger could not be clearer, nor the ledger of popular sympathy and support.

We must soberly recognize that a fierce competition between corruption and anti-corruption is still underway. [This competition] exhibits certain new features characteristic to this phase. Preventing numerous interest groups from combining into a force that captures [opportunities for] corruption is still a weighty and protracted task; effectively responding to the stealthy mutation, revival, and improvement of corrupt devices is still a weighty and protracted task; thoroughly clearing the breeding grounds of corruption and building an honest political environment is still a weighty and protracted task; cleaning up systematic corruption and eliminating hidden risks is also a weighty and protracted task.

The blacksmith’s hammer must be as firm as the iron it strikes.39  Uphold our policy of no restricted areas, full coverage, and zero tolerance, as well as uphold [a posture of] strict containment, high pressure, and long-term deterrence. Uphold the prosecution of both the party that initiates and the party that takes bribes, resolutely guard against the formation of interest groups within the Party, resolutely guard against various interest groups from capturing leading cadres. Lock power within an institutional cage. Set up, regulate, constrain, and supervise power in accordance with the law. Maintain the high-pressure posture of punishing corruption. Consolidate an indisputable victory in the struggle against corruption. Join together to advance [an environment] where none dare to be corrupt, none can be corrupt, and none want to be corrupt.40  Strengthen deterrence so that none will dare to be corrupt; reinforce the institutional cage that prevents corrupt; and strengthen the conscience of not wanting to be corrupt. Through this unceasing effort we will eventually attain an honest political environment41  and a harmonious society.42

[9] The Chinese word guójiā 国家 is properly translated either as “country” or “state,” and the phrase guójiā ānquán 国家安全, here translated as“national security” is probably best translated as “state security”instead. The phrase “state security” would accord with many older official translations (as in “Ministry of State Security,” or the Guójiā Ānquán Bù 国家安全部), but in recent years official translations have favored “national security,” perhaps to better align Chinese institutions with American norms. To avoid confusing readers accustomed to terms like “National Security Commission”we are compelled to accept the subpar translation and relegate our objections to this footnote.

 These objections go as follows: Like its English counterpart, the Chinese word for nation (mínzú 民族) refers to a large group of people who share a common history and culture but who do not necessarily live within the boundaries of the same polity. In contrast, guójiā explicitly denotes a political community. The security of a guójiā, therefore, is fundamentally about the integrity of the state institutions that bind this political  community together, not the security of all members of a given nationality. This is stated explicitly in the 2015 National Security Law, which defines guójiā ānquán as a“situation where the state’s sovereign power [see note 10, below], sovereign rights, unity and territorial integrity, people’s welfare, and economic and social development, along with other state interests, do not face internal or external threat. [指国家政权、主权、统一和领土完整、人民福祉、经济社会可持续发展和国家其他重大利益相对处于没有危险和不受内外威胁的状态].”

See “Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo Guojia Anquan Fa (Zhuti Ling Diershijiu Hao) 中华人民共和国国家安全法(主席令第二十九号)[National Security Law of the People's Republic of China (Chairman Order No. 29)]”, Zhongyang Zhengfu Menhu Wangzhan 中央政府门户网站 [Central Government Web Portal], 1 July 2015.
[10] Translated here as “security of our sovereign power,”the term zhèngquán ānquán [政权安全] is difficult to render accurately into English. When Chinese translate English phrases like “regime change” into Chinese,  政权 (zhèngquán) is the word they most often us for “regime.”  “Regime security” is therefore an acceptable gloss. Yet unlike the English “regime,”  zhèngquán does not describe institutional architecture of rulership so much as the sovereign power that rulership grants.Thus its appearance in Mao’s most famous aphorism: “枪杆子里面出政权” [usually translated as “political power (zhèngquán) grows from the barrel of a gun”].
[11] Xi Jinping first said this on Jan 12th, 2017, in an address to the Central Political and Legal Work Conference. “Xi Jinping: Yao ba weihu guojia zhengzhianquan tebie shi zhenquan anquan, zhidu anquan fangzai diyiwei 习近平:要把维护国家政治安全特别是政权安全、制度安全放在第一位 [Xi Jinping: We Must Place Safeguarding the State’s Political Security, Especially the Security o four Sovereign Power and the Security of our Institutions, as Our First Priority]”, Xinhua 新华社, 14 January 2017. Available here.
[12] In addition to the Communist Party of China, there are eight other legally authorized political parties in China. These parties are a relic from the Civil War, where numerous political groups joined with the CPC in a United Front to first defeat the Japanese and then drive out the Nationalists. Though Mao promised these groups a real share of political power,once the Communist Party of China secured control of China it swiftly moved to neuter their allies and strip them of any real influence. These parties still exist today under tightly controlled conditions. All must accept the leadership of the Communist Party of China, and none are allowed to freely recruit members absent supervision or restriction. The eight parties have a combined membership of 1.3 million people–a membership 90 times smaller than the CPC’s. That statistic comes from Susan Lawrence and Mari Lee, “China’s Political System in Charts: A Snapshot Before the 20th Party Congress,”Congressional Research Service Report No. R46977 (Washington DC, November 24,2021).
[13] All of these organizations are either official state organs (e.g. the National People’s Congress, the PLA, the judicial and prosecutorial branches) or part of the United Front system (the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the democratic parties, the official sanctioned unions, the Communist Youth League, and the Women’s Federation). The latter category are a set of social organizations designed towin over a broad array of social groups (students, the youth, workers in various industries, women) to support Party goals. For more information on this system see the glossary entry CHINESE PEOPLE’S POLITICAL CONSULTATIVE CONFERENCE.
[14] Here translated as “institution,” Zhìdù 制度 is often translated as“system.” It would thus be valid to translate this passage as
We must unwaveringly persevere in and perfect the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics. A systemic advantage is a state’s greatest advantage. A competition between systems is the most fundamental type of competition between states.
We favor translating Zhìdù as “institution” to preserve the distinction between this word and tǐxì 体系 (translated below as“system”). There is one danger in this translation choice: the English word“institution” has two meanings. Institution can either mean a large,established organization (like an NGO, bank, or regulatory body) or an established set of procedures, practices or relationships (as in the“institution of marriage” or “institutionalized transfer of power”). The semantic range of the Chinese term zhìdù 制度 generally lies closer to the second of these meanings.
[15] In Communist rhetoric banners and flags are standard metonyms for a political-ideological system as a whole (thus the name of the Party’s premier theoretical journal in the days of Mao: Hóng Qí [红旗 Red Flag]). To switch banners,therefore, would mean abandoning the Leninist system for some other form of government.
[16] Dìng lì 定力, translated here as resolution, is a term most often associated with the disciplined concentration Buddhist monks muster in meditation. By implication, the passage is less an exhortation to stand resolute in the face of fear or danger than instruction to steel yourself with a spiritual resolution capable of banishing distraction and temptation.
[17] The Study Outline quotes Qing Dynasty poet Zheng Banqiao (1693-1766)’s famous poem 《竹石》[“Bamboo Rock”]. The verse quoted praises the unyielding nature of bamboo that grows on sheer mountain tops, standing tall despite the savage weather it is exposed to. The analogy between this bamboo and the character of the ideal official would be obvious to Chinese readers.
[18] From the era of Hu Jintao through the present, the phrase “organic unity” has been used to describe the Party’s putative ability to resolve the contradiction between the Party’s desire for a rule of law based governance–protection from arbitrary and exploitative behavior on the part of officials is judged necessary for economic development–with the Party’s countervailing desire to maintain a free and unencumbered ruling position. The unity of these desires was achieved largely by reinterpreting ‘rule of law’ to mean something closer to ‘rule by law’–that is, the use of law and regulation to subject cadre behavior to the will of the Center without applying such controls to the Center itself. For a longer explanation of the concept and its history,see Evan Smith, “The Rule of Law Doctrine of the Politburo,” China Journal (2018),vol 79, 40-61.
[19] On the multi party system, see note 12. Ethnic autonomous regions are administrative regions inside China where a large percentage of its inhabitants belong to a non-Han ethnic group. In its original conception this system promised to provide minority groups with the tools needed to preserve their unique cultural lifeways and a measure of local self government. In practice these regions were far less autonomous than on paper, and even that limited autonomy has been sharply restricted in wake of social disturbance in Xinjiang and Tibet. A similar story can be told for the system of grassroots self governance, an experiment in government which once allowed local village and neighborhood committees a free hand to manage local affairs,but which have more recently been folded back into traditional Party hierarchies.
[20] This is an allusion to a story from ancient China concerning the famed diplomat Master Yan. Dispatched from the state of Qi to negotiate with the king of Chu, Master Yan was subject to several tests by the foreign monarch. On one occasion the king tried to embarrass Master Yan by showing him an imprisoned thief who came from Qi. Whereupon:
The king looked at Master Yan and said: “Do the people of Qi enjoy stealing things?” Master Yan got up from his mat and responded: “I have heard it said that when an orange tree is planted south of the Huai River it produces oranges as fruit, but if you transplant it north of the Huai River, it produces bitter oranges. The leaves are the same, but the taste of the fruit is completely different. What is the reason for this? It is because the water and the soil are different. Now a person who is born and brought up in Qi would never think of stealing anything, but when they move to Chu they become thieves. Perhaps this is because the water and soil of Chu makes people enjoy stealing things?”
The implied parallel is clear: those who seek to graft Western institutions onto China are like southerners who try to plant oranges in winter climes, only to find that their favored fruit grows bitter instead of sweet. Olivia Milburn, trans., The Spring and Autumn Annals of Master Yan (Leiden: Brill, 2016), 349-350.
[21] This figure of speech is rhetorical exhortation to be firm and unyielding in the face of opposition. It is not a call for physical violence against this opposition. A comparison might be made to English idioms like “going in guns blazing” or “bringing out the big guns” which despite their violent undertone are more often used metaphorically than in reference to actual armed conflict.
[22] Literally, “hanging a sheep’s head but selling dogmeat.” This idiom dates to the Song Dynasty: it is used to describe any situation where someone advertises falsely or feigns good to do ill.
[23] As is true in the United States, in China this quotation is often attributed to the Nazi minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels. The quotation is spurious. Neither Goebells nor other leaders of the Nazi Party ever openly endorsed the use of such “big lies.” Quite the opposite: Hitler claimed that it was the Jews of Germany who used the tactic of the “big lie,” while Goebbels’ clearest discussion of the concept came in accusations directed towards the British government, as when he wrote:  “The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.”  
In this context it is interesting to see Chinese officials resurrect the term ‘big lie’ to describe Western proclamations on repression in Xinjiang, as Qin Gang did in an NPR interview last year.

See Steve Inskeep, “China's ambassador to the U.S. warns of 'military conflict' over Taiwan,” National Public Radio, 28 January 2022; Randall Bytwerk, “False Nazi Quotations,” German Propaganda Archive, 2008.  
[24] The allusion is to the pied piper of Hamelin, who in legend used a flute to enchant all of the children in the village of Hamelin into abandoning their home. Given the anxieties expressed later in this chapter about losing the next generation of communists to the ideology of hostile forces, the story neatly fits the fears of the CPC leadership.
[25] The language in this section is lifted directly from Xi Jinping’s address to the Sixth Plenary Session of the Eighteenth Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. See “Xi Jinping: Zai Dishiba Jie Zhongyang Jilu Jiancha Weiyuanhui Diliu Ci Quanti Huiyi Shang de Jianghua 习近平:在第十八届中央纪律检查委员会第六次全体会议上的讲话 [Xi Jinping: Address to the Sixth Plenary Session of the Eighteenth Central Commission for Discipline Inspection],”  中国民航局, 3 May 2015.
[26] The use of the term zhìguó lǐzhèng 治国理政, translated here as “state governance,” is significant. Xi Jinping’s collected works are known in English as the Governance of China, but in Chinese their title is Xi Jinping On State Governance 《习近平谈治国理政》. Describing public opinion work as a “great matter” of state governance is thus a (fairly unsubtle) way to emphasize its importance to Xi Jinping’s broader program.
[27] Zhǔn rù guǎnlǐ 准入管理 is the Chinese translation for “access control,” a term whose origin lies in the fields of physical and information security, where it signifies a technique or system that manages who has access to resources in a computing environment. Many of the concepts that inform China’s internal state security system are drawn from information systems and information security theory. For more examples of these links, see Samantha Hoffman, “Programming China: the Communist Party’s autonomic approach to managing state security,” PhD diss, University of Nottingham (2017).
[28] This section draws from the language of Xi Jinping’s August 19th, 2013 speech (in Chinese sometimes referred to as as the “8-19 Speech” [8-19 講話]), where Xi argued that the Internet is a double-edged sword  that, if not properly regulated, can allow“hidden negative energy” [负面言论] to swell until it becomes the “biggest variable” [最大变量] impacting governance and social stability. Thus the internet has become the central battlefield in which ideological struggle plays out. The text of this leaked speech can be found at “Xi Jinping8-19 Jianghua Jingshen Zhuanda Ti Wangquanwen 习近平"8·19"讲话精神传达提纲全文 [The full text of Xi Jinping's "8.19" Speech on Spirit ]”, China Digital Times, 4 November 2013, available here.
[29] Chinese media attribute these quotes to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. CST editors have not been able to find any speech or document where Albright made this argument so explicitly. The quotation is likely spurious. Most of Albright’s statements on China were delivered in the context of the debate over China’s entry to the WTO. Here is how she positioned the internet in those debates:
Joining the WTO will not transform China overnight. But it will reinforce trends in China that will certainly lead to greater economic openness and possibly political liberalization, as well…by accelerating the spread of telecommunications technologies and the Internet in China, we will help to reduce the power and reach of government censorship.
President Clinton was less circumspect, and famously defended China’s entry into the WTO by arguing that:
The change this agreement can bring from outside is quite extraordinary. But I think you could make an argument that it will be nothing compared to the changes that this agreement will spark from the inside out in China… When China joins the W.T.O., by 2005 it will eliminate tariffs on information technology products, making the tools of communication even cheaper, better and more widely available. We know how much the Internet has changed America, and we are already an open society. Imagine how much it could change China. Now there's no question China has been trying to crack down on the Internet. Good luck! That's sort of like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall. But I would argue to you that their effort to do that just proves how real these changes are and how much they threaten the status quo. It's not an argument for slowing down the effort to bring China into the world. It's an argument for accelerating that effort.Bringing China into the W.T.O. doesn't guarantee that it will choose political reform. But . . . the process of economic change will . . . make the imperative for the right choice stronger.
These quotations are a far cry from the Study Outline’s claim that the Clinton administration believed the internet would cause China to “throw itself into the embrace of the West,” but are sufficient, perhaps, to justify Chinese fears of the internet’s regime-shattering potential.
左晓栋 [Zuo Xiaodong],“Tongyi Sixiang, Tigao Renshi, Jiakuai Tuijin Wangluo Qiangguo Jianshe 统一思想、提高认识,加快推进网络强国建设 [“Unify ideology,raise awareness, and hasten the construction of a strong internet power”] , Zhongguo Ribao 中國日報 [China Daily] 17 October 2016, available here; Madeleine Albright, “Address to the World Trade Center,” speech delivered at Denver, Colorado (9 May 2000), available here; Bill Clinton, “Full Text of Clinton's Speech on China Trade Bill,” New York Times, 9 March2000, available here.
[30] Or more literally, “to muddy the waters to catch fish.” The phrase is one of the traditional Thirty Six Stratagems; it describes anyone who fosters crisis to distract from or enable their pursuit of private gain.
[31] The word translated here as “patch” [tu 土] is more literally translated as “soil,” and this soil can be seen as a metonym for the state as a whole. However, it is most often used in a narrower sense (as in Governance of China, vol 3: 263, where the phrase 守土尽责 is reduced in English translation down to cadres’ “due responsibilities”). As historian John Fitzgerald points out, most cadres are assigned to territorial administrative units; those who are not (such as those working in universities, SOEs, or central government agencies) have their pay and benefits “classified according to their equivalents in the hierarchy of territorial administration at central, provincial, city, and county levels, as if they were all positioned in a spatial grid of administrative authority.”This has a long precedent in imperial era China; then, as now, officials are encouraged to think of themselves as having special responsibilities for the specific spatial area they have been given authority over–their own “patch.”For a larger discussion of this issue see John Fitzgerald, Cadre Country:How China Became the Chinese Communist Party (Sydney: University of New South Wales Press, 2022), 215-230. 
[32] Shangri-la is the closest English language equivalent to the actual allusion used here, the “Peach Blossom Spring” [桃花源]. The Peach Blossom Spring is a utopian fable reported by the 4th century poet Tao Yuanming, who imagined a serene village whose remote and hidden location kept it isolated from the rest of China for centuries, and was therefore unsullied by the violence and misfortune attendant to the rise and fall of dynasties. The manual thus reminds its readers that university campuses are neither intellectual utopias nor disconnected from broader Chinese society. Unlike the village of peach blossom spring, academia rises and falls with the rest of the political order–and indeed, university campuses might be the origin of the next fall if they are not carefully watched over.
[33] In Chinese the phrase translated here as “rules,”“discipline” and “pattern” are all the same word [guīlǜ 规律], which connotes a governing law inherent to a process or activity.
[34] In Chinese there are multiple terms for “China,” some denoting an ethnic group or nationality, others a cultural tradition, and yet others the Chinese state. It is this last term, Zhōngguó [中国], that is used inside the term we have translated as “Sinicization” [中国化]. Thus the manual is not directing religious groups to align their beliefs with Chinese culture so much as it is directing them to align these beliefs with the guidance and priorities of Chinese statecraft. For a larger discussion of this term see Joanne Pittman, “3 Questions: Sinicization or Chinafication?,” China Scope, 3 February 2020.
[35] This is a quote picked out from a dialogue between Mao and Huang Yanpei in July 1945, known as the “cycle conservation” or the “cave dialogue” [窑洞对]. Huang Yanpei was the founding pioneer of the China Democratic League, one of the six parties that joined the Communist Party of China under the United Front. He was invited by the CPC to tour Yan’an. After seeing the Communist base in Yan’an he asked how Mao was going to break out of the dynastic cycle of rise and fall. Mao replied that the Communists had already found a way out:
 “We've already discovered a new path. We can break out of this cycle. This new path is democracy. The government will not become complacent only if it is under the supervision of the people. If everyone takes responsibility, a good system of governance will prevail.”
 See “Lishi de Xiansheng: Zhiyou Rang Renmin Lai Jiandu Zhengfu,Zhengfu Cai Bugan Songxie 历史的先声:只有让人民来监督政府,政府才不敢松懈 [Voice of History: The government will not become complacent only if it is under the supervision of the people],” 中国数字时 [China Digital Times], accessed January 9, 2023.
[36] Or more literally, “concealing sickness for fear of the treatment.”
[37] In party literature these are known as the “four tests” 四个考研 and “four dangers” 四个危险. Xi Jinping usually discusses these dangers and tests in the context of securing the Party’s role over the longue durée. See, for example,Xi Jinping, Governance of China, vol 3 (Beijing: Foreign Language Press, 2020), 586.
[38] This quote is pulled from Xi Jinping’s address to the Politburo Standing Committee on October 16, 2014. See “Xi Jinping: Dang Mianlinde Zuida Fengxian he Tiaozhan shi Dangnei Fubai he Buzheng Zhifeng 习近平:党面临的最大风险和挑战是党内腐败和不正之风 [Xi Jinping: The Biggest Risk and Challenge the Party Faces Comes From Corruption and Unhealthy Trends Withinthe Party],” 人民网, 16 January 2015. Availablehere.
[39] This well-known Chinese aphorism is roughly equivalent to the English phrase “you must practice what you preach.” Xi Jinping used the phrase in his first press conference as General Secretary, at the conclusion of the 18th Congress on November 15, 2012.“Da tie Xuyao Zishen Ying 打铁还需自身硬 [The blacksmith’s hammer must be as firm as the iron it strikes]”, China Keywords, 7 September 2015.  
[40] I.e. create a political environment where the incentives for corruption are missing, while the incentives for integrity flourish.
[41] Literally, “a future where the ocean waves cease and the river water clears.” This idiom originates in a Tang dynasty poem; it is a metaphor for a harmonious world.
[42] Or more literally, “a future where heaven and earth are bright and glorious.”  This idiom originates in the Yi Jing, a divination manual that dates to the Western Zhou period.

Cite This Article

Office of the Central National Security Commission and Central Propaganda Department, “Chapter Six: Persevere in Placing Political Security in the Predominant Position.” Translated by Kitsch Liao. San Francisco: Center for Strategic Translation, 2023. 

Originally published in  Zongti Guojia Anquan Guan Xuexi Gangyao: 总体国家安全学习纲要 [The Total National Security Paradigm: A Study Guide],  (Beijing: Xuexi Chuban She, Beijing: April 2022), 58-74.

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