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A Deep Study in Implementing Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era

深入学贯彻习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想

Introduction

In his 1992 Southern Tour, Deng Xiaoping rallied the Communist Party of China around a slogan that captured the ethos of the Reform Era: “Development is the fixed principle” [发展才是硬道理].1 After Deng passed, Jiang Zemin would codify this phrase as an official tenet of China’s guiding ideology. In 1997 he declared that the “basic line” of the Party during the initial stage of socialism was that “Development is the fixed principle. The key to the solution of all of China's problems lies in our own development.”2 As the leadership spoke, so cadres acted. For three decades the entire machinery of the Chinese party-state revolved around economic growth. 

That era is now over. This essay, penned by one of Xi Jinping’s most important state security officials, was written in part to signal the end of that era. It marks a transition point in a seven year campaign to dethrone development’s place at the top of China’s ideological hierarchy.3 This has required re-conceptualizing development itself. In numerous speeches and addresses Xi Jinping has championed what he calls the New Development Concept [新发展理念], a development paradigm meant to replace the Reform era focus on growth for its own sake. The essay translated below is devoted to one of the newer planks of the New Development Concept: the integration of development and security [统筹发展和安全].

Xi Jinping first introduced the phrase “integrate development and security” to the Party lexicon in the 2014 Central Foreign Affairs Work Conference.4 It was one of a slew of slogans—such as “development is the foundation of security, and security is the prerequisite for development” [发展是安全的基础, 安全是发展的条件] and “sustainability means placing equal importance on development and security for achieving long-lasting security” [可持续, 就是要发展和安全并重以实现持久安全]—that began to appear in Xi speeches at the same time. Yet as one western analyst who has traced the history of these slogans notes, “Xi’s 2014 speeches… did not signal a collective decision by [Party] leaders to equally prioritize China’s security and development interests. Between 2014 and 2019, major speeches and Party documents show the Party remained in an ongoing process to build consensus around the new framing.”5

For several years the new slogans only appeared in security documents, or in the national security sections of catholic documents like the 2017 Political Report to the 19th Congress. In several major speeches given during these years Xi Jinping himself retreated back to the traditional growth-centric slogans. Many officials serving on the State Council and economic planning documents like the 13th Five Year Plan of 2016 never adopted Xi’s new phrases; they stuck instead to traditional language on development as the “first priority” [第一要务] of party work. 

In Leninist political systems, inconsistent or contradictory slogans are an important external signal. In these systems, struggles over power and policy often manifest as struggles over slogans.6 It is possible that the limits of Xi Jinping’s power—at least during his first term—can be seen in the slow pace in which the new phrases were adopted by the Party writ large. If so, Xi’s ultimate victory can be charted in the quickening pace of their adoption from 2018 forward.7 The crowning moment came with the publication of the 14th Five Year Plan in 2021. For the first time “integrate development and security” was given its own section in the most important economic planning document of the Chinese party-state.8 The integration of development and security was henceforth an official sub-component of the the New Development Concept reshaping the Chinese economy.

This essay was written a few months before this moment—just after the Fifth Plenum of 2020, where Party leaders were tasked with preparing a framework for the upcoming Five Year Plan. It presents the Fifth Plenum’s endorsement of the phrase as a key part of a larger shift in development strategy—a shift as consequential as the transition between Maoist state planning and the Reform and Opening policies of the Deng era during the 1980s. 

This essay was penned by Chen Wenqing—then head of China’s premier intelligence agency, the Ministry of State Security—and published in the loudest bullhorn of the Chinese propaganda system, the People's Daily.9 Chen uses this platform both to explain the concepts behind the slogan and to signal their priority on the policy totem pole. At first glance some of these statements of priority seem wildly contradictory. In one breath Chen reaffirms the Jiang era slogan that “development is the top priority for our Party to governing and rejuvenating the state and the key to solving all of China’s problems,” but in the next he declares that “it is an evident reality that development and security complement one another [and] that one cannot be prioritized at the expense of the other.” 

So is development the top priority or does it share an equal rank with security? Chen solves the puzzle by describing economic development and state security as two parts of one whole: “Development and security are like the two wheels on a cart or the two wings of a bird…. development is the foundation of security, and security is the prerequisite for development.” If security is development, and development is security, the contradiction between development’s preeminent role and its coequal rank melts away.

There is something self-serving in Chen’s presentation. The consequences of the Fifth Plenum’s decision all fall in his favor. Practically speaking, what the Central Committee’s airy discovery that development and security share some consubstantial essence amounts to is greater influence for Chen and people like him. The spymaster spent his career bouncing around various parts of the state security bureaucracy; that bureaucracy is now officially elevated into the development planning process. As Chen puts it, in the wake of the Fifth Plenum the Party must begin to “reflect on the process for incorporating security work into various sectors of national development.”   

Legitimizing this power-play is a frank assessment of what will happen to the Communist Party of China if it fails to integrate the priorities of people like Chen into development planning. Chen attributes the flourishing and fall of great powers, as well as the rise and collapse of China’s past dynasties, to the historical successes and failures past empires experienced integrating economics and security. He warns that “if development does not uphold security, then the state will not last long.” On the other hand, “if security cannot guarantee development, then the state cannot sustain itself.” Development and security are the key levers of word history: “Their combination leads to flourishing. Their separation leads to weakness. Their contradiction leads to death.”

-THE EDITORS

1. Deng Xiaoping 邓小平, “[Zai Wuchang, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Shanghai Dengdide Tanhua Yaodian 在武昌,深圳,珠海,上海等地的谈话要点 [Excerpts From Talks Given In Wuchang, Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Shanghai],” in Deng Xiaoping Wenxuan 邓小平文选 [Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping], vol III (Beijing 北京: Renmin Chubanshe人民出版社 [People’s Press], 1993), 377. The standard English translation of this phrase in CPC publications is “development is the absolute principle.”
2. Jiang Zemin, The Selected Works of Jiang Zemin, vol II (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 2012), 15.
3. The account of this campaign presented in this introduction is heavily indebted to Howard Wang, “‘Security Is a Prerequisite for Development’: Consensus-Building toward a New Top Priority in the Chinese Communist Party,” Journal of Contemporary China (2022), 1-15.
4. In the official English translation of this speech this is rendered as “a holistic approach to development and security.” Xi Jinping, Governance of China, vol II (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 2017), 479. It is worth noting that the largest discussion of security in the speech is explicitly framed as an extension of the Total National Security Paradigm. 
5. Wang, “Security Is a Prerequisite for Development,” For Xi Jinping’s account of the milestone events in the rise of this framing, see pp. 195-96 in Xi Jinping, “Apply the New Development Philosophy in Whole” in Governance of China, vol IV (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 2022), 192-199.
6. For prominent past examples see Joseph Torigian, Prestige, Manipulation, and Coercion: Elite Power Struggles in the Soviet Union and China after Stalin and Mao (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2022), 136-193 and Richard Baum, Burying Mao: Chinese Politics in the Age of Deng Xiaoping (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994), 153-163, 344-356.
7. Two factors likely account for this victory: First, every year a General Secretary holds the top spot in the CPC is another year where he can replace cadres who rose on the coattails of other leaders with his own men. In contrast to democratic leaders, whose power generally diminishes with distance from their election mandates, the power of a Chinese politician grows stronger the longer he remains in power. See Joseph Fewsmith, Rethinking Chinese Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021) for a capable review of both the nature of power and personnel selection in the Chinese system and Xi Jinping’s mastery of the game.

The second factor is what Chen Wenqing calls the “unstable and uncertain development” in this piece. Faltering Belt and Road projects abroad, falling growth numbers at home, and an active trade war with a hostile United States may have convinced many development-minded cadres that investment and trade was no longer the panacea it once was. See also Wang, “Security Is a Prerequisite for Development,” 8.
8. Chen is not the only high official to highlight the importance of this change; Xi Jinping himself called attention to the same development. See Xi Jinping, “Major Points on the recommendations of the CPC Central Committee for Economic and Social Development and Long Range-Objectives Through the Year 2035,” Governance of China, vol IV (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 2022), 133.
9. In the 20th Congress of the CPC in 2022 Chen Wenqing was elevated to the Politburo, where he now serves as the secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission.

Author
Chen Wenqing
陈文清
original publication
The People’s Daily
人民日报
publication date
December 31, 2020
Translator
Ethan Franz
Translation date
April 2023
Tags
Tag term
Tag term
Initial Stage of Socialism
社会主义初级阶段

Since the 1980s the concept of the initial stage of socialism (also translated as the “primary stage of socialism”) has served as the theoretical foundation for the Communist Party of China’s embrace of market economics. The theory of the initial stage of socialism posits that the ideal socialist order—from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs—presumes a level of wealth that China simply does not have. China remains in the initial stage of socialist rule; in this stage the Communist Party of China must focus its work on creating the wealth that future generations will redistribute. The transition to that more “advanced” stage of socialism must wait until China’s productive capacity and COMPREHENSIVE NATIONAL POWER has caught up with or surpassed that of the leading capitalist nations.

The origins of the slogan begin with an oversight: Karl Marx did not anticipate that communist revolutionaries would succeed in economically underdeveloped agrarian empires. He theorized revolution as the inevitable end point of industrialization and saw socialism as the culmination of capitalist development. Marx’s writings, therefore, offered little guidance to any revolutionary leader who seized control of a country that had not yet industrialized. The attempts these leaders made to modernize their countries sans private property, market mechanisms, and the other trappings of capitalism led to some of the 20th century’s greatest tragedies—China’s own Great Leap Forward chief among them.

Having experienced these tragedies firsthand, the men who led the Communist Party of China in the 1980s did not need to be convinced that the economic programs of Stalin and Mao were disasters. However, theirs was a negative consensus: there was no widespread agreement on what positive economic program China should follow. Deng Xiaoping’s reform program was therefore both experimental and provisional. It drew criticism from both the “left” and the “right.” Leftists opposed the ongoing reforms out of fear that they undermined party authority and threatened a wholesale retreat from Marxist principles. The rightists, on the other hand, thought that Deng’s reforms did not go far enough. They hoped that economic reform might evolve into a radical overhaul of not only the Chinese economy but also the Chinese political system. It was in the context of this debate that the market-friendly Zhao Ziyang proposed the theory of the initial stage of socialism.

Though close antecedents to the phrase can be found in party documents as far back as the 1950s, the concept was neither fully explored nor codified as part of the CPC’s guiding ideology until General Secretary Zhao Ziyang used it to justify the sweeping market reform package that he introduced at the 13th Congress in 1987. By that point the phrase “initial stage of socialism” had been used at least three times before in major policy documents of the preceding decade (the 1981 resolution on party history, Hu Yaobang’s Political Report to the 12th Congress, and the 1986 “Resolution on the Construction of a Socialist Spiritual Civilization”), though it was never presented in a systematic way in any of them. However, as party leaders had already endorsed these documents, the phrase “initial stage of socialism” was a useful vehicle for Zhao’s new program.

Zhao’s version of the initial stage of socialism was carefully designed to parry criticism from both the left and the right. To leftists, Zhao emphasized the importance of socialist rule over China. China was still socialist—it was just that in China’s present “historical stage” [历史阶段] low productive capacity was a fundamental “national condition” [国情] that any program of SOCIALISM WITH CHINESE CHARACTERISTICS could not ignore. “When a backward country is trying to build socialism,” Zhao explained, it is: 

natural that during the long initial period its productive forces will not be up to the level of those in developed capitalist countries and that it will not be able to eliminate poverty completely. Accordingly, in building socialism we must do all we can to develop the productive forces and gradually eliminate poverty, constantly raising the people’s living standards. Otherwise, how will socialism be able to triumph over capitalism?

In the second stage, or the advanced stage of communism, when the economy is highly developed and there is overwhelming material abundance, we shall be able to apply the principle of ‘from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs’ (Zhao 2009).

Yet even as Zhao’s commitment to communist rule placated the left, by promising that economic reform would remain at the center of the Party’s policy platform as long as the country remained in the initial stage of socialism Zhao also sought to ease the fears of the right. Zhao estimated that for China to enter an “advanced stage of communism” economic development must remain the focus of the Party for several generations—at least until the year 2050. This allowed Zhao to position himself in between extremes to both his left and right:  

Under the specific historical conditions of contemporary China, to believe that the Chinese people cannot take the socialist road without going through the stage of fully developed capitalism is to take a mechanistic position on the question of the development of revolution, and that is the major cognitive root of Right mistakes. On the other hand, to believe that it is possible to jump over the initial stage of socialism, in which the productive forces are to be highly developed, is to take a Utopian position on this question, and that is the major cognitive root of Left mistakes (Zhao 1987).

Zhao was able to continue this dance until the Tiananmen protests of 1989 led to his removal from power. His favored phrase initially seemed to fall with him, but in 1997 Jiang Zemin returned the slogan to the center of the Party’s policy program. In his Political Report to the 15th Congress Jiang used the initial stage of socialism as a cudgel to silence critics who wished to walk back Dengist reforms. In a long section of the Report devoted to the concept, Jiang affirmed that “the true reality is that China is currently in the initial stage of socialism and will remain in this stage for a long time to come…. This is a historical stage we cannot jump over.” In this stage China will “accomplish industrialization,” “realize socialist modernization by and large,” “gradually narrow the gap between our level and the advanced world standard,” and “bring about a GREAT REJUVENATION OF THE CHINESE NATION on the basis of socialism.” 

Taking the founding of the PRC in 1949 as the starting point of the initial stage of socialism, Jiang estimated that China “will take at least a century to complete this historical process.” He predicted that following 2050 “a much longer period of time to consolidate and develop the socialist system” will be needed. Attaining communism in this period “will require persistent struggle by many generations, a dozen or even several dozen” (Jiang 1997).

Like his predecessors, Xi Jinping has emphasized both that China remains in the initial stage of socialism and that cadres must have faith that communism will eventually be realized in the distant future. But where Zhao, Jiang, and other leaders of the reform generation closely tied their invocations of the initial stage to their judgment that they must make “economic development the central task of the entire Party and the whole country… and make sure that all other work is subordinated to and serves this task” (Jiang 1997), Xi has used the phrase to support party work on a larger set of priorities.

“We have laid a solid material foundation to embark on a new journey and achieve new and higher goals by our unremitting endeavors since the founding of the NEW CHINA, especially over the four decades since the reform and opening up,” Xi instructed members of the CENTRAL COMMITTEE in 2021. This “new journey” is possible because in Xi’s view the initial stage of socialism is “not static, but rather dynamic, active, promising, and permeated with vigorous vitality.” The task the CPC faces now is not merely to develop China’s productive forces, but to “advance from the initial stage [of socialism] to a higher one” (Xinhua 2021). 

Xi describes this higher stage of socialism in terms of modernization and rejuvenation. If the first two decades of development under the “initial stage of socialism” schema made China wealthy, Xi Jinping believes that development during the last three decades of the initial stage of socialism will restore China to its proper place at the CENTER OF THE WORLD STAGE.

See also: DENG XIAOPING THEORY; GREAT REJUVENATION OF THE CHINESE NATION; MODERATELY PROSPEROUS SOCIETY; ONE CENTER, TWO BASIC TASKS; REFORM AND OPENING; SOCIALISM WITH CHINESE CHARACTERISTICS.

Plenum
全体会议

A plenum, or more formally, a Plenary Session of a Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, is a gathering of all full and alternate members of the CENTRAL COMMITTEE  held to review and approve policies proposed by the POLITBURO. In the post-Mao era it is customary for each CENTRAL COMMITTEE to hold seven plenums in its five year term. These closed door meetings are usually the most important political events of any given year. The topics discussed in the plenary sessions range from revisions to the constitution to realignments of development strategy. Deliberations are secret. The General Secretary delivers a speech to the CENTRAL COMMITTEE, but this speech is usually not published until long after the plenum has concluded.  

In the post-Mao era the topics addressed in the seven plenums tend to follow a pattern: the first plenum is held to select the POLITBURO and CENTRAL COMMITTEE membership, the second confirms the leadership of important government posts, the third is devoted to economic development and reform, the fourth focuses on initiatives in law or party building, the fifth lays the groundwork for the next FIVE YEAR PLAN, the sixth addresses problems of ideology, culture, or intra-party rules, and the seventh prepares the CENTRAL COMMITTEE for the upcoming PARTY CONGRESS.

Documents drafted during plenums are among the most authoritative in the Chinese policy process; each compacts the various guidelines, policies, and tasks issued since the previous plenum into a baseline directive for the entire party. At select points in modern Chinese history–such as the 3rd and 5th plenums of the 11th Party Congress–meetings of the Central Committee have served as forums for substantive intra-party debates. More often the Central Committee simply makes small adjustments to plans already agreed on by the Politburo ahead of time. 

See also: CENTRAL COMMITTEE; POLITBURO; PARTY CONGRESS; FIVE YEAR PLAN

Central Committee
中国共产党中央委员会

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, until 1927 called the Central Executive Committee (中央执行委员会), is the central administrative and decision-making body of the Chinese party-state. 

In the post-Mao era members of the Central Committee have been elected by the National Congress of the CPC every five years. These elections are a confirmation vote based on a candidate list where the number of candidates slightly exceeds the number of available seats. Usually only 8% to 12% of candidates are not elected to the Central Committee; it is customary for the Committee to include the governors and party secretaries of China’s provinces, the heads of central government bodies, major SOEs, and national party organizations, and high ranking military officers in the PLA among its members. 

The Central Committee has the nominal power to elect the members of the Secretariat, Politburo, and its Standing Committee, but in practice it merely confirms candidates pre-selected by the top leadership.  At select points in modern Chinese history–such as the 3rd Plenum of the 11th Party Congress–meetings of the Central Committee, called PLENUMS, have served as forums for substantive intra-party debates. More often the Central Committee makes small adjustments to plans already agreed on by the POLITBURO ahead of time. Documents drafted during Central Committee meetings are among the most authoritative in the Chinese policy process; each condenses the various guidelines, policies, and tasks issued since the previous plenum into a baseline directive for the entire party.

See also: CENTER, THE; PLENUM

Politburo
中央政治局

The Political Bureau, or Politburo, is the command headquarters of the Chinese Communist Party. The Politburo is composed of twenty-four senior leaders who can be placed in two tiers: a small core of leading generalists serving on the STANDING COMMITTEE, and a broader group of officials serving as leaders at the provincial or ministerial level. While day to day decision making authority for the Communist Party rests with the Standing Committee, Politburo members possess considerable influence over both national policy and personnel selection. The composition of the Politburo is therefore a key concern of any General Secretary; the number of loyalists he is able to elevate into the Politburo is a rough measure of his effective power.

Nominally, Politburo members are elected by the CENTRAL COMMITTEE, the body from which its members are drawn and its decision making authority is delegated. In practice, the composition of the Politburo is decided internally by the General Secretary, the Standing Committee, retired grandees, and the incumbent members of the Politburo. The rotation of Politburo seats is aided by a set of guiding retirement norms introduced in the Jiang Zemin era. In 1997 Jiang forced all members aged 70 or over to retire at the end of their five-year term; at subsequent Congresses the retirement age was lowered to 68. Though not officially codified in any party document, this norm has, with a few recent exceptions, governed the composition of the Politburo and functioned as an effective shield against gerontocracy. 

Since 2002, the Politburo has regularly held “Politburo collective study sessions” [中央政治局集体学习] and more standard “Politburo meetings” [中央政治局会议]. During its standard meetings the Politburo discusses new policy directives, provides feedback on policy implementation, and prepares for future work conferences, plenums, or congresses. These meetings are about coordination, information exchange, and practical planning at the highest levels of the party. 

Study sessions, in contrast, play a more educational role. These sessions take place shortly after the standard Politburo meetings–usually on the same day or the day after. Professors, think tank scholars, or other experts are invited to lecture the Politburo members on a topic chosen by the General Secretary. Their lectures often end with “work recommendations” [工作建议] for the Politburo to consider. The sessions typically conclude with a speech by the General Secretary on the topic of study. In contrast to the meetings of the Standing Committee, whose agendas are rarely discussed in public, the subject of Politburo meetings and study sessions are often publicized with some fanfare. Collective study session topics are not chosen simply to educate Politburo members but to signal policy priorities to the cadres across the country. Thus even when passively listening to lectures, the Politburo fulfills its role as a bridge between the Standing Committee and the rest of the Party.  

See also: CENTER, THE; CENTRAL COMMITTEE; PLENUM; POLITICAL BUREAU STANDING COMMITTEE (PBSC)

Period of Strategic Opportunity
战略机遇期

The concept of a “period of strategic opportunity” was first introduced by Jiang Zemin in 2002. In his political report to the 16th Party Congress, Jiang identified “the first two decades of the twenty-first century” as “an important period of strategic opportunity that must be grasped tightly.” In Jiang’s telling, the turn of the 21st century introduced a rare window of time in which China could focus all of its efforts on economic development. By embracing the forces of globalization during this window, the Party had the opportunity to build Chinese power through peaceful means, thereby laying the foundation for “a strong, prosperous, democratic and culturally advanced socialist country by the middle of this century” (Jiang 2002).

Jiang’s slogan was born out of the foreign policy debates that racked the Communist Party of China in the late 1990s. A decade before Deng Xiaoping had declared that PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT WERE THE THEME OF THE TIMES; a suite of reform era policies—including China’s opening to outside investment, Deng’s pursuit of market reforms, and the decision to terminate support for Maoist guerillas in the developing world—flowed from this assessment. A world trending towards peace and economic integration was a world where it was safe to focus the work of the Chinese party-state on economic reform.

The annual debates over China’s trading status in Washington, the 1997 Taiwan Straits crisis, and America’s 1999 bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade all put Deng’s assessment of the international scene to question. Many in China believed that it had been a mistake to prioritize economic growth over military power or confrontation with the United States. China’s ascension to the WTO and the 9/11 attacks—which diverted American hostility away from the PRC and towards the Middle East—put an end to their worries. By 2002 it was clear that globalization would not only power China’s economic ascent but would also temper opposition to China’s growing material might.

Jiang’s conception of the period of strategic opportunity was endorsed by the two men who governed China during the remainder of this window of opportunity. Both Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping repeated Jiang’s phrase verbatim; both paired it with fulsome depictions of globalization as an unstoppable historical force. Yet as Xi Jinping’s second term came to a close, economic integration seemed a far less powerful trend than it had seemed at the start of tenure. By that point the BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE had met with numerous setbacks; China was engaged in an unforgiving trade war with the United States, and anti-China sentiment was rising across the globe. Two decades after Jiang’s introduction of the period of strategic opportunity, Xi would offer a new assessment of the times:

Our country has entered a period of development in which strategic opportunities, risks, and challenges are concurrent and uncertainties and unforeseen factors are rising… We must therefore be more mindful of potential dangers, be prepared to deal with worst-case scenarios, and be ready to withstand high winds, choppy waters, and even dangerous storms (Xi 2022).

 Xi’s new formula does not predict imminent war. It does suggest, however, that the Party can no longer rely on globalization and economic integration to shepherd the REJUVENATION OF THE CHINESE NATION. In an international environment defined by risk and danger, the strategies of the reform era are no longer sufficient to secure the Party CENTER’s desired future.

See also: ADVANCING TOWARDS THE CENTER OF THE WORLD STAGE; GREAT CHANGES UNSEEN IN A CENTURY; PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT ARE THE THEME OF THE TIMES; COMPOSITE NATIONAL POWER; PATH OF PEACEFUL DEVELOPMENT

Center, The
中央

“The Center” is a literal rendering of zhōngyāng. The phrase is is most commonly used as an abbreviation for the CENTRAL COMMITTEE of the Communist Party of China (中国共产党中央委员会), and official Chinese translations almost always opt for translating it as “The Central Committee.” The term, however, is more ambiguous than most translations into English allow. Cheng Zhenqiu, who directed  the English translation of the Selected Works of Mao Zedong, described his dissatisfaction with his own translation with these comments:

Lexically, there are still many issues…for example, the translation of zhōngyāng [中央]….Sometimes zhongyang refers to the Central Standing Committee [中央常委], sometimes it refers to the Central Politburo [中央政治局], and more often it refers to the Central Committee. Abroad some have begun translating it as “the Center”; on this issue there’s room for further research (Snape 2021).

The kaleidoscopic nature of the term is evident in Party regulations governing the Central Committee, which declares that 

The Central Committee, Politburo and Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) are the brain and central hub of the Party organization. Only the Party Centre has the mandate to make decisions and interpret Party-wide and state-wide important principles and policies  (Xinhua 2020).

The usefulness of a term whose definition can stretch to describe either the Central Committee, the POLITBURO, or the POLITBURO STANDING COMMITTEE as contingency requires has been recognized since the days of Mao Zedong, when obedience to The Center was first codified as part of the “FOUR OBEYS” regulating Party life. In particular, obfuscating the specific source of new directives means that decisions that may have only been made by a small group of leading cadres are cloaked with the mantle of larger party organs, suggesting a shared consensus or collective decision making process that may not actually exist.

See also: CENTRAL COMMITTEE; POLITBURO

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 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 (Perrolle 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 2022). 

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

Socialism with Chinese Characteristics
中国特色社会主义

Leaders of the Communist Party of China use the phrase “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics” as the preferred moniker for the political and economic system that they govern. The now ubiquitous phrase was invented shortly after the death of Mao Zedong to describe the distinctive features of a Leninist political system retreating from a Stalinist economic model. Yet if Socialism with Chinese Characteristics was originally intended to explain CPC deviations from orthodox Marxism, in the decades following the fall of the communist bloc it has most often been used to justify China’s deviation from the liberal norms of the world’s richest nations. To invoke Socialism with Chinese Characteristics is to remind cadres that China follows a distinct path to modernity. This path not only precludes the wholesale importation of Western institutions and values, but also provides an explanation for perceived Western hostility to China’s National Rejuvenation.  

The origins of the Socialism with Chinese Characteristics concept can be traced back to Mao Zedong’s various statements on the need to develop the “Sinicization of Marxism” [马克思主义的中国化].  In his most famous proclamation on this theme, Mao declared that “the history of this great nation of ours goes back several thousand years. It has its own laws of development [and] its own national characteristics.” These characteristics must be integrated into the revolutionary programs of the Chinese communists because even though “a communist is a Marxist internationalist…. Marxism must take on a national form before it can be put into practice.” Mao thus championed a

Marxism that has taken on a national form, that is, Marxism applied to the concrete struggle in the concrete conditions prevailing in China, and not Marxism abstractly used. If a Chinese Communist, who is a part of the great Chinese people, bound to his people by his very flesh and blood, talks of Marxism apart from Chinese peculiarities, this Marxism is merely an empty abstraction. Consequently, the Sinicization of Marxism—that is to say, making certain that in all its manifestations it is imbued with Chinese characteristics, using it according to Chinese peculiarities—becomes a problem that must be understood and solved by the whole Party without delay (Schram 2004, liii).

Mao spoke these words as the leader of a guerilla revolutionary movement. Neither Marx’s writings nor the Soviet experience provided much practical guidance in this situation. Stalinist models would prove more relevant to Mao after the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Using Stalin’s Short Course as a guidebook, China’s new communist regime imported Soviet economic and political structures with little alteration. The failure of these structures over the next few decades would eventually prompt the leaders of the Communist Party of China to seek a new path—and to justify that path with language that echoed Mao’s early calls for a Sinicized form of Marxism.  “We must integrate the universal truth of Marxism with the concrete realities of China,” Deng Xiaoping would report to the 12th Party Congress in 1982, “and blaze a path of our own and build a Socialism with Chinese Characteristics” (Deng 1991).

The phrase “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics” has featured in the title of every subsequent Political Report given by a General Secretary to a Party Congress. In these reports Socialism with Chinese Characteristics is consistently identified as comprising a distinctive theoretical system [理论体系], a set of institutions [制度], a culture [文化], and a path [道路].  As Xi Jinping describes it, the theoretical system of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics offers intellectual “guid[ance] to the Party and people,” the institutions of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics “provide the fundamental guarantee for progress and development” of socialism, the culture of Socialism with Chinese characteristics “is a powerful source of strength and inspiration” for individual cadres, while the path of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics “is the only path to socialist modernization and a better life for the people” (Xi 2020).  Socialism with Chinese Characteristics is thus defined both by the aims of China's political system and the tools cadres must use to accomplish these aims. 

The political debates of the 1980s powerfully shaped both these tools and aims. As the failings of the Chinese economy grew clearer, Party leaders concluded that “the practice of implementing orthodox socialist principles in the style of the Soviet Union was excessive for China’s level of socioeconomic development and productivity” (Zhao 2009). A country starting from such a low economic base must prioritize economic growth over class struggle—even if this required marketization of parts of the Chinese economy. In Zhao Ziyang’s 1987 Political Report this developmental stage—called the INITIAL STAGE OF SOCIALISM—was linked to the political structures and priorities of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics:

The basic line of our Party in building Socialism with Chinese Characteristics during the initial stage of socialism is as follows: to lead the people of all our nationalities in a united, self-reliant, intensive and pioneering effort to turn China into a prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and modern socialist country… The fundamental task for a socialist society is to develop its productive forces and concentrate on a drive for modernization (Zhao 1987).

Zhao and his fellow economic reformers were aware that statements like these broke from Marxist orthodoxy. “Building socialism in a big, backward, Eastern country like China is something new in the history of the development of Marxism,” Zhao told the Party. “We are not in the situation envisioned by the founders of Marxism” (Zhao 1987). Deng Xiaoping echoed this theme in an interview with a doubtful member of the Japanese socialist party: “Ours is an entirely new endeavor, one that was never mentioned by Marx, never undertaken by our predecessors and never attempted by any other socialist country. So there are no precedents for us to learn from. We can only learn from practice, feeling our way as we go” (Deng 1994).

Statements like these gave reformers the cover they needed to defeat “hidebound thinking” and introduce market mechanisms to Chinese life. The idea that China must bend Marxist-Leninism to fit its national circumstances allowed the reformists to obscure the differences between capitalism and socialism. Tolerance for market processes and an open embrace of international trade would remain a distinguishing feature of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in the decades to come.

Yet a return to “hidebound thinking” and “leftist deviation” was never the only danger that Socialism with Chinese Characteristics sought to avert. From its origins the concept was associated with Deng Xiaoping’s FOUR CARDINAL PRINCIPLES—a set of commitments that Deng did not allow the Party to retreat from or tolerate debate over. The four items that party members must remain loyal to include: the socialist path, the rule of a dictatorship of the proletariat, the political predominance of the Communist Party of China, and Marxist and Maoist thought. In practical terms these Four Cardinal Principles were understood as a party-wide commitment to maintain communist control over Chinese politics even as the Party relinquished a measure of control over China’s economy. These political commitments remain in force. “The leadership of the Communist Party of China is the defining feature of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics,” Xi Jinping instructed in his Political Report to the 20th Congress, “and [is] the greatest strength of the system of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics” (Xi 2022). 

From the concept’s origin in the 1980s, the leaders of the CPC have identified liberalism as the most dangerous threat to the Party’s monopoly on power. Zhao Ziyang’s discussion of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics warns that “the tendency towards bourgeois liberalization, which rejects the socialist system in favor of capitalism… will last throughout the initial stage of socialism” (Zhao 1987). Socialism with Chinese Characteristics can thus be thought of as an attempt to ward off not only the temptations of the orthodox Marxist “left” but also the liberal-capitalist “right.” 

After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the allure of leftist deviation was much diminished. In recent decades Party leaders tend to contrast the theory, institutions, culture, and path of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics not with Marxist orthodoxy but liberal heresy. Thus Xi Jinping warns party cadres that

Since the end of the Cold War, some countries, affected by Western values, have been torn apart by war or afflicted with chaos. If we tailor out practices to Western capitalist values, measure our national development by means of the Western capitalist evaluation system, and regard Western standards as the sole standards for development, the consequences will be devastating—we will have to follow others slavishly at every step, or we subject ourselves to their abuse (Xi 2017, 356).

The contrast with China could not be clearer. In Xi’s home country, “[our] party has led the people in independently blazing the path to success over the past century, and the success of Marxism in China has been realized by Chinese Communists through our own endeavors.” Xi insists that as cadres “strengthen [their] confidence in the path, theoretical system, institutions, and culture of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics” they will be able to “deal with China’s issues… in light of the Chinese context.” In the eyes of Xi Jinping and other senior leaders of the Communist Party of China, this is the only path by which China can become strong, wealthy, beautiful, and modern  (Xi 2022). 

See Also: DENG XIAOPING THEORY; FOUR CARDINAL PRINCIPLES; GREAT REJUVENATION OF THE CHINESE NATION; INITIAL STAGE OF SOCIALISM; MODERATELY PROSPEROUS SOCIETY; ONE CENTER, TWO BASIC TASKS.

Total National Security Paradigm
总体国家安全观

The Total National Security Paradigm is a set of interlinked concepts that party sources describe as Xi Jinping’s signature contribution to Chinese security theory. Xi introduced the paradigm in a 2014 address where he instructed 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” (Xi 2014, p. 221-222).  This distinction between traditional [传统] and non-traditional [非传统] security is key to Xi’s paradigm. “Traditional security” is oriented around threats to China’s territorial integrity and threats from foreign military powers. The Total National Security Paradigm guides cadres to place equal emphasis on “non-traditional security” threats which cannot be resolved with military tools, but which are potentially as dangerous as military defeat.

Variously translated as the Holistic Approach to National Security, the Comprehensive National Security Concept, or the Overall National Security Outlook, the core of Xi's security paradigm is a maximalist conception of security. This intellectual framework blurs the lines between hard and soft power, internal and external threats, and traditional distinctions between the worlds of economics, culture, and diplomacy. China’s accounting of its security must be “total” [总体].

Though the Total National Security Paradigm is the most forceful and systematic presentation of this idea, it is not new to Party thought. Mao introduced the phrase PEACEFUL EVOLUTION into the party lexicon to describe the threat posed by Western powers who hoped to overthrow communist regimes by instigating revolution from within. The collapse of the Soviet Union vividly demonstrated what happened to a party who ignored this threat. From that moment to the present day, party leaders and state intellectuals have portrayed the Communist Party of China as safeguarding a system under siege. Be they faced with economic coercion and political isolation or friendly offers to integrate into the international order, party authorities consistently describe their country as the object of hostile stratagems designed to subvert China’s domestic stability and the Party’s unquestioned rule.

Xi Jinping’s solution to this problem differs from its predecessors more in scale than concept. Officials in the Jiang and Hu eras offered regular warnings about the danger that ideological dissent, social protest, online media, and official corruption posed to the Party’s hold on power. The Total National Security Paradigm formalized these warnings into a more systematic conceptual framework. In Leninist systems theoretical frameworks like these are the necessary prerequisite of bureaucratic overhaul. If this was the concept’s purpose it seems to have accomplished its aim: by the 20th Congress, the Chinese government was spending more on its internal security budget than on military power, the state security apparatus saw fresh expansion down to lower levels of government, and new national bodies like the Central National Security Commission (CNSC) [中央国家安全委员会] were coordinating state security functions across China’s bureaucratic labyrinth.

See also: CORE INTERESTS; HOSTILE FORCES; PEACEFUL EVOLUTION; SOFT BONE DISEASE; COMPOSITE NATIONAL POWER

Peace and Development are the Theme of the Times
和平与发展是当今时代的主题

The Communist Party of China claims that it discerns the “laws governing the development of the history of human society” (Constitution of the Communist Party of China 2022). In line with this claim, Party leaders orient both policy and strategy around official assessments of the material laws and historical trends at work in the world. The Maoist political program was ostensibly grounded in Mao’s judgment that “war and revolution” were the defining geopolitical trends of the 20th century; to reorient the Party towards a new focus on economic development Deng Xiaoping needed to revise this judgment. Thus in 1985 Deng Xiaoping declared that “peace and development are the theme of the times.” This assessment, restated by countless Chinese strategists and statesmen in the decades that followed, takes globalization as the defining feature of modern history. Implicit in the slogan is an injunction to treat harnessing the forces of globalization for China’s development as the CENTRAL TASK of the Party.

From Mao’s declaration that the Party “had to take the possibility of coming under attack as the starting point of all work” flowed many of the defining policies of Mao’s last decade in power (Meyskens 2020, 50). These included diplomatic estrangement from the West, aid for revolutionary movements across the developing world, and the the concentration of heavy industry deep in the mountain provinces of inland China. Though these policies did not long outlive Mao’s death, the extent to which China should open its economy remained a hotly contested issue throughout the 1980s.

In the midst of debates over economic reform Deng Xiaoping informed a delegation from the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry that “peace and development are the two outstanding issues in the world today.” “Although there is still the danger of war,” he confided to the Japanese, “the forces that can deter it are growing, and we find that encouraging.” In the same address, he indicated that peace and development are “issues of global strategic significance.” Matters of peace concern “East-West relations” while matters of development concern “North-South relations.” As a war between the East and West was unlikely, prudent nations in the Global South should focus on catching up to the Global North in economic development – and such would be China’s objective in the reform and opening era (Deng 1985). 

Two months later Deng proceeded to free up resources for economic development by reducing the People’s Liberation Army to one million men. If previously his peace and development assessment had been associated with international trade and investment, it now carried a second connotation: Deng’s belief that military spending must be subordinate to the development of the larger economy.

These conclusions were codified as party dogma when Jiang Zemin described “peace and development are the main theme of the times” as a major component of Deng Xiaoping Theory [邓小平理论] in his 1997 report to the 15th Congress. That year’s National Defense Law would reiterate this stance, stating that China’s policy was to “strengthen national defense while focusing on economic development” (China National People’s Congress 1997). Both Xi Jinping and Hu Jintao would restate these ideas, including the line “peace and development are the main themes of the times” in every Party Congress political report they delivered in the two decades that followed Jiang’s 1997 codification of the phrase.  

Over these two decades there was only one serious challenge to the judgment that peace and development were the defining features of international politics. This occurred in 1999 after the American bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade. Over that summer the Party allowed a widespread debate among intellectuals, academics, and party theorists over whether Deng’s sunny pronouncements still described China’s international environment. The pro-globalization forces won this argument. Their victory was codified in Jiang Zemin’s declaration that “A new world war is unlikely in the foreseeable future” and “it is realistic to bring about a fairly long period of peace in the world and a favorable climate in areas around China.” To Deng’s “peace and development” line Jiang added his own theoretical formulation, urging the Party to seize the “first two decades of the 21st century” as “an important PERIOD OF STRATEGIC OPPORTUNITY” for China’s development (Jiang 2002). With these slogans first Jiang, and then Hu and Xi after him, endorsed the idea that globalization was the surest guarantee of China’s rise.

By Xi Jinping’s second term this no longer seemed so safe a guarantee. Setbacks in the BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE, unfavorable election results in Taiwan, a trade war with the United States, and mounting tensions in China’s bilateral relationship with numerous democratic nations seemed to challenge rosy assessments that development remained the theme of the times. Xi did not include “peace and development” line in his 2022 political report. The closely related “period of strategic opportunity” phrasing was replaced with references to a “a period of development in which strategic opportunities, risks, and challenges are concurrent and uncertainties and unforeseen factors are rising” (Xi 2022).

 The practical relevance of the changed assessment is perhaps best seen in the PRC’s defense budget. In 2023 this budget grew by more than 7%—even though China’s economy was only projected to grow by 5%. The Party can no longer claim that it is “strengthening national defense while focusing on economic development.” That was a strategy of a past era, an era when peace and development were the theme of the times.  

See also: GREAT CHANGES UNSEEN IN A CENTURY; GREAT REJUVENATION OF THE CHINESE NATION; PERIOD OF STRATEGIC OPPORTUNITY; PATH OF PEACEFUL DEVELOPMENT; ONE CENTER, TWO BASIC TASKS

Hegemonism
霸权主义

When Chinese intellectuals and Communist Party officials inveigh against “hegemonism” they invoke a term first used more than two millennia ago to refer to a ruling power that maintains its position through violence and subterfuge. The territory of ancient China was divided between a dozen warring kingdoms; for centuries the only respite from turmoil came when leaders of unusual strategic acumen used diplomatic skill and military power to overwhelm their enemies and enforce a general peace. These kings were known as [霸], or “hegemons.” The order of a hegemon rarely lasted past his death. Ancient Chinese thinkers often contrasted the fragile peace produced by the “way of the hegemon” with the imagined  “way of a true king,” which promised a peaceful order premised not on violence, but moral suasion. When 21st century Chinese proclaim that they  “oppose hegemonism” it is thus a specific style of leadership they reject–a style reminiscent of the illegitimate hegemons of Chinese antiquity.

Deng Xiaoping described the features of modern hegemonism in a blistering 1974 address to the United Nations. There he condemned the Soviet Union and the United States as 

the biggest international exploiters and oppressors of today... They both possess large numbers of nuclear weapons. They carry on a keenly contested arms race, station massive forces abroad and set up military bases everywhere, threatening the independence and security of all nations. They both keep subjecting other countries to their control, subversion, interference or aggression (Deng 1974).

Deng maintained that in response to this illegitimate exercise of hegemonic power, Chinese foreign policy would focus on “strengthening the unity of the developing countries, safeguarding their national economic rights and interests, and promoting the struggle of all peoples against imperialism and hegemonism” (Deng 1974). Though Chinese diplomats would take a less confrontational stance during the era of REFORM AND OPENING, Deng continued to describe  “opposing hegemonism” as a central plank of Chinese foreign policy for the rest of his life. 

Chinese propagandists are still preoccupied with the ills of American hegemonism. They often pair attacks on American belligerence with a vow that China will “never seek hegemony” [永远不称霸]. When uttering this phrase, Chinese officials and diplomats are not promising to abandon China’s ADVANCE TOWARD THE CENTER OF THE WORLD STAGE. Rather, they promise that China will rise without adopting the “hegemonic” means America has relied on (such as alliance blocs, nuclear coercion, or an expansive network of global military bases) to maintain its global position. 

See also: ADVANCING TOWARD THE CENTER OF THE WORLD STAGE; COMMUNITY OF COMMON DESTINY FOR MANKINDHOSTILE FORCES

Advancing Towards The Center of The World Stage
走近世界舞台中央

Chinese officials and diplomats often describe China’s return to national greatness as a process of “advancing towards the center of the world stage.” As with other aspirational aims associated with China’s NATIONAL REJUVENATION, this “advance towards the center of the world stage” is intended to be completed by 2049, the centennial anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Most of the central leadership’s aspirations for 2049 concern domestic affairs: this phrase is one of the rare statements of what a fully rejuvenated China means for the rest of the world. 

The phrase “advancing towards the center of the world stage” was introduced in a 2011 People’s Daily editorial and saw periodic use in the early days of Xi Jinping. Xi elevated the slogan’s importance in his report to the 19th Party Congress. There he tied the claim that “our country advances ever closer to the center of the world stage” [我国日益走近世界舞台中央] to his declaration that the Party had entered a NEW ERA [新时代] in its history. As Mao gave China independence, and Deng made China prosperous, so would Xi Jinping help China “become strong.”  This stronger, more assertive China could then turn its eyes outside of China’s borders to “make greater contributions to mankind” [为人类作出更大贡献]. In Xi’s judgment, growing Chinese influence over the future of the species is an integral part of moving China to the world’s “center stage.” 

Phrases like “advancing towards the center of the world stage” and “making greater contributions to mankind” suggest the global scope of Chinese ambition while obscuring its ultimate object. An official Xinhua commentary on the 19th Congress provides an unusually forthright description of what this advance entails:

China has stood up, grown rich and become strong. It will advance  toward center stage and make greater contributions for mankind. By 2050, two centuries after the Opium Wars, which plunged the “Middle Kingdom” into a period of hurt and shame, China is set to regain its might and re-ascend to the top of the world.
…China’s success proves that socialism can prevail and be a path for other developing countries to emulate and achieve modernization. China is now strong enough, willing, and able to contribute more for mankind. The new world order cannot be just dominated by capitalism and the West, and the time will come for a change (Xinhua 2017).

Xinhua associates the “advance towards the center of the world stage” with a world order that is no longer capitalist nor Western-led; the less circumspect writing of Chinese academics and public intellectuals use the phrase in a similar fashion. The slogan should thus serve as a reminder that China’s leadership believes that the road to NATIONAL REJUVENATION demands structural changes to the world outside of China’s borders.


See also:   CENTURY OF NATIONAL HUMILIATION; COMMUNITY OF COMMON DESTINY FOR ALL MANKIND; GREAT REJUVENATION OF THE CHINESE NATION; GREAT CHANGES UNSEEN IN A CENTURY;

Political Bureau Standing Committee (PBSC)
中央政治局常委会

The Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC) is the most senior decision making body of the Chinese party-state. On a day to day basis the PBSC has ultimate responsibility for and administrative authority over all policy domains, and its members approve personnel appointments across China. The composition of the PBSC is thereby one of the most important indicators of the power of a General Secretary: the more loyalists he is able to place in the PBSC, the more powerful his position.

The PBSC's members are all drawn from the membership of the POLITBURO; but unlike the other members of that body, who are geographically distributed across China, the officials of the more select Standing Committee are all located in Beijing. In theory, the PBSC is subordinate to the CENTRAL COMMITTEE. Article 23 of the CPC Constitution provides that the members of the Standing Committee are elected at the plenary sessions of the Central Committee and that the PBSC shall exercise the functions and power of the Central Committee when the latter is not in session. In reality, the PBSC holds de facto power over the CENTRAL COMMITTEE, whose members usually meet only once a year and whose own membership is largely decided by negotiations between Standing Committee members and retired grandees.   

The role of the Standing Committee has evolved over time. During the Mao era, the Standing Committee held little power. But its status was elevated under Deng Xiaoping, who institutionalized party structures and began concentrating administrative authority in the Standing Committee. Its functions were fully institutionalized in the tenure of Jiang Zemin when the PBSC was transformed into the all-powerful body we know today. 

The number of PBSC members has also varied over time. Xi Jinping reduced the number of the Standing Committee’s members from nine to seven. In the pre-pandemic era the PBSC typically met once a week. During the pandemic this slowed to around 14 meetings a year. The agenda of these meetings is not available to the public and can only be guessed at by examining subsequent party directives.

As with other members of the POLITBURO, PBSC members are given dual responsibilities in both the party and state apparatuses. After the 20th Party Congress, the membership of the PBSC consisted of General Secretary Xi Jinping, Li Qiang, Zhao Leji, Wang Huning, Cai Qi, Deng Xuexiang, and Li Xi. All of these men are devoted Xi Jinping loyalists; securing their position in the Standing Committee was a political victory with no precedent in the Hu or Jiang eras.

See also: CENTRAL COMMITTEE; POLITBURO; THE CENTER

Soft Bone Disease
软骨病

For Xi Jinping, the cadres and leading officials of the Communist Party of China are prone to one devastating weakness: lack of conviction. Xi attributes both hesitation in crisis and graft in prosperity to faltering faith. He often describes emotional attachment to the party’s revolutionary heritage and sincere belief in the eventual realization of communist utopia as “spiritual calcium” that fortifies the spines of party cadres in face of hardship and sacrifice. In contrast, cadres afraid to defend the Party or its historic mission suffer from "a calcium deficiency" [缺钙] and are thus stricken with “soft bone disease.” Their pusillanimous character threatens the GREAT REJUVENATION OF THE CHINESE NATION.

Xi Jinping introduced this metaphor in one of his earliest speeches as General Secretary. In his very first address to a meeting of the POLITBURO, Xi told the senior leadership of the Party that

Belief in Marxism and a faith in socialism and communism is the political soul and spiritual pillar of a Communist, enabling them to withstand all test. To put it more vividly, ideals and convictions are the spiritual calcium of Communists, and if these ideals and convictions are missing or irresolute, then there is a lack of spiritual calcium that leads to soft bone disease. This has proved true by the cases of some Party members and officials who acted improperly due to lack of ideals and confused faith.” (Xi 2014, 16).

Xi’s comments about officials who “act improperly” came soon after the fall of Bo Xilai and just before Xi began his historic anti-corruption campaign. Soft bone disease is thus Xi’s go-to explanation for the general institutional rot he inherited. To tame corruption the Party must do more than jail the corrupt: it must rekindle belief in the old revolutionary faith.

This is not the only context where the calcium metaphor shows up: it found just as commonly in official discussions of political security. Xi Jinping’s famous judgment that the Soviet Union collapsed because there “was no one man enough to stand up and resist” [但竟无一人是男儿,没什么人出来抗争] should be read in light of Xi’s many statements on soft bone disease. From this perspective the spinelessness of the CPSU was less a problem of manly toughness and more a problem of waning faith. The Soviets faltered because they no longer received the spiritual nourishment that stiffens conviction in the face of opposition and doubt. Many of Xi’s signature concepts and policies were designed to prevent the Communist Party of China from sharing their fate.

Community of Common Destiny For All Mankind
人类命运共同体

In 2018 Yang Jiechi, then the POLITBURO member responsible for Chinese foreign policy, declared that  “Building a Community of Common Destiny for Mankind is the overall goal of China’s foreign affairs work in the New Era.” (Yang 2018). This “Community of Common Destiny for Mankind” (also commonly translated as “Community With a Shared Future for Mankind”) refers to the central leadership’s vision for the future of the international order. At its core, building a “Community of Common Destiny for Mankind” means leveraging globalization and other types of global interdependence to reshape the international order in China’s favor. Party officials and party-affiliated intellectuals have long expressed frustration with the norms and structures of the post-Cold War order, which they believe are neither conducive to their continued rule nor fully compatible with China’s ADVANCE TOWARDS THE CENTER OF THE WORLD STAGE. This slogan signals their determination to build something better. 

Though the slogan is strongly associated with the NEW ERA of Xi Jiping, most of the tenets of the “Community of Common Destiny” predate him. The substance of the CPC’s critique of the existing order, as well as a tentative vision for what might replace it, were laid out by Hu Jintao in a 2003 address at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, where he declared that the aim of Chinese foreign policy was a “HARMONIOUS WORLD” (和谐世界). Hu argued that this “HARMONIOUS WORLD” would improve on existing arrangements for global governance in five specific arenas: politics, security, economic development, culture, and the environment. On multiple occasions Xi has reiterated the importance of these five categories, whose scope reflects both the scale of Beijing’s ambitions and the depth of its dissatisfaction with the existing order, to his own  “Community of Common Destiny” formulation.  

The thrust of the “Common Destiny” critique goes as follows: the existing international order was created by Western powers for Western powers. The legacy organizations at the core of this order speak for the world but are controlled by the West. The “universal values” enshrined in these institutions  are imperialistic impositions of Western concepts on other civilizations. This is just as true of the political institutions and development models pioneered by the West and now seen as normative in international society. Some of these ideas and institutions are useful advances suitable for all peoples; others are simply relics that would have long disappeared were they not upheld by the illegitimate American HEGEMONISM.

The Community of Common Destiny will have no hegemons (in Chinese the word hegemon describes a state whose predominance depends on coercive power). After the defensive blocs and security treaties that make American hegemony possible crumble, bilateral trade will become the central organizing principle of the new order. China will be the center hub of this global community. New international institutions will be founded; existing ones will be altered. All will give China a central role in global governance. None of these institutions will honor dangerous concepts like “human rights” or “universal values.” In light of Chinese wealth and power, the human community will view liberal institutions as the parochial tradition of a few Western nations, not as the default model for development. At this point, as one Xinhua backgrounder explains, humanity will finally enjoy an “open, inclusive, clean, and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity” (Xinhua 2018).

See also: ADVANCING TOWARDS THE CENTER OF THE WORLD STAGE; HEGEMONISM

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 (Stalin 1939, 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 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. (Office of the Central National Security Commission 2022).

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

Leadership Core
领导核心

In Leninist political systems the authority of a party leader does not always align with his formal position in a communist party's hierarchy. Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping exercised immense power despite retiring from all official leadership positions; in contrast, the authority of men like Zhao Ziyang and Hu Jintao was tightly circumscribed despite their selection as General Secretary. The concept of the “leadership core” provides one way for party members to recognize the exceptional standing of a paramount leader without reference to his formal position in the Party. Under this schema, a leader of unusual historical significance will be labeled the “core” [核心] of his leadership cohort.

Xi Jinping is the acknowledged core of the Party today. He was not always honored with this title: it was not until the 6th PLENUM of the 18th CENTRAL COMMITTEE—some four years into Xi’s tenure as formal leader of the Communist Party of China—that state media described Xi Jinping as the core leader of his era.

A speech given by Xi Jinping in early 2013 provides a typical example of the way this title is employed in communist rhetoric. In a ceremony commemorating Hu Jintao’s leadership of the Party, Xi Jinping told the representatives at the People’s Congress that 

Under the leadership of the Party’s first generation of collective leadership with Comrade Mao Zedong as the core, the Party’s second generation of collective leadership with Comrade Deng Xiaoping as the core, the Party’s third generation of collective leadership with Comrade Jiang Zemin as the core, and the Party’s Central Committee with Comrade Hu Jintao as the General Secretary, people of all ethnic groups in the country have worked together, persevered, and overcome various difficulties and obstacles on the path of progress. (Xi 2013)

As this passage makes clear, not all leaders deserve “core” status. The modest achievements and limited power of Hu Jintao vis a vis other leading party members of his era denies Hu this honor. Hu’s historical role only merits the mention of his formal party title, that of “General Secretary.”  

The origins of the “core” designation are found in the early years of the Deng era. Mao was never referred to as the “core” of a collective leadership cohort during his tenure. He preferred titles—such as the “People’s Leader” [人民领袖]—that elevated him far above other members of the revolutionary generation, and which justified the concentration of power in his own hands. For Deng Xiaoping, this was one of the central errors of the late Mao era. As with many other leading cadres, Deng attributed his suffering during the Cultural Revolution to Mao’s incontestable authority. These men hoped that “collective leadership” [集体领导] might preserve the Party from similar disasters in the future. “The overconcentration of power,” Deng said in 1980, “hinders the practice of socialist democracy and of the Party’s democratic centralism, impedes the progress of socialist construction and prevents us from taking full advantage of collective wisdom” (Deng 1980). 

Formalizing mechanisms for collective leadership and instituting “intra-party democracy” [党内民主] was thus a key priority of Deng’s early reform agenda. The 12th Party Congress of 1982 abolished the post of Chairman of the Central Committee, a position that many deemed too powerful. Instead the Party would be formally led by a General Secretary with a ten-year term limit.  Other reforms intended to constrain and distribute political power across the Party included new mandatory retirement ages, the regular holding of party congresses, and the staggered filling of the POLITBURO seats every five years.

Yet Deng’s attempt to institutionalize the CPC power structure was fatally undermined by his own style of leadership. In the 1980s Deng twice identified potential successors and elevated them to the position of General Secretary. Despite their formal authority, the actual power of these chosen heirs was limited. Anytime a contentious issue divided the Party, Deng’s intervention was necessary for a solution to be implemented. On two occasions this solution included the removal of an uncooperative General Secretary from office. Events like these repeatedly offered Deng Xiaoping a choice between procedural integrity and political victory. Deng consistently chose the latter. Aligning policy and personnel with his own preferences behind the scenes weakened the formal institutions, procedures, and norms he hoped would eventually govern the Party in his place. 

It was in this context that the concept of the leadership core was introduced to the Party. Deng Xiaoping neither possessed nor aspired to absolute power: his influence flowed from his indispensability. Loyalty to Deng was the one nexus point holding the various factions of the Party together. Thus Deng concluded that “for the second generation of leaders, I can be considered the core, but the group is still a collective” (Deng 1989a).

In 1989, Deng began working to pass this status on to a new successor. Four days before the denouement of the Tiananmen demonstrations, Deng negotiated with Chen Yun and other party elders of his generation to choose the new General Secretary of the Communist Party of China. Jiang Zemin was their choice. Soon after, Deng further argued that Jiang must be treated as the future “core” of the party’s collective leadership. “A collective leadership must have a core; without a core, no leadership can be strong enough,” said Deng.

The core of our first generation of collective leadership was Chairman Mao. Because of that core, the “cultural revolution” did not bring the Communist Party down. Actually, I am the core of the second generation. Because of this core, even though we changed two of our leaders, the Party’s exercise of leadership was not affected but always remained stable. The third generation of collective leadership must have a core too; all you comrades present here should be keenly aware of that necessity and act accordingly. You should make an effort to maintain the core — Comrade Jiang Zemin, as you have agreed. From the very first day it starts to work, the new Standing Committee should make a point of establishing and maintaining this collective leadership and its core (Deng 1989b). 

Though Jiang Zemin would govern under the shadow of Deng Xiaoping for another five years, the slow passing of the revolutionary generation gave Jiang the opportunity to fill critical party positions with his own people. Jiang’s consolidation of power proved enduring. By the time Jiang’s successor, Hu Jintao, rose to the position of CPC General Secretary in November 2002, both the POLITBURO and the CENTRAL COMMITTEE were stocked with Jiang’s men. Jiang himself would stay on as Chairman of the Central Military Commission for several years into Hu’s term. No one was under the illusion that Hu Jintao was the “core” of anything. Instead, his role in the collective leadership was usually described with the phrase “the Party CENTER with Comrade Hu Jintao as General Secretary” [以胡锦涛同志为总书记的党中央]. 

Xi Jinping successfully centralized power in a fashion Hu Jintao never managed. Through bureaucratic restructuring and a colossal anti-corruption drive that removed hundreds of thousands of Party members from the rolls, Xi remade the Communist Party in his own image. He used this power to rollback Deng era norms of collective leadership. Just one year after Xi obtained official recognition as the “core,” the Party abolished the term limit of the General Secretary. At the conclusion of the Party Congress where this occurred, Cai Qi–a Xi loyalist who would soon be elevated to the PBSC–referred to Xi Jinping as the Leader, or lingxiu [领袖], of the Party. Up to this point this grandiose title had only ever been applied to Mao Zedong and his designated successor, Hua Guofeng. Cai maintained that:

In the past five years, historic changes have taken place in the cause of the Party and the state, all of which stem from the fact that General Secretary Xi Jinping, the strong leadership core, is the helmsman [掌舵] of the whole Party. General Secretary Xi Jinping is worthy of being a wise leader [英明领袖], the chief architect of reform, opening up and modernization in the New Era, and the core of this generation of the Party. At all times and in all circumstances, we must resolutely safeguard the authority and centralized and unified leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as its core. (Cai 2017).   

Thus the valence of the term “core” has shifted as the norms of the Deng era have eroded away. If in the Reform era the “core” designation signaled a break from the Maoist past, associating Deng’s pre-eminence with the more restrained language of intra-party democracy, in Xi’s NEW ERA the phrase is deployed in the same breath as titles once reserved for Mao himself, such as “helmsman” and "Leader.” Three decades after its introduction the concept of the leadership core lives on. The associated ideals of collective leadership do not. 

New Development Concept
新发展理念

Xi Jinping introduced the New Development Concept, alternatively translated as the New Development Philosophy, to guide China’s development strategy in an age of declining growth rates. Presented shortly before the Thirteenth Five Year Plan in 2015, the express aim of the New Development Concept is to reorient Chinese economic planning away from narrow GDP growth targets and towards what Xi Jinping calls “high quality development” [高质量发展].  From a macroeconomic perspective, the New Development Concept aims to boost China’s economic growth on the long run by addressing the structural challenges inherent in China’s development model; from a social perspective, it aims to temper popular discontent with pollution, inequality, and other negative byproducts of growth pursued at all costs; and from a geopolitical perspective, it aims to transform China into the global leader in science and technology, paving China’s ADVANCE TOWARDS THE CENTER OF THE WORLD STAGE.

The roots of the problem set tackled by the New Development Concept stretch back to the early Reform Era. Shortly after the death of Mao Zedong many party leaders concluded that economic growth was the key to restoring China’s national strength, the Party’s international standing, and the loyalty of the Chinese people. After more than a decade of experimentation proved the value of this logic, General Secretary Jiang Zemin would codify it as the Party’s “basic line” during the “INITIAL STAGE OF SOCIALISM,” declaring in his 1997 Political Report to the 15th National Congress that “We have no choice but to make economic construction the central task of the entire Party and the whole country. All other work is subordinated to and serves this task.... The key to the solution of all of China's problems lies in our own development” (Jiang 1997). For two generations the entire machinery of the Chinese party-state served the demands of this mantra. 

The results of the Party’s unfaltering pursuit of development were extraordinary: the living standard of the average Chinese person increased by twenty-six times in real terms during the four decades between 1978 and 2018, while China’s share of the global economy climbed from 2 percent to 16 percent over the same period (Yao 2020). The main drivers of the fantastic growth of this era were government investment in fixed capital assets and strong foreign demand for cheap Chinese goods. This meant that despite its undeniable achievements, the growth model of the Reform Era came with a prepackaged expiration date. Chinese economists long predicted that climbing Chinese wages would eventually price China out of many export markets. They also understood that there are limits to the number of roads, sewers, skyscrapers, and railways any country—even a country as large as China—can build before additional capital investments provide diminishing returns. It was only a matter of time before China would be forced to either adopt a new growth model or accept economic stagnation.

The Great Recession marked this transition point: the financial crisis lowered global demand for Chinese goods, forcing the Chinese state to power through the emergency with a massive stimulus spending spree. This spending package saved China from recession at the cost of stagnating returns on capital investments and a sharp accumulation of debt on local government balance sheets. To make matters worse, a shrinking surplus labor pool pushed up production costs in China, making Chinese goods less competitive in the global market just as global demand began to recover. Henceforth the Chinese economy would require new sources of growth if China was to attain the long-term development goals that party leaders had set for it.

The CENTER understood these problems well. In 2013, Xi cataloged a series of problems facing China’s development in the Third PLENUM of the 18th CENTRAL COMMITTEE

Unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable development remains a big problem. We are weak in scientific and technological innovation. The industrial structure is unbalanced and the growth mode remains inefficient. The development gap between urban and rural areas and between regions is still large, and so are income disparities (Xi 2014, p. 78).

The key to surmounting these challenges, Xi maintained, was widespread recognition that the Chinese economy had entered a “new normal” [新常态]. The halcyon days where Chinese economic planners could rely on high-speed growth were over; medium-high speed growth must be the new norm. This would require China to adjust its economic strategy. At the Central Conference on Economic Work in 2014, Xi warned cadres that in this new environment “economic restructuring will be painful but is unavoidable.” He assured cadres that restructuring would mark the beginning of a what he called a New Development Stage [新发展阶段] where China would transition to “to a [development] model that is more advanced, better structured, and with a more complicated division of labor” (Xi 2017, p. 255). 

The New Development Concept was introduced to guide development planning in this new stage. Presented in 2015 in tandem with the Thirteenth Five Year Plan, the concept directs cadres to prioritize five qualitative outcomes over quantitative measures of growth: economic development must be innovative [创新], coordinated [协调], green [绿色], open [开放], and shared [共享].  Scientific and technological innovation lay at the center of this new development approach. The New Development Concept presumes that the global economy sits on the cusp of a technological revolution. Whichever nation invents, introduces, and controls these emerging technologies will determine the course of global economic development in the decades to come. However, “inadequate capacity for innovation is [China’s] Achilles’ heel,” Xi remarked during a study session of the Thirteenth Five Year Plan. “Innovation-driven growth has become the pressing demand for China’s development. Therefore, I stress repeatedly that innovation is development; innovation is the future” (Xi 2017, p. 223). In response to this call the PRC rolled out multiple techno-industrial policies—the most famous being “Made in China 2025”— between 2015 and 2017. All attempted to push the industrial foundations of the Chinese economy up the global value chain.  

Parallel to this push towards the technological frontier was a drive to cut away unproductive parts of the existing industrial base. The stimulus package that powered China through the Great Recession also saddled the Chinese economy with wasteful overcapacity in state-run industries like steel and coal. Reforming the Chinese growth model meant taking the axe to these industries—and stomaching the costs of a short-term GDP slowdown to do so. The Center signaled its willingness to stomach those costs in a 2016 series of People’s Daily articles penned by an “authoritative personage” (rumored to be Liu He, then head of the highest economic policymaking body, the Central Economic and Financial Leading Group) outlining the “supply side reforms” [供给侧改革] required by the New Development Concept. 

In reference to the growing debts incurred by local governments and state owned enterprises, the People’s Daily wrote that “a tree cannot grow to the sky; high leverage carries high risks.” The old growth playbook no longer worked: “economic stabilization relies on the old method, which is investment-driven, and fiscal pressure in some areas has added to possibilities of economic risks” (Wright 2023). To reduce these risks the State Council passed a series of measures for supply-side structural reform. The primary target of these reforms were so-called “zombie enterprises,” state-owned enterprises that were not generating enough profits. Parallel measures sought to reduce financial risks posed by a poorly regulated banking sector and crackdown on industries responsible for large-scale industrial pollution.

Up until 2018 or so, the New Development Concept could be understood primarily in these terms. The concept would guide China towards a growth model driven less by state investment in infrastructure and more by domestic demand for Chinese goods. It would do this through an industrial policy tailored to support Chinese firms working on the technological frontier while slowly diminishing the role that unproductive sectors of the economy, which relied on lax regulation or expensive state subsidies to survive, played in China’s future development. However, under the pressure of a grueling trade war, the threat of foreign export controls, and a global pandemic, both the stated aims and means of the New Development Concept began to shift. Party leaders began framing the New Development Concept in terms of China’s “economic security” [经济安全]. Security concepts previously associated with the TOTAL NATIONAL SECURITY PARADIGM began to be deployed alongside those associated with the New Development Concept. The Central Committee officially endorsed this marriage of Chinese economic and security strategy in the 5th plenum of the 19th Party Congress. The plenum readout declared that “the integrated planning of development and security” [统筹发展和安全] should henceforth be recognized as a core tenet of development planning (Central Committee 2021). Today it is common for party leaders to not only call for innovative, coordinated, green, open, and shared development, but “secure” development as well.

Now the stated aim of the New Development Concept is to guide the Chinese economy towards what Xi Jinping has dubbed a NEW DEVELOPMENT PATTERN. This is a schema of self-sufficiency: if successful, the Party leadership will rely on domestic consumers to power the Chinese economy and on a homegrown scientific-industrial complex to power China’s technological advance. This will prevent Chinese development from being held hostage by HOSTILE FORCES. These goals are not too far afield from the original aims of the New Development Concept—what has changed is less the ultimate aims of Xi’s development program than the urgency with which the Party must pursue it. What was once a strategy for making China wealthier, more equal, and less polluted is now described to cadres as a strategy that will “decide our state’s capacity for survival” (Office of the Central National Security Commission 2022). 

See also: ADVANCING TOWARDS THE CENTER OF THE WORLD STAGE; GREAT REJUVENATION OF THE CHINESE NATION; INITIAL STAGE OF SOCIALISM; NEW DEVELOPMENT PATTERN; SOCIALISM WITH CHINESE CHARACTERISTICS; TOTAL NATIONAL SECURITY PARADIGM;

统筹发展和安全 筑牢国家安全屏障(深入学贯彻习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想)

习近平总书记在中央政治局第二十六次集体学习时强调,做好新时代国家安全工作,要坚持总体国家安全观,抓住和用好我国发展的重要战略机遇期,把国家安全贯穿到党和国家工作各方面全过程,同经济社会发展一起谋划、一起部署。习近平总书记就贯彻总体国家安全观提出10点要求,其中一点就是坚持统筹发展和安全。

这是继党的十九届五中全会把统筹发展和安全纳入“十四五”时期我国经济社会发展指导思想之后,以习近平同志为核心的党中央对统筹发展和安全再次作出重要部署。我们要深入学习领会习近平总书记关于统筹发展和安全的重要论述,推动相关重要战略部署落实落地,有效防范化解各类风险挑战,筑牢国家安全屏障,确保社会主义现代化事业顺利推进。

统筹发展和安全具有重大理论和现实意义

以习近平同志为核心的党中央高度重视统筹发展和安全。统筹发展和安全是对历史上大国兴衰经验的深刻总结,是对新中国成立70多年来推进社会主义现代化建设经验的深刻总结,是对发展和安全辩证统一关系的深刻认识和把握,是着眼于在不稳定不确定发展环境中更好推进中华民族伟大复兴的重要战略部署,具有深刻理论逻辑、历史逻辑和重大现实意。

贯彻总体国家安全观的重要要求。2014年,习近平总书记创造性地提出总体国家安全观。坚持总体国家安全观是习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想的重要组成部分,是新时代坚持和发展中国特色社会主义的基本方略之一。6年多来,我们在维护国家安全、防范风险挑战方面的一系列成功实践,充分彰显了总体国家安全观的理论力量和实践品格。统筹发展和安全,是贯彻总体国家安全观的重要要求。

习近平总书记强调,安全是发展的前提,发展是安全的保障,进一步阐明了两者的辩证统一关系。发展是我们党执政兴国的第一要务,是解决中国一切问题的关键。没有经济社会发展,就不可能实现国家长治久安、社会安定有序、人民安居乐业。国家安全是国家生存发展的基本前提,是安邦定国的重要基石。没有国家安全,就不可能实现经济社会可持续发展,已经取得的成果也会失去。事实证明,发展和安全相辅相成、不可偏废,统一于坚持和发展中国特色社会主义的伟大实践。

对历史经验的深刻总结。历史反复证明,能否统筹好发展和安全,关系国家兴衰、历史走向。纵览中国历代政治得失,封建王朝的衰亡大多与发展和安全摆布失据有关。纵览世界大国兴衰历史,大国兴起时,往往能够较好地统筹发展和安全,而衰落则与没有统筹好发展和安全密切相关。没有发展作为支撑的安全,必然难以长久;没有安全作为保障的发展,必然不可持续。发展和安全合则兴、离则弱、悖则亡,这是历史留给我们的深刻启示。

实现中华民族伟大复兴的必然要求。新中国成立后,我们党对发展和安全高度重视,始终把维护国家安全工作紧紧抓在手上,在不同历史时期对统筹发展和安全作出正确战略决策,中华民族迎来了从站起来、富起来到强起来的伟大飞跃。

新中国成立之初,国内形势与国际环境错综复杂。我们党以“打得一拳开,免得百拳来”的气魄作出抗美援朝、保家卫国的历史性决策,粉碎了侵略者将新中国扼杀在摇篮中的图谋。改革开放以来,我们党作出和平与发展是时代主题的科学判断,积极营造良好发展环境,抓住机遇加快发展,经济社会发展取得巨大成就。党的十八大以来,以习近平同志为核心的党中央加强对国家安全工作的集中统一领导,从全局和战略高度对国家安全作出一系列重大决策部署,强化国家安全工作顶层设计,完善各重要领域国家安全政策,健全国家安全法律法规,有效应对了一系列重大风险挑战,保持了我国国家安全大局稳定。

当今世界正经历百年未有之大变局,我国正处于实现中华民族伟大复兴的关键时期。和平与发展仍是当今时代主题,但不稳定不确定因素增多,我们面临的风险挑战愈加复杂。这些风险挑战是我国由大向强发展进程中无法回避的,是实现中华民族伟大复兴绕不过的门槛。我们要认清我国发展所处的历史方位、国家安全面临的形势任务,更好统筹发展和安全各项工作。

牢牢掌握国家安全工作主动权

统筹发展和安全,既是重大理论问题,也是重要实践要求。要坚持总体国家安全观,维护和塑造国家安全,统筹传统安全和非传统安全,把国家安全贯穿到党和国家工作各领域全过程,防范和化解影响我国现代化进程的各种风险。

在发展中保安全、在安全中促发展。发展和安全,犹如车之两轮、鸟之两翼,任何一方面有明显短板,都会影响中华民族伟大复兴进程。在全面建设社会主义现代化国家新征程上统筹发展和安全,既要求通过发展提升国家安全实力,又要求深入推进国家安全思路、体制、手段创新,营造有利于经济社会发展的安全环境,在发展中更多考虑安全因素,努力形成在发展中保安全、在安全中促发展的格局,实现更高质量、更有效率、更加公平、更可持续、更为安全的发展。

我们要贯彻落实习近平总书记关于统筹发展和安全的重要论述,加强战略性、系统性、前瞻性研究谋划,深入思考今后一个时期我国经济社会发展存在哪些重大风险,深入思考防范化解重大安全风险的思路举措,深入思考如何把国家安全工作融入国家发展各领域全过程,牢牢掌握国家安全工作主动权。

维护和塑造国家安全。维护国家安全和塑造国家安全是统一的,塑造是更高层次、更具前瞻性的维护。随着我国日益走近世界舞台中央,我们要在变局中把握规律、在乱局中趋利避害、在斗争中争取主动,切实维护我国主权、安全、发展利益。

塑造国家安全,不是要走国强必霸之路,而是坚定不移走和平发展道路,目的是为了实现中华民族伟大复兴;不是对现有国际秩序推倒重来、另起炉灶,而是在维护以联合国宪章宗旨和原则为核心的国际秩序基础上,与世界各国一起与时俱进完善全球治理体制机制;不是要零和博弈,而是要合作共赢、互惠互利,坚持多边主义和国际关系民主化,推动构建人类命运共同体。

任何国家都没有包揽国际事务、主宰他国命运、垄断发展优势的权力,更不能在世界上搞霸权、霸凌、霸道。面对前进道路上的各种风险挑战,我们将以坚强决心、坚定意志、坚实国力为依托,统筹运用维护国家安全和塑造国家安全“两手”,不断增强塑造国家安全态势的能力。

统筹传统安全和非传统安全。当前,我国国家安全的内涵和外延比历史上任何时候都要丰富,时空领域比历史上任何时候都要宽广,内外因素比历史上任何时候都要复杂。总的看,政治、国土、军事安全仍然是国家安全的重中之重,任何时候都必须抓住不放。同时,在中国这样一个快速发展的国家,我们面临的非传统安全威胁越来越多,需要统筹兼顾、综合施策。

突如其来的新冠肺炎疫情,是对我国应对非传统安全威胁能力的一次考验。在以习近平同志为核心的党中央坚强领导下,我们取得抗击新冠肺炎疫情斗争重大战略成果。当前和今后一个时期是我国各类矛盾和风险易发期,各种可以预见和难以预见的风险因素明显增多。党的十九届五中全会对应对经济、金融、网络、粮食、能源、生态、核、生物、海外利益等安全问题作出全面部署。我们要认真贯彻落实这些重要部署,深入掌握各类危害国家安全的新行为新动向,积极推进非传统安全领域国家安全立法,加强风险预警、防控机制和能力建设,全面应对各领域安全风险和挑战。

汇聚维护国家安全的强大合力

维护好国家安全,是全党全社会的共同责任。我们要以习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想特别是总体国家安全观为指导,充分发挥中国共产党领导的政治优势和中国特色社会主义的制度优势,汇聚起维护国家安全的强大合力。

坚持党对国家安全工作的绝对领导。“十三五”时期,党和国家走过了一段极不平凡的历程。以习近平同志为核心的党中央科学研判时与势,辩证把握机与危,坚持统筹发展和安全,打赢了一场又一场硬仗,抵御了一个又一个风险,不断取得新胜利。实践充分证明,办好中国的事情关键在党。新征程上,我们要办好发展安全两件大事,谱写经济快速发展、社会长期稳定“两大奇迹”新篇章,最根本的是要坚持党对发展和安全工作的全面领导,增强“四个意识”、坚定“四个自信”、做到“两个维护”。有以习近平同志为核心的党中央领航掌舵,有习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想的科学指引,我们一定能够战胜各种风险挑战,将中国特色社会主义事业不断推向前进。

推进国家安全体系和能力现代化。党的十九届五中全会对“加强国家安全体系和能力建设”作出战略部署,为构建现代化国家安全体系和能力指明了方向。下一阶段,我们要进一步强化党对国家安全工作的领导,完善集中统一、高效权威的国家安全领导体制,健全国家安全法治体系、战略体系、政策体系、人才体系和运行机制,完善重要领域国家安全立法、制度、政策,健全国家安全审查和监管制度,加强国家安全执法,推动国家安全体系和能力同国家现代化进程相适应。

落实国家安全责任。坚持全国一盘棋,调动各方面积极性,集中力量办大事,是中国特色社会主义制度的显著优势之一,也是维护国家安全的重要基础。国家安全风险来自各个方面,化解风险要充分调动各方面积极性,打造人人有责、人人尽责的工作新局面。严格落实《党委(党组)国家安全责任制规定》,形成一级抓一级、层层抓落实的工作格局,确保党中央关于国家安全工作的决策部署落到实处。加强国家安全宣传教育,教育引导广大人民群众增强国家安全意识,巩固国家安全人民防线。

发挥专门机关作用。贯彻落实总体国家安全观,护航中华民族伟大复兴,是国家安全机关的重大政治责任。面对前进道路上的风险考验甚至惊涛骇浪,国家安全机关既要有敢于斗争的勇气,更要有善于斗争的本领。我们要充分发挥专门机关作用,依法防范、制止、打击危害我国国家安全的各类违法犯罪活动,加强国家安全干部队伍建设,打造坚不可摧的国家安全干部队伍,筑牢国家安全屏障。

Integrate Development and Security, Consolidate a Protective Barrier Around the State: A Deep Study in Implementing Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era

General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized during the 26th Collective Study Session1 of the Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party’s that we must properly conduct national security work for a new era; persist in our Total National Security Paradigm; seize and utilize China’s period of strategic opportunity; weave national security into all aspect of the entire work process of the Party and state; and plan and carry out [national security] alongside economic and social development. General Secretary Xi Jinping introduced ten requirements to implement this Total National Security Paradigm, one of which is to persist in integrating national security and development.2 This was [an important reiteration of] the decision of the Party’s Fifth Plenary Session of the Nineteenth Central Committee to incorporate the integration of national security and development into the guiding thought of China’s economic and social development in the 14th Five Year Plan.3

Those strategic deployments, the integration of security and development, have [now] been made again by the Party Center with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core. We should thoroughly study and understand General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important discourses on integrating national security and development; promote the implementation of vital strategic deployments related to national security; effectively be on guard to solve various risks and challenges; consolidate the protective barrier around the nation; and guarantee the steady forward drive towards the modernization of socialism.4

The Integration of Development and National Security Holds Theoretical and Practical Significance

The Party Center with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has placed great importance on the integration of national security and development. The integration of national security and development is a profound conclusion drawn from the history of the rise and fall of great powers. It is a profound lesson drawn from the experience of promoting socialist modernization for seventy years since the founding of the People’s Republic of China [1949]. It is a profound awareness and understanding of the dialectically unified relationship between development and national security. It is a vital strategic deployment for the Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation in an unstable and uncertain development environment. The integration of national security and development has profound and theoretical logic, historical logic, and great practical significance.

This is an important requirement for the implementation of the Total National Security Paradigm, which General Secretary Xi Jinping creatively put forward in 2014. Preserving the Total National Security Paradigm is an important component to Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, as well as one of the fundamental comprehensive strategies in preserving and developing Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in the New Era. For over six years, we have maintained our national security, [pioneered] a series of successful risk-prevention practices, and drawn ample attention to the theoretical force and practical quality of the Total National Security Paradigm. The integration of development and national security is required for carrying out the Total National Security Paradigm

General Secretary Xi Jinping has further stressed the dialectical unified relationship between these two components, emphasizing that development is premised on security, and that security is guaranteed by development. Development is the top priority for our party to governing and rejuvenating the state and the key to solving all of China’s problems.5 Without social and economic development, we cannot realize the nation’s long-term peace and stability–where society is peaceful and orderly and the people are able to live and work in peace. National security is the fundamental prerequisite for development’s existence, the vital cornerstone for bringing peace and stability to the nation. Without national security, we cannot realize sustainable economic and social development, and the fruits for which we have labored would be lost. It is an evident reality that development and security complement one another, that one cannot be prioritized at the expense of the other, and whose unification upholds and develops the great praxis of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics.

This integration is the profound culmination of historical experience. History has repeatedly proven that the ability to integrate development and security affects the rise and fall of nations as well as the course of history [itself]. Survey the political gains and losses of China’s historical dynasties: the decline and fall of feudal dynasties is primarily related to [their] inability to maintain control of their development and security. Survey the history of the rise and fall of great powers: When a great power rises, it is usually because it properly integrated development and security. Conversely, a state’s inability to properly integrate security and development is inextricably tied to its fall. If development does not uphold security, then the state will not last long. If security cannot guarantee development, then the state cannot sustain itself. Their combination leads to flourishing. Their separation leads to weakness. Their contradiction leads to death. Such is the profound revelation that history has left for us.

[This integration] is the indispensable requirement for the Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation. Since the founding of the New China, we have placed high importance on [both] development and security. We have always firmly taken in hand the maintenance of national security; have made correct strategic policies towards integrating development and security in different points in history. [We have witnessed] the awesome leap of the Chinese nation from standing up, to becoming wealthy, and [now] to becoming strong.6

At the advent of New China, the domestic situation and international environment were complex and entangled. We made the historical decision to support Korea and defend the nation against the United States7 with the daring “offense is the best defense” approach,8 crushing the invaders' plot to destroy China in its crib. Since Reform and Opening, our party has made the scientific determination that peace and development are the key themes of the times, actively constructing a favorable environment for development, seizing opportunities for accelerated development and making great achievements in economic and social development. Since the Eighteenth National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party,9 the Party Center with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has strengthened the centralized and unified leadership in the work in national security; has made a series of vital policy deployments on national security with an eye on the overall situation and strategy; strengthened top-level plans in national security; improved national security policy in a plethora of important sectors; amplified laws and regulations in national security;10 effectively faced a series of great risks and challenges; and preserved our state’s total national security.

At present, the world is experiencing great changes unseen in a century and our state is currently in the midst of the crucial period for realizing the Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation. Peace and development are still the key themes of the times, but as more unstable and uncertain factors arise the risks and challenges we face become more complex. These risks and challenges are unavoidable in the course of our robust development. [Facing them] is the sole passageway to the Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation. We must have a clear understanding of the historical bearing of China’s development and the circumstances and tasks we face in national security in order to better integrate development and security on all fronts.

Firmly Grasp the Initiative to Lead in National Security Work

The integration of development and security is both a theoretical question and an important requirement of praxis. We must persist in our Total National Security Paradigm, maintain and sculpt national security,11 integrate traditional and non-traditional security, weave national security into all aspects of the entire work process of the Party and state, and be on guard against and resolve various risks that affect the course of China’s modernization.

We must ensure security within development, and ensure development within security. Development and security are like the two wheels of a cart or the two wings of a bird. Any shortcomings whatsoever could affect the course of the Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation. This new national journey integrating development and security to comprehensively construct modern socialism not only requires increasing the strength of national security through development, but also requires comprehensively promoting innovations in the institutions, methods, and patterns of thought of national security; creating a security environment that is beneficial towards economic and social development; [while engaged] in development, giving more consideration to security factors; assiduously ensuring security through development and development through security; and realizing development that is of better quality, is more efficient, more equal, more sustainable, and more secure.12

We must conclusively carry out General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important directives on integrating development and security. We must strengthen strategic, systematic, and forward looking research plans. We must deeply reflect on a time in the future where our state’s social and economic development will face great risks. We must deeply reflect on the patterns of thought and measures needed to guard against and resolve these great security risks. We must deeply reflect on the process for incorporating security work into various sectors of national development. And we must firmly grasp the initiative [needed] to lead in national security work.

We must safeguard and sculpt national security. Safeguarding and sculpting national security should be viewed as one. Sculpting [national security should be viewed as] safeguarding at a higher level and in a more forward looking way. As China advances towards the center of the world stage day by day, we must assure discipline in the midst of changing circumstances, avoid harm in chaotic circumstances, take the initiative in the midst of struggle, and earnestly safeguard China’s sovereignty, security, and its expanding interests.

Sculpting national security does not mean that we would follow the path [described by the phrase] “all strong countries inevitably become hegemons.”13 Instead, it means that we must unwaveringly walk the path of “peaceful development.” The goal [of sculpting national security] is to realize the Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation. It is not about overthrowing the existing international order to start a new one, but improving global governance systems and mechanisms on the basis of the international order with the UN Charter at its core, by collaborating with countries across the world and advancing with the demands of the times. This is not a zero-sum game, but a mutually beneficial form of win-win cooperation. It upholds multilateralism and democratization in international relations and promotes and establishes a community of common destiny for all mankind.

No nation has the right to unilaterally undertake every international matter, dictate the destiny of other nations, or monopolize development advantages; nor can they engage in hegemonic, bullying, or despotic behavior.14 By means of our staunch determination, resolute will, and substantial national power, we shall face the myriad challenges on the road ahead, integrate the two tools of defending national security and sculpting national security, ceaselessly sculpting of the conditions of [our] national security.

We must integrate traditional security and non-traditional security. Currently, the extension and intension of our state’s national security is richer,15 its temporal and spatial domains are broader, and its internal and external factors are more complex than at any other point in history. In general, the most important aspects are still political, territorial, and military security, which can never be neglected at any time. At the same time, in a country as quickly developing as China, the non-traditional threats to our national security are increasing, which means we need to integrate and take into equal consideration [different threats] and synthesize our policies.

The unanticipated outbreak of COVID-19 was a test of our state’s capacity to overcome a non-traditional security threat. Under the staunch leadership of the Party Center with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, we made vital strategic achievements in our struggle against the outbreak of COVID-19. At the current moment and into the future, there are risk-and-contradiction prone periods facing China where easily foreseeable and unforeseeable risk factors are clearly increasing. The Party in its Fifth Plenary Session of the Nineteenth Central Committee made comprehensive arrangements for security problems in economics, banking, the internet, foodstuffs, energy and nuclear energy, ecology, biology, overseas interests, and the like.16 We shall carry out these plans of action in earnest; deeply understand new trends that threaten national security; actively promote non-traditional security factors within national security legislation; strengthen risk warnings, prevention and control measures, and capacity construction; and comprehensively deal with various security risks and challenges.

Bringing Together and Maintaining the Strong Cooperation in National Security

Properly safeguarding national security is the collective responsibility of [both] the Party and greater society. We must use Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, especially the Total National Security Paradigm, to comprehensively develop the political advantages of leadership by the Communist Party of China and the institutional advantages of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics; and in bringing together and maintaining the strong cooperation in national security.

We must preserve the absolute leadership of the Party in national security work. During the 13th Five Year Plan,17 the Party and the nation experienced an extraordinary  journey. The Center with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core made scientific determinations of the timing and trajectory [of events], dialectically assessed risks and opportunities, preserved the integration of development and security, won one hard-fought battle after another, and weathered one risk after another to gain repeated victory. Praxis has sufficiently proven that the Party is the key to handling China’s affairs.18 On this new course, we will handle the important matters of development and security expeditiously, formulate new articles on the “two miracles” of fast economic growth and long-term societal stability, the most fundamental being the Party’s comprehensive leadership in the work on development and security, strengthening the “the four consciousnesses,”19 preserving the “the four matters of confidence,”20 and performing “the two upholds.”21

We must promote modernization of national security systems and capacities. The Party’s Fifth Plenary Session of the Nineteenth Central Committee has made strategic deployments in “strengthening the construction of national security systems and capacities” in order to set the clear direction of their modernization.22 In the next stage, we shall further strengthen the Party’s leadership in national security work, improving the centralization, unity, and effective authority of these leading institutions. We will amplify the systems in national security laws, strategy, policy, and in the operating mechanisms for human resources. We shall improve important areas in national security legislation, institutions, and policies. We shall amplify investigative and supervisory institutions in national security, strengthen enforcement of national security, and promote adjustments for national security systems and capacities alongside national modernization.

We must carry out national security duties. Uphold one of the clear institutional advantages of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, which is also a vital foundation for safeguarding national security: the [ability to] coordinate all the activities of the state like pieces on a board game, to encourage initiative on all fronts, and to centralize our strength when handling great matters. Risks to national security come from many fronts, and neutralizing those risks requires us to encourage seizing the initiative on all fronts. [This requires] developing a new work dynamic where everyone shares responsibility and everyone is working dutifully. We must strictly carry out the “Regulations for National Security Responsibilities” in each party organization of the committee,23 form work patterns for grasping and implementing that work level by level, and ensure the Central Party’s policies and deployments in national security are implemented properly. We must strengthen propaganda and education on national security, strengthen education that leads to expanding the people’s awareness of national security, and consolidate a line of defense among the people24 in national security.

We must develop the use of specialized institutions. Carrying out the Total National Security Paradigm to the utmost and escorting the Chinese Nation through their Great Rejuvenation are vital political responsibilities of these national security organs. In the face of the myriad of perilous challenges and turbulent billows on the path ahead, the national security organs should [not only] dare to fight, but also be able to fight well.25 We shall sufficiently develop the use of professional mechanisms. We must give full play to the role of specialized institutions to prevent, curb, and combat all illegal and criminal activities that threaten our national security in accordance with the law. We shall strengthen the construction of national security cadres, build an impregnable contingent of national security cadres, and consolidate a protective barrier around the nation.

1. Collective Study Sessions [中央政治局集体学习] are a special type of Politburo meeting that are generally scheduled just after normal Politburo meetings. In these study sessions, outside scholars or government experts lecture on a topic assigned by the General Secretary. For more information on these sessions see the glossary entry POLITBURO.
The 26th Collective Study Session of the Politburo was held in December 2020 to discuss and study the framework for the Fourteenth Five-Year-Plan that was formulated during the Fifth Plenum of the Central Committee earlier that year.
2. The other nine points included: 1. Uphold the Party center’s absolute leadership over national security work. 2. Follow the Total National Security Paradigm with Chinese characteristics. 3. Take the people’s security as the central purpose of national security work. 4. Place political security in the predominant position. 5. Respond to both traditional and non-traditional security challenges. 6. Highlight the prevention and management of risk in order to nip security problems in the bud. 7. Promote global security for all. 8. Modernize China’s national security systems. 9. Strengthen the national security teams in the field.

See Xi Jinping, “Pursue a Holistic Approach to National Security,” in The Governance of China, volume IV (Beijing: Foreign Language Press, 2022), 453-457.
3. Held in October 2020, the 5th plenum of the 19th Central Committee promulgated the Proposal on Formulating the Fourteenth Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development and the Visionary Goals for 2035. See “Zhōnggòng zhōngyāng guānyú zhìdìng guómín jīngjì hé shèhuì fāzhǎn dì shísì gè wǔ nián guīhuà hé èr líng sānwǔ nián yuǎnjǐng mùbiāo dì jiànyì 中共中央关于制定国民经济和社会发展第十四个五年规划和二〇三五年远景目标的建议 [Proposal on Formulating the Fourteenth Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development and the Visionary Goals for 2035],” Gongchang Dangyuan Wang 共产党员网 [Communist Party Members Online], 29 October 2020.
4. Modernization has been articulated as a major policy goal of the Communist Party of China from the time Zhou Enlai introduced the Four Modernizations in 1963. Beginning in 2020 the CPC articulated two more specific development goals that lie at the center of Chinese economic and political planning: the goal to “basically realize socialist modernization” by 2035, and the goal to “build a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious” by 2049.

See Xi Jinping, “Major Points on the Recommendations of the CPC Central Committee for Formulating the 14th Five Year Plan for Economic and Social Development and Long Range Objectives Through the Year 2035,” The Governance of China, vol 4 (Beijing: Foreign Language Press, 2022), 129-136.
5. Chen here repeats a Jiang Zemin era slogan that draws on two statements made by Jiang Zemin in two different political reports. The first is “The key to solving all of China’s problems lies in our own development” [中国解决所有问题的关键在于依靠自己的发展 ] and “In governing and rejuvenating the country it is essential for the Party to give top priority to development” [必须把发展作为党执政兴国的第一要务].   
6. In Party discourse, standing tall, growing rich, and becoming strong are associated with three periods of the CPC’s history, and the three leaders who led the Party in these periods. Mao Zedong led the Party during the foundation of New China, the expulsion of imperial influence from China’s borders, and the repulse of American troops from China’s borders in the Korean war. This was China “standing up.” Deng Xiaoping led China during the initial stages of the Reform and Opening era, a period of time in which China climbed from abject poverty to its current station as the world’s second largest economy. Finally, under Xi Jinping, China’s wealth was translated into greater military power, international influence, and advanced technology. This period–the period in which Chen writes–is thus described as the era when China has become strong. 
7. There are multiple names for “Korea” in Chinese. North Korea is referred to as 朝鮮 Cháoxiǎn (Joeson), the traditional name for a united Korea. Given that the CCP viewed North Korea as the legitimate government of Korea during the Korean War, they used this name to designate the northern government then, and continue to use it in this fashion now. Today South Korea is usually referred to as 韩国 Hánguó, which might be literally translated as “the country of the Korean ethnicity.” Because the partition of Korea was not yet decided when the Korean war began, Cháoxiǎn is here translated as the Mao era leaders would have understood it: as “Korea” instead of “North Korea.”
8. Or more literally,  “throwing one punch to avoid one hundred punches.” The phrase is strongly associated with the Korean War, where it was used to describe Mao’s fear that the United States would use anti-communist forces in Taiwan, Vietnam, Korea, and Tibet to overthrow his new regime unless American leaders were forcefully shown the costs of stoking conflict with China. For the history of this phrase and its modern application in CPC rhetoric, see Shishuo Xingyu 是说新语, “Dǎ dé yī quán kāi, miǎndé bǎi quán lái 打得一拳开,免得百拳来 [Throw one punch to avoid one hundred punches],” Qiushi 求是 [Seeking Truth], 21 Oct 2020.
9. The Eighteenth National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party was held in Beijing from 8 November  to 15 Novemeber 2012. It was the Congress where Xi Jinping was elevated to the station of General Secretary.
10. Important national security legislation passed since the 18th National Congress include the National Security Law (2015), Counter-Terrorism Law (2015), National Defense Transportation Law (2016), National Intelligence Law (2017), Foreign NGO Law (2017), Cyber Security Law (2017), Foreign Investment Law (2020), and the Data Security Law (2021). For a review of this legislation in the context of Xi Jinping’s Total National Security Paradigm, see  Jude Blanchette, “The Edge of an Abyss: Xi Jinping’s Overall National Security Outlook,” China Leadership Monitor, 1 September 2022. 
11. Translated here as “sculpt,” sùzào [塑造] could also be rendered as “to shape” or “to mold.” In ordinary speech this is the verb for fixing something malleable and undefined into a new, concrete form ( as occurs when clay or stone are fashioned into pottery or sculpture). In the context of national security, Chinese theorists use the term “sculpt national security”  in a similar fashion to how American analysts describe “shaping the national security environment.” The idea is to configure the international or domestic operating environment in such a way that security crises do not arise, or if they do, the inherent tendencies of the sculpted environment make these crises easier to resolve in the PRC’s favor. 
12. This catalog of development guidelines was first introduced in the communique of the Fifth Plenum of the 19th Central Committee in October 2020. Following the new formulation, the 20th Party Congress amended the Constitution of the Communist Party of China in 2022 and added “more secure” to “better quality, more efficient, more equal, and more sustainable” as the requirements for China’s development in the new era.  
See “Zhōnggòng zhōngyāng guānyú zhìdìng guómín jīngjì hé shèhuì fāzhǎn dì shísì gè wǔ nián guīhuà hé èr líng sānwǔ nián yuǎnjǐng mùbiāo dì jiànyì 中共中央关于制定国民经济和社会发展第十四个五年规划和二〇三五年远景目标的建议 [Suggestions on the formulation of the 14th five-year plan for national economic and social development and the long-term goals for 2035],” Gongchang Dangyuan Wang 共产党员网 [Communist Party Members Online], 29 October 2020. Xu Jianwen 许建文, “Èrshí dà dǎngzhāng xiūzhèng àn xuéxí wèndá 二十大党章修正案学习问答 [Questions and Answers on the Amendment to the Party Constitution of the 20th National Congress],” 共产党员网 [Communist Party Members Online], 14 December 2022. 
13.  In Chinese, the phrase “hegemony” [霸权] implies predominance maintained through coercive methods. See the CST glossary entry for HEGEMONISM. The phrase “all strong countries automatically become hegemons” works as a shorthand both for Chinese perceptions of realist theories of international relations and the Western European historical experience they are based on. Chinese thinkers often depict the rise of imperial Spain, Britain, and the United States to hegemony as especially violent affairs; by rejecting the belief that “all strong countries become hegemons” Chinese intellectuals hope that their country can rise to international leadership through trade, commerce, and cultural charisma instead of through violence or subterfuge. For a recent Chinese discussion of this phrase, see Liu Weidong 刘卫东 and Fan Meng 范梦, “Guo Qiang Bi Ba Bushi Zhongguo de Xuanze ‘国强必霸’不是中国的选择 [All Strong Countries Become Hegemons is Not China’s Choice],” Hong Qi Wengao 红旗文稿 [Red Flag Manuscript], 10 May 2019.  
14. The hegemonic, bullying, and despotic nation in question is the United States of America; these are stock phrases party leaders use when they believe that America must be criticized, but they do not wish to heighten tensions by calling out the United States by name.
15.  Nèihán [内涵] and wàiyán [外延] are the Chinese translations for intension and extension, terms drawn from the fields of linguistics and logic to describe two different ways of defining words or conceptual categories. An extensional definition can be thought of as the set of objects denoted by a term (for example, the historian who defined “totalitarianism” by stating  “It means the kind of regime that existed in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, the Soviet satellites, Communist China, and maybe Fascist Italy, where the word originated” is providing an extensional definition of “totalitarianism”). An intensional definition, gives meaning to a term by specifying necessary and sufficient conditions for when the term should be used (for example, the historian who defines totalitarianism as a “regime that bans all institutions apart from those it has officially approved” is providing an intentional definition of the term).  
When state security officials talk about how the intention and extension of national security work is growing richer or more numerous, they are claiming that there are both a growing number of conceptual categories that must be seen through the lens of security (for example, “biosecurity”) and that within those categories the set of particular threats (say, SARS, MERS, and COVID-19) is also growing in number.
16. The translated list is slightly reordered in order to flow better in English.
17. The 13th Five Year Plan was implemented between 2016 and 2021.
18. The slogan “the Party is the key to handling China’s affairs” comes from Deng Xiaoping’s famous Southern Tour Address in 1992. See Deng Xiaoping 邓小平, “Zai Wuchang, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Shanghai Dengdide Tanhua Yaodian 在武昌,深圳,珠海,上海等地的谈话要点 [Excerpts From Talks Given In Wuchang, Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Shanghai],” in Deng Xiaoping Wenxuan 邓小平文选 [Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping], vol III (Beijing 北京: Renmin Chubanshe人民出版社 [People’s Press], 1993),
19. These are: “political consciousness” (政治意识), “consciousness of the overall situation” (大局意识), “consciousness of the core” (核心意识) and “compliance consciousness” (看齐意识).
20. These are: confidence in the theoretical system of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, confidence in the institutions of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, confidence in the culture of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, and confidence in the path of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics. See the glossary entry SOCIALISM WITH CHINESE CHARACTERISTICS for a longer description.
21. These are: upholding Xi Jinping as the core of the Party, and upholding the Party’s central authority and unified leadership.
22. This is stated in paragraph 49 in the "Proposal on Formulating the Fourteenth Five-Year Plan.”
23. This is a set of intra-party rules promulgated by the first meeting of the 19th Central National Security Commission on April 17, 2018.
24. The phrase 人民防线 refers to the collective efforts made by Party members and all members of greater society to maintain China’s national security, which include everything mentioned in this document, along with reporting alleged spies engaging in any activities involving sabotage, subversion, or national division  to authorities.
25. Xi Jinping first instructed cadres to “dare to struggle and struggle well” in a September 3rd, 2019 speech at the Central Party School. “Struggle is an art,” he would go on to say, “and we must be adroit practitioners.” See Xi Jinping, Governance of China, vol III (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 2020), 264. See also the CST glossary entry SOFT BONE DISEASE.

统筹发展和安全 筑牢国家安全屏障(深入学贯彻习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想)

习近平总书记在中央政治局第二十六次集体学习时强调,做好新时代国家安全工作,要坚持总体国家安全观,抓住和用好我国发展的重要战略机遇期,把国家安全贯穿到党和国家工作各方面全过程,同经济社会发展一起谋划、一起部署。习近平总书记就贯彻总体国家安全观提出10点要求,其中一点就是坚持统筹发展和安全。

这是继党的十九届五中全会把统筹发展和安全纳入“十四五”时期我国经济社会发展指导思想之后,以习近平同志为核心的党中央对统筹发展和安全再次作出重要部署。我们要深入学习领会习近平总书记关于统筹发展和安全的重要论述,推动相关重要战略部署落实落地,有效防范化解各类风险挑战,筑牢国家安全屏障,确保社会主义现代化事业顺利推进。

统筹发展和安全具有重大理论和现实意义

以习近平同志为核心的党中央高度重视统筹发展和安全。统筹发展和安全是对历史上大国兴衰经验的深刻总结,是对新中国成立70多年来推进社会主义现代化建设经验的深刻总结,是对发展和安全辩证统一关系的深刻认识和把握,是着眼于在不稳定不确定发展环境中更好推进中华民族伟大复兴的重要战略部署,具有深刻理论逻辑、历史逻辑和重大现实意。

贯彻总体国家安全观的重要要求。2014年,习近平总书记创造性地提出总体国家安全观。坚持总体国家安全观是习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想的重要组成部分,是新时代坚持和发展中国特色社会主义的基本方略之一。6年多来,我们在维护国家安全、防范风险挑战方面的一系列成功实践,充分彰显了总体国家安全观的理论力量和实践品格。统筹发展和安全,是贯彻总体国家安全观的重要要求。

习近平总书记强调,安全是发展的前提,发展是安全的保障,进一步阐明了两者的辩证统一关系。发展是我们党执政兴国的第一要务,是解决中国一切问题的关键。没有经济社会发展,就不可能实现国家长治久安、社会安定有序、人民安居乐业。国家安全是国家生存发展的基本前提,是安邦定国的重要基石。没有国家安全,就不可能实现经济社会可持续发展,已经取得的成果也会失去。事实证明,发展和安全相辅相成、不可偏废,统一于坚持和发展中国特色社会主义的伟大实践。

对历史经验的深刻总结。历史反复证明,能否统筹好发展和安全,关系国家兴衰、历史走向。纵览中国历代政治得失,封建王朝的衰亡大多与发展和安全摆布失据有关。纵览世界大国兴衰历史,大国兴起时,往往能够较好地统筹发展和安全,而衰落则与没有统筹好发展和安全密切相关。没有发展作为支撑的安全,必然难以长久;没有安全作为保障的发展,必然不可持续。发展和安全合则兴、离则弱、悖则亡,这是历史留给我们的深刻启示。

实现中华民族伟大复兴的必然要求。新中国成立后,我们党对发展和安全高度重视,始终把维护国家安全工作紧紧抓在手上,在不同历史时期对统筹发展和安全作出正确战略决策,中华民族迎来了从站起来、富起来到强起来的伟大飞跃。

新中国成立之初,国内形势与国际环境错综复杂。我们党以“打得一拳开,免得百拳来”的气魄作出抗美援朝、保家卫国的历史性决策,粉碎了侵略者将新中国扼杀在摇篮中的图谋。改革开放以来,我们党作出和平与发展是时代主题的科学判断,积极营造良好发展环境,抓住机遇加快发展,经济社会发展取得巨大成就。党的十八大以来,以习近平同志为核心的党中央加强对国家安全工作的集中统一领导,从全局和战略高度对国家安全作出一系列重大决策部署,强化国家安全工作顶层设计,完善各重要领域国家安全政策,健全国家安全法律法规,有效应对了一系列重大风险挑战,保持了我国国家安全大局稳定。

当今世界正经历百年未有之大变局,我国正处于实现中华民族伟大复兴的关键时期。和平与发展仍是当今时代主题,但不稳定不确定因素增多,我们面临的风险挑战愈加复杂。这些风险挑战是我国由大向强发展进程中无法回避的,是实现中华民族伟大复兴绕不过的门槛。我们要认清我国发展所处的历史方位、国家安全面临的形势任务,更好统筹发展和安全各项工作。

牢牢掌握国家安全工作主动权

统筹发展和安全,既是重大理论问题,也是重要实践要求。要坚持总体国家安全观,维护和塑造国家安全,统筹传统安全和非传统安全,把国家安全贯穿到党和国家工作各领域全过程,防范和化解影响我国现代化进程的各种风险。

在发展中保安全、在安全中促发展。发展和安全,犹如车之两轮、鸟之两翼,任何一方面有明显短板,都会影响中华民族伟大复兴进程。在全面建设社会主义现代化国家新征程上统筹发展和安全,既要求通过发展提升国家安全实力,又要求深入推进国家安全思路、体制、手段创新,营造有利于经济社会发展的安全环境,在发展中更多考虑安全因素,努力形成在发展中保安全、在安全中促发展的格局,实现更高质量、更有效率、更加公平、更可持续、更为安全的发展。

我们要贯彻落实习近平总书记关于统筹发展和安全的重要论述,加强战略性、系统性、前瞻性研究谋划,深入思考今后一个时期我国经济社会发展存在哪些重大风险,深入思考防范化解重大安全风险的思路举措,深入思考如何把国家安全工作融入国家发展各领域全过程,牢牢掌握国家安全工作主动权。

维护和塑造国家安全。维护国家安全和塑造国家安全是统一的,塑造是更高层次、更具前瞻性的维护。随着我国日益走近世界舞台中央,我们要在变局中把握规律、在乱局中趋利避害、在斗争中争取主动,切实维护我国主权、安全、发展利益。

塑造国家安全,不是要走国强必霸之路,而是坚定不移走和平发展道路,目的是为了实现中华民族伟大复兴;不是对现有国际秩序推倒重来、另起炉灶,而是在维护以联合国宪章宗旨和原则为核心的国际秩序基础上,与世界各国一起与时俱进完善全球治理体制机制;不是要零和博弈,而是要合作共赢、互惠互利,坚持多边主义和国际关系民主化,推动构建人类命运共同体。

任何国家都没有包揽国际事务、主宰他国命运、垄断发展优势的权力,更不能在世界上搞霸权、霸凌、霸道。面对前进道路上的各种风险挑战,我们将以坚强决心、坚定意志、坚实国力为依托,统筹运用维护国家安全和塑造国家安全“两手”,不断增强塑造国家安全态势的能力。

统筹传统安全和非传统安全。当前,我国国家安全的内涵和外延比历史上任何时候都要丰富,时空领域比历史上任何时候都要宽广,内外因素比历史上任何时候都要复杂。总的看,政治、国土、军事安全仍然是国家安全的重中之重,任何时候都必须抓住不放。同时,在中国这样一个快速发展的国家,我们面临的非传统安全威胁越来越多,需要统筹兼顾、综合施策。

突如其来的新冠肺炎疫情,是对我国应对非传统安全威胁能力的一次考验。在以习近平同志为核心的党中央坚强领导下,我们取得抗击新冠肺炎疫情斗争重大战略成果。当前和今后一个时期是我国各类矛盾和风险易发期,各种可以预见和难以预见的风险因素明显增多。党的十九届五中全会对应对经济、金融、网络、粮食、能源、生态、核、生物、海外利益等安全问题作出全面部署。我们要认真贯彻落实这些重要部署,深入掌握各类危害国家安全的新行为新动向,积极推进非传统安全领域国家安全立法,加强风险预警、防控机制和能力建设,全面应对各领域安全风险和挑战。

汇聚维护国家安全的强大合力

维护好国家安全,是全党全社会的共同责任。我们要以习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想特别是总体国家安全观为指导,充分发挥中国共产党领导的政治优势和中国特色社会主义的制度优势,汇聚起维护国家安全的强大合力。

坚持党对国家安全工作的绝对领导。“十三五”时期,党和国家走过了一段极不平凡的历程。以习近平同志为核心的党中央科学研判时与势,辩证把握机与危,坚持统筹发展和安全,打赢了一场又一场硬仗,抵御了一个又一个风险,不断取得新胜利。实践充分证明,办好中国的事情关键在党。新征程上,我们要办好发展安全两件大事,谱写经济快速发展、社会长期稳定“两大奇迹”新篇章,最根本的是要坚持党对发展和安全工作的全面领导,增强“四个意识”、坚定“四个自信”、做到“两个维护”。有以习近平同志为核心的党中央领航掌舵,有习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想的科学指引,我们一定能够战胜各种风险挑战,将中国特色社会主义事业不断推向前进。

推进国家安全体系和能力现代化。党的十九届五中全会对“加强国家安全体系和能力建设”作出战略部署,为构建现代化国家安全体系和能力指明了方向。下一阶段,我们要进一步强化党对国家安全工作的领导,完善集中统一、高效权威的国家安全领导体制,健全国家安全法治体系、战略体系、政策体系、人才体系和运行机制,完善重要领域国家安全立法、制度、政策,健全国家安全审查和监管制度,加强国家安全执法,推动国家安全体系和能力同国家现代化进程相适应。

落实国家安全责任。坚持全国一盘棋,调动各方面积极性,集中力量办大事,是中国特色社会主义制度的显著优势之一,也是维护国家安全的重要基础。国家安全风险来自各个方面,化解风险要充分调动各方面积极性,打造人人有责、人人尽责的工作新局面。严格落实《党委(党组)国家安全责任制规定》,形成一级抓一级、层层抓落实的工作格局,确保党中央关于国家安全工作的决策部署落到实处。加强国家安全宣传教育,教育引导广大人民群众增强国家安全意识,巩固国家安全人民防线。

发挥专门机关作用。贯彻落实总体国家安全观,护航中华民族伟大复兴,是国家安全机关的重大政治责任。面对前进道路上的风险考验甚至惊涛骇浪,国家安全机关既要有敢于斗争的勇气,更要有善于斗争的本领。我们要充分发挥专门机关作用,依法防范、制止、打击危害我国国家安全的各类违法犯罪活动,加强国家安全干部队伍建设,打造坚不可摧的国家安全干部队伍,筑牢国家安全屏障。

Integrate Development and Security, Consolidate a Protective Barrier Around the State: A Deep Study in Implementing Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era

General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized during the 26th Collective Study Session1 of the Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party’s that we must properly conduct national security work for a new era; persist in our Total National Security Paradigm; seize and utilize China’s period of strategic opportunity; weave national security into all aspect of the entire work process of the Party and state; and plan and carry out [national security] alongside economic and social development. General Secretary Xi Jinping introduced ten requirements to implement this Total National Security Paradigm, one of which is to persist in integrating national security and development.2 This was [an important reiteration of] the decision of the Party’s Fifth Plenary Session of the Nineteenth Central Committee to incorporate the integration of national security and development into the guiding thought of China’s economic and social development in the 14th Five Year Plan.3

Those strategic deployments, the integration of security and development, have [now] been made again by the Party Center with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core. We should thoroughly study and understand General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important discourses on integrating national security and development; promote the implementation of vital strategic deployments related to national security; effectively be on guard to solve various risks and challenges; consolidate the protective barrier around the nation; and guarantee the steady forward drive towards the modernization of socialism.4

The Integration of Development and National Security Holds Theoretical and Practical Significance

The Party Center with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has placed great importance on the integration of national security and development. The integration of national security and development is a profound conclusion drawn from the history of the rise and fall of great powers. It is a profound lesson drawn from the experience of promoting socialist modernization for seventy years since the founding of the People’s Republic of China [1949]. It is a profound awareness and understanding of the dialectically unified relationship between development and national security. It is a vital strategic deployment for the Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation in an unstable and uncertain development environment. The integration of national security and development has profound and theoretical logic, historical logic, and great practical significance.

This is an important requirement for the implementation of the Total National Security Paradigm, which General Secretary Xi Jinping creatively put forward in 2014. Preserving the Total National Security Paradigm is an important component to Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, as well as one of the fundamental comprehensive strategies in preserving and developing Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in the New Era. For over six years, we have maintained our national security, [pioneered] a series of successful risk-prevention practices, and drawn ample attention to the theoretical force and practical quality of the Total National Security Paradigm. The integration of development and national security is required for carrying out the Total National Security Paradigm

General Secretary Xi Jinping has further stressed the dialectical unified relationship between these two components, emphasizing that development is premised on security, and that security is guaranteed by development. Development is the top priority for our party to governing and rejuvenating the state and the key to solving all of China’s problems.5 Without social and economic development, we cannot realize the nation’s long-term peace and stability–where society is peaceful and orderly and the people are able to live and work in peace. National security is the fundamental prerequisite for development’s existence, the vital cornerstone for bringing peace and stability to the nation. Without national security, we cannot realize sustainable economic and social development, and the fruits for which we have labored would be lost. It is an evident reality that development and security complement one another, that one cannot be prioritized at the expense of the other, and whose unification upholds and develops the great praxis of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics.

This integration is the profound culmination of historical experience. History has repeatedly proven that the ability to integrate development and security affects the rise and fall of nations as well as the course of history [itself]. Survey the political gains and losses of China’s historical dynasties: the decline and fall of feudal dynasties is primarily related to [their] inability to maintain control of their development and security. Survey the history of the rise and fall of great powers: When a great power rises, it is usually because it properly integrated development and security. Conversely, a state’s inability to properly integrate security and development is inextricably tied to its fall. If development does not uphold security, then the state will not last long. If security cannot guarantee development, then the state cannot sustain itself. Their combination leads to flourishing. Their separation leads to weakness. Their contradiction leads to death. Such is the profound revelation that history has left for us.

[This integration] is the indispensable requirement for the Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation. Since the founding of the New China, we have placed high importance on [both] development and security. We have always firmly taken in hand the maintenance of national security; have made correct strategic policies towards integrating development and security in different points in history. [We have witnessed] the awesome leap of the Chinese nation from standing up, to becoming wealthy, and [now] to becoming strong.6

At the advent of New China, the domestic situation and international environment were complex and entangled. We made the historical decision to support Korea and defend the nation against the United States7 with the daring “offense is the best defense” approach,8 crushing the invaders' plot to destroy China in its crib. Since Reform and Opening, our party has made the scientific determination that peace and development are the key themes of the times, actively constructing a favorable environment for development, seizing opportunities for accelerated development and making great achievements in economic and social development. Since the Eighteenth National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party,9 the Party Center with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has strengthened the centralized and unified leadership in the work in national security; has made a series of vital policy deployments on national security with an eye on the overall situation and strategy; strengthened top-level plans in national security; improved national security policy in a plethora of important sectors; amplified laws and regulations in national security;10 effectively faced a series of great risks and challenges; and preserved our state’s total national security.

At present, the world is experiencing great changes unseen in a century and our state is currently in the midst of the crucial period for realizing the Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation. Peace and development are still the key themes of the times, but as more unstable and uncertain factors arise the risks and challenges we face become more complex. These risks and challenges are unavoidable in the course of our robust development. [Facing them] is the sole passageway to the Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation. We must have a clear understanding of the historical bearing of China’s development and the circumstances and tasks we face in national security in order to better integrate development and security on all fronts.

Firmly Grasp the Initiative to Lead in National Security Work

The integration of development and security is both a theoretical question and an important requirement of praxis. We must persist in our Total National Security Paradigm, maintain and sculpt national security,11 integrate traditional and non-traditional security, weave national security into all aspects of the entire work process of the Party and state, and be on guard against and resolve various risks that affect the course of China’s modernization.

We must ensure security within development, and ensure development within security. Development and security are like the two wheels of a cart or the two wings of a bird. Any shortcomings whatsoever could affect the course of the Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation. This new national journey integrating development and security to comprehensively construct modern socialism not only requires increasing the strength of national security through development, but also requires comprehensively promoting innovations in the institutions, methods, and patterns of thought of national security; creating a security environment that is beneficial towards economic and social development; [while engaged] in development, giving more consideration to security factors; assiduously ensuring security through development and development through security; and realizing development that is of better quality, is more efficient, more equal, more sustainable, and more secure.12

We must conclusively carry out General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important directives on integrating development and security. We must strengthen strategic, systematic, and forward looking research plans. We must deeply reflect on a time in the future where our state’s social and economic development will face great risks. We must deeply reflect on the patterns of thought and measures needed to guard against and resolve these great security risks. We must deeply reflect on the process for incorporating security work into various sectors of national development. And we must firmly grasp the initiative [needed] to lead in national security work.

We must safeguard and sculpt national security. Safeguarding and sculpting national security should be viewed as one. Sculpting [national security should be viewed as] safeguarding at a higher level and in a more forward looking way. As China advances towards the center of the world stage day by day, we must assure discipline in the midst of changing circumstances, avoid harm in chaotic circumstances, take the initiative in the midst of struggle, and earnestly safeguard China’s sovereignty, security, and its expanding interests.

Sculpting national security does not mean that we would follow the path [described by the phrase] “all strong countries inevitably become hegemons.”13 Instead, it means that we must unwaveringly walk the path of “peaceful development.” The goal [of sculpting national security] is to realize the Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation. It is not about overthrowing the existing international order to start a new one, but improving global governance systems and mechanisms on the basis of the international order with the UN Charter at its core, by collaborating with countries across the world and advancing with the demands of the times. This is not a zero-sum game, but a mutually beneficial form of win-win cooperation. It upholds multilateralism and democratization in international relations and promotes and establishes a community of common destiny for all mankind.

No nation has the right to unilaterally undertake every international matter, dictate the destiny of other nations, or monopolize development advantages; nor can they engage in hegemonic, bullying, or despotic behavior.14 By means of our staunch determination, resolute will, and substantial national power, we shall face the myriad challenges on the road ahead, integrate the two tools of defending national security and sculpting national security, ceaselessly sculpting of the conditions of [our] national security.

We must integrate traditional security and non-traditional security. Currently, the extension and intension of our state’s national security is richer,15 its temporal and spatial domains are broader, and its internal and external factors are more complex than at any other point in history. In general, the most important aspects are still political, territorial, and military security, which can never be neglected at any time. At the same time, in a country as quickly developing as China, the non-traditional threats to our national security are increasing, which means we need to integrate and take into equal consideration [different threats] and synthesize our policies.

The unanticipated outbreak of COVID-19 was a test of our state’s capacity to overcome a non-traditional security threat. Under the staunch leadership of the Party Center with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, we made vital strategic achievements in our struggle against the outbreak of COVID-19. At the current moment and into the future, there are risk-and-contradiction prone periods facing China where easily foreseeable and unforeseeable risk factors are clearly increasing. The Party in its Fifth Plenary Session of the Nineteenth Central Committee made comprehensive arrangements for security problems in economics, banking, the internet, foodstuffs, energy and nuclear energy, ecology, biology, overseas interests, and the like.16 We shall carry out these plans of action in earnest; deeply understand new trends that threaten national security; actively promote non-traditional security factors within national security legislation; strengthen risk warnings, prevention and control measures, and capacity construction; and comprehensively deal with various security risks and challenges.

Bringing Together and Maintaining the Strong Cooperation in National Security

Properly safeguarding national security is the collective responsibility of [both] the Party and greater society. We must use Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, especially the Total National Security Paradigm, to comprehensively develop the political advantages of leadership by the Communist Party of China and the institutional advantages of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics; and in bringing together and maintaining the strong cooperation in national security.

We must preserve the absolute leadership of the Party in national security work. During the 13th Five Year Plan,17 the Party and the nation experienced an extraordinary  journey. The Center with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core made scientific determinations of the timing and trajectory [of events], dialectically assessed risks and opportunities, preserved the integration of development and security, won one hard-fought battle after another, and weathered one risk after another to gain repeated victory. Praxis has sufficiently proven that the Party is the key to handling China’s affairs.18 On this new course, we will handle the important matters of development and security expeditiously, formulate new articles on the “two miracles” of fast economic growth and long-term societal stability, the most fundamental being the Party’s comprehensive leadership in the work on development and security, strengthening the “the four consciousnesses,”19 preserving the “the four matters of confidence,”20 and performing “the two upholds.”21

We must promote modernization of national security systems and capacities. The Party’s Fifth Plenary Session of the Nineteenth Central Committee has made strategic deployments in “strengthening the construction of national security systems and capacities” in order to set the clear direction of their modernization.22 In the next stage, we shall further strengthen the Party’s leadership in national security work, improving the centralization, unity, and effective authority of these leading institutions. We will amplify the systems in national security laws, strategy, policy, and in the operating mechanisms for human resources. We shall improve important areas in national security legislation, institutions, and policies. We shall amplify investigative and supervisory institutions in national security, strengthen enforcement of national security, and promote adjustments for national security systems and capacities alongside national modernization.

We must carry out national security duties. Uphold one of the clear institutional advantages of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, which is also a vital foundation for safeguarding national security: the [ability to] coordinate all the activities of the state like pieces on a board game, to encourage initiative on all fronts, and to centralize our strength when handling great matters. Risks to national security come from many fronts, and neutralizing those risks requires us to encourage seizing the initiative on all fronts. [This requires] developing a new work dynamic where everyone shares responsibility and everyone is working dutifully. We must strictly carry out the “Regulations for National Security Responsibilities” in each party organization of the committee,23 form work patterns for grasping and implementing that work level by level, and ensure the Central Party’s policies and deployments in national security are implemented properly. We must strengthen propaganda and education on national security, strengthen education that leads to expanding the people’s awareness of national security, and consolidate a line of defense among the people24 in national security.

We must develop the use of specialized institutions. Carrying out the Total National Security Paradigm to the utmost and escorting the Chinese Nation through their Great Rejuvenation are vital political responsibilities of these national security organs. In the face of the myriad of perilous challenges and turbulent billows on the path ahead, the national security organs should [not only] dare to fight, but also be able to fight well.25 We shall sufficiently develop the use of professional mechanisms. We must give full play to the role of specialized institutions to prevent, curb, and combat all illegal and criminal activities that threaten our national security in accordance with the law. We shall strengthen the construction of national security cadres, build an impregnable contingent of national security cadres, and consolidate a protective barrier around the nation.

1. Collective Study Sessions [中央政治局集体学习] are a special type of Politburo meeting that are generally scheduled just after normal Politburo meetings. In these study sessions, outside scholars or government experts lecture on a topic assigned by the General Secretary. For more information on these sessions see the glossary entry POLITBURO.
The 26th Collective Study Session of the Politburo was held in December 2020 to discuss and study the framework for the Fourteenth Five-Year-Plan that was formulated during the Fifth Plenum of the Central Committee earlier that year.
2. The other nine points included: 1. Uphold the Party center’s absolute leadership over national security work. 2. Follow the Total National Security Paradigm with Chinese characteristics. 3. Take the people’s security as the central purpose of national security work. 4. Place political security in the predominant position. 5. Respond to both traditional and non-traditional security challenges. 6. Highlight the prevention and management of risk in order to nip security problems in the bud. 7. Promote global security for all. 8. Modernize China’s national security systems. 9. Strengthen the national security teams in the field.

See Xi Jinping, “Pursue a Holistic Approach to National Security,” in The Governance of China, volume IV (Beijing: Foreign Language Press, 2022), 453-457.
3. Held in October 2020, the 5th plenum of the 19th Central Committee promulgated the Proposal on Formulating the Fourteenth Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development and the Visionary Goals for 2035. See “Zhōnggòng zhōngyāng guānyú zhìdìng guómín jīngjì hé shèhuì fāzhǎn dì shísì gè wǔ nián guīhuà hé èr líng sānwǔ nián yuǎnjǐng mùbiāo dì jiànyì 中共中央关于制定国民经济和社会发展第十四个五年规划和二〇三五年远景目标的建议 [Proposal on Formulating the Fourteenth Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development and the Visionary Goals for 2035],” Gongchang Dangyuan Wang 共产党员网 [Communist Party Members Online], 29 October 2020.
4. Modernization has been articulated as a major policy goal of the Communist Party of China from the time Zhou Enlai introduced the Four Modernizations in 1963. Beginning in 2020 the CPC articulated two more specific development goals that lie at the center of Chinese economic and political planning: the goal to “basically realize socialist modernization” by 2035, and the goal to “build a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious” by 2049.

See Xi Jinping, “Major Points on the Recommendations of the CPC Central Committee for Formulating the 14th Five Year Plan for Economic and Social Development and Long Range Objectives Through the Year 2035,” The Governance of China, vol 4 (Beijing: Foreign Language Press, 2022), 129-136.
5. Chen here repeats a Jiang Zemin era slogan that draws on two statements made by Jiang Zemin in two different political reports. The first is “The key to solving all of China’s problems lies in our own development” [中国解决所有问题的关键在于依靠自己的发展 ] and “In governing and rejuvenating the country it is essential for the Party to give top priority to development” [必须把发展作为党执政兴国的第一要务].   
6. In Party discourse, standing tall, growing rich, and becoming strong are associated with three periods of the CPC’s history, and the three leaders who led the Party in these periods. Mao Zedong led the Party during the foundation of New China, the expulsion of imperial influence from China’s borders, and the repulse of American troops from China’s borders in the Korean war. This was China “standing up.” Deng Xiaoping led China during the initial stages of the Reform and Opening era, a period of time in which China climbed from abject poverty to its current station as the world’s second largest economy. Finally, under Xi Jinping, China’s wealth was translated into greater military power, international influence, and advanced technology. This period–the period in which Chen writes–is thus described as the era when China has become strong. 
7. There are multiple names for “Korea” in Chinese. North Korea is referred to as 朝鮮 Cháoxiǎn (Joeson), the traditional name for a united Korea. Given that the CCP viewed North Korea as the legitimate government of Korea during the Korean War, they used this name to designate the northern government then, and continue to use it in this fashion now. Today South Korea is usually referred to as 韩国 Hánguó, which might be literally translated as “the country of the Korean ethnicity.” Because the partition of Korea was not yet decided when the Korean war began, Cháoxiǎn is here translated as the Mao era leaders would have understood it: as “Korea” instead of “North Korea.”
8. Or more literally,  “throwing one punch to avoid one hundred punches.” The phrase is strongly associated with the Korean War, where it was used to describe Mao’s fear that the United States would use anti-communist forces in Taiwan, Vietnam, Korea, and Tibet to overthrow his new regime unless American leaders were forcefully shown the costs of stoking conflict with China. For the history of this phrase and its modern application in CPC rhetoric, see Shishuo Xingyu 是说新语, “Dǎ dé yī quán kāi, miǎndé bǎi quán lái 打得一拳开,免得百拳来 [Throw one punch to avoid one hundred punches],” Qiushi 求是 [Seeking Truth], 21 Oct 2020.
9. The Eighteenth National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party was held in Beijing from 8 November  to 15 Novemeber 2012. It was the Congress where Xi Jinping was elevated to the station of General Secretary.
10. Important national security legislation passed since the 18th National Congress include the National Security Law (2015), Counter-Terrorism Law (2015), National Defense Transportation Law (2016), National Intelligence Law (2017), Foreign NGO Law (2017), Cyber Security Law (2017), Foreign Investment Law (2020), and the Data Security Law (2021). For a review of this legislation in the context of Xi Jinping’s Total National Security Paradigm, see  Jude Blanchette, “The Edge of an Abyss: Xi Jinping’s Overall National Security Outlook,” China Leadership Monitor, 1 September 2022. 
11. Translated here as “sculpt,” sùzào [塑造] could also be rendered as “to shape” or “to mold.” In ordinary speech this is the verb for fixing something malleable and undefined into a new, concrete form ( as occurs when clay or stone are fashioned into pottery or sculpture). In the context of national security, Chinese theorists use the term “sculpt national security”  in a similar fashion to how American analysts describe “shaping the national security environment.” The idea is to configure the international or domestic operating environment in such a way that security crises do not arise, or if they do, the inherent tendencies of the sculpted environment make these crises easier to resolve in the PRC’s favor. 
12. This catalog of development guidelines was first introduced in the communique of the Fifth Plenum of the 19th Central Committee in October 2020. Following the new formulation, the 20th Party Congress amended the Constitution of the Communist Party of China in 2022 and added “more secure” to “better quality, more efficient, more equal, and more sustainable” as the requirements for China’s development in the new era.  
See “Zhōnggòng zhōngyāng guānyú zhìdìng guómín jīngjì hé shèhuì fāzhǎn dì shísì gè wǔ nián guīhuà hé èr líng sānwǔ nián yuǎnjǐng mùbiāo dì jiànyì 中共中央关于制定国民经济和社会发展第十四个五年规划和二〇三五年远景目标的建议 [Suggestions on the formulation of the 14th five-year plan for national economic and social development and the long-term goals for 2035],” Gongchang Dangyuan Wang 共产党员网 [Communist Party Members Online], 29 October 2020. Xu Jianwen 许建文, “Èrshí dà dǎngzhāng xiūzhèng àn xuéxí wèndá 二十大党章修正案学习问答 [Questions and Answers on the Amendment to the Party Constitution of the 20th National Congress],” 共产党员网 [Communist Party Members Online], 14 December 2022. 
13.  In Chinese, the phrase “hegemony” [霸权] implies predominance maintained through coercive methods. See the CST glossary entry for HEGEMONISM. The phrase “all strong countries automatically become hegemons” works as a shorthand both for Chinese perceptions of realist theories of international relations and the Western European historical experience they are based on. Chinese thinkers often depict the rise of imperial Spain, Britain, and the United States to hegemony as especially violent affairs; by rejecting the belief that “all strong countries become hegemons” Chinese intellectuals hope that their country can rise to international leadership through trade, commerce, and cultural charisma instead of through violence or subterfuge. For a recent Chinese discussion of this phrase, see Liu Weidong 刘卫东 and Fan Meng 范梦, “Guo Qiang Bi Ba Bushi Zhongguo de Xuanze ‘国强必霸’不是中国的选择 [All Strong Countries Become Hegemons is Not China’s Choice],” Hong Qi Wengao 红旗文稿 [Red Flag Manuscript], 10 May 2019.  
14. The hegemonic, bullying, and despotic nation in question is the United States of America; these are stock phrases party leaders use when they believe that America must be criticized, but they do not wish to heighten tensions by calling out the United States by name.
15.  Nèihán [内涵] and wàiyán [外延] are the Chinese translations for intension and extension, terms drawn from the fields of linguistics and logic to describe two different ways of defining words or conceptual categories. An extensional definition can be thought of as the set of objects denoted by a term (for example, the historian who defined “totalitarianism” by stating  “It means the kind of regime that existed in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, the Soviet satellites, Communist China, and maybe Fascist Italy, where the word originated” is providing an extensional definition of “totalitarianism”). An intensional definition, gives meaning to a term by specifying necessary and sufficient conditions for when the term should be used (for example, the historian who defines totalitarianism as a “regime that bans all institutions apart from those it has officially approved” is providing an intentional definition of the term).  
When state security officials talk about how the intention and extension of national security work is growing richer or more numerous, they are claiming that there are both a growing number of conceptual categories that must be seen through the lens of security (for example, “biosecurity”) and that within those categories the set of particular threats (say, SARS, MERS, and COVID-19) is also growing in number.
16. The translated list is slightly reordered in order to flow better in English.
17. The 13th Five Year Plan was implemented between 2016 and 2021.
18. The slogan “the Party is the key to handling China’s affairs” comes from Deng Xiaoping’s famous Southern Tour Address in 1992. See Deng Xiaoping 邓小平, “Zai Wuchang, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Shanghai Dengdide Tanhua Yaodian 在武昌,深圳,珠海,上海等地的谈话要点 [Excerpts From Talks Given In Wuchang, Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Shanghai],” in Deng Xiaoping Wenxuan 邓小平文选 [Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping], vol III (Beijing 北京: Renmin Chubanshe人民出版社 [People’s Press], 1993),
19. These are: “political consciousness” (政治意识), “consciousness of the overall situation” (大局意识), “consciousness of the core” (核心意识) and “compliance consciousness” (看齐意识).
20. These are: confidence in the theoretical system of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, confidence in the institutions of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, confidence in the culture of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, and confidence in the path of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics. See the glossary entry SOCIALISM WITH CHINESE CHARACTERISTICS for a longer description.
21. These are: upholding Xi Jinping as the core of the Party, and upholding the Party’s central authority and unified leadership.
22. This is stated in paragraph 49 in the "Proposal on Formulating the Fourteenth Five-Year Plan.”
23. This is a set of intra-party rules promulgated by the first meeting of the 19th Central National Security Commission on April 17, 2018.
24. The phrase 人民防线 refers to the collective efforts made by Party members and all members of greater society to maintain China’s national security, which include everything mentioned in this document, along with reporting alleged spies engaging in any activities involving sabotage, subversion, or national division  to authorities.
25. Xi Jinping first instructed cadres to “dare to struggle and struggle well” in a September 3rd, 2019 speech at the Central Party School. “Struggle is an art,” he would go on to say, “and we must be adroit practitioners.” See Xi Jinping, Governance of China, vol III (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 2020), 264. See also the CST glossary entry SOFT BONE DISEASE.

Cite This Article

Chen Wenqing, “Integrating Development and Security, Consolidating a Protective Barrier Around the State: A Deep Study in Implementing Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.” Translated by Ethan Franz. San Francisco: Center for Strategic Translation. 28 April, 2023. 

Originally published as Chen Wenqing 陈文清, “Tǒngchóu fāzhǎn hé ānquán zhù láo guójiā ānquán píngzhàng (shēnrù xué guànchè xíjìnpíng xīn shídài zhōngguó tèsè shèhuì zhǔyì sīxiǎng) 统筹发展和安全 筑牢国家安全屏障(深入学贯彻习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想) [Integrating Development and Security, Consolidating a Protective Barrier Around the State: A Deep Study in Implementing Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era].” Rénmín Rìbào 人民日报 [The People’s Daily]. 31 December, 2020.

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A Deep Study in Implementing Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era

深入学贯彻习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想

Author
Chen Wenqing
陈文清
original publication
The People’s Daily
人民日报
publication date
December 31, 2020
Translator
Ethan Franz
Translation date
April 28, 2023

Introduction

In his 1992 Southern Tour, Deng Xiaoping rallied the Communist Party of China around a slogan that captured the ethos of the Reform Era: “Development is the fixed principle” [发展才是硬道理].1 After Deng passed, Jiang Zemin would codify this phrase as an official tenet of China’s guiding ideology. In 1997 he declared that the “basic line” of the Party during the initial stage of socialism was that “Development is the fixed principle. The key to the solution of all of China's problems lies in our own development.”2 As the leadership spoke, so cadres acted. For three decades the entire machinery of the Chinese party-state revolved around economic growth. 

That era is now over. This essay, penned by one of Xi Jinping’s most important state security officials, was written in part to signal the end of that era. It marks a transition point in a seven year campaign to dethrone development’s place at the top of China’s ideological hierarchy.3 This has required re-conceptualizing development itself. In numerous speeches and addresses Xi Jinping has championed what he calls the New Development Concept [新发展理念], a development paradigm meant to replace the Reform era focus on growth for its own sake. The essay translated below is devoted to one of the newer planks of the New Development Concept: the integration of development and security [统筹发展和安全].

Xi Jinping first introduced the phrase “integrate development and security” to the Party lexicon in the 2014 Central Foreign Affairs Work Conference.4 It was one of a slew of slogans—such as “development is the foundation of security, and security is the prerequisite for development” [发展是安全的基础, 安全是发展的条件] and “sustainability means placing equal importance on development and security for achieving long-lasting security” [可持续, 就是要发展和安全并重以实现持久安全]—that began to appear in Xi speeches at the same time. Yet as one western analyst who has traced the history of these slogans notes, “Xi’s 2014 speeches… did not signal a collective decision by [Party] leaders to equally prioritize China’s security and development interests. Between 2014 and 2019, major speeches and Party documents show the Party remained in an ongoing process to build consensus around the new framing.”5

For several years the new slogans only appeared in security documents, or in the national security sections of catholic documents like the 2017 Political Report to the 19th Congress. In several major speeches given during these years Xi Jinping himself retreated back to the traditional growth-centric slogans. Many officials serving on the State Council and economic planning documents like the 13th Five Year Plan of 2016 never adopted Xi’s new phrases; they stuck instead to traditional language on development as the “first priority” [第一要务] of party work. 

In Leninist political systems, inconsistent or contradictory slogans are an important external signal. In these systems, struggles over power and policy often manifest as struggles over slogans.6 It is possible that the limits of Xi Jinping’s power—at least during his first term—can be seen in the slow pace in which the new phrases were adopted by the Party writ large. If so, Xi’s ultimate victory can be charted in the quickening pace of their adoption from 2018 forward.7 The crowning moment came with the publication of the 14th Five Year Plan in 2021. For the first time “integrate development and security” was given its own section in the most important economic planning document of the Chinese party-state.8 The integration of development and security was henceforth an official sub-component of the the New Development Concept reshaping the Chinese economy.

This essay was written a few months before this moment—just after the Fifth Plenum of 2020, where Party leaders were tasked with preparing a framework for the upcoming Five Year Plan. It presents the Fifth Plenum’s endorsement of the phrase as a key part of a larger shift in development strategy—a shift as consequential as the transition between Maoist state planning and the Reform and Opening policies of the Deng era during the 1980s. 

This essay was penned by Chen Wenqing—then head of China’s premier intelligence agency, the Ministry of State Security—and published in the loudest bullhorn of the Chinese propaganda system, the People's Daily.9 Chen uses this platform both to explain the concepts behind the slogan and to signal their priority on the policy totem pole. At first glance some of these statements of priority seem wildly contradictory. In one breath Chen reaffirms the Jiang era slogan that “development is the top priority for our Party to governing and rejuvenating the state and the key to solving all of China’s problems,” but in the next he declares that “it is an evident reality that development and security complement one another [and] that one cannot be prioritized at the expense of the other.” 

So is development the top priority or does it share an equal rank with security? Chen solves the puzzle by describing economic development and state security as two parts of one whole: “Development and security are like the two wheels on a cart or the two wings of a bird…. development is the foundation of security, and security is the prerequisite for development.” If security is development, and development is security, the contradiction between development’s preeminent role and its coequal rank melts away.

There is something self-serving in Chen’s presentation. The consequences of the Fifth Plenum’s decision all fall in his favor. Practically speaking, what the Central Committee’s airy discovery that development and security share some consubstantial essence amounts to is greater influence for Chen and people like him. The spymaster spent his career bouncing around various parts of the state security bureaucracy; that bureaucracy is now officially elevated into the development planning process. As Chen puts it, in the wake of the Fifth Plenum the Party must begin to “reflect on the process for incorporating security work into various sectors of national development.”   

Legitimizing this power-play is a frank assessment of what will happen to the Communist Party of China if it fails to integrate the priorities of people like Chen into development planning. Chen attributes the flourishing and fall of great powers, as well as the rise and collapse of China’s past dynasties, to the historical successes and failures past empires experienced integrating economics and security. He warns that “if development does not uphold security, then the state will not last long.” On the other hand, “if security cannot guarantee development, then the state cannot sustain itself.” Development and security are the key levers of word history: “Their combination leads to flourishing. Their separation leads to weakness. Their contradiction leads to death.”

-THE EDITORS

1. Deng Xiaoping 邓小平, “[Zai Wuchang, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Shanghai Dengdide Tanhua Yaodian 在武昌,深圳,珠海,上海等地的谈话要点 [Excerpts From Talks Given In Wuchang, Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Shanghai],” in Deng Xiaoping Wenxuan 邓小平文选 [Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping], vol III (Beijing 北京: Renmin Chubanshe人民出版社 [People’s Press], 1993), 377. The standard English translation of this phrase in CPC publications is “development is the absolute principle.”
2. Jiang Zemin, The Selected Works of Jiang Zemin, vol II (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 2012), 15.
3. The account of this campaign presented in this introduction is heavily indebted to Howard Wang, “‘Security Is a Prerequisite for Development’: Consensus-Building toward a New Top Priority in the Chinese Communist Party,” Journal of Contemporary China (2022), 1-15.
4. In the official English translation of this speech this is rendered as “a holistic approach to development and security.” Xi Jinping, Governance of China, vol II (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 2017), 479. It is worth noting that the largest discussion of security in the speech is explicitly framed as an extension of the Total National Security Paradigm. 
5. Wang, “Security Is a Prerequisite for Development,” For Xi Jinping’s account of the milestone events in the rise of this framing, see pp. 195-96 in Xi Jinping, “Apply the New Development Philosophy in Whole” in Governance of China, vol IV (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 2022), 192-199.
6. For prominent past examples see Joseph Torigian, Prestige, Manipulation, and Coercion: Elite Power Struggles in the Soviet Union and China after Stalin and Mao (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2022), 136-193 and Richard Baum, Burying Mao: Chinese Politics in the Age of Deng Xiaoping (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994), 153-163, 344-356.
7. Two factors likely account for this victory: First, every year a General Secretary holds the top spot in the CPC is another year where he can replace cadres who rose on the coattails of other leaders with his own men. In contrast to democratic leaders, whose power generally diminishes with distance from their election mandates, the power of a Chinese politician grows stronger the longer he remains in power. See Joseph Fewsmith, Rethinking Chinese Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021) for a capable review of both the nature of power and personnel selection in the Chinese system and Xi Jinping’s mastery of the game.

The second factor is what Chen Wenqing calls the “unstable and uncertain development” in this piece. Faltering Belt and Road projects abroad, falling growth numbers at home, and an active trade war with a hostile United States may have convinced many development-minded cadres that investment and trade was no longer the panacea it once was. See also Wang, “Security Is a Prerequisite for Development,” 8.
8. Chen is not the only high official to highlight the importance of this change; Xi Jinping himself called attention to the same development. See Xi Jinping, “Major Points on the recommendations of the CPC Central Committee for Economic and Social Development and Long Range-Objectives Through the Year 2035,” Governance of China, vol IV (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 2022), 133.
9. In the 20th Congress of the CPC in 2022 Chen Wenqing was elevated to the Politburo, where he now serves as the secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission.

Integrate Development and Security, Consolidate a Protective Barrier Around the State: A Deep Study in Implementing Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era

General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized during the 26th Collective Study Session1 of the Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party’s that we must properly conduct national security work for a new era; persist in our Total National Security Paradigm; seize and utilize China’s period of strategic opportunity; weave national security into all aspect of the entire work process of the Party and state; and plan and carry out [national security] alongside economic and social development. General Secretary Xi Jinping introduced ten requirements to implement this Total National Security Paradigm, one of which is to persist in integrating national security and development.2 This was [an important reiteration of] the decision of the Party’s Fifth Plenary Session of the Nineteenth Central Committee to incorporate the integration of national security and development into the guiding thought of China’s economic and social development in the 14th Five Year Plan.3

Those strategic deployments, the integration of security and development, have [now] been made again by the Party Center with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core. We should thoroughly study and understand General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important discourses on integrating national security and development; promote the implementation of vital strategic deployments related to national security; effectively be on guard to solve various risks and challenges; consolidate the protective barrier around the nation; and guarantee the steady forward drive towards the modernization of socialism.4

The Integration of Development and National Security Holds Theoretical and Practical Significance

The Party Center with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has placed great importance on the integration of national security and development. The integration of national security and development is a profound conclusion drawn from the history of the rise and fall of great powers. It is a profound lesson drawn from the experience of promoting socialist modernization for seventy years since the founding of the People’s Republic of China [1949]. It is a profound awareness and understanding of the dialectically unified relationship between development and national security. It is a vital strategic deployment for the Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation in an unstable and uncertain development environment. The integration of national security and development has profound and theoretical logic, historical logic, and great practical significance.

This is an important requirement for the implementation of the Total National Security Paradigm, which General Secretary Xi Jinping creatively put forward in 2014. Preserving the Total National Security Paradigm is an important component to Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, as well as one of the fundamental comprehensive strategies in preserving and developing Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in the New Era. For over six years, we have maintained our national security, [pioneered] a series of successful risk-prevention practices, and drawn ample attention to the theoretical force and practical quality of the Total National Security Paradigm. The integration of development and national security is required for carrying out the Total National Security Paradigm

General Secretary Xi Jinping has further stressed the dialectical unified relationship between these two components, emphasizing that development is premised on security, and that security is guaranteed by development. Development is the top priority for our party to governing and rejuvenating the state and the key to solving all of China’s problems.5 Without social and economic development, we cannot realize the nation’s long-term peace and stability–where society is peaceful and orderly and the people are able to live and work in peace. National security is the fundamental prerequisite for development’s existence, the vital cornerstone for bringing peace and stability to the nation. Without national security, we cannot realize sustainable economic and social development, and the fruits for which we have labored would be lost. It is an evident reality that development and security complement one another, that one cannot be prioritized at the expense of the other, and whose unification upholds and develops the great praxis of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics.

This integration is the profound culmination of historical experience. History has repeatedly proven that the ability to integrate development and security affects the rise and fall of nations as well as the course of history [itself]. Survey the political gains and losses of China’s historical dynasties: the decline and fall of feudal dynasties is primarily related to [their] inability to maintain control of their development and security. Survey the history of the rise and fall of great powers: When a great power rises, it is usually because it properly integrated development and security. Conversely, a state’s inability to properly integrate security and development is inextricably tied to its fall. If development does not uphold security, then the state will not last long. If security cannot guarantee development, then the state cannot sustain itself. Their combination leads to flourishing. Their separation leads to weakness. Their contradiction leads to death. Such is the profound revelation that history has left for us.

[This integration] is the indispensable requirement for the Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation. Since the founding of the New China, we have placed high importance on [both] development and security. We have always firmly taken in hand the maintenance of national security; have made correct strategic policies towards integrating development and security in different points in history. [We have witnessed] the awesome leap of the Chinese nation from standing up, to becoming wealthy, and [now] to becoming strong.6

At the advent of New China, the domestic situation and international environment were complex and entangled. We made the historical decision to support Korea and defend the nation against the United States7 with the daring “offense is the best defense” approach,8 crushing the invaders' plot to destroy China in its crib. Since Reform and Opening, our party has made the scientific determination that peace and development are the key themes of the times, actively constructing a favorable environment for development, seizing opportunities for accelerated development and making great achievements in economic and social development. Since the Eighteenth National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party,9 the Party Center with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has strengthened the centralized and unified leadership in the work in national security; has made a series of vital policy deployments on national security with an eye on the overall situation and strategy; strengthened top-level plans in national security; improved national security policy in a plethora of important sectors; amplified laws and regulations in national security;10 effectively faced a series of great risks and challenges; and preserved our state’s total national security.

At present, the world is experiencing great changes unseen in a century and our state is currently in the midst of the crucial period for realizing the Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation. Peace and development are still the key themes of the times, but as more unstable and uncertain factors arise the risks and challenges we face become more complex. These risks and challenges are unavoidable in the course of our robust development. [Facing them] is the sole passageway to the Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation. We must have a clear understanding of the historical bearing of China’s development and the circumstances and tasks we face in national security in order to better integrate development and security on all fronts.

Firmly Grasp the Initiative to Lead in National Security Work

The integration of development and security is both a theoretical question and an important requirement of praxis. We must persist in our Total National Security Paradigm, maintain and sculpt national security,11 integrate traditional and non-traditional security, weave national security into all aspects of the entire work process of the Party and state, and be on guard against and resolve various risks that affect the course of China’s modernization.

We must ensure security within development, and ensure development within security. Development and security are like the two wheels of a cart or the two wings of a bird. Any shortcomings whatsoever could affect the course of the Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation. This new national journey integrating development and security to comprehensively construct modern socialism not only requires increasing the strength of national security through development, but also requires comprehensively promoting innovations in the institutions, methods, and patterns of thought of national security; creating a security environment that is beneficial towards economic and social development; [while engaged] in development, giving more consideration to security factors; assiduously ensuring security through development and development through security; and realizing development that is of better quality, is more efficient, more equal, more sustainable, and more secure.12

We must conclusively carry out General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important directives on integrating development and security. We must strengthen strategic, systematic, and forward looking research plans. We must deeply reflect on a time in the future where our state’s social and economic development will face great risks. We must deeply reflect on the patterns of thought and measures needed to guard against and resolve these great security risks. We must deeply reflect on the process for incorporating security work into various sectors of national development. And we must firmly grasp the initiative [needed] to lead in national security work.

We must safeguard and sculpt national security. Safeguarding and sculpting national security should be viewed as one. Sculpting [national security should be viewed as] safeguarding at a higher level and in a more forward looking way. As China advances towards the center of the world stage day by day, we must assure discipline in the midst of changing circumstances, avoid harm in chaotic circumstances, take the initiative in the midst of struggle, and earnestly safeguard China’s sovereignty, security, and its expanding interests.

Sculpting national security does not mean that we would follow the path [described by the phrase] “all strong countries inevitably become hegemons.”13 Instead, it means that we must unwaveringly walk the path of “peaceful development.” The goal [of sculpting national security] is to realize the Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation. It is not about overthrowing the existing international order to start a new one, but improving global governance systems and mechanisms on the basis of the international order with the UN Charter at its core, by collaborating with countries across the world and advancing with the demands of the times. This is not a zero-sum game, but a mutually beneficial form of win-win cooperation. It upholds multilateralism and democratization in international relations and promotes and establishes a community of common destiny for all mankind.

No nation has the right to unilaterally undertake every international matter, dictate the destiny of other nations, or monopolize development advantages; nor can they engage in hegemonic, bullying, or despotic behavior.14 By means of our staunch determination, resolute will, and substantial national power, we shall face the myriad challenges on the road ahead, integrate the two tools of defending national security and sculpting national security, ceaselessly sculpting of the conditions of [our] national security.

We must integrate traditional security and non-traditional security. Currently, the extension and intension of our state’s national security is richer,15 its temporal and spatial domains are broader, and its internal and external factors are more complex than at any other point in history. In general, the most important aspects are still political, territorial, and military security, which can never be neglected at any time. At the same time, in a country as quickly developing as China, the non-traditional threats to our national security are increasing, which means we need to integrate and take into equal consideration [different threats] and synthesize our policies.

The unanticipated outbreak of COVID-19 was a test of our state’s capacity to overcome a non-traditional security threat. Under the staunch leadership of the Party Center with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, we made vital strategic achievements in our struggle against the outbreak of COVID-19. At the current moment and into the future, there are risk-and-contradiction prone periods facing China where easily foreseeable and unforeseeable risk factors are clearly increasing. The Party in its Fifth Plenary Session of the Nineteenth Central Committee made comprehensive arrangements for security problems in economics, banking, the internet, foodstuffs, energy and nuclear energy, ecology, biology, overseas interests, and the like.16 We shall carry out these plans of action in earnest; deeply understand new trends that threaten national security; actively promote non-traditional security factors within national security legislation; strengthen risk warnings, prevention and control measures, and capacity construction; and comprehensively deal with various security risks and challenges.

Bringing Together and Maintaining the Strong Cooperation in National Security

Properly safeguarding national security is the collective responsibility of [both] the Party and greater society. We must use Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, especially the Total National Security Paradigm, to comprehensively develop the political advantages of leadership by the Communist Party of China and the institutional advantages of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics; and in bringing together and maintaining the strong cooperation in national security.

We must preserve the absolute leadership of the Party in national security work. During the 13th Five Year Plan,17 the Party and the nation experienced an extraordinary  journey. The Center with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core made scientific determinations of the timing and trajectory [of events], dialectically assessed risks and opportunities, preserved the integration of development and security, won one hard-fought battle after another, and weathered one risk after another to gain repeated victory. Praxis has sufficiently proven that the Party is the key to handling China’s affairs.18 On this new course, we will handle the important matters of development and security expeditiously, formulate new articles on the “two miracles” of fast economic growth and long-term societal stability, the most fundamental being the Party’s comprehensive leadership in the work on development and security, strengthening the “the four consciousnesses,”19 preserving the “the four matters of confidence,”20 and performing “the two upholds.”21

We must promote modernization of national security systems and capacities. The Party’s Fifth Plenary Session of the Nineteenth Central Committee has made strategic deployments in “strengthening the construction of national security systems and capacities” in order to set the clear direction of their modernization.22 In the next stage, we shall further strengthen the Party’s leadership in national security work, improving the centralization, unity, and effective authority of these leading institutions. We will amplify the systems in national security laws, strategy, policy, and in the operating mechanisms for human resources. We shall improve important areas in national security legislation, institutions, and policies. We shall amplify investigative and supervisory institutions in national security, strengthen enforcement of national security, and promote adjustments for national security systems and capacities alongside national modernization.

We must carry out national security duties. Uphold one of the clear institutional advantages of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, which is also a vital foundation for safeguarding national security: the [ability to] coordinate all the activities of the state like pieces on a board game, to encourage initiative on all fronts, and to centralize our strength when handling great matters. Risks to national security come from many fronts, and neutralizing those risks requires us to encourage seizing the initiative on all fronts. [This requires] developing a new work dynamic where everyone shares responsibility and everyone is working dutifully. We must strictly carry out the “Regulations for National Security Responsibilities” in each party organization of the committee,23 form work patterns for grasping and implementing that work level by level, and ensure the Central Party’s policies and deployments in national security are implemented properly. We must strengthen propaganda and education on national security, strengthen education that leads to expanding the people’s awareness of national security, and consolidate a line of defense among the people24 in national security.

We must develop the use of specialized institutions. Carrying out the Total National Security Paradigm to the utmost and escorting the Chinese Nation through their Great Rejuvenation are vital political responsibilities of these national security organs. In the face of the myriad of perilous challenges and turbulent billows on the path ahead, the national security organs should [not only] dare to fight, but also be able to fight well.25 We shall sufficiently develop the use of professional mechanisms. We must give full play to the role of specialized institutions to prevent, curb, and combat all illegal and criminal activities that threaten our national security in accordance with the law. We shall strengthen the construction of national security cadres, build an impregnable contingent of national security cadres, and consolidate a protective barrier around the nation.

1. Collective Study Sessions [中央政治局集体学习] are a special type of Politburo meeting that are generally scheduled just after normal Politburo meetings. In these study sessions, outside scholars or government experts lecture on a topic assigned by the General Secretary. For more information on these sessions see the glossary entry POLITBURO.
The 26th Collective Study Session of the Politburo was held in December 2020 to discuss and study the framework for the Fourteenth Five-Year-Plan that was formulated during the Fifth Plenum of the Central Committee earlier that year.
2. The other nine points included: 1. Uphold the Party center’s absolute leadership over national security work. 2. Follow the Total National Security Paradigm with Chinese characteristics. 3. Take the people’s security as the central purpose of national security work. 4. Place political security in the predominant position. 5. Respond to both traditional and non-traditional security challenges. 6. Highlight the prevention and management of risk in order to nip security problems in the bud. 7. Promote global security for all. 8. Modernize China’s national security systems. 9. Strengthen the national security teams in the field.

See Xi Jinping, “Pursue a Holistic Approach to National Security,” in The Governance of China, volume IV (Beijing: Foreign Language Press, 2022), 453-457.
3. Held in October 2020, the 5th plenum of the 19th Central Committee promulgated the Proposal on Formulating the Fourteenth Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development and the Visionary Goals for 2035. See “Zhōnggòng zhōngyāng guānyú zhìdìng guómín jīngjì hé shèhuì fāzhǎn dì shísì gè wǔ nián guīhuà hé èr líng sānwǔ nián yuǎnjǐng mùbiāo dì jiànyì 中共中央关于制定国民经济和社会发展第十四个五年规划和二〇三五年远景目标的建议 [Proposal on Formulating the Fourteenth Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development and the Visionary Goals for 2035],” Gongchang Dangyuan Wang 共产党员网 [Communist Party Members Online], 29 October 2020.
4. Modernization has been articulated as a major policy goal of the Communist Party of China from the time Zhou Enlai introduced the Four Modernizations in 1963. Beginning in 2020 the CPC articulated two more specific development goals that lie at the center of Chinese economic and political planning: the goal to “basically realize socialist modernization” by 2035, and the goal to “build a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious” by 2049.

See Xi Jinping, “Major Points on the Recommendations of the CPC Central Committee for Formulating the 14th Five Year Plan for Economic and Social Development and Long Range Objectives Through the Year 2035,” The Governance of China, vol 4 (Beijing: Foreign Language Press, 2022), 129-136.
5. Chen here repeats a Jiang Zemin era slogan that draws on two statements made by Jiang Zemin in two different political reports. The first is “The key to solving all of China’s problems lies in our own development” [中国解决所有问题的关键在于依靠自己的发展 ] and “In governing and rejuvenating the country it is essential for the Party to give top priority to development” [必须把发展作为党执政兴国的第一要务].   
6. In Party discourse, standing tall, growing rich, and becoming strong are associated with three periods of the CPC’s history, and the three leaders who led the Party in these periods. Mao Zedong led the Party during the foundation of New China, the expulsion of imperial influence from China’s borders, and the repulse of American troops from China’s borders in the Korean war. This was China “standing up.” Deng Xiaoping led China during the initial stages of the Reform and Opening era, a period of time in which China climbed from abject poverty to its current station as the world’s second largest economy. Finally, under Xi Jinping, China’s wealth was translated into greater military power, international influence, and advanced technology. This period–the period in which Chen writes–is thus described as the era when China has become strong. 
7. There are multiple names for “Korea” in Chinese. North Korea is referred to as 朝鮮 Cháoxiǎn (Joeson), the traditional name for a united Korea. Given that the CCP viewed North Korea as the legitimate government of Korea during the Korean War, they used this name to designate the northern government then, and continue to use it in this fashion now. Today South Korea is usually referred to as 韩国 Hánguó, which might be literally translated as “the country of the Korean ethnicity.” Because the partition of Korea was not yet decided when the Korean war began, Cháoxiǎn is here translated as the Mao era leaders would have understood it: as “Korea” instead of “North Korea.”
8. Or more literally,  “throwing one punch to avoid one hundred punches.” The phrase is strongly associated with the Korean War, where it was used to describe Mao’s fear that the United States would use anti-communist forces in Taiwan, Vietnam, Korea, and Tibet to overthrow his new regime unless American leaders were forcefully shown the costs of stoking conflict with China. For the history of this phrase and its modern application in CPC rhetoric, see Shishuo Xingyu 是说新语, “Dǎ dé yī quán kāi, miǎndé bǎi quán lái 打得一拳开,免得百拳来 [Throw one punch to avoid one hundred punches],” Qiushi 求是 [Seeking Truth], 21 Oct 2020.
9. The Eighteenth National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party was held in Beijing from 8 November  to 15 Novemeber 2012. It was the Congress where Xi Jinping was elevated to the station of General Secretary.
10. Important national security legislation passed since the 18th National Congress include the National Security Law (2015), Counter-Terrorism Law (2015), National Defense Transportation Law (2016), National Intelligence Law (2017), Foreign NGO Law (2017), Cyber Security Law (2017), Foreign Investment Law (2020), and the Data Security Law (2021). For a review of this legislation in the context of Xi Jinping’s Total National Security Paradigm, see  Jude Blanchette, “The Edge of an Abyss: Xi Jinping’s Overall National Security Outlook,” China Leadership Monitor, 1 September 2022. 
11. Translated here as “sculpt,” sùzào [塑造] could also be rendered as “to shape” or “to mold.” In ordinary speech this is the verb for fixing something malleable and undefined into a new, concrete form ( as occurs when clay or stone are fashioned into pottery or sculpture). In the context of national security, Chinese theorists use the term “sculpt national security”  in a similar fashion to how American analysts describe “shaping the national security environment.” The idea is to configure the international or domestic operating environment in such a way that security crises do not arise, or if they do, the inherent tendencies of the sculpted environment make these crises easier to resolve in the PRC’s favor. 
12. This catalog of development guidelines was first introduced in the communique of the Fifth Plenum of the 19th Central Committee in October 2020. Following the new formulation, the 20th Party Congress amended the Constitution of the Communist Party of China in 2022 and added “more secure” to “better quality, more efficient, more equal, and more sustainable” as the requirements for China’s development in the new era.  
See “Zhōnggòng zhōngyāng guānyú zhìdìng guómín jīngjì hé shèhuì fāzhǎn dì shísì gè wǔ nián guīhuà hé èr líng sānwǔ nián yuǎnjǐng mùbiāo dì jiànyì 中共中央关于制定国民经济和社会发展第十四个五年规划和二〇三五年远景目标的建议 [Suggestions on the formulation of the 14th five-year plan for national economic and social development and the long-term goals for 2035],” Gongchang Dangyuan Wang 共产党员网 [Communist Party Members Online], 29 October 2020. Xu Jianwen 许建文, “Èrshí dà dǎngzhāng xiūzhèng àn xuéxí wèndá 二十大党章修正案学习问答 [Questions and Answers on the Amendment to the Party Constitution of the 20th National Congress],” 共产党员网 [Communist Party Members Online], 14 December 2022. 
13.  In Chinese, the phrase “hegemony” [霸权] implies predominance maintained through coercive methods. See the CST glossary entry for HEGEMONISM. The phrase “all strong countries automatically become hegemons” works as a shorthand both for Chinese perceptions of realist theories of international relations and the Western European historical experience they are based on. Chinese thinkers often depict the rise of imperial Spain, Britain, and the United States to hegemony as especially violent affairs; by rejecting the belief that “all strong countries become hegemons” Chinese intellectuals hope that their country can rise to international leadership through trade, commerce, and cultural charisma instead of through violence or subterfuge. For a recent Chinese discussion of this phrase, see Liu Weidong 刘卫东 and Fan Meng 范梦, “Guo Qiang Bi Ba Bushi Zhongguo de Xuanze ‘国强必霸’不是中国的选择 [All Strong Countries Become Hegemons is Not China’s Choice],” Hong Qi Wengao 红旗文稿 [Red Flag Manuscript], 10 May 2019.  
14. The hegemonic, bullying, and despotic nation in question is the United States of America; these are stock phrases party leaders use when they believe that America must be criticized, but they do not wish to heighten tensions by calling out the United States by name.
15.  Nèihán [内涵] and wàiyán [外延] are the Chinese translations for intension and extension, terms drawn from the fields of linguistics and logic to describe two different ways of defining words or conceptual categories. An extensional definition can be thought of as the set of objects denoted by a term (for example, the historian who defined “totalitarianism” by stating  “It means the kind of regime that existed in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, the Soviet satellites, Communist China, and maybe Fascist Italy, where the word originated” is providing an extensional definition of “totalitarianism”). An intensional definition, gives meaning to a term by specifying necessary and sufficient conditions for when the term should be used (for example, the historian who defines totalitarianism as a “regime that bans all institutions apart from those it has officially approved” is providing an intentional definition of the term).  
When state security officials talk about how the intention and extension of national security work is growing richer or more numerous, they are claiming that there are both a growing number of conceptual categories that must be seen through the lens of security (for example, “biosecurity”) and that within those categories the set of particular threats (say, SARS, MERS, and COVID-19) is also growing in number.
16. The translated list is slightly reordered in order to flow better in English.
17. The 13th Five Year Plan was implemented between 2016 and 2021.
18. The slogan “the Party is the key to handling China’s affairs” comes from Deng Xiaoping’s famous Southern Tour Address in 1992. See Deng Xiaoping 邓小平, “Zai Wuchang, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Shanghai Dengdide Tanhua Yaodian 在武昌,深圳,珠海,上海等地的谈话要点 [Excerpts From Talks Given In Wuchang, Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Shanghai],” in Deng Xiaoping Wenxuan 邓小平文选 [Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping], vol III (Beijing 北京: Renmin Chubanshe人民出版社 [People’s Press], 1993),
19. These are: “political consciousness” (政治意识), “consciousness of the overall situation” (大局意识), “consciousness of the core” (核心意识) and “compliance consciousness” (看齐意识).
20. These are: confidence in the theoretical system of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, confidence in the institutions of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, confidence in the culture of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, and confidence in the path of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics. See the glossary entry SOCIALISM WITH CHINESE CHARACTERISTICS for a longer description.
21. These are: upholding Xi Jinping as the core of the Party, and upholding the Party’s central authority and unified leadership.
22. This is stated in paragraph 49 in the "Proposal on Formulating the Fourteenth Five-Year Plan.”
23. This is a set of intra-party rules promulgated by the first meeting of the 19th Central National Security Commission on April 17, 2018.
24. The phrase 人民防线 refers to the collective efforts made by Party members and all members of greater society to maintain China’s national security, which include everything mentioned in this document, along with reporting alleged spies engaging in any activities involving sabotage, subversion, or national division  to authorities.
25. Xi Jinping first instructed cadres to “dare to struggle and struggle well” in a September 3rd, 2019 speech at the Central Party School. “Struggle is an art,” he would go on to say, “and we must be adroit practitioners.” See Xi Jinping, Governance of China, vol III (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 2020), 264. See also the CST glossary entry SOFT BONE DISEASE.

统筹发展和安全 筑牢国家安全屏障(深入学贯彻习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想)

习近平总书记在中央政治局第二十六次集体学习时强调,做好新时代国家安全工作,要坚持总体国家安全观,抓住和用好我国发展的重要战略机遇期,把国家安全贯穿到党和国家工作各方面全过程,同经济社会发展一起谋划、一起部署。习近平总书记就贯彻总体国家安全观提出10点要求,其中一点就是坚持统筹发展和安全。

这是继党的十九届五中全会把统筹发展和安全纳入“十四五”时期我国经济社会发展指导思想之后,以习近平同志为核心的党中央对统筹发展和安全再次作出重要部署。我们要深入学习领会习近平总书记关于统筹发展和安全的重要论述,推动相关重要战略部署落实落地,有效防范化解各类风险挑战,筑牢国家安全屏障,确保社会主义现代化事业顺利推进。

统筹发展和安全具有重大理论和现实意义

以习近平同志为核心的党中央高度重视统筹发展和安全。统筹发展和安全是对历史上大国兴衰经验的深刻总结,是对新中国成立70多年来推进社会主义现代化建设经验的深刻总结,是对发展和安全辩证统一关系的深刻认识和把握,是着眼于在不稳定不确定发展环境中更好推进中华民族伟大复兴的重要战略部署,具有深刻理论逻辑、历史逻辑和重大现实意。

贯彻总体国家安全观的重要要求。2014年,习近平总书记创造性地提出总体国家安全观。坚持总体国家安全观是习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想的重要组成部分,是新时代坚持和发展中国特色社会主义的基本方略之一。6年多来,我们在维护国家安全、防范风险挑战方面的一系列成功实践,充分彰显了总体国家安全观的理论力量和实践品格。统筹发展和安全,是贯彻总体国家安全观的重要要求。

习近平总书记强调,安全是发展的前提,发展是安全的保障,进一步阐明了两者的辩证统一关系。发展是我们党执政兴国的第一要务,是解决中国一切问题的关键。没有经济社会发展,就不可能实现国家长治久安、社会安定有序、人民安居乐业。国家安全是国家生存发展的基本前提,是安邦定国的重要基石。没有国家安全,就不可能实现经济社会可持续发展,已经取得的成果也会失去。事实证明,发展和安全相辅相成、不可偏废,统一于坚持和发展中国特色社会主义的伟大实践。

对历史经验的深刻总结。历史反复证明,能否统筹好发展和安全,关系国家兴衰、历史走向。纵览中国历代政治得失,封建王朝的衰亡大多与发展和安全摆布失据有关。纵览世界大国兴衰历史,大国兴起时,往往能够较好地统筹发展和安全,而衰落则与没有统筹好发展和安全密切相关。没有发展作为支撑的安全,必然难以长久;没有安全作为保障的发展,必然不可持续。发展和安全合则兴、离则弱、悖则亡,这是历史留给我们的深刻启示。

实现中华民族伟大复兴的必然要求。新中国成立后,我们党对发展和安全高度重视,始终把维护国家安全工作紧紧抓在手上,在不同历史时期对统筹发展和安全作出正确战略决策,中华民族迎来了从站起来、富起来到强起来的伟大飞跃。

新中国成立之初,国内形势与国际环境错综复杂。我们党以“打得一拳开,免得百拳来”的气魄作出抗美援朝、保家卫国的历史性决策,粉碎了侵略者将新中国扼杀在摇篮中的图谋。改革开放以来,我们党作出和平与发展是时代主题的科学判断,积极营造良好发展环境,抓住机遇加快发展,经济社会发展取得巨大成就。党的十八大以来,以习近平同志为核心的党中央加强对国家安全工作的集中统一领导,从全局和战略高度对国家安全作出一系列重大决策部署,强化国家安全工作顶层设计,完善各重要领域国家安全政策,健全国家安全法律法规,有效应对了一系列重大风险挑战,保持了我国国家安全大局稳定。

当今世界正经历百年未有之大变局,我国正处于实现中华民族伟大复兴的关键时期。和平与发展仍是当今时代主题,但不稳定不确定因素增多,我们面临的风险挑战愈加复杂。这些风险挑战是我国由大向强发展进程中无法回避的,是实现中华民族伟大复兴绕不过的门槛。我们要认清我国发展所处的历史方位、国家安全面临的形势任务,更好统筹发展和安全各项工作。

牢牢掌握国家安全工作主动权

统筹发展和安全,既是重大理论问题,也是重要实践要求。要坚持总体国家安全观,维护和塑造国家安全,统筹传统安全和非传统安全,把国家安全贯穿到党和国家工作各领域全过程,防范和化解影响我国现代化进程的各种风险。

在发展中保安全、在安全中促发展。发展和安全,犹如车之两轮、鸟之两翼,任何一方面有明显短板,都会影响中华民族伟大复兴进程。在全面建设社会主义现代化国家新征程上统筹发展和安全,既要求通过发展提升国家安全实力,又要求深入推进国家安全思路、体制、手段创新,营造有利于经济社会发展的安全环境,在发展中更多考虑安全因素,努力形成在发展中保安全、在安全中促发展的格局,实现更高质量、更有效率、更加公平、更可持续、更为安全的发展。

我们要贯彻落实习近平总书记关于统筹发展和安全的重要论述,加强战略性、系统性、前瞻性研究谋划,深入思考今后一个时期我国经济社会发展存在哪些重大风险,深入思考防范化解重大安全风险的思路举措,深入思考如何把国家安全工作融入国家发展各领域全过程,牢牢掌握国家安全工作主动权。

维护和塑造国家安全。维护国家安全和塑造国家安全是统一的,塑造是更高层次、更具前瞻性的维护。随着我国日益走近世界舞台中央,我们要在变局中把握规律、在乱局中趋利避害、在斗争中争取主动,切实维护我国主权、安全、发展利益。

塑造国家安全,不是要走国强必霸之路,而是坚定不移走和平发展道路,目的是为了实现中华民族伟大复兴;不是对现有国际秩序推倒重来、另起炉灶,而是在维护以联合国宪章宗旨和原则为核心的国际秩序基础上,与世界各国一起与时俱进完善全球治理体制机制;不是要零和博弈,而是要合作共赢、互惠互利,坚持多边主义和国际关系民主化,推动构建人类命运共同体。

任何国家都没有包揽国际事务、主宰他国命运、垄断发展优势的权力,更不能在世界上搞霸权、霸凌、霸道。面对前进道路上的各种风险挑战,我们将以坚强决心、坚定意志、坚实国力为依托,统筹运用维护国家安全和塑造国家安全“两手”,不断增强塑造国家安全态势的能力。

统筹传统安全和非传统安全。当前,我国国家安全的内涵和外延比历史上任何时候都要丰富,时空领域比历史上任何时候都要宽广,内外因素比历史上任何时候都要复杂。总的看,政治、国土、军事安全仍然是国家安全的重中之重,任何时候都必须抓住不放。同时,在中国这样一个快速发展的国家,我们面临的非传统安全威胁越来越多,需要统筹兼顾、综合施策。

突如其来的新冠肺炎疫情,是对我国应对非传统安全威胁能力的一次考验。在以习近平同志为核心的党中央坚强领导下,我们取得抗击新冠肺炎疫情斗争重大战略成果。当前和今后一个时期是我国各类矛盾和风险易发期,各种可以预见和难以预见的风险因素明显增多。党的十九届五中全会对应对经济、金融、网络、粮食、能源、生态、核、生物、海外利益等安全问题作出全面部署。我们要认真贯彻落实这些重要部署,深入掌握各类危害国家安全的新行为新动向,积极推进非传统安全领域国家安全立法,加强风险预警、防控机制和能力建设,全面应对各领域安全风险和挑战。

汇聚维护国家安全的强大合力

维护好国家安全,是全党全社会的共同责任。我们要以习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想特别是总体国家安全观为指导,充分发挥中国共产党领导的政治优势和中国特色社会主义的制度优势,汇聚起维护国家安全的强大合力。

坚持党对国家安全工作的绝对领导。“十三五”时期,党和国家走过了一段极不平凡的历程。以习近平同志为核心的党中央科学研判时与势,辩证把握机与危,坚持统筹发展和安全,打赢了一场又一场硬仗,抵御了一个又一个风险,不断取得新胜利。实践充分证明,办好中国的事情关键在党。新征程上,我们要办好发展安全两件大事,谱写经济快速发展、社会长期稳定“两大奇迹”新篇章,最根本的是要坚持党对发展和安全工作的全面领导,增强“四个意识”、坚定“四个自信”、做到“两个维护”。有以习近平同志为核心的党中央领航掌舵,有习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想的科学指引,我们一定能够战胜各种风险挑战,将中国特色社会主义事业不断推向前进。

推进国家安全体系和能力现代化。党的十九届五中全会对“加强国家安全体系和能力建设”作出战略部署,为构建现代化国家安全体系和能力指明了方向。下一阶段,我们要进一步强化党对国家安全工作的领导,完善集中统一、高效权威的国家安全领导体制,健全国家安全法治体系、战略体系、政策体系、人才体系和运行机制,完善重要领域国家安全立法、制度、政策,健全国家安全审查和监管制度,加强国家安全执法,推动国家安全体系和能力同国家现代化进程相适应。

落实国家安全责任。坚持全国一盘棋,调动各方面积极性,集中力量办大事,是中国特色社会主义制度的显著优势之一,也是维护国家安全的重要基础。国家安全风险来自各个方面,化解风险要充分调动各方面积极性,打造人人有责、人人尽责的工作新局面。严格落实《党委(党组)国家安全责任制规定》,形成一级抓一级、层层抓落实的工作格局,确保党中央关于国家安全工作的决策部署落到实处。加强国家安全宣传教育,教育引导广大人民群众增强国家安全意识,巩固国家安全人民防线。

发挥专门机关作用。贯彻落实总体国家安全观,护航中华民族伟大复兴,是国家安全机关的重大政治责任。面对前进道路上的风险考验甚至惊涛骇浪,国家安全机关既要有敢于斗争的勇气,更要有善于斗争的本领。我们要充分发挥专门机关作用,依法防范、制止、打击危害我国国家安全的各类违法犯罪活动,加强国家安全干部队伍建设,打造坚不可摧的国家安全干部队伍,筑牢国家安全屏障。

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