The Center for Strategic Translation provides statesmen and scholars with the tools needed to interpret the Chinese party-state of today while training a new generation of China specialists with the skills needed to guide our relations with the China of tomorrow.

The Center meets this need through initiatives in translation and education. The Center locates, translates, and annotates documents of historic or strategic value that are currently only available in Chinese. Our introductory essays, glossaries, and commentaries are designed to make these materials accessible and understandable to statesmen and scholars with no special expertise in Chinese politics or the Chinese language.

Complementing the Center’s published translations are the Center’s training seminars. Starting in the summer of 2023 the Center will host a series of seminars to instruct young journalists, graduate students, and government analysts in the open-source analysis of Communist Party policy, introduce them to the distinctive lexicon and history of Party speak, and train them how to draw credible conclusions from conflicting or propagandistic documentary sources.
The Center is an initiative of the American Governance Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that studies and promotes the betterment of American public institutions and publishes the quarterly magazine Palladium. The Center is directed by Tanner Greer, a noted essayist, journalist, and researcher with expertise interpreting China in the context of American foreign policy.


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Industrial Party
Gōngyè Dǎng

The Industrial Party is the self-chosen moniker of a Chinese internet subculture and intellectual scene devoted to debating and dissecting problems in engineering, economic development, and international relations. Public intellectuals associated with this subculture argue that technological progress is the sole measure of social progress or state legitimacy, as well as the most critical element in China’s geopolitical rivalry with the United States. Typically young men with backgrounds in science or engineering, Industrial Party commentators are articulate spokesmen for a distinctly Chinese techno-nationalism. Their voices are heard in almost all public discussions of Chinese industrial policy or Sino-American tech competition.

Contrary to its name, the Industrial Party is not an organized political party—the closest analogue on the American scene would be online communities like the “Dirtbag Left,” the “New Right,” or the “Rationalist Movement,” whose identities are anchored on the writings of intellectuals operating on the margins of power. The origins of this community lie in message boards of the mid aughts; there a young generation of technically minded Chinese gathered to discuss the technologies portrayed in science fiction novels, debate the finer details of Chinese industrial policy, and follow new developments in PLA weaponry. Like all internet communities, this one had distinctive cultural quirks. These included scrupulous attention to technical detail, exhaustive statistical summaries, and an unwavering commitment to logical, dispassionate analysis. These traits would still be hallmarks of Industrial Party commentary a decade later, when the best Industrial Policy voices were read not only in niche online forums, but across the Chinese public sphere.

There is no Industrial Party catechism. Commentators identified with the Industrial Party have included both communists and democrats, advocates of both market liberalization and advocates of stronger central planning. What unites the Industrial Party commentariat is the belief that alternatives like these are best thought of as technical questions, not moral ones. In their eyes appeals to morality and philosophy are just appeals to emotion by another name; beneath the subjective word games of political philosophy lies a world more solid and real—a world of material things that can be measured, calculated, and manipulated. The technological advances that allow human beings to engineer these objective physical realities for their own ends are the crowning achievements of the human race. They are the only objective measure of social progress that holds true regardless of culture or location and are the only proper purpose for government action.

The Industrial Party’s faith in technological glory is matched only by its fear of falling behind. To technology they credit the difference between weakness and strength, collapse and survival, imperialized and imperialist. Scientific discoveries may be made in the name of the species, but the practical benefits of new discoveries flow first to the nations who discover them. In the Industrial Party worldview, technological progress is inherently a national endeavor. Nations that fall behind will suffer. China experienced this first hand during its own CENTURY OF NATIONAL HUMILIATION. Such humiliation, the Industrial Party insists, need not occur again. China’s ADVANCE TOWARDS THE CENTER OF THE WORLD STAGE can be guaranteed—but only if China’s leaders care more for scientific research and industrial development than they do about less tangible political ideals.




King, Dylan Levi. 2021. “China’s Exit to Year Zero.” Palladium Magazine. April 9; Lu Nanfeng 卢南峰, Wu Qing 吴靖. 2018. “Lishi zhuanzhe zhong de hongda xushi: gongyedang wangluo sichao de zhengzhi fengxi 历史转折中的宏大叙事:’工业党’网络思潮的政治分析[Historical Transformation and Grand Narrative: A Political Analysis of the ‘Industrial Party,’ an Online Intellectual Trend],” Dongfang Xuefan 东方学刊 [Dongfang Journal]; Lu Nanfeng 卢南峰, Wu Qing 吴靖. 2019. “‘Gongyedang’ yu ‘xiaofenghong’ youshenme butong ‘工业党”’与’小粉红’有什么不同 [What is the Difference between the Industrial Party and the Little Pinkies].” Souhu 搜狐. 17 June; Ma, T.J. 2019. “Development Blogging: Understanding Social Media Support for BRI.” Panda Paw Dragon Claw. 10 February; Shi-Kupfer, Kristin, Mareike Ohlberg, Simon Lang, and Bertram Lang. 2017. “Ideas and Ideologies Competing For China’s Political Future.” Mercator Institute for China Studies. October.

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