Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Communist Party’s Central Committee have laid out a plan for a ‘new era’ in which the party has better control over private business in China.
The plan was detailed in a 5,000-word statement – and all regions and departments in the country have been told to follow the new guidelines.
This was the top story on Wednesday’s CCTV Evening News – how the president had issued “important instructions”.
It had a long-winded title: “Opinion on Strengthening the United Front Work of the Private Economy in the New Era”.
The ultimate goal is for the party to have ideological leadership of private enterprise.
The statement seeks to improve CCP control over private enterprise and entrepreneurs through United Front Work “to better focus the wisdom and strengthen of the private businesspeople on the goal and mission to realise the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”
Xi’s instructions were issued ahead of a conference today on this very topic. The party wants to see a “united front” between private enterprise and government business.
100 ways to rein in the private sector
Since the 18th National Congress in May, members of the party’s Central Committee and Comrade Xi have proposed a series of new concepts and strategies, and adopted a series of major measures to guide and promote private economic ‘united front’ work. They say these moves have achieved “remarkable results”.
As China’s private economy has grown and diversified, the statement says “these measures will bring about a great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation under Xi Jinping thought”.
Overall, there are more than 100 measures, including guidance on selection of personnel to implement the measures.
“We must also see that socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, [as] the scale of the private economy has continued to expand, risks and challenges have increased significantly, the values and interests of the private economy have become increasingly diverse, and the united front work of the private economy is facing new situations and tasks,” the statement says.
“In order to thoroughly implement the major decisions and deployments of the Party Central Committee, to further strengthen the Party’s leadership of the private economic united front work, and to better integrate the wisdom and strength of private economic personnel to the goal and task of achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, the following opinions are hereby offered.”
The primary stated significance of the measures is “enhancement of the party’s leadership over the private economy – private economic figures are to be more closely united around the party.”
More CCP involvement in business
This is quite a turnaround. Previously, private business was not considered very worthy for party membership or influence, but it has gradually entered the heart of the regime.
According to the new provisions, private firms will need a certain amount of CCP registered employees, which is already a long-term practise in large private firms but not smaller ones.
These cadres will make sure businesses follow the guiding ideology “Guided by Xi Jinping’s Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.”
They will also guide private business people to enhance the latest CCP catchphrases – “four consciousnesses”, strengthen the “four self-confidences”, and achieve the “two safeguards.”
Duties of cadres will include the duties of strengthening ideological guidance, guiding private economic figures to increase their awareness of self-discipline, build a strong line of ideological and moral defence, strictly regulate their own words and deeds, cultivate a healthy lifestyle, and create a good public image.
They will also need to continuously improve law abidance and moral standards of private citizens.
Communication channels will be set up between private business and the party to report back on progress and other matters.