Marxism key to problem solving: Xi

By Catherine Wong Tsoi-lai Source:Global Times Published: 2015-1-26 0:23:03

Ideology a theoretical tool to unite officials in time of change: analyst

Chinese President Xi Jinping's recent stress on dialectical materialism has brought about a resurgence of Marxist ideology as the theoretical foundation of the Communist Party of China (CPC) amid the nation's deepening reform, said observers.

Xi, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, said Friday that all CPC members should value ideological work and promote "core socialist values" as he presided over a meeting attended by members of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, reported the Xinhua News Agency on Saturday.

The president reiterated that China will remain at the primary stage of socialism for a long time to come. Through 30 years of reform and opening up, China has made breakthroughs in productivity, comprehensive national strength and people's living standards, but the situation and challenges both domestically and abroad are changing.

"We should grasp new traits in new phases of development, and stipulate guidelines in accordance with reality," Xi said, adding that ideology should be at the heart of the Party.

The meeting followed a previous session in 2013 when the bureau delivered a similar lecture on Marxist philosophy.

Dialectical materialism, a key tenet of Marxist philosophy along with historical materialism, is a philosophical approach that views all changes in the world as the result of conflicts between opposites.

The president said that dialectical materialism, a strand of Marxist philosophy, should provide CPC members with the right approach to problem solving as China continues on its path of reform and development.

Observers have pointed out that Xi's emphasis on Marxist ideology was inherited from early leaders like Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. The ideology is undergoing a resurgence at a time when China is in the midst of a critical transition. 

"Chinese society is under pressure from slowing GDP growth under the 'new normal' state amid its deepening reform. There has been resistance to the anti-corruption crackdown and the 'rule of law' reform within the Party," Zhang Xixian, a professor with the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, told the Global Times

Chinese authorities on Tuesday announced that GDP growth had hit a 24-year low of 7.4 percent in 2014, down from 7.7 percent in 2013, the slowest since 1991.

At the Friday meeting, Xi said that China should not be judged by GDP alone, and instead should be judged by its transition in economic development, restructuring, halting overcapacity and by the strength of the nation's commitment to an ecological society.

Also on Friday, the Political Bureau warned that China is currently facing unprecedented security risks amid a complicated international situation, and the country should remain alert to potential dangers.

"Many of the current problems faced by Chinese society are caused by a lack of understanding toward our ideological roots. For example, corruption is prevalent among officials who have deviated in their understanding of ideology," a political scientist who requested anonymity, told the Global Times.

"Xi is familiar with Marxist philosophy and is eager to put it into practice when solving problems. He is providing the officials with a theoretical framework and asking them to think like him," he added.

The CPC, founded in the early 1920s, has advocated Marxism and socialism with Chinese characteristics as an ideological guidance to strengthen and modernize China.

Xiakedao, a public WeChat account operated by the Party's flagship newspaper the People's Daily, wrote in a commentary on Saturday that "throughout the history of the CPC, ideological preparation has always marked the beginning of some major operations."

The commentary also predicted that Xi will launch more measures in 2015 to tackle challenges faced by today's Chinese society.

"Since the 1920s, China has been influenced by various Western ideologies, while Marxism remains the ideological guidance which suits China the most," Yan Shuhan, director of the scientific socialism department of the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, told the Global Times.

With the rapid development of the Internet, Yan noted that penetration of Western ideologies into Chinese society is inevitable.

However, CPC members can return to their Communist roots and empower themselves with Marxist and socialist ideals, Yan said.

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