6th Plenum Communique and historical resolution

The 6th Plenum is over and the 20th Party Congress is officially scheduled for the second half of 2022.

There is a new historical resolution but the full text has not been released. The Communique that was issued after the meeting likely contains the key points of the resolution but we do not know for sure what the resolution really says until we see the full text. The Central Committee is hosting a press conference in a few hours so we may learn more then, though it is unclear when that resolution will become public.

From my read of the Communique, my facile TL;DR summary would be "Mao was the Man, Xi is the Man, the others helped in the transition". By that I mean that there is language in there that reads to me as a bit of a diminution of Deng Xiaoping and there are some passages that look to be throwing shade on Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao.

The Communique is very positive and triumphalist. There should be no doubt that it further advances Xi’s “leadership supremacy”, as Chris Johnson called it in the podcast last week, and that the base case for everyone should be that Xi will be large and in charge for as long as he wants to be. Anyone who is still engaging in wishful thinking that perhaps he will be removed from power and the PRC will change course, please cast aside your fantasies and seek truth from facts.

The Chinese-language version is the one to read, as the English-language one has some translation quirks. For example, the English-language one translates “飞跃” as “step” when it really means “leap”. I go into the potential significance of “leap” in item #1.

Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for the New Era was not truncated in the communique to “Xi Jinping Thought”. As the propaganda and education campaigns for the Plenum and the historical resolution roll out in the coming days it will be important to watch which officials and provincial leaders get out ahead of others in the hagiography and sycophancy, and as part of that process we may see some truncation. Then again, maybe we will not, and maybe it will not happen until the 20th Party Congress, or maybe it will never happen. I hope it will, mostly because I am sick of writing the full version.

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