China’s Xi to Introduce ‘Historical Resolution’ in Bid to Cement Legacy: Experts

October 21, 2021 Updated: October 26, 2021

News Analysis

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will hold its key members’ meeting in November, where the politburo will issue a third “historical resolution” to draw conclusions on historical issues.

Experts believe that this third historical resolution will set the tone for leader Xi Jinping’s identity in the CCP’s history, and pave the way for his succession in the regime’s major meeting in 2022.

In a Politburo meeting on Oct. 18, the Party announced the plan to hold its Sixth Plenary Session of the Nineteenth Central Committee from Nov. 8 to 11.

In the meeting led by Xi, participants also discussed the resolution on “major achievements and historical experience over the past 100 years of the Party,” which is to be revised and presented to its rubber-stamp legislature meeting in 2022.

Resolutions on the CCP’s History

The previous two resolutions (pdf) on the history of the CCP were adopted in 1945 and 1981, respectively.

Those two resolutions successively established invincible positions for Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping in the Party.

The 1945 resolution on “certain questions in the CCP history” served Mao’s first ideological mass movement to eliminate his political opponents at the Party’s base in Yan’an, a landlocked mountainous area of China, during the Second Sino-Japanese War. It was drafted at the Seventh Plenary Session of the Sixth Central Committee of the Party.

Epoch Times Photo
A group of people take pictures in front of portraits of (L-R) late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong and former Chinese leaders Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao and current leader Xi Jinping at an exhibition marking the country’s achievements over the past 70 years, ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, in Beijing on Sept. 26, 2019. (Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images)

Deng’s 1981 resolution on “certain questions in the CCP history since the founding of the regime,” was issued at the Sixth Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee of the Party. It assessed and criticized Mao’s ultra-leftism political line and Mao’s Cultural Revolution. It helped to secure Deng’s political status.

Party’s Internal Fighting

Yuan Hongbing, is a leading Chinese dissident and writer. In an interview with The Epoch Times, the former head of the law school at Beijing University said Xi’s historical resolution is paving the way for his tenure as the Party leader.

He said that Xi’s general idea of the Sixth Plenary Session can be summarized as: Mao Zedong made China stand up; Deng Xiaoping made China rich; Xi Jinping made China strong.

Yuan explained, “To begin with, it was Mao Zedong—the dictator and thief—who made China stand up. It’s from Xi Jinping’s point of view; but, in our view, he made the communist bandit stand up, not the Chinese people.

“Then, it was Deng Xiaoping, along with his successors Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao. Together, they made China rich; in our opinion, the Party’s elite capitalism has helped the totalitarian CCP to reach an unprecedented level of corruption.”

According to Yuan, Xi has defined himself as a powerful dictator, “His wolf-warrior diplomacy has put him in the center of conflicts, both domestic and international.” Xi believes being tough is how he “made China strong.”

“That’s how Xi Jinping sees himself in the CCP’s history, the one who stands side by side with Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping,” Yuan said.

The third historical resolution will help Xi to set up an ideological foundation for his political legacy in the Party, according to Yuan.

Therefore, the CCP’s internal fighting will surround the issue of his succession in the leadership and even the tenure of his ruling within the Party.

Yuan also believed that for Xi to reach his goal, he must negate former leader Jiang Zemin.

Xi’s Aggressive Obsession

Tang Jingyuan, a columnist and China affairs specialist, also believes that Xi is trying to differentiate himself from Mao and Deng, so that he can set his own legacy for possible tenure of his leadership.

He said, “Xi is aiming to eliminate the influence of Deng. He must establish his own image as a pioneer. It’s his way to win his legitimacy in ruling the Party and even life-long leadership.”

However, he doubted that Xi would totally negate Jiang Zemin, noting that in a recent document of the politburo meeting, former leaders of the CCP such as Mao, Deng, Jiang, and Hu were still mentioned. Rather, Xi has been pretty aggressive in the international arena.

He said, “Xi Jinping believes that his mission is to exploit the two major weapons built by Mao and Deng—the political totalitarian system, and the economic corrosion and penetration—to launch a full-scale unconventional war against the world,” and that’s why Xi claimed himself the one to “make China strong.”

Tang said the national meeting in 2022 will target world leadership. Xi will fight for world leadership in a full-scale manner including the infiltration and expansion of all coercive, aggressive, and destructive types of hot wars, cold wars, and unrestricted wars.

Xi’s Image in the Ruling Party

In the 2016 plenary session of the Party, Xi established himself as the core leader. In 2017, he further stepped up on the CCP hierarchy and published “Xi Jinping’s Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era,” often abbreviated as “Xi Jinping Thought.”

“Xi Jinping Thought” is comparable to Mao’s doctrine, “Mao Zedong Thought.”

In 2018, “Xi Jinping Thought” was added into the Party’s constitution. At the same time, Xi revised the Party constitution and removed the two-term limit of the regime chairman.

In the latest edition of the “Brief History of the Party” published this year, Xi’s ruling period occupied 146 pages of the entire 531 pages, more than a quarter of the book; the condemnation of Mao’s Cultural Revolution was downplayed.

Commentator Yuan said that according to insiders’ understanding, Xi believed that there were only two CCP leaders worth praising: Mao is one, and Xi is surely the other one.

Xi intended to negate Deng’s economic reforms, but he was advised that the time was not right. After all, there are still allies and cronies of his predecessors within the Party, according to Yuan.

Yuan explained, “He must completely deny Deng Xiaoping’s economic line and Jiang Zemin’s corrupt elite line before he can establish his sole identity as high as Mao in the Party.”

Xi’s ‘Two Cannot Deny’ Ideology

In 2013, Xi brought up the “two cannot deny” ideology referring to the CCP history before and after the reform and opening up period. The 30 years before the reform and opening up period cannot be used to deny the 30 years after the reform and opening up, and vice versa.

Epoch Times Photo
Young Chinese people demonstrate during the “great proletarian Cultural Revolution” in front of the French embassy, in Beijing, on Jan. 1967. Since the Cultural Revolution was launched in May 1966 at Beijing University, Mao’s aim was to recapture power after the failure of the “Great Leap Forward,” The movement was directed against those “party leaders in authority taking the capitalist road.” (Jean Vincent/AFP via Getty Images)

In the first 30 years since the founding of the Party, there were Mao’s political movements such as land reforms, elimination of communist opponents, and the purge of state enemies; the economic and social movement—Great Leap Forward; the Great Famine; and the Cultural Revolution.

Deng’s economic reform and opening up in the 70s brought the regime on the world stage for the next 30 years. But the CCP’s ruling also resulted in the country’s totally corrupt and collapsed morale.

Tang explained that it’s simply a tactical adjustment between Mao and Deng within the 60 years of the CCP’s ruling.

The Party’s fundamental line to global hegemony with communism has never changed. This line was described as “liberation of all mankind” in the Mao era.

Deng kept up a guise to fool Western society, rather than publicly tout a similar slogan as Mao. Deng’s 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre and his 1992 political campaign on the “Southern Tour” following the “Peaceful Evolution” (the dissolution of the Soviet Union during 1988 and 1991), secured the communist line of the CCP.

Xi, on the other hand, inscribed the line with his slogan, “a community with a shared future for mankind.”

Tang said, “When Xi mentioned the ‘two cannot deny’ [ideology], he was really saying he’s the sole heir of the Party’s fundamental line.”

He believes that Xi will declare the end of Deng’s era by highly affirming his own political achievements. This is the same strategy as Deng’s declaration that the era of Mao was over.

When Xi was hitting hard on the private enterprises in the name of “common prosperity,” public opinion believed that China was ushering in a second cultural revolution, but Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang and Vice Premier Liu He insisted that the opening up for the private enterprises remained.

Tang said, “Objectively, Xi Jinping’s ‘two cannot deny’ [ideology] indeed balances the faction differences between the predecessors, Mao and Deng.”

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Haizhong Ning was a state employee and worked for a real estate company in China, before moving abroad and working as a reporter with a focus on Chinese affairs and politics for more than seven years.
Luo Ya
Luo Ya is a freelance contributor to The Epoch Times.