Analysis: Under Xi Jinping, private lives of Chinese citizens are no longer so private


Since celebrating its centenary in July with much fanfare, the party has thrown up a flurry of rules telling the Chinese people, especially the younger generation, how to live their daily lives.

These policies have received varying levels of public support. The strict restrictions limiting minors to playing video games for three hours a week have been appreciated by many parents for how they can curb their children’s gaming habits. ban on “feminine” male celebrities Entertainment shows, meanwhile, have drawn widespread criticism for promoting gender stereotypes and discrimination.

The measure is the latest attempt by President Xi Jinping to re-establish the party’s dominance in shaping the private lives of Chinese citizens, marking a significant departure from a more pragmatic direction by Chinese leaders in recent decades.

have personal freedom China has come a long way under Communist rule. During the turbulent regime of Chairman Mao Zedong, revolutionary zeal for collectivism eroded individual desires, often resulting in disastrous, fatal consequences. Expressionism of individualism was wiped out during the Cultural Revolution, a dark decade of social upheaval initiated by Mao in 1966 when thought, speech and even dress were restricted.

After the Cultural Revolution, which ended only with Mao’s death in 1976, China moved away from the “class struggle” and focused on reforming and opening up its economy. As the party dismantled the planned economy and shook state-owned enterprises, it gradually withdrew from the private life of the Chinese people.

Rapid economic growth and increased risk The outside world presented many Chinese people with a variety of new lifestyle choices. While political controls remained tight, especially after the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989, the party offered a wide degree of economic and social freedom in exchange for the absence of political pluralism.

However, under Xi’s leadership, that untold deal begins to falter, as the Communist Party seeks to re-establish itself at the center of Chinese life.

Analysts say the party’s infiltration into private life, after its firm grip on nearly every other aspect of Chinese society and economy in recent years, has been long overdue – from tightening the noose on civil society to the country’s tech giants. Until the rein

Dali Yang, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago, said, “Now with the rules of entertainment and so on, it seems that all of the options are getting narrower.”

state as parents

Recent policies have been heavily tainted with patriarchal tones and have focused primarily on the country’s youth, whom the party worries have become victims of the greedy pursuit of profits by private companies and the undue influence of Western values. Huh.

Last month, a State Media Commentary called video gamesspiritual poppy, which she said, “had a negative impact on the physical and mental health of minors.”

The commentary stated, “‘Spiritual opium’ has grown into an industry of hundreds of billions. “No industry, no sport can be allowed to develop in a way that destroys a generation. (Protecting) the growth of minors should always come first.”

Weeks later, the Chinese government Minors barred from playing online games during school days. They are only allowed to play between 8 pm and 9 pm on Fridays, weekends and public holidays.

Party mouthpieces have also condemned the rising popularity of “Sissy Boy” stars, blaming Chinese celebrities for importing “morbid aesthetics” from Japan and South Korea.

Official Guangming Daily on August 28 rained heavily Male stars in idol plays and variety shows for “coarse makeup, cohabiting clothes and bisexual looks”, warning of their “detrimental effect on the aesthetic tastes of young people”.

The party also took aim at the private education industry, which it blamed for putting excessive pressure on students and preventing them from becoming better children. But critics say the action did little to ease parental anxiety or address the root cause of the academic rat race – namely the lack of good schools and universities in contrast to the large numbers of students in China.

“The state is trying to handle some of the act of being a parent, helping or trying to help in some way,” said Yang at the University of Chicago.

“But of course we know how limited[its impact]can be in the long term, especially when we have a tremendous generational gap here,” he said.

Unlike Xi and his colleagues born in the Mao era, young people in China today have a lot of choices – freedoms that are hard to take away once people get used to them.

Jean-Pierre Cabestan, professor of political science at Hong Kong Baptist University and an expert on Chinese politics, said that if continued, the party’s micro-management of private life is likely to “make a lot of enemies” among the younger generations.

“It was easy under Mao, because he mobilized the Red Guards and the people were loyal to him, and China was isolated from the outside world. It’s not like that anymore,” he said. “So they have to be more careful and selective in infiltrating people’s private lives, and I think they will withstand more resistance

He said open disagreement is unlikely, but people can always find ways to get around the rules and pretend compliance.

Re-preparing youth for Xi’s new era

Wu Qiang, an independent political analyst in Beijing, said the policies were part of Xi’s effort to make Chinese youth the right heirs of his new era.

“As Xi prepares to begin his third term in power at the 20th Party Congress next year, he wants to develop a generation of young people who can relate to him,” Wu said.

Xi has previously emphasized the importance of “unifying ideas”, comparing the development of the right values ​​during adolescence to buttoning shirts. “If the first button is done wrong, the rest of the button will be wrong.”

To instill loyalty and compliance The party – and Xi himself – requires students from primary schools to universities to study Xi’s political philosophy starting this academic year. Curriculum is a compulsory subject in the curriculum, taught with a series of stand-alone textbooks dedicated to Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for the New Age.
Chinese people ordered to think like Xi as Communist Party aims to consolidate control

This has inspired comparisons to the Cultural Revolution, when the cult of personality around Mao reached a frenzied state, with the youth of the country studying his wisdom in quotes from Mao Zedong – known as the “Little Red Book”. Is.

But unlike Mao, who encouraged the young Red Guards to attack the party establishment and spread chaos across the country, Xi wants the youth to “listen to the party, follow the party” and his ambition to restore China. Be a creative force in achieving its status as a great global power.

“The future belongs to the youth,” Xi said in a speech marking the party’s centenary in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on July 1.

He said, “The Chinese youth of the new age should set the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation as their mission, strengthen their ambition, backbone and self-confidence of being Chinese … and lower the expectations of the party and the people.” Shouldn’t.”

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