At the recent 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, where Xi Jinping demonstrated that he had concentrated power to a degree unprecedented in China’s reform era, one of the most outstanding themes was the need to strengthen the power and authority of the Party itself.
The need to “strictly govern the Party,” or congyan zhidang (从严治党), has been one of Xi’s most consistent themes. And it was inspiration earlier this year for the following series of cartoons by Tian Cheng (天呈) posted to the website of Shanghai’s Liberation Daily.
The cartoons are very direct, and perhaps quite artless, in their appropriation of basic metaphors for Party governance that have been included in various of Xi Jinping’s official speeches. All play on the idea that the Party’s constitution serves as a key document restraining the conduct of Party officials.
The Party Constitution is the Helm (党章是船舵)