Xi Jinping’s rhetorical star continues to rise. And there are now further signs that the CCP general secretary’s banner term, the unwieldly “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for the New Era” (习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想), could soon be formally shortened into the far more potent “Xi Jinping Thought” (习近平思想), putting China’s leader on at least equal rhetorical footing with his loftiest predecessor, Mao Zedong.

Over the past two years, we have seen the formulation of a number of shortened permutations of various forms of “Xi thought” applied to several policy areas. These have included “Xi Jinping Thought on Strengthening the Military” (习近平强军思想), “Xi Jinping Thought on Ecological Civilization” (习近平生态文明思想) and “Xi Jinping Thought on Foreign Affairs” (习近平外交思想). In the realm of economics, there has also been a “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialist Economics with Chinese Characteristics” (习近平新时代中国特色社会主义经济思想), though this ponderous phrase has yet to become “Xi Jinping Thought on Economics.”

Xi’s bid for rhetorical supremacy received a boost yesterday, however, with the formal launch in Beijing of the “Research Center for Xi Jinping Thought on Foreign Affairs” (习近平外交思想研究中心), which has been placed within the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS), a research institute on global politics and economics directly administered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).

The launch ceremony, which was attended by Foreign Minister Wang Yi (王毅), is reported on page three of today’s People’s Daily. MOFA’s own release yesterday is here. The MOFA release also of course gives prominent play to two related Chinese foreign policy concepts, “community of common destiny for mankind” (人类命运共同体) and “new type of international relations” (新型国际关系).

David Bandurski

CMP Director

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