A 2018 report from China’s Economic Herald mentioning “Xi Jinping Economic Thought” in the headline included this image of the Silk Road.
The People’s Daily reports today that a new center has been established for the study of “Xi Jinping Economic Thought” (习近平经济思想), a move that can be read as another development in the advancement of Xi Jinping’s legacy slogan — and his consolidation of power ahead of the 20th National Congress of the CCP.
As CMP has noted previously, one key objective of Xi Jinping and his acolytes has been the eventual shortening of the Xi banner term introduced at the 19th National Congress of the CCP in 2017, “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” (习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想), as the more potent “Xi Jinping Thought” (习近平思想). Achieving this would put Xi on par with Mao Zedong among his CCP predecessors, seal his legacy, and help to further consolidate his power.
Shortened permutations of Xi’s official banner term as applied to various policy areas, such as “Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy” (习近平外交思想) and “Xi Jinping Thought on Rule of Law” (习近平法治思想), have been important stepping stones in this long-term discourse strategy – and related research centers have marked the further formalization of these mini-banners.
A new Research Center for Xi Jinping Thought on Rule of Law (习近平法治思想研究中心) was launched just over a week ago, located inside the China Law Society (中国法学会), the official organization representing academic legal professionals in China. And in July last year, the “Research Center for Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy” (习近平外交思想研究中心) was launched 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).
Announced today, the new “Research Center for Xi Jinping Economic Thought” (习近平经济思想研究中心) will be located within the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), which broadly administers economic planning in the PRC.
It should be noted that Xi’s banner term has previously been applied to the critical arena of the economy as the longer phrase “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialist Economics for the New Era” (习近平新时代中国特色社会主义经济思想), which means that today’s news is about not just the formation of a new center, but a new and significant shortening of Xi’s economic mini-banner.