Publié le 24/10/2022

Claude MEYER, article published in Le Monde

The decline of the Marxist utopia and the collapse of traditional ethics have created a moral and spiritual vacuum, forging a path for religions, notes Asia specialist Claude Meyer.

Former Soviet Union president Mikhail Gorbachev's death had mixed reactions in China. While Beijing recognized the constructive role he played in normalizing relationships between the two countries after a 30-year separation, the press gladly took shots at the man behind the Perestroika political movement. Former Chinese paramount leader Deng Xiaoping considered Glasnost (a practice of maximum state openness) a "foolish" policy that would eventually lead to the collapse of the USSR because it reversed the order of priorities by favoring political reform: freedom of expression and association would lead to massive demonstrations and strikes but also rekindle national identities.

This represents the opposite of the policy pursued by Chinese President Xi Jinping, whose main mission has been to revitalize the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which he considered to be in decline when he came to power in 2012. Obsessed with Mr. Gorbachev's counter-example, he is drawing inspiration from Mao Zedong and leaning into the mantra of a return to the socialist and even Maoist ideal. The CCP's 20th congress, held from October 16 to 22, endorsed his position and just granted him a third five-year term, with a fourth in 2027 still possible as he will only be 74-year-old by then.

During the previous congress held in 2017, he secured the abolition of the two-term limit imposed after Chairman Mao's death and even a supreme consecration: the introduction of his "philosophy" in the Constitution side-by-side with the Great Helmsman. 



> Read the full article on Le Monde's website [1].