習近平は何を求めているのか。 中国の指導者は母国を世界の歴史上、最も重要で、最大の国になることを決意している。(2)

At the core of these national goals is a civilizational creed that sees China as the center of the universe. In the Chinese language, the word for China, zhong guo (中国), means “Middle Kingdom.” “Middle” refers not to the space between other, rival kingdoms, but to all that lies between heaven and earth. As Lee summarized the worldview shared by hundreds of Chinese officials who sought his advice, they “recall a world in which China was dominant and other states related to them as supplicants to a superior, as vassals that came to Beijing bearing tribute.” In this narrative, the rise of the West in recent centuries is a historical anomaly, reflecting China’s technological and military weakness when it faced dominant imperial powers during a “century of humiliation” from roughly 1839 to 1949. Xi Jinping has promised his fellow citizens: no more. 

bearing tribute:ベアリングの軸受

What is Xi Jinping’s program of action for restoring China to this lost position of grandeur? According to Xi’s political mentor Lee, a nation’s leader must “paint his vision of their future to his people, translate that vision into policies which he must convince the people are worth supporting, and finally galvanize them to help him in their implementation.” Having painted a bold vision of the China Dream, Xi is aggressively mobilizing supporters to execute a hugely ambitious agenda of action advancing on four related fronts. 


As the primary driver of the entire venture, Xi’s first imperative in realizing the China Dream is to re-legitimize a strong Chinese Communist Party to serve as the vanguard and guardian of the Chinese state. Shortly after taking office, Xi told his Politburo colleagues that “winning or losing public support is an issue that concerns the CCP’s survival or extinction.” And he bluntly warned them: “Corruption could kill the party.” Quoting Confucius, he vowed to “govern with virtue and keep order through punishments.” This was not an idle threat. Xi launched an anticorruption campaign of unprecedented scale led by his closest associate, Wang Qishan. 


The effort was dubbed the “tigers and flies” campaign since it promised to ensnare corrupt officials whether they were mere low-level “flies” or high-ranking “tigers.” Under Wang, 18 task forces headed by trusted lieutenants report directly to Xi. Since 2012, more than 900,000 party members have been disciplined and 42,000 expelled and prosecuted in criminal courts. Among those have been 170 high-level “tigers,” including dozens of high-ranking military officers, 18 sitting or former members of the 150-person Central Committee, and even former members of the Standing Committee. 


And in contrast to Gorbachev’s glasnost—openness to ideas—Xi has demanded ideological conformity, tightening control over political discourse. At the same time, Xi has moved to cement the party’s centrality in China’s governance. Deng sought to separate party from government, and strengthen China’s state bureaucracy vis-a-vis the party. Xi has flatly rejected that idea. Shortly after Xi took power, an op-ed in the state-run People’s Daily crystallized his position: “The key to running things well in China and realizing the China Dream lies in the party.” 


Second, Xi must continue to make China wealthy again. He knows the Chinese people’s support for CCP rule still depends largely on its ability to deliver levels of economic growth no other nation has achieved. But continuing China’s extraordinary economic performance will require perpetuating a unique high-wire act. Xi is acutely wary of the middle-income trap that has ensnared many developing countries as rising wages erase their competitive edge in manufacturing, and his unambiguous promise of 6.5 percent growth per year through 2021 demands what some have described as “sustaining the unsustainable.” 

high-wire :綱渡り的な

However, there is general agreement about what China must do to continue growing at that pace for many years to come. The key elements are stated in China’s most recent five-year economic plan, including: accelerating the transition to domestic consumption-driven demand; restructuring or closing inefficient state-owned enterprises; strengthening the base of science and technology to advance innovation; promoting Chinese entrepreneurship; and avoiding unsustainable levels of debt. 

Given the scope and ambition of Xi’s plan, most Western economists and many investors are bearish that he can deliver. But many of these economists and investors have lost money betting against China for the past 30 years. As the former chair of President Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers, Martin Feldstein, puts it: “Not all of these policies have to succeed. ... If enough of them succeed well enough, 6.5 percent growth over the next few years might not be out of reach.” 

enough of:十分な数の

Third, Xi is making China proud again. Economic growth alone is not enough: Even as Deng’s market reforms broadened rapid economic growth after 1989, the party struggled to articulate its raison d’etre when its titular communism was in name only. Why should the Chinese people allow it to govern them? The party’s answer is a renewed sense of national identity that can be widely embraced with pride among a billion Chinese. 

raison d’etre :存在理由

Where once Mao’s Cultural Revolution tried to wipe out China’s ancient past and replace it with communism’s “new socialist man,” Xi has increasingly portrayed the party as the inheritor and successor to a 5,000-year-old Chinese empire brought low only by the marauding West. The phrase wuwang guochi (勿忘国耻), or “never forget our national humiliation,” has become a mantra that nurtures a patriotism grounded in victimhood and infused with a demand for payback. As the Financial Times’s former Beijing bureau chief Geoff Dyer has explained, “The Communist Party has faced a slow-burning threat to its legitimacy ever since it dumped Marx for the market.” Thus the party has evoked past humiliations at the hands of Japan and the West “to create a sense of unity that had been fracturing, and to define a Chinese identity fundamentally at odds with American modernity.” 


This approach is working. During the 1990s when many Western intellectuals were celebrating the “end of history” with the apparent triumph of market-based democracies, a number of observers believed that China, too, was on a path to democratic government. Today, few in China would say that political freedoms are more important than reclaiming China’s international standing and national pride. As Lee put it pointedly, “If you believe that there is going to be a revolution of some sort in China for democracy, you are wrong. Where are the students of Tiananmen now?” He answered bluntly: “They are irrelevant. The Chinese people want a revived China.” 

Finally, Xi has pledged to make China strong again. He believes that a military that is “able to fight and win wars” is essential to realizing every other component of the China Dream. “To achieve the great revival of the Chinese nation,” he has argued, “we must ensure there is unison between a prosperous country and strong military.” While all great powers build strong militaries, this “Strong Army Dream” is especially important to China as it seeks to overcome its humiliation at the hands of foreign powers. 


Despite all the other challenges on his agenda, Xi is simultaneously reorganizing and rebuilding China’s armed forces in a manner that Russia’s foremost expert on the Chinese military, Andrei Kokoshin, calls “unprecedented in scale and depth.” He has cracked down on graft in the military and overhauled its internally focused organization to focus on joint warfighting operations against external enemies. 




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