Wednesday, 2 September 2020

The Governance of China III

The Governance of China III
The Governance of China III is the third volume of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s collected speeches, featuring English translations of his official statements delivered between October 2017 and January 2020. Like the previous volumes, published in 2015 and 2017, the book is clearly a propaganda exercise, though it does at least provide a guide to China’s political direction.

Sales of six million were claimed for the first volume, which was published in nine languages. Volume two, published only in Chinese and English, apparently sold thirteen million copies. The true sales statistics are much more modest, however: less than a hundred copies of volume two were sold in the UK. The third volume has not been released there, presumably to avoid similarly embarrassing sales figures.

Volume three follows exactly the same format as its predecessors, and Xi’s remarks offer little commentary on the most significant issues of the day. For example, after the National People’s Congress removed the term limits on his presidency, Xi’s address to the Congress was a bland tribute to the “character and endowment of the Chinese people”. There is no reference to the Hong Kong protest movement, only a reminder that Hong Kong should “integrate into the overall development of the country, and share the glory of a strong and prosperous motherland.”

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