In a recent talk at UC San Diego’s School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, former Mexican ambassador to China Jorge Guajardo asked what China’s leaders might learn from the Mexican Institutional Revolutionary Party:
In terms of political change, it has been widely reported that the Chinese Communist Party is carefully studying the fall of the USSR in order to escape the same fate. At his first meeting as president at Beidahe, Xi Jinping made a point of referring to the errors of the Soviet Communist Party, and those of Gorbachev in particular, as examples to avoid. In Mexico I lived under the longest-ruling one-party system in the world, and I’m convinced that the Chinese are looking at the wrong model. In order to understand the future of the Chinese Communist Party, it is far more helpful to consider the history of the PRI than that of the Soviet Union.
The Chinese Communist Party has much more in common with the PRI than it ever did with the Soviet Communist Party. Other than their name and their authoritarian model, the Chinese and Soviet communist parties share little else. With the PRI, on the other hand, the Chinese Communist Party has in common the loss of its founding ideology and a clear departure from its revolutionary roots. Just as there was nothing really revolutionary about the PRI in its later days, there is not much that is “communist” anymore about the Chinese Communist Party. Both parties became, in essence, simply a vehicle for power and preoccupied mainly with their own survival. [Source]
Previously on CDT, see Guajardo’s tweeted dissection of post-Third Plenum commentary and recollections of encounters with Bo Xilai.