In the Wall Street Journal, Jeremy Page takes an in-depth look at Xi Jinping’s turn toward Confucianism as part of an effort to establish traditional Chinese culture as a global force on par with Western political ideals:
Two years after outlining a “China Dream” to re-establish his nation as a great world power, Mr. Xi is backfilling his vision and seeking a fresh source of legitimacy by reinventing the party as inheritor and savior of a 5,000-year-old civilization.
The shift forms the backdrop for Mr. Xi’s visit to the U.S. this week and could shape China for years.
Mr. Xi appears to be seeking to inoculate Chinese people against the spread of Western political ideals of individual freedom and democracy, part of what some political insiders say he views as a long-term contest of values and ideology with the U.S.
The effort is gaining urgency now, as an economic slowdown and stock-market rout fray the social compact of the last three decades in which citizens traded political freedom for rapid wealth creation. With Communist dogma and Chinese-style capitalism losing appeal, the party needs fresh ideas. [Source]