Matthew D. Johnson: Safeguarding Socialism: The Origins, Evolution, and Expansion of China’s Total Security Paradigm

The following is an excerpt of an article titled “Safeguarding socialism: The origins, evolution and expansion of China’s total security paradigm” by Matthew D. Johnson. Read the full text of the article at Project Sinopsis.

The Chinese Communist Party’s concept of security is expanding to meet new systemic challenges to continued one-party rule. Threats such as ideological change and financial instability, which do not fall under traditional security paradigms, are the policy shift’s main targets. Espousing a framework of Total National Security, the Xi Jinping-led CCP ultimately seeks to confront and eliminate risk by reshaping the international environment to reflect China’s domestic governance model.

This article excavates the deep historical logic of security as a concept within the CCP leadership’s worldview and decision-making, focusing on the threat image of cultural subversion and its corresponding policy response — cultural security. Decades of history going back to the start of the Cold War have taught CCP leaders that entanglement with liberal order poses serious risks to socialism. Soviet collapse and “color revolutions” serve as haunting reminders that the stakes of struggle between systems are likely existential. Popular opinion, economic systems, statistical information, and other familiar objects of party-state control must now be re-secured to confront new realities of globalization. [Source]


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