Great video about Wang Zhongmei (also here). She is now a ‘chief welder’ at the China Railway Science and Industry Group, CPC member and now a grass-roots delegate at the 19th congress.

Advertisements

Even if you were in total hibernation, you couldn’t miss the fact that the CPC’s 19th congress opens here in two days with a major speech from Xo Jinping.

Security is super-tight (another level of that extremely complex Chinese word, anquangan), with almost a million local people – often retirees – involved in keeping an eye on things, all party members in the city on roster at major sites, and of course extra internet security.

Along with the banners all over China and the shorthand ‘shijiuda’ (19th congress) on everyone’s lips, it is a fascinating time to be here.

I was planning to keep up to date with the many themes emerging, but it has simply become too much to do so – except for items that take my fancy.

So, to keep up with all manner of activities, with news, videos, interviews, in-depth analyses and so on, check out the dedicated English-language site at Xinhua news. If you want the latest information at your fingertips (that is, on a smartphone), download the new English language app from the People’s Daily. Or if you want the core site in Chinese, then go to the official site and use either the Chinese or English version.

Apart from the expected promotion – or propaganda in the good old sense of the word – of the CPC and China, the foreign language sites also include explainers concerning processes of election, breakdown of party members and delegates, and so on. And you may be struck by how often Marxist concepts and strategies appear in this material, giving you a sense of how vibrant Chinese Marxism really is.

Some time ago (2001) Michael Löwy and Joel Kovel put together the first Ecosocialist Manifesto. Since then there have been subsequent revisions and versions. However, neither of them have much time for the Chinese Communist Party, which is a shame really. Even the corporate media has been forced to take notice of what can only be called ecosocialism in action, as can be found here. What interests me in all of this is that it is precisely a strong socialist state that can drive through such programs.

Speaking of related matters, especially the 19th congress of the CPC, a few more pieces of interest.

The first is called ‘Socialism with Chinese characteristics: 10 ideas to share with the world‘. A long explanatory piece well worth a read.

The second is called ‘Decoding the DNA of the CPC‘, of which the first item concerns a rising focus, ‘faith in Marxism’.

Of course, these are official statements, and I like to analyse maters at another level, but they do seek to provide information to an often ignorant world about crucial issues relating to the future of this very same world.

The 19th congress of the CPC will get underway in a few days here in Beijing. Security is super-tight at all levels, and a new website and wechat account will be available on Wednesday: http://19th.cpcnews.cn and cpcnews19th.

It will be an absolutely fascinating event of global significance, since China is now the most powerful socialist country in world history. But what will be on the agenda? Heaps, obviously, but the trend of news cycles is a good indication.

Let me begin with poverty reduction. I have already pointed out that more than 700 million people have been lifted out of poverty, with 40 million remaining by 2020. So what is being done?

You can start with a brief video that indicates the specific ‘targeted poverty alleviation’, involving millions of party members and specialists. Follow this up with a useful overview of the past 39 years of poverty reduction.

Then there are specific stories from different regions, such as this one from Shimen in Guizhou Province, or Xingchong village in Hubei province, which highlights the work with children of parents who work in the cities for many months of the year.

Or this story from Xinjiang province, where a major focus is relocation of people from unproductive and remote areas so they can have access to new housing, education and medicine.

Or the work with other minority nationalities, like this one concerning the Miao in Taijiang County, part of the Miao-Dong Autonomous Prefecture of Qiandongnan in Guizhou Province.

Obviously, this program has not been thought up overnight. It has been going on for quite some time, with fine-tuning and reshaping over time. But it has become a signature policy of Xi Jinping, aiming for a moderately prosperous society (xiaokang shehui) by the centenary of the CPC.

As a footnote, everywhere you go are signs, banners and slogans concerning the 19th congress. A few samples, from the city of Xingtai and Beijing Railway Station West metro station:

What a great time to be in Beijing. In about two weeks the most important Communist Party congress in history will take place here. It is the nineteenth congress of the CPC, which will assess developments over the last five years and lay out plans for the next five. Preparations have been underway for a year or more, not least being the long process of electing the 2,287 delegates. For more information on the election process, see Xinhua news.