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The East is still red: Xi Jinping and the return of China to its Maoist roots

BEIJING, CHINA - OCTOBER 25:  Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at the podium during the unveiling of the Communist Party's new Politburo Standing Committee at the Great Hall of the People on October 25, 2017 in Beijing, China. China's ruling Communist Party today revealed the new Politburo Standing Committee after its 19th congress.  (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
Lintao Zhang/Getty Images
Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at the podium during the unveiling of the Communist Party's new Politburo Standing Committee at the Great Hall of the People on October 25, 2017 in Beijing, China.

As expected, China’s President Xi Jinping got another five years in power at the conclusion of the Communist party Congress Wednesday.

As expected, China’s President Xi Jinping got another five years in power at the conclusion of the Communist party Congress Wednesday. But, breaking with convention, there was no obvious successor at the ceremony, sparking speculation that Xi might seek power after 2022.

On Tuesday, Xi and his ideas were written into the party constitution, which elevated him to the level of Mao Zedong in terms of his importance to the party and its ideology, sending a message of power to any potential challengers.

Xi’s narrative has been one of steering China back to its former Maoist greatness in a “new era.” But is Maoism compatible with China’s growing global influence and its burgeoning capitalist industry? How is this move towards Maoism sitting with the people of China and the Chinese diaspora?

Guests:

Robert Daly, director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Wilson Center in DC; former Cultural Exchanges Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing in the late 80s and early 90s

Mei Fong, author of the book, “One Child: The Story of China's Most Radical Experiment” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016); longtime China observer; longtime China observer

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