China Centre Tübingen (CCT)

Between power and credibility

China’s ideological reorientation under Xi Jinping

Since Xi Jinping became Communist Party General Secretary and President of the People ’s Republic, a distinct characteristic of his rule has been a renewed emphasis on Maoist principles as a means of strengthening the regime. This development, however, does not signify a leftwards change of political course; while the Party maintains its Marxist ideology on paper, it actually draws on syncretic ideas and concepts to help bolster its claims to one-party rule. Exploring the content and symbolism of this ideological reorientation, Dr. Büttner finds that the entirety of these ideas and concepts has historically appeared only in fascist ideological systems: nationalist, holistic, palingenetic and capitalist-socialist ideas combined with the principle of one-party rule and charismatic leadership.


Dr Clemens Büttner is a lecturer at the Department of Chinese Studies at Goethe University Frankfurt (Main). He studied Sinology, Modern and Contemporary History and Political Science in Erlangen, Shanghai and Beijing and in 2015 was awarded a PhD with a dissertation on the roots of warlordism in China. He is currently researching the evolution of nationalist thought in China.