Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping used the opportunity of meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un Wednesday to promote the “Chinese dream,” the Marxist alternative to the American Dream, and announce that “people of all ethnic groups” are striving to build this dream.
“Socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, Xi said, and the CPC [Communist Party of China] and people of all ethnic groups, closely united around the CPC Central Committee, are striving for the realization of the ‘Two Centenary Goals’ and the Chinese dream of great national rejuvenation,” the state-run People’s Daily quotes Xi as telling Kim.
Xi went on to assert that Kim’s visit – the third to China in as many months – was proof of an expanding relationship between the two countries. Xi promised that China would help Kim learn how to develop economically without having to become a free country, as China has done in the past three decades.
“Beijing is willing to share its experience with Pyongyang and enhance unity and cooperation so as to jointly create a better future for the two countries’ socialist cause,” Xi reportedly told Kim. Kim replied, the People’s Daily reported, that North Korea and China must “help each other as a family.”
Kim made a two-day visit to Beijing on Tuesday and Wednesday to brief Xi on his meeting last week with American President Donald Trump. While in China, he also visited some Chinese agricultural facilities in an effort to learn more about the technology China has used to expand its agricultural center. Kim announced this year that he would pivot the longtime government focus on developing nuclear weapons away from that program and towards the economic development of the country. Kim deployed several North Korean politicians to China to study the market economy there in May and is reportedly attempting to persuade Xi to invest in “special economic zones” meant to serve as revenue-generating tourist destinations, where few North Korean citizens are expected to be allowed in.
North Korean state media quoted Kim as telling Xi that North Korea and China are “as close and friendly as family.”
Xi used the visit not only to assert China’s role as North Korea’s top trade partner and diplomatic ally but to promote ethnic unity within China. Under Xi Jinping, China’s government has emphasized Han ethnic supremacy, imposing Mandarin language lessons throughout the country and particularly targeting Uighur Muslim Chinese for persecution. In 2016, Xi proclaimed a “year of ethnic unity progress” in Xinjiang, the nation’s westernmost province and home to the majority of the nation’s Uighur population.
“More should be done to reinforce the ideological, material and social basis for ethnic unity in Xinjiang, and called on officials to promote unity and improve people’s livelihoods and foster closer ties between the CPC and the public,” CPC official Sun Chunlan reportedly said.
By 2017, “ethnic unity” meant the eradication of Uighur language in schools and near-total communist takeover of local Islamic officials. This year, the U.S. State Department published a report finding evidence that Chinese officials have locked hundreds of thousands of Uighurs in “political re-education camps” where they are forced to eat pork, a haram food, and listen to hours of communist propaganda.
“Ethnic unity,” the state-run Global Times newspaper proclaimed in May, is impossible without “the study and implementation of Marxism and Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.” Obligatory studying of Xi Jinping’s personal manifesto has now become part of life in Xinjiang.
Xi Jinping Thought is central to the “Chinese Dream” of establishing a “great modern socialist country” and a “moderately prosperous” post-American world order. During his three-hour speech to the Communist Party Congress in October, Xi promised that “socialist modernization is basically realized from 2020 to 2035. From 2035 to the mid-21st century, China will develop into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful.”