In Xi Jinping’s speeches, government statements and headlines across Chinese state media, you’ll come across several repeated phrases that have become buzzwords under Xi’s leadership.
They reflect his ambitions for China on the world stage – as well as his own efforts to consolidate power at home. Here are a few common phrases:
The Chinese dream: Xi began using this signature slogan just weeks after coming to power in 2012, which has since shaped many of his policies at home and abroad. It’s often used interchangeably with “the great revival” or “rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” — illustrating a vision to restore China to its past glory as one of the greatest civilizations in the world.
To some extent, Xi has delivered on that promise, transforming China into a wealthy major power with a modern military and advanced tech sector.
But Xi’s vision has also seen a sweeping crackdown in Hong Kong, mass incarceration and surveillance in Xinjiang, intensified repression and censorship across the country — and growing public disillusionment as China’s economy faces mounting challenges.
Core of the Party: Xi was formally named “the core of the Chinese Communist Party” in 2016 – a highly symbolic title. It was originally granted to Communist China founder Mao Zedong and two of his successors, Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin.
It established Xi as a strongman leader, rejecting the system of collective leadership Deng had helped establish. He has since consolidated his power by purging political enemies, silencing internal dissent, abolishing presidential term limits and enshrining “Xi Jinping Thought” into the party’s constitution.
He further codified his authority last year when the party adopted a landmark resolution pledging to “resolutely uphold Comrade Xi Jinping’s core position on the Central Committee and in the Party as a whole.”
Hostile forces: Since Xi took power, he has ramped up efforts to strengthen national security — including a campaign to weed out foreign espionage and “hostile forces” supposedly seeking to infiltrate and undermine the country in every possible way, a narrative pushed by Chinese officials and state media.
For years, authorities have encouraged the public to inform on foreign spies and their Chinese collaborators through propaganda and incentives, even offering cash rewards up to and above $15,000 for tip-offs about people who endanger national security.
China’s growing suspicion toward foreign influences stems partly from its growing geopolitical rivalry with the West, especially the United States, as the country turns more authoritarian at home.