expert on Chinese AI and emerging tech
Apr 18, 2018
At a time when Xi Jinping is reasserting the CCP’s power and authority, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has intensified its exploration of new methods for “political work” (政治工作). The concept of political work has a long history within the PLA and has received increased attention since a 2014 meeting at Gutian, held on the 85th anniversary of the 1929 Gutian Conference, which initially established the “basic principle of the Party leading the military.” At the 2014 meeting, Xi Jinping emphasized that political work is the “lifeline” (生命线) of a powerful army, calling for its improvement in an era of information networks. That is, political work is leveraged for purposes of indoctrination, to ensure the good conduct and Party loyalty of PLA officers and enlisted personnel. Since then, there have been repeated calls for innovation in political work, reflecting a concern over its lack of efficacy, confronting such challenges as endemic corruption.