7th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (中国共产党第七次全国代表大会; Zhōngguó gòngchǎndǎng dì qī cì quánguó dàibiǎo dàhuì)

The 7th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (中国共产党第七次全国代表大会) was held from April 23 to June 11, 1945. Taking place amidst the final stages of the Second Sino-Japanese War and the truce between the Kuomintang and Communist parties, it institutionalised Mao Zedong Thought as the guiding ideology of the Party, integrating it into the CPC's Constitution.

12th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (中国共产党第十二次全国代表大会; Zhōngguó gòngchǎndǎng dì shí'èr cì quánguó dàibiǎo dàhuì)

The 12th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (中国共产党第十二次全国代表大会) took place from September 1 to 11, 1982. Deng Xiaoping introduced the concept of "building socialism with Chinese characteristics," charting a unique path for China's modernisation within a socialist framework. Hu Yaobang's report emphasised China's diplomatic principles based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.

13th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (中国共产党第十三次全国代表大会; Zhōngguó gòngchǎndǎng dì shísān cì quánguó dàibiǎo dàhuì)

The 13th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (中国共产党第十三次全国代表大会) took place from October 25 to November 1, 1987. During this congress, the Party reaffirmed its commitment to the reform and opening-up policies initiated by Deng Xiaoping, emphasising the importance of continuing economic modernisation while adhering to socialist principles. One of the key outcomes was the articulation of the theory of the primary stage of socialism, which outlined a roadmap for China's development, blending socialist ideology with market-oriented reforms.

19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (中国共产党第十九次全国代表大会; Zhōngguó gòngchǎndǎng dì shíjiǔ cì quánguó dàibiǎo dàhuì)

The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (中国共产党第十九次全国代表大会)convened in Beijing from October 18 to 24, 2017. It enshrined Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era into the party's constitution, marking the first time a living leader's ideology was so honoured since Mao Zedong. Under the guidance of Deng Xiaoping's reforms, China underwent a significant transformation from the ideological rigidity of Mao Zedong's era to a more pragmatic approach focused on economic development and opening up to the world. However, the new era marked by the 19th National Congress goes beyond mere economic growth. It emphasises the importance of equal development, common prosperity, and high-quality economic growth.

996-System (996工作制; 996 Gōngzuò zhì)

The 996 overtime system, which contradicts labour law but is often practised in the IT sector, describes a working week in which employees work from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. six days a week. Since 2014, the 996 practice has escalated into a public controversy. Internet billionaire Jack Ma, the founder of China's largest IT group Alibaba, fuelled the debate when he claimed in a speech in 2019 that he was lucky to be able to work 12 hours a day for Alibaba. An "anti-996" protest was launched via GitHub. Ma was harshly criticised for his statement not only on the internet, but also by official bodies and the media.

“1992 Consensus” (“九二共识”; Jiǔ'èr gòngshì)

The "1992 Consensus" is an agreement between mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straight (ARATS) and Taiwan-based (Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), highlighting the importance of the "one-China principle" as the cornerstone of cross-straits relations. It categorises these relations as neither "state-to-state" nor "one China, one Taiwan," but asserts that both mainland China and Taiwan are integral parts of a unified China. The "1992 Consensus" facilitated trade agreements like the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed in 2010, improving economic relations between mainland China and Taiwan and eased labour mobility and cooperation, allowing for smoother cross-strait employment and investment. It also helped promote tourism through direct transportation links, fostering increased people-to-people exchanges between the two sides.


“A Beautiful China” (美丽中国; Měilì zhōngguó)

Since 2012, the endeavour to construct a beautiful China has stood as an official party slogan, underscoring China's aim to place both ecological civilisation and the welfare of its populace at the forefront. Policies emphasise green, circular, and low-carbon development for a harmonious relationship between people and nature, with the aim of creating a sustainable global future aligned with the Chinese Dream.

Annex Constitution (鞍钢宪法; Āngāng xiànfǎ)

Annex "Constitution" is an instruction and refers to an experience report by the management of the 'Anshan Iron and Steel Group' and corresponding recommendations. Mao Zedong referred to this report in 1960 and demanded that lessons be learnt from the (failed) Soviet experience and that workers and technicians should be involved in management.

Alipay (支付宝; Zhīfùbǎo)

Alipay (支付宝; Zhīfùbǎo) is a leading third-party online payment platform in China, providing a secure way for users to make online transactions, transfer money, and manage finances through mobile and web applications.


Bandung Conference (万隆会议; Wànlóng Huìyì)

The Bandung Conference of 1955 was a gathering of Asian and African countries. Aimed at promoting solidarity among nations of the Global South, it marked a significant moment in history, bringing together newly independent nations seeking to assert their sovereignty and independence in the face of colonialism and imperialism. One of its most enduring legacies was the formulation of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, which laid the groundwork for diplomatic relations and cooperation among participating nations, including China's subsequent foreign policy approach of non-interference and mutual respect.

Beiyang Clique (北洋軍; Běi Yáng Jūn)

The Beiyang Clique was a powerful group of Chinese officers in the late Qing Dynasty and in the Republic of China. They had received their training in Western countries and the troops of the Beiyang Army were drilled according to the Western model. The Beiyang period describes a phase from 1912 to 1928 in which a series of changing civilian and military governments of the Republic of China attempted to rule the country from Beijing, while a Guomindang government under Sun Yat-sen, which did not recognise the legitimacy of the northern government, had ruled Guangzhou since 1917. The Beiyang clique soon splintered into many warlord factions.

Belt and Road Initiative (“一带一路”; Yīdài yīlù)

Introduced by President Xi Jinping in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative is a strategic global infrastructure and economic development initiative. The initiative comprises two main components: the Silk Road Economic Belt, which is a land-based network connecting China to Europe through Central Asia and the Middle East, and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which is a sea-based route linking China to Southeast Asia, South Asia, Africa, and Europe through various maritime channels. By reshaping the epicentres of trade and commerce through its extensive network of infrastructure projects, it aims to be a transformative force in the global economic landscape, offering an alternative to the dominance of traditional trade systems.


Catching Both "Tigers" and "Flies" (“老虎”“苍蝇”一起打; Lǎohǔ cāngyíng yīqǐ dǎ)

The slogan of catching "tigers" and "flies" was first used in 2013, following Xi Jinping's ascension to the leadership of the Communist Party of China. A prime example of party language, it illustrates well the party's self-awareness regarding the widespread corruption within its ranks. Corruption within the CPC has been a longstanding and pervasive issue. Recognising corruption as a societal threat corroding the Party's viability, the metaphor of catching "tigers" and "flies" underscores China's robust anti-corruption campaign, where "tigers" represent high-ranking officials and "flies" symbolise local grassroots-level officials.

Century of Humiliation (百年国耻; Bǎinián guóchǐ)

The Century of Humiliation in Chinese history spans from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century, encompassing events such as the Opium Wars (1839–1842, 1856–1860), the Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895), and European aggression during the late Qing Dynasty. China portrays itself as a victim of imperialism, emphasising the unequal treaties, territorial concessions, and foreign occupations endured during this period. The Chinese government reinforces this narrative through patriotic education campaigns, fostering a collective memory of historical injustices to cultivate national pride and unity.

China’s three global initiatives (中国三大全球倡议; Zhōngguó Sān Dà Quánqiú Chàngyì)

China's foreign policy under President Xi Jinping encompasses three new initiatives: Global Development Initiative (GDI – 全球发展倡议 ; Quánqiú Fāzhǎn Chàngyì), Global Security Initiative (GSI – 全球安全倡议 ; Quánqiú Ānquán Chàngyì), and Global Civilisation Initiative (GCI – 全球文明倡议 ; Quánqiú Wénmíng Chàngyì). The GDI underscores China's commitment to promoting sustainable development worldwide, including infrastructure projects, poverty reduction efforts, and fostering economic growth in developing countries. The GSI focuses on enhancing global security cooperation, combating terrorism, addressing regional conflicts, and promoting stability. It reflects China's growing role in maintaining peace and security on the international stage. The GCI emphasises mutual respect among civilisations, promotion of cultural diversity, and strengthening cultural exchanges.

Chinese Tributary System (中华朝贡体系; Zhōnghuá cháogòng tǐxì)

The tributary system of China was a diplomatic framework whereby neighbouring states recognised China's pre-eminence and centrality in the region. In exchange for presenting tribute, typically through gifts or symbolic displays of respect, these states gained access to trading opportunities and received diplomatic acknowledgment from the Chinese emperor. This system enabled states to display symbolic deference without necessarily pledging political allegiance, allowing them to engage in economic exchanges with China while maintaining their own governance structures. The tributary system of China dates back to ancient times, with its usage spanning over two millennia. It saw its most extensive implementation during the Han dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) and Tang dynasty (618–907 AD), when China's influence and power reached their peaks. While the system persisted during later dynasties like the Ming dynasty (1368–1644 AD) and Qing dynasty (1644–1912 AD), its extent and influence diminished, particularly due to internal turmoil and the rise of European powers in Asia.

“Clear waters and the green mountains are invaluable assets” (绿水青山就是金山银山; Lǜ shuǐ qīngshān jiùshì jīnshān yín shān)

Coined by Xi Jinping in 2005, during his tenure as Party Secretary of the Zhejiang province, the metaphor "clear waters and the green mountains are invaluable assets" (绿水青山就是金山银山) underscores China's environmental conservation efforts. Originating in the context of ecological awareness, it signifies that preserving the environment, often symbolised by green mountains and clean waters, is as valuable as material wealth. The slogan aims to capture the essence of balancing ecological preservation with economic prosperity, symbolising a broader commitment to sustainable and harmonious development.

Common prosperity (共同富裕; Gòngtóng fùyù)

Common prosperity (共同富裕; Gòngtóng fùyù) is a key political concept of the CPC, aiming to promote social equality and economic equity. It is important to note, that the concept of common prosperity was introduced as a two-step plan, which involved poverty eradication as the pre-condition of common prosperity. Originally, under Mao Zedong, the first step was to be achieved through collective ownership, while Deng Xiaoping's era introduced the idea of allowing certain individuals to accumulate wealth first. Today, under Xi Jinping, to achieve common prosperity the focus has shifted towards achieving a more balanced distribution of income.

Community with a shared future for mankind (人类命运共同体; Rénlèi mìngyùn gòngtóngtǐ)

The term "Community with a shared future for mankind" (人类命运共同体; Rénlèi mìngyùn gòngtóngtǐ) was initially introduced by former CPC General Secretary Hu Jintao and has since been frequently cited by Xi Jinping. The phrase first entered the official discourse of the Communist Party of China on November 8, 2012, included in Hu Jintao’s political report to the 18th National People’s Congress of the CPC. The phrase initially referred to the shared destiny of mainland China and Taiwan, but was later expanded to include all of humanity, emphasising the need for global cooperation to build a harmonious world of enduring peace and common prosperity.

Cultural Revolution (文化大革命; Wénhuà dàgémìng)

The Cultural Revolution, spanning from 1966 to 1976, stands as a disastrous socio-political movement led by Mao Zedong in China, ostensibly aimed at preserving communist ideology by targeting perceived counter-revolutionary elements. However, this era was characterised by rampant violence, chaos, and widespread human suffering. The formation of the Red Guards, Mao's youth paramilitary groups, led to brutal campaigns against traditional culture, intellectuals, and party officials, resulting in countless deaths, mass imprisonments, and severe economic disruption. Beyond the destruction of cultural heritage and suppression of dissent, the Cultural Revolution caused immense human tragedy, with estimates of millions of deaths due to violence, persecution, and starvation.

Confucianism (儒学; Rúxué)

Confucianism evolved from the teaching of Confucius (Kongzi 孔子) in the 6th to 5th century BC during the Zhou Dynasty (1046–256 BC). It is a philosophical and ethical system that profoundly influences Chinese culture and society. Emphasising moral integrity, filial piety, and social harmony, Confucianism became the dominant ideology during the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) and persisted as the guiding moral framework throughout Chinese history.


Daoism (道教; Dàojiào)

Daoism, rooted in ancient China around the 4th century BCE and attributed to Laozi (老子), centres on the concept of Dao (道), "the Way." The foundational Daoist text, the "Dao De Jing (道德经)," ascribed to Laozi, elucidates principles of harmony, simplicity, and natural alignment. Key Daoist philosophical works, like the "Zhuangzi (庄子)," further expanded its influence on Chinese thought, fostering a distinctive worldview emphasising spontaneity, the pursuit of balance (yin and yang阴阳), and interconnectedness with nature. Daoism evolved alongside Confucianism during the Zhou Dynasty (1046–256 BC), gaining prominence in the Warring States period (475 BC – 221 BC).

Deng Xiaoping Theory (邓小平理论; Dèng Xiǎopíng Lǐlùn)

Deng Xiaoping Theory, guiding China's development from 1978 to 1992, centres on "Socialism with Chinese Characteristics," advocating economic reforms and opening up to the world while maintaining the one-party socialist system. Deng's policies aimed to modernise China's economy through market-oriented reforms, introducing elements of capitalism while maintaining strict political control. Advocating for pragmatism and experimentation, this ideology played a pivotal role during the reform and opening-up era. Deng's focus on rapid economic growth, technological advancement, and the principle of "seeking truth from facts" has guided China's modernisation and transformation into a major global economic player.

Douyin (抖音; Dǒuyīn)

Douyin (抖音; Dǒu​yīn), known internationally as TikTok, is a popular short-video sharing platform in China where users can create, share, and discover video content. While Douyin and TikTok share the same core concept of short-video sharing, they operate on separate platforms due to regulatory differences and market restrictions. Douyin is designed for the Chinese market, adhering to local content regulations and catering to the preferences of Chinese users.


Ecological Civilisation (生态文明; Shēngtài wénmíng)

Ecological Civilisation (生态文明; Shēngtài wénmíng) is a key concept within Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. Stemming from Xi Jinping thought on eco-civilisation, as outlined in the National Conference on Eco-environmental Protection in May 2018, it entails fostering a culture that promotes eco-values, developing eco-friendly industries, implementing environmental protection measures, establishing governance institutions, and prioritising ecosystem health and environmental risk control.

“Eight Elders” (八大元老; Bādà yuánlǎo)

The "Eight Immortals of Communist China" or "Eight Elders" were pivotal figures in the second generation of the CPC. This designation commonly includes Deng Xiaoping, Chen Yun, Peng Zhen, Xi Zhongxun, Li Xiannian, Bo Yibo, Ye Jianying, and Huang Hua. Occupying key roles in the government, military, and party, they played a vital role in formulating early policies, leading diplomatic efforts, and devising economic strategies that laid the foundation for the Chinese socialist state.


“Face“ (面子; Miànzi)

In China, "Face" (面子, miànzi) historically and contemporarily represents one's social standing, reputation, and dignity. Losing face (丢脸, diūliǎn) signifies a loss of honour, often associated with public embarrassment. "Saving face" (留面子, liú miànzi) involves preserving one's reputation, crucial in interpersonal relations and diplomacy.

Filial piety (孝; Xiào)

Filial piety (孝, xiào) is deeply embedded in Chinese culture, tracing its roots to Confucian teachings dating back to the 5th century BC. This foundational concept emphasises unwavering respect and devotion to parents and elders, transcending a transactional nature and perseverance even in cases of inadequate parenting. It represents a moral, not contractual, relationship, distinct from Western contract theories outlined by Hobbes and Locke. Confucius stressed mutual respect between rulers and subjects, underscoring the importance of submission within the hierarchical family structure. The idea of "parents officials” (父母官, fumu guan) highlights the hierarchical and ethical dimensions of filial piety, emphasising respect for parents akin to government officials. The enduring influence of filial piety is reflected in works such as "24 stories” (二十四孝, er shi si xiao) written by Guo Jujing during the Yuan dynasty (1260–1368 AD). These works continue to be essential tools for educating children on Confucian moral values in contemporary China.

Five in One (“五位一体“总体布局; Wǔ wèi yītǐ zǒngtǐ bùjú)

The concept of “Five in One”, also referred to as “Five-Sphere Integrated Plan” (五位一体”总体布局) was proposed on November 8, 2012 at the 18th National Congress of the CPC. It is part of the broader vision for achieving the "Chinese Dream", which emphasises rejuvenation, development, and prosperity for the nation. It encompasses the five central aspects of building Chinese-style socialism. In addition to the initial four elements, which cover economic, political, cultural, and social development, the fifth element, focusing on building an ecological civilisation, was introduced during the Party Congress.

Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence (和平共处五项原则; Hépíng gòngchǔ wǔ xiàng yuánzé)

The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence (和平共处五项原则 Hépíng gòngchǔ wǔ xiàng yuánzé) are fundamental principles guiding China's foreign relations, first articulated in the 1954 Sino-Indian Agreement. These principles, including mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-aggression, non-interference in internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence, were proposed by Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai during a meeting with an Indian Government Delegation in 1953. They were later incorporated into the Ten Principles of Bandung at the Bandung Conference in 1955, marking a significant milestone in the global role of developing nations.

Five-Year Plan (五年计划; Wǔ nián jìhuà)

Announced by the National People's Congress, China's Five-Year Plans are comprehensive economic and social development blueprints outlining the country's goals and strategies over a five-year period. The concept has been in place since the early years of the People's Republic of China, with the first plan implemented in 1953. The current, 14th Five-Year Plan for China, spanning 2021-2025, prioritises innovation-driven growth, low-carbon development, and social inclusion, aligning with the dual circulation strategy. Key objectives include reducing carbon intensity, peaking carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, and integrating urban-rural areas for sustainable and inclusive development, further reinforcing reforms to elevate living standards.

Four Books and Five Classics (四书五经; Sìshū wǔjīng)

Written before 300 BC, these classics hold immense significance in traditional Chinese culture as foundational texts shaping Confucian thought, moral values, and governance principles. Starting from the Han dynasty (206 BC to 220 AD), these texts were essential for the imperial examination system, serving as the basis for selecting government officials. The Five Classics, known as Wujing (五经) in Chinese, include the Book of Odes (Shijing 诗经), Book of Documents (Shujing 书经), Book of Changes (Yijing易经), Book of Rites (Lijing礼记), and the Spring and Autumn Annals (Chunqiu春秋). The Four Books, or Sishu (四书), consist of the Doctrine of the Mean (Zhongyong 中庸), the Great Learning (Daxue 大学), Mencius (Mengzi孟子), and the Analects (Lunyu 论语).

Four Cardinal Principles (四项基本原则; Sì xiàng jīběn yuánzé)

China's Four Cardinal Principles (四项基本原则; Sì xiàng jīběn yuánzé), established by Deng Xiaoping, are adherence to socialism, upholding the people’s democratic dictatorship (人民民主专政; Rénmín mínzhǔ zhuānzhèng ), the leadership of the Communist Party, Marxism-Leninism, and Mao Zedong Thought. Originally termed "proletarian dictatorship" (无产阶级专政; Wúchǎn jiējí zhuānzhèng) in 1979, the concept underwent an official shift in 1982 to "people’s democratic dictatorship", influenced by Mao Zedong’s vision of "New Democracy" (新民主主义; Xīn mínzhǔ zhǔyì). Recognised at the 13th CPC National Congress in 1987, these principles became integral to the Party's foundational approach during the primary stage of socialism.


Guanxi (关系; Guānxi)

Guanxi (关系; guānxi) is a concept deeply ingrained in Chinese culture, describing personal and business networks built on mutual benefits and trust. Unlike Western practices, guanxi is primarily established through informal connections rather than formal meetings, emphasising the importance of cultivating trust and fostering long-term relationships to facilitate mutual favours and benefits.

Guomindang (国民党; Guómíndǎng)

The Guomindang (Pinyin transcription) or Kuomintang (Wade-Giles transcription) is the Chinese Nationalist Party. Until the late 1930s, it was China's largest revolutionary and republican party, whose goal was the unification of China under a republican government. It is difficult to determine the ideological stance of the Chinese Nationalist Party in its history, as it regularly changed according to party leadership. The Nationalist Party was founded in 1912 by Sun Yat-sen’s revolutionary group. Under Chiang Kai-shek's leadership, the Guomindang increasingly transformed into a fascist-nationalist party. In 1927, the Guomindang was able to establish its rule over large parts of mainland China, but had to flee to Taiwan after losing the civil war against the Communist Party in 1949, where it formally continued the Republic of China, claimed to represent China as a whole and ruled largely dictatorially until 1990. Today, the Guomindang is part of Taiwan's multi-party parliamentary system. It is regarded as the party that is open to rapprochement with the People's Republic of China and continues to advocate the One-China policy.


Han Dynasty (汉朝; Hàncháo)

The Han dynasty (汉朝; Hàncháo) was an imperial dynasty in China stretching over 400 years, starting in 202 BC. Known for its promotion of Confucianism, initiation of the Silk Road, the expansion of China's influence and significantly shaping Chinese civilisation. It witnessed substantial territorial growth and economic prosperity, contributing to the development of a centralised state. The period holds immense importance, as the majority of China's ethnic population identifies as the "Han people" or "Han Chinese," reflecting the dynasty's enduring impact on Chinese culture and identity.

Harmonious co-operation between the Five Races (五族共和; Wǔ zú gònghé)

Harmonious co-operation between the Five Races, or The Five Races in One Union, was one of the main principles on which the Republic of China was founded following the Xinhai Revolution of 1911. This basic principle states the harmonious existence of the five main ethnic groups in China in one nation: the Han, the Manchus, the Mongols, the Uighurs and the Tibetans.

Harmonious Society (和谐社会; Héxié shèhuì)

The concept of "harmonious society" (和谐社会; héxié shèhuì) was introduced by the Communist Party of China under Hu Jintao in 2004 to address growing social tensions  and multiple workers’ protests in the 1990s, resulting from China’s rapid economic development and globalisation. Officially endorsed at the Fourth Plenary Session of the Sixteenth Central Committee, the concept described a hoped-for state proclaimed by the government in which all groups and classes, as well as harmony between man and nature, worked together. Initially part of the "socialist harmonious society" vision, it was later elaborated on in concrete policy formulation and integrated into the Chinese government's 11th five-year plan (2006–2010), drawing inspiration from ancient Chinese notions of social harmony dating back to Confucian teachings. Despite the government’s public emphasis of the concept, scepticism among the populace surfaced, questioning whether this term was masking genuine tensions and disputes in need of resolution.

Household contract responsibility system (家庭联产承包责任制; Jiātíng lián chǎn chéngbāo zérèn zhì)

The household responsibility system or contract responsibility system was a policy that was introduced in agriculture from 1979 and heralded the end of the people's communes. The collective was divided into groups, each comprising around 5 to 6 families. They had to deliver a certain quota of their production at a fixed price, but could otherwise organise their work. The surplus could be sold. From 1980 onwards, these contracts were concluded with the individual families, giving them land to use and thus also transferring the risk of profit and loss to them. With the exception of a small portion of the farm income, which must be paid as collective and state taxes in accordance with the contract, all income is attributed to the farmers.


Ideas of Threefold Representation (三重表征的理念; Sānchóng biǎozhēng de lǐniàn)

The "Ideas of Threefold Representation" (三重表征的理念; Sānchóng biǎozhēng de lǐniàn), otherwise referred to as the “Three Represents” are the political guideline of the CPC and were adopted at the Sixteenth Party Congress in 2002. Introduced by Jiang Zemin, who led the CPC from 1989 to 2002 and China as President from 1993 to 2003, the "Three Represents" became a cornerstone of CPC doctrine, reflecting Jiang's era of significant economic growth and modernisation. According to the theory, the CPC should represent and implement (1) the requirements of the development of China's advanced productive forces, (2) the direction of the advancement of China's advanced culture and (3) the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people. It emphasises that the CPC should not only represent the interests of the proletariat but also incorporate new social forces, such as entrepreneurs, intellectuals, and professionals, into its ranks. It reflects an adaptation of Marxist-Leninist principles to contemporary Chinese conditions, emphasising the importance of adapting to social and economic changes while remaining committed to the party's core values.

Imperial civil service examination system (科举; Kējǔ)

During the Sui dynasty in the 7th century, the system of imperial civil service examinations was established in China. This was intended to provide qualified specialists with imperial offices. This system was further perfected in the following Tang Dynasty. This meant that ordinary scholars could also pursue a political career through the imperial civil service examination. The examinations represented the most important path to social advancement and thus a central goal in life for members of the educated classes.


Land reform movement (土地改革运动; Tǔdì gǎigé yùndòng)

Various land reform campaigns took place in the late phase of the Chinese Civil War and in the early phase of the People's Republic of China. A comprehensive land reform took place following the "Land Reform Law" of 1950. The land of landowners was confiscated and redistributed to farmers. Around 300 million farmers who had little or no land were allocated around 47 million hectares of land as well as agricultural equipment, livestock and buildings. The farmers were exempted from paying rents totalling 35 billion kilograms of grain per year. However, the land reform did not proceed peacefully. The landowners were subjected to show trials, which usually ended fatally for them. Historians estimate that up to five million people died as a result of the land reform (until 1953), most of whom were landlords and their families. In addition, from 1953 onwards, during the "socialist transformation movement (社会主义改造)", especially under the policy of "agricultural collectivisation (农业集体化)", land was taken away from farmers again.

“Liberating thought” (解放思想; Jiěfàng sīxiǎng)

"Liberating thought" (解放思想; Jiěfàng sīxiǎng) is a fundamental principle underlying Deng Xiaoping Theory, which emphasises the importance of seeking truth from facts (实事求是; shíshì qiúshì). Coined around 1978, at the end of the Cultural Revolution, it marked a departure from rigid ideological dogma, fostering innovation and progress. Deng Xiaoping's emphasis on freeing one's mind from ideological constraints led to significant economic reforms and the rapid modernisation of China.

Long March (长征; Chángzhēng)

The Long March (长征; Chángzhēng) refers to the strategic retreat of the Chinese Red Army during the Chinese Civil War from 1934 to 1936 to evade the pursuit of the Guomindang forces, led by Chiang Kai-shek (蒋介石; Jiǎng Jièshí). Covering 10,000 km, it relocated the communist base to north-western China, establishing Mao Zedong's leadership. Despite facing numerous obstacles, the Long March became a symbol of the resilience, determination, and revolutionary spirit of the Chinese Communist forces.


Mandate of Heaven (天命; Tiānmìng)

The Mandate of Heaven (天命; Tiānmìng) is a traditional Chinese political and philosophical concept that originated during the Zhou Dynasty (1046–256 BC). According to this concept, a ruler's legitimacy to govern is not based solely on their lineage or hereditary rights, but rather dependent on their virtue and ability to maintain harmony between heaven and earth. If a ruler governed justly, they retained the Mandate of Heaven; if they became corrupt or ineffective, it was believed they lost the mandate, legitimising rebellion or overthrow. This ideology facilitated changes in dynastic rule throughout Chinese history, as new rulers claimed the Mandate of Heaven to justify their authority.

Mao Zedong Thought (毛泽东思想; Máo Zédōng sīxiǎng)

Mao Zedong Thought (毛泽东思想; Máo Zédōng sīxiǎng) is the political ideology developed by Mao Zedong, the founding leader of the People's Republic of China and the Chinese Communist Party. It adapts Marxist-Leninist principles to Chinese conditions, notably emphasising the primacy of peasant revolution within a predominantly agrarian society. His thought includes among others the "Mass Line" (群众路线; Qúnzhòng lùxiàn) approach to governance, advocating for close interaction between the party leadership and the masses; “New Democracy” (新民主主义; Xīn mínzhǔ zhǔyì), advocating for a broad coalition of social classes to unite against imperialism; “Three Worlds Theory” (三个世界理论; Sān gè shìjiè lǐlùn), which posited the division of the world into three distinct spheres based on geopolitical and economic considerations; "The Law of Contradiction in Things" (事物矛盾规律; Shìwù Máodùn Guīlǜ), which asserts that contradictions are inherent in all aspects of existence and are the driving force behind social and historical development. Additionally, the strategy of “Protracted People’s War” (长期持久人民战争; Chángqī chíjiǔ rénmín zhànzhēng), which underscores the importance of guerrilla tactics and strategic retreats in confronting a superior enemy, a strategy employed effectively during the Chinese Civil War and against Japanese invasion. Officially endorsed at the Seventh CPC National Congress in 1945, Maoism became integral to the Communist Party of China's ideology and governance.

Mass line (群众路线; Qúnzhòng lùxiàn)

The mass line is a political concept of the CPC – propagated primarily under the leadership of Mao Zedong – which secured it a large following in the 1940s. The concept of the mass line envisages that the demands and expectations of society are taken up by the party with foresight and theories and political guidelines are derived from this, which in turn are to be fed back to the "masses".

Ming Dynasty (大明; Dà Míng)

The Ming Dynasty (大明; Dà Míng) was a ruling dynasty in China that lasted from 1368 to 1644 AD. It succeeded the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty and preceded the Qing Dynasty. Established by Zhu Yuanzhang, a peasant rebel who later became Emperor Taizu, the Ming Dynasty marked a return to Han Chinese rule after centuries of foreign domination. Under the Ming Dynasty, China experienced significant cultural, economic, and technological advancements. The dynasty is renowned for its construction of the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City in Beijing, and Zheng He's maritime expeditions.

Moderately prosperous society (小康社会; Xiǎokāng Shèhuì)

The concept of a Moderately Prosperous Society (小康社会; Xiǎokāng Shèhuì) originates from Confucianism and in contemporary China signified a society with a flourishing middle class. Alternatively, it's translated as a "well-off society". Deng Xiaoping introduced the idea in 1979, aligning it with his "Four Modernisations" (四个现代化; Sì gè Xiàndàihuà) plan. During Hu Jintao's tenure, the term gained prominence as it symbolised economic policies aimed at achieving wealth equality. Under Xi Jinping's leadership, emphasis has shifted towards the "Chinese Dream" (中国梦; Zhōngguó Mèng). While this shift towards a Moderately Prosperous Society is viewed as a crucial step towards realising common prosperity and the living standards of the poor have markedly improved as a result of poverty alleviation efforts driven by quantitative growth, it is important to note that quantitative growth is merely a precondition for common prosperity, with qualitative growth being essential for its sustainability. Despite notable progress, challenges remain, with persistent disparities between rich and poor and limited social mobility indicating a persistent classist system.


Nanjing Massacre (南京大屠杀; Nánjīng dà túshā)

The Nanjing Massacre (南京大屠杀; Nánjīng dà túshā) occurred during the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937 when Japanese troops captured the city of Nanjing, then the capital of the Republic of China. Over the course of six weeks, Japanese soldiers engaged in mass killings, rape, looting, and other atrocities against Chinese civilians and surrendered soldiers. The massacre saw around 300,000 Chinese civilians and disarmed soldiers mercilessly murdered, raped, and subjected to arson and looting. Serving as a reminder of the brutality of war, this event remains deeply rooted in the Chinese collective memory.

National Rejuvenation (民族复兴; Mínzú fùxīng)

National Rejuvenation (民族复兴; Mínzú fùxīng), first articulated by Xi Jinping in his inaugural speech as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China at the 18th National Congress on November 15, 2012, embodies a strategic endeavour aiming at enduring greatness for China. Linked with the concept of the "Chinese Dream" (中国梦; Zhōngguó Mèng), which was first introduced on November 29, 2012, it represents a historical aspiration to revive China's past glory and enhance its global influence. Xi Jinping's Chinese Dream embodies three interconnected levels: the nation (振兴中华; Zhènxīng Zhōnghuá), emphasising revitalisation; the state (强国富民; Qiángguó Fùmín), focusing on strengthening and enriching the country; and the people (人民幸福; Rénmín Xìngfú), prioritising the well-being and happiness of the Chinese populace. The Chinese Dream is distinctly different from the American Dream; while the American Dream is predominantly individualistic, focusing on personal success and prosperity, the Chinese Dream highlights the collective rejuvenation and aspirations of the entire nation, reflecting a more communal and nationalistic ethos.

"New Democracy" (新民主主义; Xīn mínzhǔ zhǔyì)

"New Democracy" (新民主主义; Xīn mínzhǔ zhǔyì) is a socio-political concept introduced by Mao Zedong, advocating for a broad coalition of social classes to achieve revolutionary goals in semi-feudal and semi-colonial societies. It emphasises the mobilisation of peasants, workers, and the national bourgeoisie to overthrow feudalism and imperialism, paving the way for socialist transformation.


Peng Pai (彭湃; Péngpài)

Peng Pai (1896 - 1929) was a pioneer of the Chinese agrarian movement and an activist for peasant rights, a prominent revolutionary and one of the leaders of the CPC in its early phase. Peng Pai was one of the few Chinese intellectuals who realised as early as the 1920s that the peasant and land issue was the most critical problem facing Chinese society. He was convinced that a successful revolution in China could only come from the peasants. Mao Zedong called him the "king of the peasant movement".

People-centred approach (以人为本的方针; Yǐrénwéiběn de fāngzhēn)

The People-centred approach (以人为本的方针; Yǐrénwéiběn de fāngzhēn) is a foundational philosophy of the Communist Party of China, first articulated in Hu Jintao's political report to the 16th National Congress of the CPC in 2002. It is a needs-based approach with the goal of improving the lives of the people and underscoring the importance of social harmony, equitable development, and sustainable progress. This approach is exemplified by specific initiatives like the Targeted Anti-Poverty Campaign, which eradicated extreme poverty by 2020, and Common Prosperity, introduced in 2021 to address economic disparities. Under Xi's economic thought, known as "Xiconomics," this approach is meant to guide China towards high-quality growth and fosters global cooperation for the common development of all nations.

People’s communes (人民公社; Rénmín gōngshè)

From 1958 to 1983, the people's communes were the highest of the three administrative levels in the rural areas of the People's Republic of China, until they were replaced by municipalities and urban districts as part of the reform and opening-up policy. In the late 1950s, there were 24,000 people's communes throughout China, each comprising around 5,000 peasant households, clearly distinguishable from traditional villages. After the failure of the "Great Leap Forward", forms of collectivisation were withdrawn and the peasants were grouped into production groups of around 20 to 30 families, who organised their work and distributed the proceeds. The people's communes had state, political and economic functions during the Cultural Revolution.

People’s Daily (人民日报; Rénmín Rìbào)

The People's Daily (人民日报; Rénmín Rìbào) is the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, serving as a conduit for CPC policies and perspectives in multiple languages. Recognised for its authority, its editorials are pivotal in shaping both domestic and international perceptions of official government stances.

Ping-Pong Diplomacy (乒乓外交; Pīngpāng wàijiāo)

Ping-Pong Diplomacy (乒乓外交; Pīngpāng wàijiāo) refers to a series of events involving the exchange of table tennis teams between the People's Republic of China and the United States in the early 1970s, which sparked a thaw in Sino-US relations. Beginning at the 1971 World Table Tennis Championships, this historic initiative broke a more than 20-year personnel exchange deadlock, leading to President Richard Nixon's visit to Beijing in 1972 and paving the way for normalised relations between the two countries.

"Protracted People’s War" (长期持久人民战争; Chángqī chíjiǔ rénmín zhànzhēng)

"Protracted People’s War" (长期持久人民战争; Chángqī chíjiǔ rénmín zhànzhēng) is a military strategy and revolutionary doctrine developed by Mao Zedong. It involves waging prolonged guerrilla warfare against a more powerful adversary, gradually wearing them down through attrition, mobilising the rural population, and utilising terrain to the advantage of the insurgent forces. This strategy was successfully employed by the Communist Party of China during the Chinese Civil War and against Japanese invasion.

Primary stage of socialism (社会主义初级阶段; Shèhuì zhǔyì chūjí jiēduàn)

The Primary Stage of Socialism (社会主义初级阶段; Shèhuì zhǔyì chūjí jiēduàn) is a cornerstone of Chinese Marxist thought, introduced by Mao Zedong. It delineates China's initial phase of socialist construction, acknowledging the coexistence of socialist and capitalist elements. This concept legitimises the use of capitalist methods to propel economic development while aiming for eventual transition to a fully communist society.


Qin Dynasty (秦朝; Qín cháo)

The Qin Dynasty (秦朝; Qín cháo) was the first imperial dynasty of China, lasting from 221 to 206 BC. By unifying China and establishing centralised governance, the Qin dynasty replaced the fragmented regional powers that had previously dominated the landscape. The Qin Dynasty is renowned for its centralisation of power, and standardisation of language and currency.

Qing Dynasty (清朝; Qīngcháo)

The Qing dynasty (1644–1912 AD; 清朝; Qīngcháo), also known as the Great Qing (大清; Dà Qīng), was the final imperial dynasty of China, led by the Manchu ethnic group. It oversaw significant territorial expansion, tripling the empire's size compared to the preceding Ming dynasty (1368–1644 AD), while fostering a substantial population increase and integrating various ethnic minorities into Chinese culture. Established in 1636 in Manchuria, it emerged as the dominant ruling power in China after aiding the Ming dynasty against rebel forces in 1644. Despite initial stability, being confronted by Western powers, the Qing dynasty faced challenges such as foreign conflicts, including the Opium Wars and the Boxer Rebellion, which ultimately led to its downfall amidst growing internal dissent by the turn of the 20th century.


Sanwan-Reorganisation (三湾改编; Sān wān gǎibiān)

Sanwan reorganisation refers to a reorganisation of the remaining Red Army troops and, above all, a strategic realignment following the failure of the Autumn Harvest Uprising (秋收起义). In response to the suppression of the trade union and communist movement in Shanghai in 1927 by the GMD and the subsequent "White Terror", the CPC tried in vain to bring cities under its control with a Red Peasant Army in the so-called Autumn Harvest Uprising. The army was then reorganised into a guerrilla army that attempted to take control of rural regions and was subordinate to the party leadership, in particular Mao Zedong ("Party Commands Gun").

"Scientific Outlook on Development" (科学发展观; Kēxué fāzhǎn guān)

The "Scientific Outlook on Development" (科学发展观; Kēxué Fāzhǎn Guān) is a guiding socio-economic and political philosophy in China introduced by Hu Jintao during his tenure as the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China from 2002 to 2012, and as President of China from 2003 to 2013. It represents a comprehensive approach to development that emphasises not only economic growth but also social progress, environmental protection, and balanced development.

"Seek truth from facts" (实事求是; Shíshìqiúshì)

"Seek truth from facts" is a historically established expression in the Chinese language that first appeared in the Book of Han. The expression became a key slogan in Chinese Marxism and was first used by Mao Zedong in 1936. Mao's usage of the slogan built on his themes in “On Practice”, which argues that people must apply their knowledge to practice in reality in order to test its truthfulness. Beginning in 1978, it was further promoted by Deng Xiaoping as a central ideology of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and applied to economic and political reforms thereafter.

Semi-colonial and semi-feudal society (半殖民地半封建社会; Bàn zhímíndì bànfēngjiàn shèhuì)

The term "semi-feudal society" was first used by Marx and Engels. Lenin used the terms "semi-feudal" and "semi-colonial” in his 1922 article "Unification, Debt and the Kuomintang" to describe the nature of modern Chinese society. In 1939, Mao Zedong's book "The Chinese Revolution and the Communist Party of China" was published, in which he explained the recognition of the main contradictions of semi-colonial and semi-feudal China as the basis for recognising all revolutionary issues.

Song Dynasty (宋朝; Sòngcháo)

The Song Dynasty (宋朝; Sòngcháo) was a ruling dynasty in China that lasted from 960 to 1279 AD. Emperor Taizu of Song established the dynasty by unifying the Ten Kingdoms after overthrowing the Later Zhou, heralding the end of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. Divided into Northern Song (北宋; 960–1127 AD) and Southern Song (南宋; 1127–1279 AD) periods, it marked a significant era of cultural, economic, and technological advancement in China.

Song Jiaoren (宋教仁; Sòng jiào rén)

Song Jiaoren (1882 - 1913) was a Chinese revolutionary and politician. He co-founded the Tongmenghui and Guomindang, of which he was the first chairman. He died in 1913 as a result of an assassination attempt.

“Strengthen Moral Education for Cultivating People” (立德树人; Lì dé shù rén)

"Strengthen Moral Education for Cultivating People" (立德树人; Lì dé shù rén) originates from Confucian teachings, which emphasise the cultivation of moral integrity, righteousness, filial piety, and other virtues as essential for personal development and social harmony. "Lì dé" (立德) means "establishing moral integrity," while "shù rén" (树人) means "cultivating individuals." In modern times, "Strengthen Moral Education for Cultivating People" has been a guiding principle in Chinese education policies and practices.

Sun Yat-sen (孙中山; Sūn Zhōngshān)

Sun Yat-sen (孙中山; Sūn Zhōngshān) was a pivotal figure in Chinese history, often referred to as the "Father of Modern China." Sun Yat-sen was a revolutionary leader who sought to modernise China and end imperial rule. He founded the Tongmenghui (Revolutionary Alliance) in 1905, which later evolved into the Guomindang (KMT or Chinese Nationalist Party). Sun's political philosophy, known as the Three Principles of the People (三民主义; Sān Mín Zhǔyì), emphasised nationalism, democracy, and people's livelihood. Sun Yat-sen's efforts to overthrow the Qing Dynasty culminated in the successful 1911 Revolution, also known as the Xinhai Revolution, which led to the establishment of the Republic of China. Although Sun briefly served as the provisional president, he faced challenges from regional warlords and internal divisions within his party. Sun Yat-sen's legacy is celebrated as the "Father of the Nation" in the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the "Forerunner of the Revolution" in the People's Republic of China.


Tang Dynasty (唐朝; Táng cháo)

The Tang Dynasty (唐朝; Táng cháo) reigned over China from 618 to 907 AD. It is widely considered a pinnacle of Chinese civilisation, marked by a flourishing of culture and government, often referred to as a golden age. The Tang Dynasty's military prowess allowed it to expand its territory into Central Asia, Korea, and Vietnam, making it one of the largest and most powerful empires in the world at the time.

Tang-Wu-Revolution (汤武革命; Tāng wǔ gémìng)

The Tang Wu Revolution refers to the violent overthrow of the Xia Dynasty (c. 2070-1600 BC) by the leaders of the subsequent Shang Dynasty, Shang Tang and Zhou Wu. The Xia Dynasty was regarded as China's first dynasty and the uprising accordingly as the first violent change of power in Chinese history. The Xia Dynasty has long been regarded as a semi-mythical period of rule invented by the Zhou Dynasty (1046–256 BC) to justify its overthrow of the Shang Dynasty ("Mandate of Heaven"), which supposedly overthrew the Xia Dynasty earlier. However, Chinese archaeologists have recently found evidence for the existence of the Xia Dynasty.

Tax Distribution Reform (税收分配改革; Shuìshōu fēnpèi gǎigé)

The tax distribution reform determined the distribution of different types of taxes between the central government and local governments as follows: Eight types of taxes, including consumption tax, customs duty, consumption tax collected by customs on behalf of the government, state-owned enterprise income tax, etc., were considered central government taxes; 18 types of taxes, including business tax, local enterprise income tax, individual income tax, etc., were considered local taxes. VAT, securities transaction tax, etc. were joint taxes of the central and local governments. Since VAT became the largest and most stable type of tax after the reform of the tax system, accounting for 43.7% of total tax revenue, it was treated as a joint tax. The distribution ratio between central and local government is 75:25.

The Great Leap Forward (大跃进; Dà yuèjìn)

The "Great Leap Forward" was the name given to an agricultural and industrialisation campaign initiated by Mao Zedong from 1958 to 1961 to catch up with the western industrialised countries and significantly shorten the transition period to communism. Due to massive miscalculations, misinvestment and miscommunication, forced collectivisation, over-intensive farming and a lack of agricultural labour, the campaign failed catastrophically and resulted in a nationwide famine with up to 40 million deaths, depending on estimates. The Great Leap was aborted in 1961 after its obvious failure and Mao was increasingly marginalised in day-to-day politics. However, the People's Communes, which were established together with the Great Leap Forward, continued to exist on the Chinese mainland until 1983.

The entry of Chinese-style socialism into the new era (中国特色社会主义进入新时代; Zhōngguó tèsè shèhuì zhǔyì jìnrù xīn shídài)

"The entry of Chinese-style socialism into the new era" is the current stage of development declared at the 19th Party Congress of the CPC in 2017. China has reached a new historical stage, which marks the initial stage of socialism and a new phase in the development process of Chinese-style socialism.

"The Law of Contradiction in Things" (事物矛盾规律; Shìwù Máodùn Guīlǜ)

The concept of "The Law of Contradiction in Things" (事物矛盾规律; Shìwù Máodùn Guīlǜ) is based on Mao Zedong’s "On Contradiction" (矛盾论; Máodùn Lùn), a seminal work published in 1937, wherein Mao underscores the dialectical nature of societal evolution, wherein contradictions play a pivotal role in driving progress and change. This principle forms a cornerstone of Marxist dialectical materialism, informing the understanding of societal dynamics and transformation.

Third Front Movement (三线建设; Sānxiàn jiànshè)

The so-called "Third Front Movement" was a massive drive for China's inland industrial development from 1964 onwards. It involved extensive investment in national defence, technology, basic industries (including manufacturing, mining, metals and electricity), transport and other infrastructure investment. "Third Front" was a geo-military concept, closely related to the "First Front" areas that were close to the potential war fronts. The “Third Front” region comprised 13 provinces and autonomous regions with its core area in the north-west (including Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia and Qinghai) and south-west (including the present-day provinces of Sichuan, Chongqing, Yunnan and Guizhou). The reasons for this were national defence considerations, especially the escalation of the Vietnam War after the Gulf of Tonkin incident, the Sino-Soviet split and minor armed skirmishes between these two countries.

"Three Worlds Theory" (三个世界理论; Sān gè shìjiè lǐlùn)

The "Three Worlds Theory" (三个世界理论; Sān gè shìjiè lǐlùn) is a geopolitical concept developed by Mao Zedong during the 1970s, dividing the world into three distinct spheres: the First World composed of developed capitalist nations, the Second World consisting of socialist countries, and the Third World encompassing developing and non-aligned nations. It was first formulated by Mao Zedong in a conversation with Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda in February 1974. This theory guided China's foreign policy approach, emphasising unity with the Third World to counterbalance the influence of both superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, during the Cold War era.

Two Centennial Goals (两个一百年奋斗目标; Liǎng gè yībǎi nián fèndòu mùbiāo)

The Two Centennial Goals (两个一百年奋斗目标; Liǎng gè yībǎi nián fèndòu mùbiāo) were proposed by the CPC during the 18th National Congress in 2012 and represent key milestones for China's long-term development. The first goal aims to achieve a moderately prosperous society by doubling China's GDP and per capita income from 2010 levels. The second centennial goal seeks to transform China into a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, culturally advanced, and harmonious by the centenary of the People's Republic of China in 2049.


Up to the Mountains and Down to the Countryside Movement (上山下乡运动; Shàngshān xià xiāng yùndòng)

The Up to the Mountains and Down to the Countryside Movement (上山下乡运动; Shàngshān xià xiāng yùndòng) was a significant socio-political campaign launched in China during the late 1960s and early 1970s, as part of the broader Cultural Revolution initiated by Mao Zedong. The movement aimed to address urban-rural imbalances and promote ideological purity by sending educated urban youth (primarily students and intellectuals) to remote rural areas and agricultural regions to experience life among peasants and engage in manual labour. This movement was fuelled by Mao's belief in the need for continuous class struggle and the transformation of society through mass mobilisation. Mao viewed the urban intellectuals as potentially bourgeois elements that needed to be re-educated and reformed to align with revolutionary ideals. While the movement was intended to instil revolutionary fervour and to "re-educate" the urban youth by exposing them to the realities of rural life, it faced significant challenges and criticisms, including inadequate infrastructure and support for the urban youth, exploitation and mistreatment by local authorities, and disruptions to their education.


Village Development Fund (乡村发展基金; Xiāngcūn fāzhǎn jījīn)

The "Village Development Fund" was set up in 1995 in the Caohai Nature Reserve in Guizhou as a form of microcredit for rural areas to solve the problem of the lack of funds for the production and livelihood of poor villagers. The concept of the fund, which DY helped to develop at the time, is that the villagers form a credit group on their own initiative with 10 to 100 households, from which a manager is selected. For example, a group in Caohai with a total of 25 villagers participated in the fund, with each household contributing 20 RMB. A total of 500 RMB was raised and a further 3000 RMB was made available from public funds. The capital totalled 3500 RMB. Loans were granted in a standardised and sequential manner. The loan cycle was usually three to six months, with monthly interest rates of between 1% and 3%.


Wall of Democracy (西单民主墙; Xīdān mínzhǔ qiáng)

The "Wall of Democracy" in Beijing's Xidan district was a low grey wall on the south side of today's Xidan Cultural Square.  After the arrest of the "Gang of Four" in 1976 and the unclear balance of power between 1976 and 1979, the wall functioned as a kind of pinboard on which the population could pin their demands, wishes and opinions. The wall disappeared at the end of 1979.

Warring States period (战国时代; Zhànguó Shídài)

The Spring and Autumn Period (春秋时代; Chūnqiū Shídài; 771–476 BC) and the Warring States Period (战国时代; Zhànguó Shídài; 475–221 BC) were successive eras of ancient Chinese history characterised by political fragmentation, warfare, and social upheaval. While the Spring and Autumn Period saw the decline of the Zhou Dynasty's (1046–256 BC) central authority and the rise of numerous smaller regional states, the Warring States Period witnessed intense conflict among these states battling for territorial supremacy. The collapse of ritualistic norms and centralised governance during these periods contributed to the erosion of traditional authority structures, paving the way for the emergence of competing states and the eventual unification of China under the Qin Dynasty.

WeChat (微信; Wēixìn)

Renowned as China's "app for everything", WeChat, known as Weixin (微信; Wēixìn) in Chinese, is an instant messaging, social media, and mobile payment app developed by the Chinese tech company Tencent.

Weibo (微博; Wēibó)

Weibo (微博; Wēibó), often referred to as China's Twitter, is one of the biggest social media platforms in China. It serves as a key tool for communication, news dissemination, and online interaction, playing a significant role in shaping public opinion and cultural discourse in China. While Weibo provides a platform for individuals to connect and share ideas, its political significance lies in its role as a tool for state surveillance and propaganda dissemination.

Wuxu reform (戊戌变法; Wùxū biànfǎ)

Wuxu reform was the failed endeavour of the Chinese Emperor Guangxu in 1898 to reform the Chinese Empire. After the defeat in the First Sino-Japanese War in 1894/95, it became clear that the superiority of the foreign powers in the economic, technological and military fields could only be countered by a fundamental revision of the country's traditional, Confucian-influenced structures.


Xinhai revolution (辛亥革命; Xīnhài gémìng)

The Xinhai Revolution ended China's last imperial dynasty, the Manchu-led Qing dynasty, and led to the founding of the Republic of China on 1 January 1912. The revolution began in autumn 1911 and ended with the abdication of the six-year-old Emperor Puyi on 12 February 1912. The end of the reign of the last Manchu Emperor Puyi from the Qing dynasty marked the end of the over 2100-year-old Chinese empire, which had lasted for many dynasties since 221 BC.

Xinhua News Agency (新华通讯社; Xīnhuá tōngxùnshè)

Xinhua News Agency (新华通讯社; Xīnhuá tōngxùnshè) is the primary state news agency of the People's Republic of China, established in 1931 as a ministry-level institution. As a state-controlled news agency, Xinhua's reporting reflects the viewpoints and priorities of the Chinese government and the CPC. It plays a crucial role in shaping public opinion, disseminating official narratives, and promoting China's interests on the global stage. Xinhua has been scrutinised for its role in disseminating government propaganda and censoring dissenting voices.


Yuan Dynasty (元朝; Yuáncháo)

The Yuan Dynasty (元朝; Yuáncháo) was a ruling dynasty in China that lasted from 1271 to 1368 AD. It was established by Kublai Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan, after the Mongol conquest of China. The Yuan Dynasty was the first foreign-led dynasty to rule over all of China. In 1368, the Yuan Dynasty was overthrown by the Han Chinese rebel leader Zhu Yuanzhang, who founded the Ming Dynasty and became known as the Hongwu Emperor. The overthrow of the Yuan Dynasty marked the end of Mongol rule in China and the beginning of a new era of Chinese governance under native Han Chinese leadership.


Zunyi Conference (遵义会议; Zūnyì huìyì)

The Zunyi Conference (遵义会议; Zūnyì huìyì) was a pivotal meeting within the Chinese Communist Party held in January 1935 during the Long March. It marked a turning point where Mao Zedong emerged as the paramount leader, seizing military command and solidifying his position within the party.

The Chinese political discourse landscape is complex and full of references, that may be difficult to decode. “China Basics” unpacks both crucial terms, outlines of historical events, and personalities and offers concise and accessible explanations of key concepts.

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