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Appeal to Confucianism in Chinese Political Discourse: Hu Jintao’s Human‑Centered Rhetoric (2014-2015)

Author: ZLOTEA, Mugurel Dan
Field of study: Philology

Chinese political discourse has changed dramatically, in the last decade, as a result of China’s story of economic success and continuous
growth. At the same time, the Chinese leadership has become more and more aware that economic success alone can no longer be used as single means of legitimation. Successful economic policies did not translate into benefits for people from all social strata and increased the feeling of discontent. The paper analyzes attempts to recover and reinterpret Confucian moral values to the present political realities; it discusses the appropriation of Confucian values in the new political discourse of the Chinese elite to legitimize the continuation of the CCP’s stay in power, focusing mainly on the ten-year period of Hu Jintao’s government, between 2002 and 2012.

Keywords: Confucianism, Marxism, tradition, political discourse, legitimacy

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