- The study of ‘Xi Jinping Thought’ has been made mandatory in state-owned Chinese companies.
- The CCP wants to ensure ideological loyalty in the face of economic adversity.
- But now employees of foreign companies are also being pulled into ‘study sessions’.
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Employees at global finance firm BlackRock, along with other bankers and business leaders in China, are spending a third of their time attending lectures on ‘Xi Jinping Thought’, according to Bloomberg.
Study sessions are now mandatory for many employees of non-government owned companies, and are also being extended to include foreign employees and those with global offices.
In June, employees at financial firms Franklin Templeton and BlackRock were ordered to attend a lecture on how to hold on to party leadership in the industry, Bloomberg reported. Some people reported attending activities or courses, or reading four books written by Xi each month.
First published in 2017, the Xi Jinping Thought outlines 14 principles by which China will prosper. This follows the pattern of Chinese leaders building on the original Marxist–Leninist teachings. Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, and Jiang Zemin all presented their own revised teachings on the theory that underpins China’s communist political system.
But as economic pressures mount, it fits with Beijing’s push to prioritize ideology to maintain the party’s grip on power.
Chinese President Xi Jinping Lintao Zhang
In addition to pressure from Xi’s doctrinaire study, new laws have limited the abilities of international banks to operate normally in China.
Amendments to the country’s anti-espionage laws have hindered specific business practices, including gathering information about local markets, potential partners and competitors, as well as accurate reporting to investors and regulators.
Deloitte was fined $31 million in March after an official investigation found ‘serious shortcomings’ in its audit of the state-owned debt management firm, according to The FT.
Meanwhile, China’s Foreign Relations Law makes clear that foreign nationals will not be exempt from China’s increased controls on private business. According to the FT, the law states, “Foreigners and foreign organizations in mainland China shall abide by Chinese law and shall not endanger China’s national security, harm social public interest, or undermine social public order.” do.”