Three Represents

The Three Represents (Chinese: 三个代表; pinyin: sān g di biǎo) is a policy developed by Jiang Zemin for the Communist Party of China. The formal statement of the theory is:

"Reviewing the course of struggle and the basic experience over the past 80 years and looking ahead to the arduous tasks and bright future in the new century, our Party should continue to stand in the forefront of the times and lead the people in marching toward victory. In a word, the Party must always represent the requirements of the development of China's advanced productive forces, the orientation of the development of China's advanced culture, and the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people in China." (from Jiang's speech at the 16th CPC Congress)

The actual function of the theory is two-fold. It legitimizes the inclusion of capitalists and private entrepreneurs within the Communist Party, and as a result has been the subject of quiet but heated opposition within the party. Second, it is an attempt to cement Jiang Zemin's historical legacy as a Marxist theorist on the level of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. One should note however that the Theory of the Three Represents has been classified as a "theory" rather than a "thought" (sixiang) making it less important than the ideology of Mao or Deng.

One possible interpretation of the "Three Represents":

  • "advanced social productive forces" = businessmen
  • "the progressive course of... advanced culture" = national utilities
  • "the fundamental interests of the majority" = democrats

Some of the difficulty in interpreting the theory may be due to translation difficulties. However, it should also be noted that many Chinese including members of the Party find the theory to be incomprehensible.

Although open criticism of the Theory of the Three Represents is taboo, there have been reports of private unease at this theory from within the Communist Party of China for a number of reasons. First, many dislike the focus of the theory on the advanced social productive forces, meaning businessmen, since it ignores the widening social gap between the rich and poor. Second, many feel that Jiang Zemin's promotion of the theory was similar to the creation of a cult of personality.

See also

External links

ko:삼개대표사상 ja:「3つの代表」思想 zh:三个代表


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