Quoting the Classics: An Alternative Reinforcement of Regime Legitimacy in China


Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


After the opening reform of China, the revival of Chinese traditional culture has raised by the CCP. One characteristic of this revival has emerged with the continuous adaption of the Chinese classics in speeches of top leaders of the CCP . In particular, the current president Xi Jinping likes to cite Chinese traditional classics more than his two predecessors. This paper examines this tendency. At the same time, the CCP propaganda department also actively matches up Xi’s citation. They have published official interpretation books, raised Xi’s personal prestige as a Confucian gentleman possessing the good values of Chinese traditional philosophy. These values are aimed at gaining the support of the conservative climate in Chinese society and adapted to be an alternative for the reinforcement of CCP legitimacy. This paper also examines some concrete governmental policies of raising this adaption and observes that Xi and the CCP have begun to use it to connect with current social problems and their solutions in China, such as officials’ morality, social justice and equality, rule by law and nationalism. However, Xi has not matched this perfect commitment in reality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-45
Number of pages17
JournalCross-Cultural Communication
Issue number1
Early online date26 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • CCP leaders
  • Chinese classics
  • Regime legitimacy
  • Cultural governance


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