Political security: fundamental strategic implications

Source:Chinese Social Sciences Today 2022-11-16

In the overall plan to strengthen national security and capacity building, ensuring political security is the top priority. In the report delivered to the 20th CPC National Congress, Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, particularly emphasized that “we must take political security as our fundamental task.” His statement clarifies the key tasks and main content involved in political security governance in the new era.

Essence of political security

Political security is an essential component of the national security system. Consequently, in the process of national development, the political system must always have a reasonable structure and maintain sound operation with the ability to adapt to various changes in the political environment at home and abroad, the ability to adjust to social tensions and conflicts, remaining impervious to subversion, threat, or destruction caused by various factors. Political security involves the security of the state’s power, political system, and ideology, and is therefore fundamental to national security.

The pursuit of political security requires the political system to constantly reform and innovate itself to maintain vitality. Therefore, the most important way to ensure political security is to make sure that the political system itself “removes diseases and eliminates ailments” to “strengthen physical fitness,” and enhance its ability to resist various risks and challenges. In the report, Xi emphasized that “through painstaking efforts, the Party has found a second answer to the question of how to escape the historical cycle of rise and fall. The answer is self-reform. By doing so, we have ensured that the Party will never change its nature, its conviction, or its character.”

Political security not only concerns the long-term stability of the country, but also is closely related to social stability and the people’s well-being. Without political security, any discussion of national security would be empty rhetoric. In this sense, political security is the most fundamental part of the whole national security system. It determines and directly affects the security of the economy, culture, social sector, and so forth. Centering on political security as the core actually requires creation of a harmonious and stable political environment, and better leverages China’s strength in pooling resources to accomplish major tasks, to ensure a sound and orderly economic and social development.

Governing capacity faces challenges

Among the many elements which comprise political security, regime security is the core component which is reflected in the form of the Party’s governing security. The key to running China’s affairs lies in the Party.

The CPC fulfills its core role of exercising overall leadership and coordinating the efforts of all sides. Without strong leadership at the core, social unrest would be the natural consequence, and national development and the people’s well-being would thus not be guaranteed. The history of early modern China amply proves this. The complex social contradictions and series of governance problems that arise alongside rapid social transformation and modernization test the Party’s capacity for governance. It must be noted that against the backdrop that the world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century, the Party’s governing security faces more complex challenges.

In the Resolution of the CPC Central Committee on the Major Achievements and Historical Experience of the Party over the Past Century, it is written that “in the new era, China is faced with more acute national security challenges, as evidenced by unprecedented external pressure, intertwined traditional and non-traditional security threats, and frequent ‘black swan’ and ‘grey rhino’ events.”

Indeed, in the context of a more complex development environment at home and abroad, with a growing number of uncertainties and cumulative risks, we must always be prepared for worst-case scenarios and mindful of potential dangers. We also need to draw lessons from the successes or failures of other countries in today’s world.

Long periods of relentless effort and exploration show that the key to the remarkable achievements of socialism with Chinese characteristics lies in the strong leadership of the CPC. It would be impossible to pursue stable social development without a political center as the backbone of social life—this political center represents the interests of the overwhelming majority of the people and is adept in exercising overall leadership and coordinating the efforts of all sides. On the way forward, we must continue to make innovations in national security governance so as to better ensure the realization of the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.


Liu Yuanliang is a lecturer from the School of Marxism at Northwestern Polytechnical University.

Editor:Yu Hui

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