October 7, 2022 | By Chris King*
MEMRI will be publishing a series of reports about the seven individuals who comprise the Standing Committee of the Politburo of the 19th Central Committee (CC) of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). These individuals are the most powerful people in China and are Chinese President Xi Jinping’s closest advisors.
The first installment in this series is about Wang Huning (王沪宁). Wang has been a member of the Politburo since the 2017 19th CPC National Congress. He is a renowned academic and is the CCP’s top intellectual and ideologue. Wang is considered to have been the main architect of the CCP’s political theory since the 1990s.
About Wang Huning
Wang is the first intellectual to be on the Politburo’s Standing Committee since Chen Boda, who was Mao Zedong’s chief secretary. Sometimes referred to as Xi Jinping’s “brain,” Wang Hunin was instrumental in shaping Jiang Zemin’s “Three Represents” theory, Hi Juntao’s “Scientific Outlook on Development” theory, and Xi Jinping’s “Socialist Thought for a New Era,” “Chinese Dream,” and “One Belt, One Road” theories. Since he is behind the political theories of these three consecutive CCP leaders, Wang has been referred to as the “Teacher of the Three Emperors” and as the “Kissinger of China.”
Wang opposes political openness, and he has the unique ability to breathe new life into the CCP’s ideological foundations by presenting old theories in fashionable scientific terms and by providing them with a “contemporary” or “modern” basis. This talent may be one of the factors that leading to his rise to intellectual prominence, and early in his career, Wang was viewed as an avant-garde intellectual with novel ideas – something that was appreciated in 1980s China, which was characterized by relative liberalism and ideological openness.