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ТЕНДЕНЦИИ РАЗВИТИЯ ИДЕЙНО-ПОЛИТИЧЕСКОЙ СФЕРЫ: “ВТОРОЙ СЕЗОН” СИ ЦЗИНЬПИНА

During the whole first five-year period of the PRC Chairman Xi Jinping’s rule, foreign and domestic observers had plenty of reasons to debate the direction of his policies, particularly the question whether there would be more steps by the Chinese leadership toward the “comprehensive deepening of reforms”, refining basic institutions of the political system, constructing more channels of feedback from the society to the government – or rather a kind of statist and left-leaning tendencies would dominate, pushing the country to certain practices of the past decades in the sphere of ideology, culture and treating intellectuals. The sudden eruption of the Chinese-American “trade war” roughly around March 2018 showed a significant range of rifts and contradictions previously hidden behind the rhetoric of unity, social cohesion, all social forces arguably united around the current leadership’s notion of the “great struggle” and the idea of “Chinese Dream” put forward by the Chairman. What will be the direction of further development in the social and ideological spheres under the second term of Xi Jinping, “Xi’s second season”, as one Chinese author has put it, taking into account that the restrictions on intellectual freedoms have already reached unprecedented level? At the same time, one can sense that there is a burgeoning trend inside the Chinese society to present the government with various demands ranging from ecology to workers’ rights. At this point, it is hardly possible to make a sound prognosis, but certain salient features can be drawn from the notions and concepts currently debated by intellectuals in and outside the country