“Reading Xi’s mind”

“They call us the Red Nobility. Considering how hard we worked to get where we are, I find that insulting. But there’s a grain of truth in it. Our fathers and grandfathers fought to put us where we are. Sure, mistakes were made. But nobody suffered more than we did. We survived and we put things back together; nobody thanks us for that. We are smarter, tougher, and better connected than the rest. No one else could manage this fractious country. We’ve done more: we’ve made a success of it. We’re the only ones who understand how the system works. That’s why we are in charge. So what if we enjoy some personal privileges along the way? We deserve it.

But it’s not the private rewards that motivate us, it’s the fact that we, and only we, can make China great. We have our disagreements among ourselves. Sometimes a cousin or two has to be sacrificed for the sake of appearances. But we all agree that nobody but us can rule. Lots of enemies would like to see us fail. Our own jealous eunuch-intellectuals natter and complain, Small minded people cavil about the sacrifices they have to make for the country’s historical advance. The most dangerous are our enemies in the West. Their diplomats and financiers have smiles on their faces but contempt in their hearts—contempt for our history, our culture, our system, and our race. Now they are starting to fear us too, and that makes them even more anxious to see us fail. But we won’t—not as long as we keep our grip on power. That’s number one—we must see all opposition for what it is—an effort to undermine us and weaken the country—and cut it off decisively no matter how cleverly it dresses itself up in slogans of law, justice, rights, or the tide of history. History goes to the strong. We are strong and we intend to keep it that way.”

-Andrew J. Nathan


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