China Leadership Monitor

Hotel Gutian: We Haven’t Had That Spirit Here Since 1929

Thursday, March 19, 2015
Mao Zedong Oration in Yan’an, circa 1937

In November 2014, Central Military Commission Chairman Xi Jinping used the occasion of the 85th anniversary of the 1929 Gutian Conference to convene a critical meeting on political work in the People’s Liberation Army. Xi addressed the 420 generals and senior military officials in attendance for the two-day meeting, reminding them of Mao’s dictum about party control of the military and connecting the themes to his current anti-corruption campaign.  This article provides historical context for the 2014 meeting, describes the scene, analyzes the key speeches, dissects the content of the pre- and post-meeting propaganda and concludes with an assessment of the short- and long-term implications. 

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Hotel Gutian: We Haven’t Had That Spirit Here Since 1929