Society for Restoring Benevolence

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Society for Restoring Benevolence
仁者再生会
Rénzhě zàishēng huì
ChairmanWang Hongzhi
Deputy ChairmenLu Qinqin
Xi Lejiang
FounderYuan Xiannian
Founded12th July 1988
Headquarters14 Donfang District, Rongzhuo
NewspaperGlobal Review
Youth wingNationalist Revivalist Front
Membership12 millionIncrease
IdeologyNational Principlism
Shangean nationalism
Authoritarianism
Social conservatism
Economic nationalism
Yuanism
Anti-imperialism (self-proclaimed)
Political positionBig tent
National affiliationPatriotic Alliance for a Harmonious Country
Colors     Red
Legislative Council
515 / 750
Seats in regional assemblies
1,836 / 2,506
State Presidium
6 / 10

The Society for Restoring Benevolence (Shangea: 仁者再生会; Rénzhě zàishēng huì) is a political party in Shangea. Since its creation in 1984 it has been the ruling party of Shangea representing the interests of senior governmental figures, big business and the state bureaucracy being supportive of State Chairman Yuan Xiannian and his agenda.

The Society for Restoring Benevolence is considered to be the spiritual successor of the Xiaodong Regeneration Society, being often referred to as the "party of power". The Society itself was created in March 1988 as an attempt to reintroduce the party state after the official non-partisanship of the Rejuvenation period. It seeks to promote the values of National Principlism and the "Corrective Revolutionary spirit".

The party has ruled Shangea as a dominant-party state since its foundation in 1988, winning a legislative supermajority at the 2009 election and a simple majority at the 2014 election. The Society suffered a decline in support as a result of the 2016-17 Shangean Protests. The 10th January snap elections in 2017 saw the Society and affiliated parties win an overwhelming majority in the Legislative Council in a result that was largely seen as rigged. The continuing protests and harsh suppression of them with the advent of the Normalisation process saw the party cement itself as the central organ of the Shangean state, a position it has continued to hold throughout the Yuan government.

The Society states that it is a big tent party which supports National Principlism, anti-imperialism and economic reformism. However most observers state that the party has no real policies other then support for Yuan Xiannian and as such adopts similar policies to him such as promotion of nationalism and economic centralisation. The Society have support across most societal sectors having links with big business, the government bureaucracy and the military. As the "permanent party of government" the Society often resorts to a mixture of pragmatist and populist policies to the extent where critics contend that the party is largely non-ideological save for preserving statism.

History

Formation

Party of power

Normalisation and its aftermath

Ideology and policies

The Society for Restoring Benevolence officially ascribe to the ideology of National Principlism which advocates for economic modernisation, centralised political republicanism and social collectivism that aim to serve national rather than personal interest. In a general sense this is defined to encompasses nationalism, authoritarianism, neosocialism, political Zohism and social justice (although not in the modern meaning of the term).

In practice, the Society often endorses the centralisation of state power, upholding of traditional culture and an archaic form of social justice. Key to the Society's policy making and ideology is the belief in authoritarian, top-down centralisation of power. National Principlism above all else endorses social stability and the role of an authoritarian, paternalistic state. As a result the Society remain sceptical of popular movements, and seek to maintain a low level of constant control of Shangean society. The Society is disapproving of an active civil society, but since democratic reforms Neo-National Principlists have aimed to fuse traditional paternalist authoritarianism with a form of "authoritarian democracy" in which political participation is limited to elections alone. The Society's focus on social stability means that it endorses moderate social reform and the existence of a welfare state in order to prevent revolution and social collapse. The Society opposes market fundamentalism and individualism, seeing both as detrimental to the social cohesion of the nation.

International paper Le Monde described National Principlism and the Society's adoption of it as being a practice "a way to justify a rigid, authoritarian state that seeks to control the lives of its citizens whilst maintaining a thin veneer of adherence to democratic principles". The Society is commonly considered ideologically to support the agenda of incumbent State Chairman Yuan Xiannian sometimes being dubbed a personalist project.

Economic policy

The Society often uses socialist rhetoric and identifies its economic position as serving the people's and national welfare, rejecting capitalism as being unsuited to the national conditions of Shangea, and proposes instead "Shangean socialism" to deal with Shangean problems. The Society's socialist ideology has been defined as "neosocialist revisionism".

In practice unlike their predecessor parties such as the Xiaodong Regeneration Society or the National Association for Progress the Society neither support a command economy nor economic liberalism. Rather they support a statist, regulatory approach to economic management championing a form of state-sponsored capitalism wherein the state would direct large monopolies through strategic interventions, with the intention to guide the economy to ensure the national interest was served. However, certain sectors, notably the financial sector, remain deregulated and direct taxes low. As well as this, the Society became very heavily in favour of free trade aggressively dismantling tariffs and encouraging foreign investment. Under Yuan, faith in the free market was replaced by a belief of Society policy makers that the state was necessary to ensure economic growth in key sectors and mitigate the downturns of free-market instability. Nevertheless, the Society reject nationalisation and support the privatisation of state assets. In 2013 Yuan defined his economic strategy as encouraging investment through higher education and infrastructure spending, stability through economic interventions and tightly controlling the value of kuai, and liberalisation through massive privatisation and embracing free trade. Since 2017 however there has been a greater focus on economic nationalism with the state expanding support for "national champions" whilst halting the privatisation process.

The current economic program of the Society supports state-sponsored investment, privatisation of state-owned assets, focus on indirect taxation and export-based inflationary growth.

Historical Revisionism

As part of its nationalist ideology, the Society support historical revisionism in regards to Shangeab history particularly the Senrian Genocide. The Society wholeheartedly reject the Treaty of Keishi which they deem illegitimate as it was signed by an illegitimate government and was not done in fair terms. In particular, the Society have stated that Shangea does not bear responsibility for the war stating that the Senrian annexation of Sakata led to the conflict. The Society have also said that Shangea's imperialist ambitions were "less malicious" to those of Gaullica, Estmere, Etruria and Werania and that Shangea protected Coian nations such as Senria from Euclean imperialism.

In terms of the Senrian Genocide the Society have been unable to present a unified opinion on the matter. Officially they endorse Qian Xingwen's 1987 declaration "On the Subject of the Senrian War and its consequences" admitted mass killing had taken place and apologised for civilian deaths, although Qian ruled out the possibility of reparations, stating the mass killings of civilians was simply part of the war and there was no "policy of extermination". Recently under Yuan Xiannian the Society has become more openly historical revisionist, with Yuan rejecting the possibility of a genocide as "Senrian functionalist propaganda". In 2016, Yuan stated Shangean war crimes were a "detail of history" and that ", the Senrian claim that there was a pre-planned effort to kill civilians on a mass scale is absurd...why would a nation, especially one with as peaceful culture as Shangea, do such crimes?".

Foreign policy

The Society aimed to maintain "total independence" in foreign affairs, and are critical of "imperialist domination". It has been the aim of the Society to create an alliance of Coian nations through both the Rongzhuo Strategic Protocol Organisation and the International Forum for Developing States. The Society officially endorse the Three Fundamentals - the isolation of Senria from international affairs, the maintenance of Shangea as a great power and the promotion of anti-imperialism.

The Society have in recent years promoted soft power positions such as increasing international aid, investing in developing countries, investing in Shangean culture and promoting it abroad through organisations such as the International Forum for Shangean Affairs. They additionally support the integration of Heijiang into Shangea.

Social policy

The Society oppose the legalisation of same-sex marriage with critics accusing the Society of using homophobic rhetoric. In 2021 the Society endorsed a law prohibiting LGBT+ representation in Shangean media.

Organisation

The highest ranking official within the Society for Restoring Benevolence is its Chairman (主席; Zhǔxí). The Chairman is the head of the Central Executive Committee (中央行政部门委员会; Zhōngyāng xíngzhèng bùmén wěiyuán huì) which is made up of 20 voting members and 5 non-voting members, acting as the supreme executive body within the Regeneration Society. The Central Executive Committee sets the policy of the party as well as oversee party affairs and appointments. The Central Executive Committee is appointed by the Chairman who is elected by the Regeneration Society Plenum (全会; Quánhuì) which meets every five years - as such the Chairman is allowed to run for unlimited five year terms. The Plenum is made up of delegates from regional Society branches who are picked by the Chairman, meaning the Chairman is always re-elected. The next party plenum is scheduled to take place in 2027.

The day-to-day running of the party is handled by the Co-ordination Unit which oversees the administration and finances of the Society on a nationwide basis. It is led by three General Secretaries and contains several rotating members overall. The Co-ordination Unit is appointed by the Central Executive Committee. Members of the Society who sit in the Legislative Council form the Legislative Unit that coordinates party affairs between members of the Legislative Council. The members of all these branches are appointed by the Central Executive Committee who also appoint the leaders of regional party branches. Prospective candidates for elections are also approved by the Central Executive Committee via the Co-ordination Unit. Most policy within the Society is set by the Policy Unit, which is appointed by the Chairman. At a local level the Society is governed by prefectural branches which in turn are divided into municipal branches.

In practice much of the organisation of the Regeneration Society is based on guanxi networks between members of the Society and the public, with the Society relying on the personal loyalty of members and supporters to increase their own influence in the Society and maintain power, leading to accusations of cronyism and nepotism as well as factionalism being common.

Internal groupings

Party chairman

No. Name
(Born–Died)
Portrait Term in Office State position
1 Yuan Jiaxiang
(1926-1994)
Yuan Jiaxiang.png 12th July 1988 5th May 1994 President of the Legislative Council
2 Han Guanzheng
(1940-)
Ху Цзиньтао 2017.jpg 5th May 1994 30th March 2007 Premier
3 Yuan Xiannian
(1954-)
Shinzō Abe 20060926.jpg 30th March 2007 18th June 2011 State Chairman
4 Xi Yaotang
(1943-)
Wen Jiabao 02.jpg 18th June 2011 19th June 2014 Premier
5 Jiang Zhongyu
(1956 -)
Xi Jinping portrait 2019 (cropped).jpg 19th June 2014 7th June 2022 Premier
Coordinating Minister of International Relations
6 Wang Hongzhi
(1952 -)
Wang Yi 2014 (cropped).jpg 7th June 2022 Incumbent President of the Legislative Council

Criticism

Election results