The Confidence Doctrine (Chinese: 自信论) is a signature political philosophy of Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China. It calls for Communist Party members, government officials, and the Chinese people to be "confident in our chosen path, confident in our political system, and confident in our guiding theories." Initially, the doctrine was termed the Three Confidences (三个自信), although Xi Jinping seems to have injected a 'fourth' confidence, "confidence in our culture," into the mix in December 2014. Along with the Four Comprehensives and the Chinese Dream, it has, since 2013, become a central theme in political slogans of the Communist Party of China, often recited at official meetings, conferences, and by state-owned media.
The doctrine was first discussed at the 18th Party Congress held in November 2012 in a speech by then party General Secretary Hu Jintao. The origin of the theory is said to be Yi Junqing, an official later disgraced for corruption who served as the head of the Compilation and Translation Bureau.
According to several portraits of Xi by both domestic and foreign observers, Xi Jinping has a deeply held belief that the Communist Party and the institutions it has created is the best institution to govern China and the best institution to guide China's development. Throughout the period that the Communist Party was the ruling party of China, the party has constantly faced challenges and doubts, both domestically and internationally, about its continuing legitimacy to govern, and pressures for political reform. While the Communist Party has long criticized "western-style democracy and separation of powers" as unsuitable for the Chinese environment, the Confidence Doctrine introduces a novel approach to the issue by emphasizing self-confidence over the criticism of external forces.
- Lin, Baohua (May 22, 2013). ""七个不讲"否定"三个自信"（林保华）". Radio Free Asia.
- "习近平灵机一动 立马改了"三个自信"(图)". Duowei News (Boxun). December 23, 2014.
- Osnos, Evan (April 6, 2015). "Born Red: How Xi Jinping, an unremarkable provincial administrator, became China’s most authoritarian leader since Mao.". The New Yorker.
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