The Watcher: New Thought
By Robert L. Kuhn
I’m Robert Lawrence Kuhn and here’s what I’m watching - "Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era" – China’s guiding political philosophy enshrined in the Party Constitution. 
When foreigners dismiss the aphorisms of China’s leaders as simplistic sloganeering, they miss an opportunity to enrich their understanding. 
Chinese officials certainly take these slogans seriously - their performance reviews and careers are based on them. 
"Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era" is what the Party calls an innovative and integrated system of political theory that advances the application of Marxism to China’s special conditions. 
It answers the question, what kind of socialism with Chinese characteristics should China pursue in the new era? Let’s examine each of its elements. 
"Xi Jinping" is the "core" of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and of the whole Party, and he thereby provides the "centralism" of the Party’s cardinal principle of democratic centralism. 
"Thought" is the totality of Xi’s principles. I see five big categories: people orientation, national rejuvenation, comprehensive development, Party leadership, international engagement. 
In Xi’s report to the 19th CPC National Congress, he listed fourteen areas: Party leadership of society; people-centered policies; deepening  reform; new concept of development (namely, innovation, coordination, green, open, sharing); people as masters of the country; adherence to rule of law, governing the country by law; socialist values and cultural confidence; protecting and improving people's livelihoods; harmonious coexistence of man and nature (namely, ecological civilization); national security; the Party's absolute leadership over of the military; "one country, two systems" and reunification with Taiwan; international community of a shared future; and strict governance of the Party. 
"Socialism" is a set of political ideas with a complex history, unified by public or common ownership of the means of production, and concern for the masses. 
"Chinese characteristics" is the phrase, originating with Deng Xiaoping, that adapts Marxism to China’s special conditions - the Sinicization of Marxism – which includes the market playing a decisive role in the allocation of  resources, while at the same time, state-owned enterprises still playing a dominant role. 
"New Era" is the fresh idea that energizes the whole system. The question is, how will Xi Jinping’s Thought drive policy? What will happen now, that hasn’t happened before? 
I’m keeping watch. I’m Robert Lawrence Kuhn.
(Dr. Robert Lawrence Kuhn is a CGTN anchor, a public intellectual, international corporate strategist and investment banker)