Brazil – In an emphatic two-hour speech, Xi Jinping, 69, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, is set to be re-appointed this Sunday (16) to his third consecutive five-year term as ruler of China’s 1.4 billion people. Specifically, 2,296 delegates are attending the event, representing the 96.7 million members of the Chinese Communist Party since the beginning of the week at the party congress in Beijing.
By ratifying the extension of Xi’s mandate as a political figure who controls more people, with fewer constraints, than anyone else in the world, the Chinese party would affirm that national upliftment and dictatorship, not global cooperation and human rights, are key. your star leadership.
China’s top leader emphasized the importance of fully adhering to the concept of democratic centralism as the ideological basis of the party, warned of the ‘dangerous storms’ China is facing and emphasized his role as the defender of the country’s security.
He is expected to win his third term as party leader during a party congress that began earlier this week and is expected to be re-appointed for a third consecutive term following a constitutional amendment that removed the two-term limit for top leaders for the second year. the world’s largest economy .
The Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee should continue to firmly adhere to democratic centralism, Xi Jinping said at a Bureau meeting held on Monday and Tuesday this week, during which members discussed measures to improve political life and intra-party supervision.
Xi Jinping said China had faced tough challenges in the past five years, presenting himself at the start of the Communist Party congress as a leader who could lead the country through an era of danger and uncertainty.
His comments represented a shift in the party’s focus squarely toward an obsession with security — that is, quashing all ideological and geopolitical challenges to party rule — and away from economic development.
Xi Jinping was nominated as party leader in 2012 and is almost certain to win a third five-year term at the end of the party meeting, bucking the recent precedent of regular transition at the top and cementing a return to strongman rule.
Since Xi took his first job, the nation has seen a sweeping expansion of its economy, military strength and role as a global power. But China also faces mounting challenges, partly of Xi’s own making, including an economy slowed by the enforced implementation of zero tolerance for Covid, a key policy of its domestic policy.
During the speech, Xi frequently referred to security goals and issued a broad warning of possible obstacles to come. “Let us be prepared to withstand strong winds, rough waters and even dangerous storms,” he said.
Highlights of your speech
Xi Jinping cited as an achievement China’s “zero covid-19” policy, which seeks to end the coronavirus through extensive testing, quarantines and isolation – a sign that it won’t go away anytime soon, even as the global pandemic subsides.
Delegates applauded after Xi said he wanted to achieve a peaceful reunification with Taiwan, a self-governing island that China claims as its territory, but added that he had not ruled out the use of force – a long-standing position of Beijing. “Resolving the Taiwan issue is a matter for the Chinese people,” he said.
The General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee said that innovation in science and technology will be a key part of the country’s growth, highlighting original and pioneering scientific research. He said that China will quickly launch major national projects that are strategic, general and of long-term importance, appearing to emphasize state initiatives over what could come from the private sector.
The first thing to note about this seeming inevitability of a third term for Xi Jinping is that, in a real sense, it should never have been possible. It does not refer to the party congress itself: it is a regular occurrence, every five years. Instead, the potential extension of Xi’s power for five years – and, in theory, indefinitely – undoes a key step that the party leaders who succeeded Mao Zedong after his death in 1976 took to avoid a repeat of their disastrous personality cult.
They wrote a two-term limit into the constitution in 1982; Xi, who won his first term in 2012, planned his ouster at the start of his second in 2018. By then, Xi had already defied optimistic expectations, both Chinese and American, by acting on his deep conviction that political and economic openness had dissolved the Soviet Union and would also destroy Chinese Communism, unless the party adheres to what Lenin called “democratic centralism.”
Xi Jinping stifled dissent, reimposed Marxist-Leninist indoctrination, subjected the population to systematic surveillance, purged the party itself of potential opponents, and subjugated Tibet, Hong Kong, and Xinjiang, the latter through a genocidal campaign of forced labor and mass incarceration of the Uighur Muslim population.
He has ominously expanded and improved China’s military capabilities while reasserting Beijing’s claim to Taiwan, most recently through large-scale military exercises to show displeasure with US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei in August.
Half a century after the restoration of diplomatic relations brought Republican President Richard M. Nixon to China, two decades after Democratic President Bill Clinton pushed China’s most-favored-nation trade status through Congress with bipartisan support, it is clear that the United States cannot lead China’s rise to a way compatible with US strategies.
interests, let alone in accordance with a rules-based international order, as many architects of earlier Western engagement efforts – governmental, corporate, scientific and intellectual – had hoped.
mistakes from the past
According to an article in The Washington Post, for today’s US foreign policy administrators, Xi’s coronation is therefore a time to reflect on the positive thinking and miscalculations of the past — and how to avoid similar mistakes without descending into follies and episodes. hostility towards President Biden’s predecessor, President Donald Trump.
To be sure, the Republican shift to a more skeptical attitude toward China means that Biden has the advantage of a bipartisan consensus in favor of competing with Beijing, as broad as the consensus that previously favored engagement.
He strongly advocated for Taiwan’s right to exist as a democracy free from Chinese threats, while strengthening the US alliance with Australia, Japan, and Korea in the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (also known as the Quadrangle Security Dialogue), an informal strategic forum between the United States, Japan , Australia and India which takes place through semi-regular summit meetings, information exchanges and military exercises among member countries.
Born as a dialogue in 2007 by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with the support of US Vice President Dick Cheney, Australian Prime Minister John Howard and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, but the following year Australia withdrew from the group and the Quad remained inactive for almost a while. a decade.
Since 2017, the quadrilateral forum has been reactivated with numerous informal meetings between the foreign ministers of the four countries as a diplomatic response to curbing China’s growing economic and military power in the Indo-Pacific region.
In March 2021, an official conference was held between the four leaders of the Quad governments for the first time since the group was founded in 2007.
Recently, President Biden took a step to limit China’s pursuit of technological dominance by cutting off access to advanced semiconductors that incorporate American technology.
Biden’s national security strategy, released Wednesday, aptly classifies China as “the only competitor.” [dos EUA] with the intention of reshaping the international order and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military and technological power to do so”. However, the document offers the possibility that China and the United States can “cooperate, for the benefit of our people and for the benefit of the world” on issues such as climate or pandemics. We hope it’s true, but we’re afraid it’s not.
Xi has dismissed global investigations into the origins of the coronavirus and has met with Russian President Vladimir Putin more often than with any other world leader. He described the author of the aggressive war in Ukraine as his “best friend and colleague”, with whom he has a “similar character”. China caved in to the Russian invasion from the start in February and has since done nothing significant to contain it.
It will be difficult for Biden to compete with China in general, while selectively cooperating with it. Yet Xi faces an even tougher task: sustaining China’s rise while stifling the private sector and restricting the free flow of ideas on which material progress ultimately depends.
A leader who trains his people to follow the thinking of Xi Jinping – and forbids them to question him – is likely to foster development as erratically as Mao did in his day. China’s economic growth, the source of its power, is slowly weakening.
This stems in part from structural factors, such as the slowdown in labor force growth, which in turn is the result of a historic communist mistake: the old “one child” policy. However, Xi’s latest policy choices are also hurting the economy. One is his attack on successful e-commerce and other businesses in the name of socialist equality.
The second is his “zero covid” policy, which looks more and more like a pet project that Xi stubbornly refuses to review than a public health measure. If China really wanted to find a way to reduce the risks by restoring normal life, it would have imported Western-made vaccines instead of insisting on its own less effective product, which has not been fully administered to the vulnerable elderly population. The net effect is a country that has paid a high price for its low infection and death rates, but is still vulnerable to outbreaks.
Given these problems and the party’s control of the media, Xi’s true popularity is impossible to measure. But he is probably testing the patience of his people. On Thursday, a brave protester unfurled banners in Beijing, one of which called for the ouster of Xi and another that said in part: “We want freedom, not blockades. … We want votes, not leaders”.
When their economies stagnate and discontent grows, autocrats sometimes try to distract their people with adventures abroad. This is a reason for concern that Mr. Xi may act on his ambition to take over Taiwan sooner or later. So far, Xi’s success has created risks for the United States and its allies. They must prepare for the possibility that their failures will create more.
With international agencies
report: Val-André Mutran – correspondent for Z blogIt is Dudu in Brasilia.
Labels: #Politics #PCC #China #International