Can this be the beginning to communist China’s end?
The Chinese Communist Party’s 18th party congress will forever be remembered for one thing & one thing alone – this was the meeting in which Xi Jinping was declared the next President of China, i.e. Hu Jintao’s successor. Unlike his predecessor’s reformist ideology though, Xi Jinping has brought China back to the Mao Zedong era – with centralization of power, isolation from the world & using military & media-control to curb dissent, being the key features of his regime.
Truth be told, Xi Jinping policies have ricocheted exactly like Mao’s did – large scale public outrages, dissent within Party, protests by military veterans and massive emigration. Which is why, one can’t help but wonder –Has Xi’s aggressive diplomacy cost China its economic growth? Has Xi lost the mandate of people? Is this the start of CCP’s end in China?
Possibly yes. Here’s why we say so –
MISTAKE 1. Insecurity + Ambition =Over-concentration of Power
In 1950s Mao Zedong started a campaign called 三反五反运动 (san fan wu fan yun dong) or the Three-Anti and Five-Anti Campaign. He proclaimed that with this campaign he would free China of 2 main evils – corruption and anti-State elements. But the prize of the campaign was way sweeter than he imagined – Mao’s Three Antis freed him from all opposition within the communist party, and Five Antis helped him target and retrieve power from the wealthy owners.
Now jumping forward to 2012 – Chairman Xi Jinping gets ready to take control of China.
Chairman Xi’s succession to power, started with a campaign to weed out corruption from within the party. And his first target was the other Princeling, Bo Xilai. Interestingly, Bo also happened to be Xi’s only competitor in the race for becoming the next Chinese President. Coincidence? Let’s assume so.
It’s 2023 now, and on very similar allegations Qin Gang (the CCP’s Former Foreign Minister), Li Shangfu, (Ex- Defence Minister), Xiao Yaqing (Former IT Minister), Meng Hongwei (Former Interpol chief) and many other Party members seem to be suddenly accused and missing on similar charges. Coincidentally, most of them belong to Xi’s rival political faction!
But like Mao, Xi’s crackdown doesn’t stop with politicians.
After politicians, Xi is now actively targeting the power & influence of private firms and entrepreneurs too. He has ensured that CEOs, internationally famed writers, artists, lawyers and journalists and all those whose influence may threaten his position, have been brought behind bars under bogus allegations of tax invasion, corruption and money laundering. Chinese entrepreneurs like Alibaba’s Jack Ma, Seazen Group’s Qu Dejun, Real Estate Tycoon Ren Zhiqiang, Wu Xiaohui of Anbang Insurance Group are some of the latest victims of Xi’s purge.
An uncanny similarity to Mao’s Three-Anti and Five-Anti Campaign, isn’t it? Could Xi’s motive be the same as Mao’s?
I would also like to wish victory to a new front, that is, to the large-scale struggle in which all the people and cadres of the country are called upon to fight vigorously and resolutely against corruption, waste and bureaucracy, so as to cleanse our society of all the filth and poison left over from the old!Mao Zedong, January 1st 1952
MISTAKE 2. Neglected, Disrespected & Abandoned – Life of China’s Army Men
Since Xi took over Central Military Commission’s Chairmanship, there has been an increasing discontent among the senior PLA official and veterans.
One major and obvious factor is the CCP government’s lack of transparency in military accidents. Be it during the 2020 India – China clash that resulted in the deaths of 45 PLA soldiers, or the recent incident of 55 deaths in the Type 093 submarine’s accident that happened this August; CCP’s complete denial of information to the family members and their refusal to acknowledge the soldier’s sacrifices, has triggered an outrage amongst Chinese people and PLA commanders alike.
India has held a memorial service for the sacrificial soldiers. It shows the high respect and attention of the whole country of India to the soldiers who defend the country and the land
It shows the high degree of solidarity of the Indian nation. What about us? We should learn from India and show respect to our soldiers. Why don’t we openly hold memorial services for the soldiers who died? What? 0 deaths of the PLA? Have the injured been transported? Excuse me?June 19, comments on Chinese Weibo platform after Xi’s Galwan Valley Blunder
Another reason is Xi’s hostile diplomats aka his ‘Wolf Warriors’. Here’s the detailed explanation for this-
In the past few years, Xi Jinping’s diplomats have resorted to name calling, petty arrogance and unnecessary provocation that has left a sour taste among the host nations. Coupled with CCP government’s controversial policies, host nations have been forced to take strong action against Chinese expats and businesses. But who controls these businesses? Interestingly most Chinese companies that have presence overseas – like Huawei, Alibaba, Xindia Steels etc, are either run by high-ranking PLA veterans or have strong links to serving senior PLA officials. Therefore, the sudden disruption to their functioning has made these seniors very unhappy.
One most vocal critique of Xi’s Wolf Warrior diplomacy is PLA Air Forces’ Senior Colonel Dai Xu, who is also one of the writers of the famous book ‘Unrestricted Warfare’. He has repeatedly emphasized the need for “fighting wisely” and not through unnecessary military force. Well… his concerns have proven very correct now.
Remember: the 30 billion in tariffs imposed on you will bring an effect of 60 billion, 90 billion, or more. This is where Imperial America is truly powerful. We must be rational instead of angry, and fight wisely.– Senior Colonel Dai Xu, PLA Air Forces and author of ‘Unrestricted Warfare’
Finally let’s not forget that PLA was and still is just the armed wing of CCP – therefore political ties and alignment to Xi’s Thought is paramount for promotion to higher ranks.
So by controlling the personnel, financial and decision-making power, the CCP Chairman ensures a submissive army that readily complies with every order of political leadership, no matter how bizarre….. like Mao’s orders for Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989!
Party, government, military, civilian, and academic, east, west, south, north, and center, the party leads everything
MISTAKE 3. Isolation & Poor Diplomacy = Xi’s U-turn to Mao’s Era
Since Xi Jinping took over, China’s image has been marred with allegations of debt trapping, hostage diplomacy, State-sponsored espionage, human rights violations, unnecessary disputes & deliberate violations of international order and so on.Were previous governments not carrying out such activities? They definitely were – the Uyghur crisis of 2008-09, Tibetan suppression during Beijing Olympics of 2008, the capture of Scarborough Shoal, the India-China clash of 1962, SARS pandemic etc.
So why is Xi so unpopular?
Within China, it is the tightening of censorship and surveillance that has left a negative impact on Xi’s leadership. However, it wasn’t until the sudden economic upheaval after the failure of ‘Zero-Covid’ policy that CCP faced the ire of citizens. Even today, as the country seems to have finally recovered from the pandemic, they still face economic stagnation that shows no signs of recovery any time soon.
However, the fallout with the rest of the world is the result of two very different factors – (a) an aggressive military/militia activity in disputed regions, and (b) reversal of Deng’s diplomatic thought.
Observe calmly; secure our position; cope with affairs calmly; hide our capacities and bide our time; be good at maintaining a low profile; and never claim leadership.– Deng Xiaoping’s 24 Character Strategy
The military/militia aggression against neighbours in East and South China sea has long been an issue of contention. But since 2013, the frequency of unprovoked attacks on maritime as well as territorial neighbours have increased multi-folds. Such attacks have increased scrutiny on the overseas Chinese investments, businesses and people. Additionally, the constant attacks from CCP’s diplomats and their meddling in the host’s internal issues, has escalated tensions.
In the past 2 years, countries like USA, Belgium, UK, Denmark, Australia, Philippines, South Korea, India and many more, have voted for economic de-linking from China. Even with allies like Vietnam, Pakistan and Laos, CCP’s initiatives have started facing host-imposed delays, hostile protests and attacks by locals.
In ancient era, Chinese people believed that if a king failed to rule justly, if he failed to provide stability to his kingdom or if people under his reign faced poverty and illness; then, he had failed as a ruler and his downfall was certain. Such a king’s regime would often face protests, disasters and brutal foreign invasion. They would say, “this king has lost the mandate of heaven and must be removed.”
For Xi Jinping, perhaps the time is now – as the nation faces increased protests, poorly managed natural and man-made disasters and, increasing risk of military retaliation due to his own misadventures – it does look like Xi has lost the ‘Mandate of People’…and this time not just the king but entire communist regime could be ousted!