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President Xi Is Aiming to Be Greater Than Mao

MG is a senior air warrior who is an alumnus of the Staff College and a notable writer on military history.

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Introduction

The National Congress of the Chinese Communist party has taken place and as expected Xi Jinping is re-elected for an unprecedented third term. The outcome of this election is even less unpredictable than the party's presidential election in that case at least there are two candidates. In this case, there was no candidate and only an endorsement and Xi was confirmed.

The centerpiece of this jamboree was the speech of the new president-elect. This is very significant because he has now underlined some major shifts from China's recent past. Last week has been very significant from the world's point of view as the U.S White House issued its National Security Strategy in which predominant attention was given to China.

China has been the burden of the U.S national security strategy this year as it might have been last year also but that's kind of a strong restatement. China is repeatedly mentioned in the document. Incidentally, the National Security strategy document mentions India eight times and the Indo-Pacific is mentioned 32 times.

At the top is Xi Jinping's speech. In his speech he mentioned the word security or national repeatedly: It's a long speech at the National congress and Xi has touched on the core aspect of security vis a vis the USA. There is no doubt he considers the USA the number one enemy, to be dethroned. He has been reportedly of the view that the days of imperialism now being practiced by the USA are over. I wonder how right he is.


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President Xi at the helm


Xi emphasizes that China has become a very predominant military power and goes on to say that what's the point of having that military strength if it cannot be used to leverage world politics to China's interests? Xi's worldview is that China must lead the world but he also adds that many external threats lurk for China.

Xi feels that China must play the role of a great power but at the same time concedes that many threats are lurking for China which is led by imperialist powers. There is no doubt he is thinking of the USA.

Xi Jinping has been raised to the core of the party leadership. It means he is trusted to take the party onto the mid-21st century. In other words, he has carte blanche to lead the country in any direction he wishes.

Bear in mind that the system prevalent in China is that once you are the leader of the Communist Party you re everything. It is the core of power because the party owns the nation as well as the military. The Chinese PLA is the only major military in the world that serves the nation but more importantly serves the party.

If you come to brass tacks it boils down to the axiom that the party owns the Army. The party has a Central Military Commission which runs the Army. The President is the head of this Central Military Commission,. so the party is very powerful in China.

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To date, only 3 leaders have reached the position that Xi has occupied. They are Mao Tse Tung, Deng Xiaoping and now Xi. One can see that in a hundred-year-old party only 3 leaders have reached this status and Xi Jinping is there now. It means he is empowered to drive China's Destiny where he feels fit which means a formalized dictatorship.

The Communist Party runs the state that's why the Congress is so important as it's only held once in five years. From Xi's speech, one can discern that China is number two in the world but he hints that China should grow to the number one position.

China is poised to push the U.S to number two. Alfred Brew associate professor at the National University of Singapore Center says that it shows that the clash with the US will now be intensified and there is no chance of tensions being lowered in fact if you read The American National Security strategy both are mirror images of each other.

There is thus a kind of nervous tension about the other; so one complements the other. Bear in mind that the first National Congress was held in 1921 and the present was the 20th and its importance as a rubber stamp of the Chinese leadership is paramount.

The Chinese Journal of international policies says that now guiding other states will replace the policy of never taking the lead. It means that under President Xi, China will be more aggressive and proactive.

The Chinese are planning a soft hegemony which means that China wishes to be the leader with a string of vassal states. China will thus follow a tough policy. Matters are not helped by the fact the only country that could match China is India but its economy is 1/5 of China and the Indian leadership frittered away the position attained by the Raj in 100 years inside 2 decades.

China is a big economic power now with a very powerful military. Xi also says that his policy would be to increase the income of low-income people expand the middle-income groups standardize the order of income distribution and standardize wealth accumulation mechanisms.

What Xi plans is fascinating and the US will be worried as fruitless wars like those in Ukraine have drained the American economy. If Xi gets his game going the USA will be relegated from no 2 to even 4 or 5. A major point is the inability of the USA to fight a war with China in Asia, despite all the bravado words by Joe Biden.

Xi is also talking about Technology Innovation and he's saying that China must build the world's biggest finest Talent Center and focus on Innovation and strive for competitive advantage in international competition for talent.


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Conclusion

Finally to sum up the biggest takeaway is that the idea of the peaceful rise of China is now over and Xi Jinping has blown the bugle. That this is a new China that will act like a great power. He has thus set his sights on eclipsing Mao as the greatest Chinese leader.

There will be a lot more excitement ahead. Right now while one game is playing out between Russia and the Western powers in Ukraine; the larger one lurks around the corner that is between the U.S and its Western allies and China.

It won't be easy for the USA and there is a good chance that NATO will crumble, as the cracks are already appearing. The Western powers cannot allow themselves to be bombed to the stone age. History will record the folly of the USA in confronting Russia over Ukraine. There is a Greek saying that those who the Gods wish to destroy, make them mad. Is the USA heading that way?

© 2022 MG Singh emge

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