Beijing [China]: Chinese President Xi Jinping has fallen into the dictator’s trap similarly to supreme leader Mao Zedong as he also took the entire power into his hand and now seeking a third term to achieve his goal with a word of caution as it could spell years of uncertainty as problems mount around an unbound leader who has shown little inclination to share decision-making.
Today, Chinese leader Xi opened the ruling Communist Party’s twice-a-decade National Congress, which may give him the responsibility of the general secretary of the party for another five years, The New York Times reported.
Xi Jinping has removed all the rivals, who are stopping him from achieving his third-term goal. Recently, Two more top former officials were jailed last month, accused of financial crimes and disloyalty to Xi. This move by Xi shows his fealty to himself. Even his subordinates compete to prove their loyalty by carrying out his policies to the extreme rather than raising harsh truths about negative consequences.
This is precisely the sort of situation that Deng Xiaoping, Former Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and other ex-party leaders had set out to prevent with changes introduced decades ago.
Earlier, Mao also did the same thing, concentrating more power in his hands, he misguided Great Leap Forward, a campaign to greatly increase agrarian and industrial output in the late 1950s that led instead to a devastating famine and then to the chaotic political violence of the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution.
After Mao’s death, Deng introduced term limits and retirement ages for leading posts in the government and military and gave party institutions more authority, reported The New York Times.
Party institutions — their members all appointed by senior leaders — proved to be pushovers for Xi. No visible resistance was raised when he engineered the abolition of presidential term limits in 2018, which could allow Xi, who is 69, to stay in power until he dies or is deposed in a power struggle.
Xi, who favors a state-led, centrally controlled economy, began an abrupt crackdown on major Chinese internet companies last year, as part of a plan to redistribute wealth and rein in the private sector. That has been put on the back burner for now, but not before it wiped billions of dollars from the valuations of innovative companies and cast a pall over entrepreneurship, exacerbating an extended Chinese economic slowdown, according to The New York Times.
Not only this, but when the whole world was trying to adjust to the “new normal,” Xi refused to loosed his zero-tolerance approach and continued the Zero-COVID policy which imposes mass lockdowns and surveillance in a bandwagon dynamic that has echoes of the Great Leap Forward when officials over-complied with Mao’s damaging directives.
The Covid policy has angered citizens and saddled local governments with the huge costs of constant testing and quarantining. Private companies stricken by the disruption and regulatory crackdowns are laying off employees, and college graduates are struggling to find jobs. For the first time in years, unemployment has become a serious political risk for the party, and a tanking Chinese real estate market threatens to pull down the entire economy.
Talking about the foreign policy of China, the country has made its new rivals. China militarized disputed islets in the South China Sea, threatened military action against Taiwan, cut off many imports from Australia, destroyed Hong Kong’s autonomy, and on top of that has deepened Beijing’s isolation from Europe and the United States by aligning with Russian President Vladimir Putin just before Russia launched his invasion of Ukraine, reported The New York Times.
The dispute between China and other countries came under the limelight when the United States, Japan, Australia, and India came together and formed Quad to fight against Beijing.
The greatest risk now facing China and the world is that the consequences of Xi’s misrule could lead to a point where he feels compelled to provoke a foreign conflict to divert domestic public attention. Xi’s continued reluctance to share power also could increase the risk of an internecine split in his third term. The level of dissent within the secretive Communist Party is difficult to gauge, but possible signs of frustration have emerged, as per The New York Times.
It’s anyone’s guess how much longer Xi’s rule will last, but there appears no end in sight. The party normally selects a successor five years in advance to groom and introduce him to the Chinese public. But everyone is in the shadow cast by Xi, who has so far given no hint who his eventual successor might be. (ANI)