Xi Jingping firmly in saddle

ByFahad Ali

Associated with maritime trade


November 5, 2022

Chinese President Xi Jinping

Fahad Ali describes an unusual slant in a career

President Xi Jinping of China has overcome all obstructions and is now reigning supreme at the helm of China after getting formally confirmed as president for an unprecedented third term demolishing the two-term restriction imposed by his predecessors and in the process ending the collegial rule so desired by the ruling Communist Party of China. Chinese President Xi Jinping has brought back the days of the times of Mao Zedong laded with fear.

And trepidation as was evident by the unceremonious exit of his predecessor Hu Jintao from the party congress attended by over 2,000 delegates assembled after five years showed no interest in succession planning. It is widely known that Hu had very different ideas from Chinese President Xi Jinping about leadership and openness, not only within the party but also in society.

Keeping in view how carefully these meetings are rehearsed, the fact that they let this happen in front of everyone and in front of the media is the most important thing and could be interpreted as the public dismissal of an opponent. Xi Jinping successfully dismantled the carefully built edifice of the collegial rule set up in the 1980s by leaders like Deng Xiaoping ensuring that there would be no repetition of Mao Zedong’s 27-year one-man rule.

It is now recognized that Xi Jinping now has absolute power, virtually unchallenged within the governmental sector and he has accumulated so many titles that are now called the Chairman of Everything. Among the many titles he accumulated, one such title is gaining ground among the Communist Party elite and raises fears of a Mao Zedong-like cult of personality and that title is ‘Lingxiu,’ or leader a name previously reserved only for Mao.

Chinese President Xi Jinping And Politicians

Xi has also appointed a number of loyal Chinese politicians known as his inner circle and they are widely known as the most powerful men in the country. It is a phenomenal rise for Xi Jinping who was born in Beijing in 1953 and their father Xi Zhongxun was part of the earliest generation of Chinese Communist leadership.

The elder Xi was considered a moderate within the party which brought him and his family many problems. The younger Xi studied Chemistry at Tsinghua University from 1975 to 1979 and would proceed to rise within the political apparatus in the following decades. Xi Jinping succeeded Hu Jintao in 2012 as President of China, General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, and Chairman of the Central Military Commission.

This made him the paramount leader of the country. Contrary to his direct predecessors, Xi Jinping tried to break the system of moderate, collective rule. He redefined the Chinese government, with himself at its center. As the president of China Xi Jinping has developed a cult of personality and engineered the removal of term limits, thereby allowing him to become ruler for life.

Xi Jinping has even managed to introduce his political thought into the Chinese Constitution. Removing term limits also breaks the generational renewal accustomed within the Chinese leadership. Instead of having younger, more modern Communist party members succeed him in 2022, Xi extended his rule for at least 5 more years and potentially for life.

Under his government, Xi Jinping has solidified China’s place as a global superpower. The country surpassed the United States as the world’s biggest economy. China has outpaced every economy in the world and has progressed to record levels of economic growth astonishing even most skeptics.

Chinese President Xi Jinping And Government New Launch

Confident in huge reservoirs of their soft power, the Chinese government launched its flagship project, The Belt and Road Initiative in 2013, a massive infrastructure project in over 70 countries. The project has been described as the backbone of China’s economic and geopolitical agenda and is considered a huge investment venture whose reach is indeed global.

However, on the flip side, technological or economic growth has not included the promotion of human and social rights. In fact, some experts argue that Xi Jinping is methodically dismantling virtually every one of the reforms that made China’s spectacular growth possible over the last four decades.

Tighter control of the media and the population has gone hand in hand with Xi’s more centralized approach to ruling China. It is pointed out that the country introduced stricter media rules in 2021 that range from limiting online game hours to banning effeminate men from TV.

Under the guise of a strong, national identity, the central government has also cracked down on minority groups such as the Uyghurs in the western province of Xinjiang. It is consistently reported that Xi Jinping Thought has been included in the Chinese school curriculum, looking to extend his personality cult to children as young as seven and rear a new generation of patriots.

Among the 14 principles of Xi Jinping Thought is the total rule of the party in every aspect of life: The government, the military, the people, the academia, and all circles, the party leads all. Xi Jinping is straddling unstopped and the only thing that could virtually stop Xi Jinping is being forced to step down by the same political elite that anointed his philosophy as Marxism for the 21st century and the essence of Chinese culture and China’s spirit.

United States And China

The Chinese dream is inseparable from a peaceful international environment and a stable international order but what does that really mean: an order dominated by China or an order in which it shares power with the US? Some think that the United States and China have entered into some kind of cold war.

In the past decade, tensions between the two nations have grown. The main bone of contention is the self-ruling territory of Taiwan, an island nation that China officially regards as a breakaway province that could be a point of contention between Beijing and The West.

The United States is committed to defending Taiwan in case China made the first strike on the island, though many consider a conflict between the United States and China unlikely since both countries still depend on each other economically.

The Chinese government has developed closer ties with Vladimir Putin and Russia over the last decade. Xi Jinping has said on more than one occasion that Putin was his best friend in the international landscape. With his political rivals neutralized, a tight hold on Chinese society, and little chance of international trouble, Xi Jinping has all the conditions of a ruler who could remain in power for a long time.

Whatever happens, it is already certain that Xi has left a lasting effect around the world. He will be remembered as one of the most important and influential leaders of modern China. Although Xi Jinping appears unassailable for the time being the political situation has a queer tendency to change and mutate. The reasons for such change may not appear manifest right till the very end but they suddenly appear from nowhere and change the matrix completely and beyond recognition. The Weekender


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