Tue, Nov 07, 2017 - Page 8 News List

Tibetization of the world has begun

By Sushil Seth

The party is over — that is, the 19h National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). It was done with fanfare, although it was widely expected to deliver a thumping endorsement of the new messiah, Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), now in the same league as Mao Zedong (毛澤東).

It was sad to see his predecessors, Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) and Jiang Zemin (江澤民), trailing behind Xi in the staged procession on the dais looking like pathetic figures from a distant past acknowledging, by their presence, their downgrading and by the same act bestowing even greater legitimacy on the new order enshrining Xi’s pre-eminence.

At one time, in the TV pictures, Hu sought to talk to Xi about some thing or other, but the new “emperor” just had no time for his immediate predecessor.

From all the accounts of Xi’s great achievements in the five years he has been CCP general secretary, it would appear that the intervening period between Deng Xiaoping’s (鄧小平) death and Xi’s ascension was time lost.

Before the party conference, there was a lot of build-up to highlight all these achievements. An advertising supplement from Chinese authorities in the Sydney Morning Herald featured a report of an entire exhibition at the Beijing Exhibition Hall on Sept. 25.

“The exhibition showcased the country’s progress over the past five years under the leadership of the CPC [CCP] with Mr Xi as the core,” the report said.

With Xi at the “core,” he is now the personification of the CCP and, for that matter, the state, because the two tend to be indistinguishable. And he has a dream to make China great again.

Xi has now had his own “Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” enshrined in the CCP’s constitution and this will be “a guide to action for the entire party and all the Chinese people to strive for.”

With this as a guide, China will achieve global leadership by the middle of the century, with the CCP still at the helm of affairs. There will be none of this “nonsense” about Western democracy, human rights, freedom of speech and that kind of stuff. China will strive for social stability and orderly growth.

In his speech to the party congress, Xi sought to broadly lay down China’s broad trajectory.

Now that China had met the basic needs of its people, it would next work to become a “great modern socialist country” and, by 2035, a global leader in innovation, Xi said, adding that a second phase, of becoming a global leader in “national strength and international influence,” would take until the middle of the century.

This will go hand-in-hand with transitioning China from rapid growth to high-quality development. Which would mean integrating advanced manufacturing, the Internet, big data and artificial intelligence into the “real economy.”

In all this hoopla, there was no mention of the other China of nearly 500 million people, about 40 percent of China’s population, who live on less than US$5.50 per day, according to the World Bank.

China has undoubtedly made great economic strides, but it is necessary to keep a balanced perspective, as pointed out by People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan (周小川).

“If we are too optimistic when things go smoothly, tensions build up, which could lead to a sharp correction, what we call ‘Minsky moment,’” he said, referring to the US economist Hyman Minsky, who cautioned against too much money in the system fueling speculation that might lead to financial collapse.

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