Astride an ascended economy and military, with global influence nearing biblical proportions, Xi Jinping (習近平) — general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), chairman of the Central Military Commission and president of the People’s Republic of China — is faithfully heralded, in deeds and imagery, as a benevolent lord, determined to “build a community of common destiny for all mankind.”
Rather than leading humanity to this Shangri-La through inspirational virtue a la Mahatma Gandhi or Abraham Lincoln, the CCP prefers a micromanagement doctrine of socialism with Chinese characteristics as the guiding light.
A doctrine of Marxist orthodoxy transplanted under a canvas of Genghis Khan’s Eternal Blue Sky, cultivates a “moral authority,” only to be nurtured by a blinding constitutional subterfuge that provides the characteristics required for Xi’s heterodox rule.
Orchestrated to cries of hosannas from his followers, the CCP usurps a righteous pulpit to preach of Xi’s promised land: “the Chinese Dream.”
Meanwhile, an Orwellian crusade of apparatchiks throughout the land directs citizens to evict imagery of Jesus Christ, making room for portraits of Lord Xi, as churches and mosques are evangelically demolished.
Ostensibly also seeking protection, prominent Chinese rights lawyers in December 2014 penned an indictment on the efficacy of their constitution: “If there is no system to oversee ... and [bring] to justice, then the constitution will remain outside the legal system. In such circumstances, the constitution is just paper filled with empty words, and the Chinese dream becomes the Chinese nightmare.”
Away from home, CCP investment and influence captivates the world, as voices such as The Economist have cautioned that “the absence of an articulated agenda does not stop China wanting more standing.”
In the CCP’s narrative, this new standing sees China on the rebound from the “century of humiliation,” ready to kick ass. This resurgence of confidence on the world stage is embodied in China’s highest-grossing film, the action movie Wolf Warrior 2.
Opening in 2018 to standing ovations and the national anthem, the movie includes a scene where the white American villain “Big Daddy” says: “People like you will always be inferior to people like me. Get used to it.” The Chinese Rambo lead responds, while pummeling him to death: “That was fucking history!”
This prouder China takes no joy in collaboration. Recall Xi’s broken pledge to former US president Barack Obama that he had “no intention to militarize” the South China Seas, and Beijing’s dismissal of the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s ruling that the artificial islands in the region were illegal.
As if by nature, the CCP’s intractability replays itself. Former Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Lu Kang (陸慷) in June 2017 declared: “The Sino-British Joint Declaration, as a historical document, no longer has any practical significance... The UK has no sovereignty, no power to rule and no power to supervise Hong Kong after the handover.”
Digging into China’s perceived disdain for international law reveals the following insight from lawyer Jaime Ubilla: “The Chinese have a reputation for ‘not abiding by the contract’ or for changing contractual terms after they have been agreed ... a contract merely sets out the basis of the business relationship.”
It is incumbent on the international community to compensate for impotent contracting with a willing China positioned to abrogate treaties with just a wave of Xi’s hand.
Tenaciously, Xi projects unilateral justification for these actions, proclaiming that “the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics is now flying high and proud ... it offers Chinese wisdom and a Chinese approach to solving the problems facing mankind.”
What has been less inspiring is the catastrophic mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic, which, according to the World Bank, has led to “the deepest recession since the Second World War,” and, with human deaths approaching 1 million, has once more revealed the CCP’s incapacity to “problem solve.”
The masters of China descend from a lineage of rather inglorious dictators, as The Diplomat reports: “From a modern perspective, almost all reforms in Chinese history can be classified as ‘failures’... Worse, the reformers themselves generally met tragic ends.”
Despite homemade genocides, pandemics and grand mass murder along the way, this fodder is fulfilling a “Chinese Dream.”
So it is with forlorn images of Nazi extermination camps and Joseph Stalin’s gulag horrors that anguished guardians of “never again” bear witness to the nightmare — again. Through tyranny, brainwashing, prisons and torture, cultures are exterminated in Southern Mongolia, Tibet and East Turkestan (Xinjiang), echoing CCP founder Mao Zedong’s (毛澤東) human tragedies.
Having picked off the South China Sea and Hong Kong, Beijing’s sights are still set on democratic Taiwan, under Xi’s guidance that “the political divide ... cannot be passed on from generation to generation.”
As the Hand of Xi strengthens, CCP speak will continue to promulgate a “community of common destiny for all mankind,” anchored upon a nebulous “socialism with Chinese characteristics” doctrine, designed to encroach on freedom and human rights.
The free world must coalesce to navigate the CCP dragon’s hegemonic flight path, because as this China continues to amplify its economy, military, geopolitical influence and territory, the plan appears to be to create a humanity in better service of the CCP.
In Lord Xi we trust, anyone?
Wayne Pajunen is a consultant, political analyst and former political aide at Canada’s House of Commons.
In the closing weeks of 2000, an army of Singaporean government officials descended on Washington to make good on a handshake between then-US President Bill Clinton and Singaporean Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong (吳作棟). They had agreed to strike an FTA after a round of golf in Brunei that past November. Running a small city-state, Singapore’s leaders and their diplomats live with their ear to the ground, attuned to the slightest geopolitical movements. They were motivated then by a big-picture strategic concern — keeping the US embedded in their region. An FTA they thought would help do that. It worked. Clinton’s successor,
On Oct. 7, the Chinese embassy in New Delhi sent letters to the Indian media asking them to refrain from calling Taiwan a country while reporting on its 109th National Day, which fell on Saturday last week. This move backfired and, on the contrary, contributed to the immense popularity of Taiwan among Indians, leading to an outpouring of congratulations for it on Twitter. Asked about the letter, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said: “There is a free media that reports on issues as it sees fit.” Bharatiya Janata Party spokesman Tajinder Singh Bagga put up several banners outside the
Next month, on Nov. 3, US voters will go to the polls to pick their next president, a choice between former vice president Joe Biden and President Donald Trump, who is seeking a second term. Residents of Taiwan have to wonder how the two will differ in terms of the US’ future Taiwan policy and which will be better for Taiwan. What stands out about the former vice president is how little he has said about Taiwan, and that information about his views or his polices about US-Taiwan relations should be so scarce. That is unusual given that Biden has served in government
In her Double Ten National Day address, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took pride in making the claim that this year belongs to Taiwan — “2020 proud of Taiwan.” The essence of this sentimental assertion lies in the fact that this year has seen Taiwan beating its COVID-19 outbreak at the initial stage; it has witnessed Taiwan ducking the negative economic impact of the outbreak — its economy is doing rather well — and it has been a witness to David (Taiwan) taking on Goliaths (China and the WHO). This year, Taiwan has exposed to the world how power politics can