Xi bets on disunity and misunderstanding between rival powers

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Xi is too far away for a course correction.

CPC General Secretary Xi Jinping believes he was chosen by fate to write a chapter in Chinese history that will last as long as the PRC, which he hopes will forever. What was done by him after taking over the country in 2012 indicates that his approaches were planned in advance, whether they concern national or international issues. Nikita Khruschev entered a state of pride in eliminating Lavrenty Beria not only from the CPSU contest, but from life. His efforts in 1956 to switch his predecessor Stalin from an icon to an outcast of the Soviet Union robbed him of considerable popular respect for the CPSU. This had increased during 1941-45, the years when Stalin finally succeeded in destroying the Wehrmacht and with it Hitler, whose entire political strategy was based on the use of force. Subsequently, aware that no nuclear power under sane leadership would wage a nuclear war against another nuclear power, Stalin assured that four years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki (at that time the only use of nuclear weapons in combat), the USSR joined the United States as the first second nuclear power. Thanks to the expansion of the territory and the development of military capabilities, Stalin obtained the status of a superpower for the country he ruled. From that point on, Washington was in a race to help the collapse of the USSR before Moscow succeeded in becoming the dominant power across the world. From the 1980s until the fall of the Soviet Empire in 1992, the PRC was the most effective force multiplier for the United States in such an effort. Today, Russia has become by far the main force multiplier for China in China’s efforts to establish primacy over the Eurasian continent and the Indo-Pacific region. Previously, from the 1920s to 1936, it was the USSR that helped Germany redevelop its military capabilities, a partnership that expanded considerably even after Adolf Hitler took office in 1933 as Chancellor. from Germany. In Stalin’s defense, it must be emphasized that there was no other choice but to look to Germany to help the USSR strengthen its military capacity. The final Anglo-French insult that led to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939 was a joint Franco-British delegation (with very limited powers) that set out to negotiate a mutual defense treaty with Moscow. Unlike Von Ribbentrop, who came by plane, the Angle-French delegation (led by Sir Reginald Aylmer Ranfurly Plunkett-Earne-Earle-Drax) traveled by boat, with a delicious curry being served to both delegations along the way. Shortly after their arrival and winding discussions with Stalin’s negotiators, they were informed that the Germans under Hitler had signed a non-aggression agreement with Stalin days after Sir Aylmer, and that he and his colleagues were therefore better advised to go home. They undoubtedly enjoyed the double doses of curry and whiskey along the way. More than the actions of a country, the mistakes that country makes in judging the nature and extent of the threats and opportunities it faces in a given period are even more substantial.
Realizing that Khrushchev was not sensitive to the fragility of the Communist Party’s hold on the hearts and minds of citizens, even in a superpower, Xi did not repeat the Soviet leader’s approach and repudiated the founder of the PRC, Mao Zedong. Having endured risks and hardships during the Cultural Revolution, it is hard to believe that the family of the current CCP General Secretary is filled with unwavering admiration for Chairman Mao. Yet it was Mao who more than doubled the territory controlled by Beijing in 1950 and Deng Xiaoping who in the 1980s leveraged U.S. support to put China on track to become the world’s second-largest economy. here 2010. Xi would like to do better than Mao. and Deng, and make China the most powerful country in the world, and subsequently the dominant player in the Indo-Pacific and the Eurasian landmass. The problem he faces is that this ambition is open and creates headwinds which, if they increase, will slow down the PRC’s growth rate. While Mao made the Chinese New Man (and culture) his motive, calling for the death of the Four Elders, even outlawing Confucius, Supreme Leader Deng made economic growth the rallying call for support for the CCP, the quest primacy (mainly through the instrumentalization of the PLA) has made China an enemy of the very system that the CCP has made such extensive use of, globalization. As the PLA seeks so transparently to control the Himalayan massif, the South and East China Seas, and Taiwan, the many speeches Xi and his juniors make on friendship and harmony cease to be credible. China continues to attract substantial investment and interest, especially from tech-oriented companies. It may not be long before these companies realize that all the PRC wants is craftsmanship, and that the domestic market is not only much smaller than the hype, but that it tightens even more due to changes in state policy. In time, countries like the UK will recognize the need to decouple (especially in the technological sphere, including energy and communications) from the PRC before its own businesses are hollowed out like so many businesses. in the United States have done so by allowing a flood of imports from China or by using that country as a production base. It remains to be seen whether such wisdom will emerge sooner rather than later, but it will come, just as it did for countries facing similar dilemmas in earlier eras.
Aside from the headwinds that its PLA-centric tactics create in the global sphere, Chinese youth do not seem as eager as the CCP General Secretary to embrace the lifestyle and deprivation endured by the CCP during the period when Mao was in power. While his attempt to expand China’s territorial space and influence is similar to that sought by Mao, Xi’s appeal is the opposite of that of Deng Xiaoping, who placed the well- be economic at the heart of the party’s efforts and policies. Handouts to the poor, Indira Gandhi style, do not compensate for the stagnant (and often disappearing) livelihoods for the majority of the PRC citizens who have been lifted out of poverty since the Deng period. Xi is too far along for a course correction, and the years to come will show whether his All or Nothing bet succeeds. The odds don’t seem favorable, unless the PRC’s rivals excel at making mistakes in perspective and policy in the same way that other countries facing similar existential threats have done in the past. although not long enough to turn the tide in favor of the mainstream contender. That they are unable to better read the present and the future and change their conciliatory policies towards China in time to avoid the primacy of the PRC is Xi’s bet with fate.


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