Why is China making enemies?

The real enemy of China comes from within

China's strong man, Xi Jinping, convened his newly elected Central Committee and all of the country's provincial leaders for a retreat on January 5, 2018. A few weeks earlier, the 19th Party Congress had confirmed his absolute power and celebrated him as the pioneer of a new era of Chinese socialism for the global rise of his country. Xi even had the party statutes successfully changed for this.

He did not triumph over it in his speech. On the contrary. He worried that the communist elite might stab him in the back. With digressions about the unexpected decline of powerful dynasties in China to the dissolution of the Soviet Union and its party, he drew his cautionary bow: "One of the reasons why great powers have collapsed and disappeared since ancient times was their loss of central authority and their inability to concentrate their unity . "

This could also threaten China's party, as Xi points out using the example of the Soviet leadership, whose CPSU would not have helped even a large number of members. "Initially the party had achieved political power with 200,000 members. When it had two million members in World War II, it defeated Hitler. But despite almost 20 million members, it lost its power in the end." Xi instructed his comrades: "At that time, nobody was man enough to oppose the dissolution of party and state. Why? Because the Communist Party members no longer believed in anything, had lost their ideals."

Speech reprinted recently

Shortly after taking power in China, Xi used the same example in an internal speech on January 22, 2013, calling on his then Central Committee to learn lessons from the collapse of the Soviet Union. Four years later he had the text published. This time too he waited a year and a half. Last week, the party magazine "Qiushu" printed its January 2018 speech on twelve pages with the new admission by Xi: "Today we have more than 89 million party members and more than 4.5 million CCP grassroots organizations. The way I see it, we can only bring ourselves down. There is no one else who can. "

That is currently meant. Xi had his speech published a few days after the great Beijing military parade on October 1st. From the Tian'anmen Gate he had shouted that no power in the world could stop the rise of China. Internationally, he was then described as the undisputed absolute ruler, especially since he had the exercise of his presidency over China guaranteed for life through the amendment of the constitution.

Anti-corruption campaigns

But from his own point of view, as he presents it in his speech, it does not look so rosy. The real enemy threatens from within from the party nomenclature, which does not really believe in the ideals of socialism and communism. Xi wants to purge them with continued anti-corruption campaigns. With Marxist training courses and ideological campaigns, he wants to combat "formalism and bureaucracy" and, in particular, whip up "the leading functionaries" of the party. Many communist incumbents shied away from making decisions so as not to make mistakes. They could not and would not act against the risks that threaten China's development. Xi quotes Mao, who once said: If you know what is going to happen in advance, you are a real leader. But if you sit on a command post and see nothing or think that everything just looks smooth and level, be it not.

The former dissolution of the Soviet Union is still a trauma for Xi almost 30 years later. When he came to power at the end of 2012, he asked in speeches that have since been published whether the members of his Communist Party would prove to be ideologically stable when it really matters. "That's something I keep thinking about: will our cadres defend our party leadership and the socialist system as a matter of course when so-called colored revolutions take place before our eyes?" At the time, Xi was not yet thinking of challenges for Beijing like the students in Hong Kong who had been rebelling for four months. At that time, the situation in Xinjiang was not as proceeded as it is today, where Beijing barracked hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs in re-education camps. And there was no trade war with Donald Trump.

Older than the Soviet Union

Xi's fears appear strange to outsiders. After all, he could be proud that his socialist people's republic is now 70 years old. The Soviet Union - founded on December 30, 1922, dissolved on December 26, 1991 - failed to do this. China is also struggling to fulfill its 13th five-year plan (2016 to 2020), which the Soviet Union (also the 13th five-year plan) had to end prematurely.

With his speech from January 2018, Xi is apparently pursuing a specific goal. He has announced that the fourth Central Committee plenum will be convened this October. This particularly important conference of the 300 highest leaders of China is supposed to implement the decisions of the last big party congress at the end of 2017 and thus the "Xi-thinking" and the new socialist era under his leadership legally and ideologically. The fourth plenary was more than a year overdue. Informed observers saw in his constant postponement a sign of the dissent within the party in view of the many, in the party, unfamiliar power of Xi, which he was able to enforce at the 19th party congress.

The party leader now seems to be sure of the unconditional loyalty of all Central Committee members. But he apparently thinks it safer to continue to force their ideological loyalty. (Johnny Erling from Beijing, October 18, 2019)