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Xi Jinping’s Challenge in the Historic Third Phase, Martine Bulard (Le Monde Diplomacy)

As seen on TV: Xi Jinping’s visit to Hong Kong June 23, 2022

Anthony Kwan Getty

W.hen “We must make survival our main goal,” Huawei’s mighty founder Ren Zhengfei said in August (1) He was ostensibly talking about the collapse of his group’s interests following US sanctions. But his pessimistic comments were interpreted more broadly — unexpectedly as Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leaders prepare for the 20th Congress at the seaside resort of Beidaihe.

The conference, which opens on October 16, will mark the unprecedented step of reappointing Xi Jinping as general secretary, ending the two-term limit established after Mao Zedong’s death in 1976. At home, slowing growth, pollution, Covid-19, and a strict lockdown policy; abroad, worsening relations with the United States and China Sea neighbors, war in Ukraine, and tensions with Taiwan.

look how happy the sheep are [is] Untie the string and you’ll see how it escapes.

Rippei Son

The 20th Congress, which opened just five years after the last Congress, is likely to have 96.7 million party members, 2,300 parliamentary delegates, and the public at large, with the leadership taking the event for granted. to reassure you that you are there. Meetings are held only when the primary direction and composition of the leadership team are determined. Because, contrary to what we often hear in the West, teeth Discussions within the upper echelons of the Chinese Communist Party: Quiet, even secret, but it’s a reality. And this year, there are more sources of friction than President Xi anticipated.

Economic and social issues are key points of tension. Here, Xi Jinping’s record looks admirable. His 6% average growth (double-digit growth is a thing of the past). Absolute poverty has been eradicated (although the IMF ranks China 72nd in the world in terms of its per capita wealth). Successful and coveted infrastructure projects (railways, highways, airports). China is now moving up the industrial value chain to the point where it contributes more than 25% of the iPhone’s value added, compared to his 3.6% 15 years ago. (2).

But the iPhone example also highlights China’s continued reliance on foreign technology, especially the latest generation of semiconductors and software designed in Taiwan. The trade war started by Donald Trump and intensified by Joe Biden has resulted in import and export bans, seriously jeopardizing the future. I had my wings broken.

#1 destination for foreign investment

Nevertheless, contrary to media image, “Xi Jinping accelerated China’s foreign trade and investment” [FDI] According to American economist David Dollar, liberalization. “In recent years, China has surpassed the United States to become the number one direct investment destination. Further surge in 2021, service and tech sectors (3)Capitalists put profit above ideology and cannot afford to overlook a market of over a billion consumers. This FDI of his has flowed into more value-added sectors, with basic manufacturing going to Vietnam (for Apple), Malaysia and Bangladesh, where wages are much lower.

However, the Chinese economy is stagnating. Growth in the second quarter of 2022 was his 30-year low of 0.2%. Partly because of weakening global trade and China’s coronavirus-free strategy, it still paralyzes entire cities and regions. Similar to the abrupt end of the frenzied real estate construction boom of the last few decades, it created a bubble that the government tried to deflate gently, but with limited success.

A further cause is a desire to curb tech giants such as Alibaba that have reached out to raise money and reduce inefficiencies in public infrastructure investment. So the 33 fiscal and budget support measures the government took in his April and his June (totaling him over $500 billion) haven’t stopped the slowdown. David Dollar gives the railroad example. However, recent investments have expanded the network into little-used, sparsely populated areas. He continued, “More social services for migrants, the elderly and rural residents can be financed by cutting wasteful infrastructure investments.” (Four)(This is not just in China.)

Unemployment has risen dangerously across the board, especially among skilled youth. Nearly 1 in 5 of her can’t find a job, and it can be an explosive situation. The future looks bumpy if China’s social contract, which promises a better future in exchange for accepting the CCP’s monopoly of power, is undermined. It is understandable that high-ranking party officials and cadres, whose personal destinies are at stake, would not follow Xi’s instructions without question.

Another problem is Taiwan. Opposition to islands declaring independence is almost universal within the Chinese Communist Party, and perhaps across Chinese society. But there is some debate about how Taipei should be treated, and Xi Jinping’s stance isn’t always the most hawkish in China. Some, especially in the military, believe that China should strike hard and quickly “before using Taiwan in a proxy war with China, as the United States did with Russia over Ukraine.” , explains the former officer. Others believe the country must continue to prepare militarily. I hope you will be more patient with me.

Xi’s big “rejuvenation” project

Three factors have changed the situation in Taiwan in recent years. In China, President Xi has made unification part of his big “rejuvenation” project. Taiwan is seen as the “missing piece” to be reorganized as soon as possible. In the previous doctrine, unification was a matter of time, so there was no need to rush.

In Taiwan, on the other hand, it was concluded from the treatment of Hong Kong that the “one country, two systems” policy, which claims to guarantee democratic autonomy, was nothing more than a slogan to make Taiwan accept excessive centralization. It helped Tsai Ing-wen win re-election as president in January 2018, further increasing fears in Beijing.

In the United States, anti-China fever and Taiwan’s geopolitical importance have pushed leaders away from the “One China” policy that has been in place since 1979. A month after Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei, the Biden administration announced her $1.1 billion arms shipment to the island. The president said US forces would protect the island in case of an invasion (Five)This is seen as a boost to Taiwan’s declaration of independence. Following this, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a bipartisan body, approved a new Taiwan Policy Act on Sept. 14.This includes measures that challenge the status quo, such as designating Taiwan as a “major non-NATO ally.” (6) (Japan, Australia, South Korea, etc.) and $4.5 billion in “security assistance” over four years. The Senate and House of Representatives will have to pass the bill before Biden signs it into law, but Democrats and Republicans are on the same wavelength, greatly amplifying China’s leadership’s security concerns. Fear is seldom a good counselor.

All of this reinforces Xi’s desire to look to the non-Western world, especially Asia. Although he could not contain Washington’s military and strategic power in the region, he could not contain the forces of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Australia, South Korea, Japan, and New Zealand. “In 2012, the United States was the largest market (19%) for Chinese exports,” Dollar wrote. “By 2019, China’s exports to his RCEP partners exceeded his exports to the United States by 56%.” It means refusing to choose one or the other despite pressure from either.

Expansion into Central Asia

China is also making inroads into Central Asia. President Xi Jinping visited Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan on his first overseas visit in two and a half years, and attended the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand in early September. The SCO has full members in the four Central Asian republics (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan), Russia, China, India and Pakistan, as well as “dialogue partners” Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Turkey (NATO member), Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Iran (applying for membership).

Sheep don’t like being tied up not necessarily because they want to do something wrong… See how happy they are [is] how to escape when untied

Rippei Son

Chinese leaders often cite the SCO as a model of a new international order, free from Western domination, in which countries that disagree on key issues (India and Pakistan on Kashmir, or Iran and Saudi Arabia) Can cooperate on other issues or at least participate in dialogue.

The September summit was overshadowed by Russia’s war in Ukraine and bilateral talks between Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping and Indian President Modi. Putin told Xi that he “highly appreciates the balanced stance of our friends in China when it comes to the Ukraine crisis… I understand your questions and concerns regarding this.” (7)No details were given as to what these concerns are. We know that Modi got the same reaction from Putin when he said, “Now is not the time for war.”

Russia’s aggression against Ukraine violates China’s committed national sovereignty inviolability. A spokesman for China’s foreign ministry called for a “dialogue ceasefire” again in late September. The war has disrupted Xi’s push for a multipolar world that recognizes China’s power. Therefore, Beijing does not want to completely alienate the West, nor does it want the United States and its allies to crush Russia economically and diplomatically.

There has been much debate within the Chinese Communist Party, with key figures openly challenging current policies. Criticism is becoming more and more open to all aspects of social life, not just Sino-Russian relations.As Sun Liping explains in Why Sheep Don’t Want to Be Tied Up, Increasing Repression and Censorship Hasn’t Suppressed It (8): “When sheep don’t like being tied up, it’s not necessarily because they want to do bad things… See how happy they are” [is] Untie the leash and you’ll see how it escapes and how much the sheep hates being tied up. Will the shepherds of the 20th Congress pay attention?

https://mondediplo.com/2022/10/11china Xi Jinping’s Challenge in the Historic Third Phase, Martine Bulard (Le Monde Diplomacy)

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