Is Xi Jinping taking China in the right direction ?

The party is now led by 68-year-old Xi Jinping. It has been nine years since he came to power. He has changed the system of being president for only two terms. Therefore, he may not leave the leadership until 2028 and possibly until 2033.

One hundred years have passed since the founding of the Chinese Communist Party.  The party’s founding anniversary is being celebrated grandly in Beijing next Thursday.

The party is now led by 68-year-old Xi Jinping. It has been nine years since he came to power.  Three years ago, he changed the term of office to only two terms. Therefore, he may not leave the leadership until 2028 and possibly until 2033.

The party’s 20th conference is being held next year. Will Xi, who is now the general secretary, take the post of Mao’s party chairman at the conference? This is the main question now.

For fans, Xi Jinping is the right person at the right time. Who are ready to lead the country and the party into a ‘new era’. The new era means that China will overtake the United States to become the world’s largest economy and the world’s military and technology superpower.

“The party has suffered many setbacks,” said David Wang, a Beijing intellectual, referring to the famine and cultural revolution of the 1950s. Millions of lives were lost in those incidents. ‘But, this party won over China and made the country a world superpower. It’s inspiring.

“I joined the party because there was no other political force that could take China in the right direction,” said Wang, who returned to the United States a few years ago with a PhD. The average Chinese is not ready for Western-style democracy.  They need to be guided. Everyone in America is free to have their own opinion, but nothing works. China needs to take a different path. ”

There is a famous saying of C – ‘North, South, East, West and Middle, the leader of all parties is the party. They argue that this will harden the party from the top and lead to its own destruction.

“The party has control over all aspects of life,” said Wu Chiang, a former professor at Tsinghua University and one of the party’s leading critics. There is no result, no control and no balance. Due to which a small mistake turns into a terrible mistake and puts the party in danger. ‘

The third transformational leader?

Xi is a ‘prince’ like many of his colleagues.  Namely, his father Mao and Deng Xiaoping held high positions in the party and government. Deng is considered the architect of China’s “reform and openness”, a program that has transformed the country into an economic superpower.

Xi’s critics in China are afraid to speak out.  However, one thing is repeated in his criticism. His argument is that Xi’s achievements are much smaller than those of Mao and Deng. Both Mao and Deng survived the guerrilla war. Mao won the political revolution and Deng started the economic revolution.

Xi, however, sees himself as a “transformational” leader like Mao and Deng. It is not necessary to follow all the rules like Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin before him. Critics say that by doing so, Xi could undermine the foundations of economic success over the past 40 years.

Deng also gave prominence to the party.  He ordered the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to suppress the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. Because he feared that the party’s grip on power would weaken.  However, he implemented institutional policies to ensure that the party does not stifle the economy. For example, local and regional officials were given a little more freedom, the concept of “collective leadership” was introduced, and a rule was made that only two terms could be president.

‘Other princes consider Xi one of their own. Coming from the same class, Willie Lam, a Chinese political scientist at the Chinese University in Hong Kong, said: “Xi Jinping, who grew up with him, is now the second Mao.

‘Our rights have been curtailed’ In a village near Wuhan, a local party secretary said the concentration of power had increased since the 18th general convention. Xi came to power after the 2012 general convention.

‘It has become a habit to make decisions from the top down,’ he says, ‘now our job is to do the work given by the top organization. We know more about what ordinary people are thinking. But, let alone policy-making, it’s hard to tell our leaders. ‘

“In the past, villagers had more freedom to participate in public affairs,” he said, adding that “our rights have been curtailed since President Xi came to power.”

An adviser to the Beijing-based central government said local-level democracy “creates more problems than solutions.”

Tsinghua scholar Wu disagrees. He said that the party officials led by Xi were hiding their real views.

“Local officials tended to look for new ways to risk economic development,” Wu said. “Now they follow the top officials.”  Everyone’s hands are tied, so they don’t do anything. ‘

Recently, US President Joe Biden tried to counter China by forming a “united front” of allies at the NATO and G7 summits.  This has angered Chinese officials.

“If NATO wants to expand in the Asia-Pacific region, it is welcome,” said Victor Gao, a Chinese diplomat who worked as Deng’s translator. “China has been here for 5,000 years. It will remain here for the next five thousand years.  Whatever NATO does, China will stand firm. ‘

Biden says the United States is back in its place. But Trump could return in four years, wouldn’t he? ‘

Paul Henley, who served in the Office of the National Security Adviser during the tenure of both George W. Bush and Barack Obama, agrees.

“The uncertain future of US democracy and the possible return of Trump prevent US allies from openly confronting China,” he said.

Richard McGregor, author of The Party: The Secret World of Chinese Communist Rulers, says the party’s confidence is turning into pride.

“China’s main strength should be self-criticism.  But, he is not visible now, ‘he says,’ there is a sense of victory. There is no way beyond Xi Jinping. It’s dangerous. ”

‘No more workers party’

For four decades, the party has been fully serving the Chinese people. The party’s constitution states that members must be “ready to sacrifice everything” to fulfill the revolutionary mission.

Under Xi’s leadership, much effort has been put into putting this idea into practice. Party members also have to wear a membership identification locket at work.  So that they can be reminded of their duty. Or, others may recognize them as exemplary workers and ask for help.

A similar campaign is underway in the villages. Where the family is classified. In a village called Xinjiang in the eastern province of Zhejiang, the front door of each house mentions how many party members there are in the family.

The family members of the party members are expected to go from ‘demonstrating high morals’ to ‘helping to boost the local economy’. On the other hand, those who do not have party members in the family, it is enough to manage the garbage properly.

However, the party is finding it difficult to recruit new members in the public interest.  Dozens of studies have shown that young people are becoming party members only for personal gain. Researchers at Chongnan University in Wuhan surveyed 1,885 college-age party members. Many of them said that they had joined the party to make their careers better.

“It simply came to our notice then.  Otherwise, I had no plans to join the party, “said Tina Hu, a Beijing resident seeking a government job.

Government companies and departments like to employ party members. For party membership in rural areas, small business owners and factory operators are given more priority than farmers.

“We expect the new members to lead the whole village to prosperity,” said the party secretary of the village near Wuhan.

“It’s no longer a party of workers and peasants,” says author McGregor. “It’s a party of managers and businessmen.”

The party added 2.1 million new members in 2018. Of these, only 5,700 were migrant workers. In China, one-third of the working-age population are migrant workers.

Under Xi’s leadership, the party system has become stronger. It has also cracked down on private sector celebrities such as Jack Ma’s Alibaba and Pony Ma’s Tencent.  However, the party also understands that private sector entrepreneurs have a big hand in maintaining economic growth.

“Jack Mala will have no problem,” said a senior Chinese official. “He has made a significant contribution to the economy and is still respected.” He has done great service to the country and the people.  There are so many lessons to be learned, it’s not right to be in the spotlight in China. ‘

Wang, a Beijing scholar and party member, predicts that in the next 30-40 years, the time will come when the party will not have to worry about what people will say or do.

“I hope then people will be more free and believe in themselves,” he said.

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