The Chinese Communist Party is marking its centennial with great fanfare, especially as the global pandemic of new crowns continues, trying to show that it is not only the strongest it has ever been, but is on track to replace the United States as the world’s top power and reshape the world order.
Whether the Chinese Communist Party will get what it wants is unclear, but there is a consensus in the United States and abroad that it has become the greatest threat to the United States and the world order.
In March, Secretary of State John Blinken stated in his foreign policy address that “China is the greatest geopolitical test facing the United States in the 21st century.” He added that China is “the only country that has the economic, diplomatic, military and technological strength to pose a major challenge to a stable and open international system – to all those rules, values and relationships that we want the world to function that way.”
A country that was founded a century ago by dozens of radical young men who believed in communism, and later by armed seizure of power, has survived many serious crises: the Great Famine, the Cultural Revolution, the escape of Lin Biao, the crushing of the Gang of Four, and the June 4 Tiananmen Incident, and is now a world power that challenges the United States and the existing international order. Why?
According to Andrew Nathan, a professor of political science at Columbia University, this is a very complex question for which there is no single answer. But one answer, he says, is to ensure that the Communist Party is “a real man” in power, as Xi Jinping, the Communist Party’s general secretary and president, puts it.
“Whether it was Mao, Deng Xiaoping or Xi Jinping himself, they were all determined to do anything for the CCP to be in power, including doing very cruel things to be in power.” Lai Anyou said.
Lai Anyou said the fact that the CCP found a way to develop the economy under Deng Xiaoping is an important part of the answer to that question. “After Mao, the regime achieved economic growth, built a large middle class and people’s lives have improved relatively. Most people feel better now than they did in the past.” Le Anh Duong said.
According to Lai Anyou, the U.S. played an important role in China’s economic development in the post-Mao era, which is part of the answer, “opening up the U.S. economy to Chinese products, allowing technology transfer, financial technology, engineering and other things, as well as educating thousands of Chinese people.”
But he believes the Chinese people have played an even bigger role in that. “We should always celebrate the creative genius of the Chinese people. Ultimately it’s not the party, and it’s not the Americans, it’s the Chinese people.”
Does Deng Xiaoping get credit or blame for China’s economic take-off?
Roger Garside, a former British diplomat and banker in Hong Kong, said, “Deng Xiaoping’s return to power after his comeback ushered in the reform era. What happened in the reform era? The Communist Party, determined to remain in power, recognized that it had to make concessions on communist principles, it had to abandon state socialism, it had to abandon the command economy, it had to allow the Chinese people to use their energy and creativity, …… and that was the price the Communist Party paid to retain political control.”
“But in about 2008, the Communist Party leadership stopped the transition from a command economy to a market economy,” Gestede said. “Why? Because they feared that this transition, if it continued, would undermine their monopoly on political power and would destroy their control over the Chinese political system.” Gestede explained.
“Such reforms will not start again unless there is political system reform.” Geist asserted.
However, Hu Ping, editor-in-chief emeritus of Beijing Spring magazine, believes that China’s super-fast economic development is linked to Communist Party leader Deng Xiaoping’s military crackdown on the 1989 pro-democracy movement, known as the June 4 massacre.
According to Hu, the June Fourth Massacre also stifled the process of political reform that was inevitably triggered by the deepening of China’s economic reforms in the 1980s, and “the suppression of democratic forces within the Party and among the private sector has led to the privatization of the powerful and the rich in the absence of minimum democratic participation and public oversight. privatization of Communist Party members.”
Thus Hu Ping says that while it is morally the most shameless and pernicious, “it is probably the most effective and quickest in terms of economic transformation.”
He quotes Qin Hui, a professor at Tsinghua University, as saying that the Chinese model is characterized by “the traditional advantages of low wages and low welfare, but also by the ‘advantage’ of ‘low human rights’ to artificially suppress the prices of four major factors (human, land, capital and It has artificially lowered the prices of the four major factors (human, land, capital, and non-renewable resources), ‘lowered transaction costs’ by not allowing bargaining, restricting or even eliminating many trading rights, and focused human energy on the mirage impulse to get rich by rejecting democracy, suppressing participation, ignoring ideas, despising faith, defying justice, and stimulating materialistic desires. The country’s competitiveness is uncommon in both free market and welfare states, and has left both progressive and shock-therapy democratic transition countries in the dust.”
Gestede, a former British diplomat in Hong Kong, also says that the CCP’s moral crisis “is the product of a deliberate strategy of allowing corruption in the wake of the 1989 Tiananmen massacre.”
Gestede recently published a new book, China Coup: The Great Leap to Freedom, and also published an article in Canada’s Globe and Mail, “Regime Change in China is not only possible, it is imperative. possible, it is imperative.
Xi Jinping’s Tough Foreign Policy Turns Friends into Foes
According to Gestede, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s provocative foreign policy is the main reason why the Chinese Communist Party has become the greatest threat to the United States and the existing international order.
“During his administration, Xi Jinping has turned the United States and its Japanese and European allies, from benign partners to adversaries, and he has ensured that China is in conflict with Japan, the United States and its allies by pursuing certain policies, certain strategies, that are very, very dangerous to China and to the Chinese people.”
According to Yu Ping, an independent legal scholar, many countries believe Xi is trying to change the basic values that the international community agrees with, namely human rights, democracy and individual freedom, “In fact China has been constantly and quietly challenging or changing or constantly adding its own content to this process, is doing so all the time.” Yu Ping said.
Yu Ping cited the example of China’s representation in the UN Human Rights Council of a large number of countries with poor human rights situations, “where it has used the basic premise of the right to live and the primacy of sovereignty over human rights to resist and eliminate Western criticism of human rights violations in these countries. It even goes so far as to change the description of specific human rights situations.”
In its economic dealings, Yu Ping said, China is accused of not abiding by international rules, especially in the area of intellectual property, using state power to support its own companies in order to create a monopoly at home and abroad.
And on the military front, Yu Ping pointed out that China has tried to turn the nine-dash line into an international standard in order to fight for its interests in the South China Sea, “itself as a signatory to UNCLOS but refusing to accept what is actually mandatory arbitration under UNCLOS, a provision that China actually had no reservations about accepting when it joined UNCLOS. This is a challenge to, or a breach of, international rules.”
Yu Ping said the last straw for China to crush the illusions that the West still has about China is the Hong Kong issue. “On the Hong Kong issue China is in a dilemma. On the one hand, it takes the position that the Sino-British Joint Declaration is a document that is no longer valid, and then it says to the British and other Western countries that they are undermining the Sino-British Joint Declaration by giving protection to Hong Kong citizens.”
“The message it sends to the international community is that it is using the international influence generated by the ascendancy to gradually change the international order formed by the international community since World War II based on the UN Charter, the two human rights conventions, and some rules of a series of international intergovernmental organizations.” Yu Ping said.
Yu Maochun, former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s chief adviser on China policy, believes the CCP’s growth has a lot to do with its opportunities. “The outside world has a lot of confused perceptions about it, so it’s given a lot of opportunities. I often say that the CCP has been saying internationally that it represents the Chinese people, so that many governments and international institutions that want the Chinese people to be strong and rich have not drawn a clear line between the two and have given it a lot of opportunities, and this opportunity is a very important factor for it to be able to grow and grow.”
Yu Maochun believes that another reason why the CCP can be powerful “is its monopoly of national resources and its extraction of the people,” and he believes that the CCP could not have become so powerful in an open and free society. The CCP’s total squeeze on domestic resources, on what the common people get for their productive labor, so that it can certainly become very powerful.”
The Chinese Communist Party’s 100-Year Strategy: Doing Whatever It Takes to Achieve Its Goals
Independent scholar Gao Valin told VOA that “strategy,” the real superpower of the CCP’s ability to survive, develop and grow, has not been studied enough.
“Whether the CCP was fighting or sitting on a mountain, brilliant political strategy played an invaluable role; in many critical situations it was even the decisive factor. One of the old three paragraphs in Mao’s quotation is, “Policy and strategy are the life of the Party; comrades at all levels of leadership must pay full attention to them and must not be careless.”
Govarin said that the CCP was often criticized for not being honest, for not keeping its word, for having no bottom line in its work, and, in Mao’s own words, for engaging in intrigue and trickery.
Govarin summarized the CCP’s conspiracy and trickery into two major areas: “The first is inconsistency between what is said and what is done: saying one thing and doing another; the second is going back on one’s word: turning over the clouds with one hand and turning over the rain with the other.”
Govarin cites China’s People’s Congress, which is explicitly stated to be the highest organ of power and the highest legislative body in China, and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, which claims to be “a united front organization for multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party,” seemingly similar to the Western system of the House and Senate.
But Govarin says, “Western political strategy is to work together within the framework of this system to strengthen itself and defeat its political opponents, while Chinese political operation and decision-making is a game within the NPC and the CPPCC? Not at all. China’s political operation and decision making is simply left out of the NPC and CPPCC, it is a black box operation planned in a secret room, some decisions are made to the NPC and CPPCC to raise their hands and clap their hands, and more do not go through the NPC and CPPCC at all.”
Gao said that the CCP judicial system, parties and civic groups, “no matter who the titular hand is, the real operator must be the leader sent by the CCP Organization Department to take the helm according to the will of the Party Committee. These institutions are either deaf ears purely ornamental, or they are hanging sheep’s head to sell dog meat. The removal of these organizations does not affect the exercise of power by the CCP at all. So why do we need them? It’s to superficially keep up with the international community, to deal with the outside world, and more importantly, to deal with the people.”
On the occasion of the centenary of the CCP’s founding, Gao Valin started tweeting “300 Rules of Party History” on March 21, pushing one party history every day.
He said, “The Communist International sent many advisers to teach the CCP the theories and tactics of Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin by hand for about a decade or so at the beginning of the CCP’s existence, inspiring the CCP to absorb and apply the most negative parts of traditional Chinese culture, which gave legitimacy to intrigue and trickery, in the words, ‘Aim Ambitious, unscrupulous’.”
“Success is also scheming and defeat is also scheming.”
“Mao Zedong was a master in this regard, and Xi Jinping is nowhere near Mao’s level.” Gao Valin said. “He (Mao Zedong) melted together the power techniques of the temple and the rivers and lakes, such as ‘Water Margin’ and ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’ and ‘Han Feizi’, ‘Sun Tzu’s Art of War’ and ‘Zizhi Tongjian’.”
“During the war Mao sent books to his two sons who were in high school in the Soviet Union, and I read that list of books, most of which were martial arts novels and historical dramas. These are also one of the sources of Mao’s own strategy, in Mao, there is nothing legitimate or illegitimate means, as long as it can achieve the goal.” Govarin said.
Xi Jinping’s tactics are not as good as Mao’s, but it is a fact that he is following Mao’s lead. “After he (Xi Jinping) came to power in 2012 and 13, why was he able to take control of the situation quickly? It was because he took advantage of the public’s hatred of corrupt officials and traitors in traditional Chinese culture and, together with his ally Wang Qishan, raised the banner of ‘anti-corruption’ and took down Zhou Yongkang, Guo Boxiong, Xu Caihou and Ling Plan, former and current leaders of the Party and State, or corrupt officials as they call them, as well as hundreds of officials from the vice ministries and provincial ministries and above. The people of course clapped their hands, but their colleagues were silenced, and even the patriarchs were dumbfounded as to whose asses were clean.”
The biggest difference between Mao and Xi, Gao said, is that “Mao’s authority is the result of competition among his peers, and he has the experience of leading the Communist Party to take over the world, so he doesn’t need a title to be able to say anything, just like when he retires to the second line and wants to return to the first line is a matter of words.”
Xi Jinping, on the other hand, rose through the ranks of county and city officials, and “his political experience was covered by bigwigs for most of his life until he ascended to the top, and he had to look at the patriarchs like a young daughter-in-law. His power was given to him by his position, so he needed to put the official hats of dozens and dozens of team leaders on his head.”
“Mao tended to backstab people,” Gao said, citing the 1957 anti-rightist movement, the 7,000-person congress in 1962, and the 1966 Cultural Revolution as examples, “because he had powerful forces and he could afford to play such tricks,” Gao said.
But Xi is just the opposite. “Xi Jinping tends to be pre-emptive, he is not as powerful as Mao, and if he lets the other side strike first, he is likely to be passive one step at a time, step by step,” Govarin said, citing the example that “after Xi took office, he repeatedly criticized ‘historical nihilism He preemptively shouted this and actually shut down all voices seeking the true history.”
But Govarin said that from the century-long history of the CCP, “the CCP played with strategy and in the end, ‘success is also strategy and defeat is also strategy.'” He cited the Lin Biao incident as an example that led to Mao’s rebellion and lonely death in his later years, “because tactics are successful within a certain scope and conditions, beyond which they cannot be played.”
“Xi Jinping is now living in an era of rapidly changing technology, where information is transmitted extremely fast and embargoes are difficult to achieve,” Gao said. “It’s not like there aren’t people who really believe in Xi Jinping at heart, but there will be fewer and fewer.”
Debate on China as the biggest challenge to the U.S. and world order
Some scholars disagree with Secretary of State Blinken’s assertion that ” China is the greatest geopolitical test facing the United States in the 21st century” and that China is the only country that has the economic, diplomatic, military and technological strength to pose a significant challenge to a stable and open international system.
“I think in some cases we may have overestimated the strength and prospects of the People’s Republic of China,” said Jie Rong Kong, an emeritus professor at New York University School of Law who turned 91 on July 1 this year.
Kong acknowledges that China is already a superpower, but that it still faces several serious problems.
“China’s population is at the beginning of a serious decline, the labor force is shrinking, fertility figures are falling, and a large number of people are retiring. This will create pension problems, create labor problems.”
“China has a serious resource problem. They can’t continue to build more coal-fired power plants and still promise the world that they will reduce their carbon emissions.”
“You see the discontent of the people, not just the repressed minorities in Tibet, Xinjiang, and now Inner Mongolia and elsewhere, but you see the reaction of the people in response to widespread arbitrary rule, people protesting mass arbitrary arrests, mysterious deaths, unexplained human rights violations.”
“Twenty years from now, I think we’re going to see that China will be weaker relative to the United States because of the weaknesses of the communist regime in China.” The retired professor, who has spent his life studying and helping China, said. “Our country is facing serious problems, but we are at the beginning of an exciting struggle, a new era of great change,” he added.
For his part, Professor Li Anyou believes that it is a rhetoric to say that China is undermining the world order. He believes that China will eventually surpass the United States in economic volume to become number one in the world.
“But will this disrupt the existing world order?” He asks. “I think the existing world order, in a broad sense, is something that China likes. The United Nations, the principle of sovereignty, free trade, global investment and technology flows, are all things that China likes.”
“From my perspective as an academic, the world order is not fixed, it changes, and China wants to have a greater impact on those changes; but it doesn’t want to start over and create a completely different system.” Lai Anyou said. “Today’s Chinese leaders don’t think any differently from other major powers, in that they all want to gain more influence.”
But independent legal scholar Yu Ping said Western fears of China’s rise are well-documented and justified. “There’s a lot of fear of an authoritarian state becoming mainstream in the world because China is now not only saying it wants to change the rules, it’s doing it in a more significant way by proving to the world the success of the Chinese model.”
“The UN Charter and the Declaration of Human Rights after World War II, as well as a series of legal documents, including a series of rules created within the UN system over the last 20 or 30 years, were premised on the rule of law of democracy and freedom since World War II,” Yu Ping said. “If the Communist Party says, I’m doing a set of things that have nothing to do with this, and I’m doing it successfully, what do you think that is if not a challenge to the existing system?”