July 23 will mark the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Communist Party of China. Today, we will take a look at this “monster” and attempt to understand why this political “power” is slowly destroying China and its relations with the rest of the world.
The Communist Party of China (CPC) is the People’s Republic of China’s ruling party, i.e. the only party that makes the rules. The current leader of the party is none other than Winnie the Pooh, excuse me, Xi Jinping (pictured) who has been the General Secretary of the party’s Central Committee since 2012. The “unity” of the CPC is so strong that in 2013, when China and its only party had to elect a president, Xi Jinping received 2952 votes FOR and a single vote AGAINST.
Eight years have passed since Xi Jinping’s election, and his tenure is characterized by an unprecedented level of political restrictions not seen since the 4 June repressions 30 years ago. From mass arrests and surveillance systems to the eradication of the apolitical intelligentsia – Xi and his allies have been doing everything in their power to tighten the CPC’s grip over all economic, political and social aspects of China.
“Totalitarian regime” is not yet the motto of the CPC, but Xi is certainly heading in this direction. Today, the CPC controls everything that a political party can control, leaving non-political organizations and those not members of the party with little to no chance of participating in China’s “success” story.
We will now look at several signs that point to increasing political control and a fundamental shift in processes that could potentially bring about political reforms and economic liberalization.
Sheer terror and fear
For several years now, it is rumored that President Xi Jinping is facing growing internal political disagreements that threaten his chances of remaining in power. None of these threats has yet come to pass, but the president feels that he is walking on relatively thin ice. This is backed by the fact that he has spent most of his tenure attempting to safeguard himself and his party against a coup.
You don’t have to be an expert to understand that the Chinese people are getting tired of being ruled by a dictator. Just open any credible media outlet and you will see – from protests in Hong Kong to the Uyghur genocide.
Even if Xi can feel somewhat safe with security services and the People’s Liberation Army behind him, the only way of guaranteeing his political survival is to constantly prevent organized protests, strikes, etc.
Ironically, but Xi Jinping is not as safe within the CPC, as it has 91 million members across China. Mathematically speaking, such a huge number of members is dangerous to the leader, since there is no way for him to determine who is truly loyal and who will change sides when the people begin pressing the president and the CPC even more.
Such internal political drama can cause growing paranoia. Just like Joseph Stalin began his mass terror to fight this paranoia, so can Xi feel forced to cleanse the party from his political rivals – both real and imaginary. His main adversaries from the party’s highest ranks, for example, Bo Xilai and Sun Zhengcai, have already been imprisoned, but a new purge could turn out to be much more extensive and potentially even more deadly.
Forced cult of the leader
Every Chinese leader has been praised, but in the case of Xi the flattery has already far exceeded that of his predecessors. Signs of systematic “kissing of the behind” are already present in modern China with such labels as “leader of the people” and even mobile applications that introduce new members of the CPC with Xi – which is, of course, mandatory.
For years now, any negative online information about the president is being censored. From simple entries in forums to videos and edited photographs that, for instance, compare Xi Jinping to Winnie the Pooh. If this article would reach the Chinese internet, it would be removed instantly, and I would be kidnapped or imprisoned for defaming the “leader”. It comes as no surprise that the freedom of speech in China is severely restricted.
Xi Jinping’s third term
In this regard, the Chinese leader is not far behind Russian President Vladimir Putin, i.e. both gentlemen would love to remain in power until the day they die and are willing to change the laws to achieve this.
In March 2018, Xi put forward a proposal to remove the two-term limit on the presidency (unlike the post of the general secretary of the CPC, which does not have a maximum amount of terms). With this, he essentially announced that he wants to remain in power until his death. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, as this is the natural urge of all political leaders, especially those who are afraid of their own people.
However, the wish to remain in power alone is not enough to actually do so – the real test of Xi’s grip over the political system will take place in 2022 during the party’s 20th congress, where members will truly decide on the proposal. This is because, according to the law which has been in force since 2002, Xi must step down after two five-year terms. If he remains in power after a decision by the congress, this will not only be proof of Xi’s unmatched political authority, but also a clear sign that China’s course will remain oriented around Xi Jinping’s and the CPC’s dominance in China.
Beijing is turning Hong Kong into a police region
The 2019-2020 protests in Hong Kong, caused by the law on extraditing suspects to China, gave Hong Kong the opportunity to establish a movement supporting democratic reforms. This was a perfect reason for Xi Jinping to violently arrest people, improve surveillance systems and develop security services.
After the protests broke out, Beijing passed a law that criminalizes four acts: secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign or “external forces”.
This basically rules out the possibility of any future protests, as each protester is forced to abide by Beijing’ laws. This means that any criticism, protest, letter, banner, publication, organization, song or social media entry could be considered a crime – punishable with the maximum sentence of life imprisonment. In other words, the Chinese president and the CPC are tightening control over Hong Kong’s policies – a move that may ricochet severely in the long-term.
CPC is deliberately eradicating Uyghurs
When China became an independent country, the independent Uyghur state became a part of China. After Xi Jinping’s rise to power in 2012, Beijing’s policies towards the Uyghurs became inhumane and so cruel that it is often compared to Hitler’s policies towards the Jews.
The Uyghurs are subject to systematic surveillance, tracking and being sent to “re-education schools”. Despite the undeniable proof of this, China denies practically everything. The only thing close to admitting any of this was when China renamed the “re-education” schools to voluntary “holiday leisure” centers. I would love to talk to one of the Uyghurs who has attended this “holiday leisure” center – I’m certain they would have a lot to tell us about the leisure experienced there.
Since the beginning of the Uyghur genocide – which includes forced abortions, sterilization and birth control, forced labor, torture, beatings, brainwashing and similar gruesome crimes – approximately one million Uyghurs have been detained, and this number keeps growing.
As a person who has followed international politics for a very long time, I believe that everyone must know what really happens in China and what the government is doing to its own people. This is the CPC’s beautiful 100th anniversary – characterized by unimaginable horror, lies and complete control over the nation.