by M. K. Bhadrakumar at Indian Punchline
The highlight of the recent 20th National Congress of the Communist Party (CPC) of China has been the re-election of Xi Jinping as the General Secretary for another five-year term. The tradition set by Deng Xiaoping in the post-Mao Zedong era has been set aside. This was not unexpected, and has been largely interpreted as a consolidation of political power by the incumbent leader. That is partly so but not entirely. Its consequences are wide-ranging.
Basically, the CPC has circled its wagons to meet unprecedented challenges in China’s external environment. The composition of the Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) of the CPC Central Committee underscores this. The PSC comprises people whom Xi has known and worked with for years and he regards as reliable and trustworthy. There is no daylight possible between Xi and them. Li Qiang who is ranked second in the Politburo Standing Committee and is expected to be elected as China’s next premier is known to have worked directly under Xi as far back as 2004.
Furthermore, there is every possibility that Xi may remain in power even beyond the current term which ends in 2027. China’s adversaries — principally, the United States — might as well reconcile that exploiting factional rifts and rivalries will remain a pipe dream.
The importance of this sort of mobilisation of party unity in the current context cannot be underestimated. According to Xinhua news agency, Xi took a direct role in the selection of candidates for the new CPC Central Committee, the crucial organ of any communist party, which is the ultimate decision-making authority between congresses and mediates once the process of democratic centralism has led to an agreed-upon position.
Without doubt, Beijing is preparing to push back at the US with renewed vigour. The new leadership will not shy away from being confrontational if the US tramples upon China’s core interests. The spiral of hostility will escalate as China senses that the US is preparing for a conflict. In an editorial comment, CCP daily Global Times noted that “the source of such ‘hostility’ comes from the US, and China’s response and countermeasures are, by nature, a legitimate defence. Washington’s various actions against Beijing are like intentionally cutting in front of other’s car on the highway.”
The report to the Party Congress underscored…
Click HERE to Read Chairman Xi Jinping’s Report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, October 16, 2022Continue Reading