Connecting Regions of Asia.

The Chinese Dilemma

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The announcement by the National People’s Congress in regard to tightening of the national security law in Hong Kong at the annual NPC meeting reeks of a sense of frustration within the ranks of the ruling Communist party at managing the Covid fallout as well as the expectation management of the Chinese people. 
This announcement is an indication that the party has put its reputation on the line. 
This comes at a time when party mandarins have assessed that President Xi Jinping has floundered on twin priorities of Kong Kong and Taiwan with earlier Hong Kong protests seemingly injecting much needed energy in Taiwanese DPP leader Tsai Ing Wen’s faltering campaign leading eventually to her victory against mainland favoured KMT candidate.
 What is irksome even more is that President Xi had feted KMT leader Lien Chan in 2015 literally as Head of State during his visit to Mainland and Xian . Today Taiwan has successfully dealt with the pandemic and its global position strengthened  by its phenomenal success in fighting the virus.China is staring at an economic collapse in the wake of Covid , that of an economy already bruised with Trump’s trade war.
 Hence, the move in Hong Kong is reflective of President Xi and Party’s nervousness in managing economic fallouts of Covid and the trade war. 
Whether this could intensify rift within party rank and file with the sixth generation leadership ruing the denial of a chance at Party leadership with Xi’s constitutional reform paving way for his lifelong leadership is a debatable issue altogether.
To the apparent discomfort of President Xi, Governments of the United States of America, Australia,Canada and the United Kingdom have issued a rare joint statement expressing displeasure and concern over the direct imposition of national security legislation on Hong Kong by the authorities in Beijing. 
The joint statement claimed  , “ Direct imposition of national security legislation  on Hong Kong by the Beijing authorities , rather than through Hong Kong’s own institutions as provided for under Article 23 of the Basic Law, would curtail the Hong Kong people’s liberties, and in doing so, dramatically erode Hong Kong’s autonomy and the system that made it so prosperous.”
 According to the Statement, this new national security law threatens to undermine the One Country, Two Systems  framework and also raises the prospect of prosecution in Hong Kong for political crimes and undermines existing commitments to protect the rights of Hong Kong people including those set out in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Since becoming leader, the key priority of President Xi happened to be national rejuvenation. However, recent hasty actions by Xi may have thrown a spanner in all the good work done. 
The President has an unwritten deal with the Chinese people. “ Give me total political control and I will solve China’s problems and make it a global super power. This script had been working perfectly until corona happened.
 This epidemic has grown into Xi’s most serious challenge since assuming the duties of a President in 2013 and has snowballed into the biggest potential threat to China’s leadership since Tiananmen Square. Police – State control mechanisms may intimidate citizens, but is clueless against a disease which has had public trust in the country’s leadership as a collateral casualty. The gradual easing of the corona threat will give rise to an intriguing question about Xi’s leadership which will bound to be under the scanner, especially his tactics of total social control which has been shown to be fallible. How does Xi repair his image and regain the confidence of the nation that he leads with a political version of the Mandate of Heaven?Christopher K. Johnson, a former top CIA China analyst and presently, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic  and International Studies says , “This is a substantial challenge for Xi, without question.” Johnson further adds that Xi is likely to stay at the top through deft maneuvering but several factors could complicate this recovery.The virus itself is still a mystery. What if the government’s effort to protect the economy by forcing a return to work cause a fresh contagion or the epidemic persists into summer?Xi would have to turn to the PLA generals and other security chiefs for help, but there are  hints that the military is grumbling about cleaning up a mess created in part by the bad political decision to suppress information about the outbreak back in December. The other eerie possibility is that the epidemic could spread within the Chinese leadership cadres, especially the senior officials who tend to live and work in protected enclaves for security reasons. The final, overriding issue is political and social stability which is always the abiding concern of the Politburo and top cadres. The Politburo is sure to support Xi at present, but past practice suggests that the Politburo will launch an evaluative phase to assess the performance of the system.Xi’s ruthless consolidation of power has made him the strongest leader since Mao Zedong, but that also has made him vulnerable to criticism that he has overreached. Xi had purged party and military leaders after assuming control. He has shattered the collective leadership model that had prevailed since Mao’s death in favour of a ruthless executive and a new cult of personality around him. The super dominant role is Xi’s brand.Now,the so called unity within the Chinese Communist Party is in tatters as the three factions within the party are engaged in a bitter feud which is likely to intensify in the coming months, triggering the beginning of a revolution and a possible disintegration of the country into seven independent territories. The Zhenjiang faction led by President Xi Jinping is in a covert war with the Hu Jintao led Beijing faction and the Jiang Zemin led Shanghai faction ,trying to eliminate the influence of the other in a dirty political game. And behind the scene is a massive labour unrest, pro democracy protests against the present regime that hardly finds mention in the highly censored national and international media. Spies and analysts closely monitoring the growing turbulence in China believe that the collapse could likely be expedited as unprecedented crackdown against opposition and disappearance of lawyers and human right activists is causing massive chaos in the Chinese hinterland.Sources say , “ China is finally reaching a tipping point and Xinjiang, Manchuria, Hong Kong, Tibet, Chengdu, Zhangzhung and Shanghai could turn into free nations after a Chinese revolution. They added that the Chinese govt. is trying hard tro keep the focus on Doklam standoff and North Korea’s nuclear posturing against the US to rally support for Jinping. In the words of Teng Biao , China’s best known human rights activist and lawyer, China is escalating the standoff and Jinping is using the occasion to galvanise his dwindling support base. Teng has also said that pro-democracy activists are quietly working to engineer a revolution against China’s one – party rule to install a democratic government.The most important question is what is President Xi going to do. Xi had promoted what he likes to call the “ The chinese dream” of national ascendency. It remains to be seen how that fares during these night mare weeks when the supreme leader is facing maximum difficulties.

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