First, there was the relatively successful drone and mortar attack on the Russian Aerospace base in Khmeimin. In the first case, Russian officials did openly voice their strong suspicion that the attack was if not planned and executed by the USA, then at least coordinated with the US forces in the vicinity.
Between andthe Chinese economy grew by an average rate of 10 percent a yearproducing a tenfold increase in average adult income. All that growth helped some million people lift themselves out of poverty; along the way, China also reduced its infant mortality rate by 85 percent and raised life expectancy by 11 years.
What made these achievements all the more striking is that the Chinese government accomplished them while remaining politically repressive—something that historical precedent and political theory suggest is very, very difficult.
In the place of a flawed but highly successful system, he is erecting a colossal cult of personality focused on him alone, concentrating more power in his hands than has any Chinese leader since Mao Zedong.
But by destroying many of the mechanisms that made the Chinese miracle possible, Xi risks reversing those gains and turning China into just another police state think a gigantic, more open version of North Korea: Throughout modern history, most tyrannies and one-party states have shared a few basic traits.
Power is held by a very small number of individuals. To maintain their power, those individuals repress dissent and rule by intimidation. Because bureaucrats and citizens live in fear, they compete to flatter their bosses.
Nobody tells the truth, especially when it could make them or their leaders look bad. The impact of this ignorance on domestic and foreign policy is disastrous. While remaining nominally communist, the country embraced many forms of market capitalism and a number of other liberalizing reforms.
Of course, the old system remained highly repressive remember Tiananmen Square and was far from perfect in many other ways.
It did, however, allow the Chinese government to function in an unusually effective fashion and avoid many of the pathologies suffered by other authoritarian regimes.
Censorship never disappeared, for example, but party members could disagree and debate ideas, and internal reports could be surprisingly blunt. Today, Xi is systematically undermining virtually every feature that made China so distinct and helped it work so well in the past.
His efforts may boost his own power and prestige in the short term and reduce some forms of corruption. On balance, however, they will have disastrous long-term consequences for his country and the world.
Perhaps the most unusual feature of the system Deng created was the way it distributed power among various leaders. Deng hoped this system would ensure that no one person could ever again exercise the kind of control Mao had—since his unchecked power had led to vast abuses and mistakes, such as the Great Leap Forward during which an estimated 45 million people perished and the Cultural Revolution during which Deng himself was purged and his son was tortured so severely he was left paralyzed.
As Minxin Pei, a China expert at Claremont McKenna College, explains, the collective leadership model Deng designed helped weed out bad ideas and promote good ones by emphasizing careful deliberation and discouraging risk-taking.
Meng Hongwei, the Interpol chief who China abruptly detained two weeks ago, is just the latest, high-profile case; his story is hardly unusual.
Not content to merely eliminate any competition, Xi has also consolidated his power by abandoning the term limits on his job and by refusing to name a successor, as his predecessors did halfway through their tenures. But both of those features actually served the common good in one key way: If an official performed well, he or she could expect a cut of the proceeds and steady promotion.
And there are two big problems with this shift. So the whole bureaucracy becomes passive.Splendid essay. The world needs more rational and well-informed thinkers such as the author.
The current hysteria (and, frankly, circus) that is the US political arena is very dangerous and needs some level-headed guidance. China's Foreign Policy Since the initial warming of U.S.-China relations in the early ’s, policymakers have had difficulty balancing conflicting U.S.
policy concerns in the People’s Republic of China.
Hawaii's source for local news headlines. In-depth coverage of Hawaii news from your trusted daily newspaper. Call NEWS () to subscribe today! The first aim of China's traditional foreign policy has therefore been defense against Inner Asia or, preferably, control over it.
Chinese rulers of the Ming (), after they expelled the Mongols, remained obsessed with the Mongol problem.
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