“A communist is someone who reads Marx. An anti-communist is someone who understands Marx.”-Ronald Reagan
When Xi Jinping came to power a decade ago, he saw the private sector as a threat to his rule and revived the planned economy of Mao. Under the guise of fighting corruption, he plundered assets from private companies and entrepreneurs. Since being in power he has strengthened government control over the economy and reversed the trend toward reform and opening the economy.
Xi Jinping Consolidates Power
At the October 2022 Chinese Communist Party Congress, China’s ruling Communist Party (CCP) amended its constitution cementing Xi’s power by giving him an unprecedented third term as party general secretary.
Xi embarked on a final round of purges ahead of the CCP Congress, wielding his long-running “anti-corruption campaign.”
Xi vowed to root out dishonest officials when he became leader a decade ago. Since then, this thinly veiled political tool has been used to eliminate more than 1.5 million rivals. These purges have ensured Xi’s absolute control over personnel and policy.
Xi Embraces Marxism
Xi said in his marathon speech at the CCP Congress, “Our central task will be to lead the Chinese people to realize the goal of building China into a great modern socialist country.”
The last Chinese leader to be obsessed with ideology was party founder Mao, who led the country into bankruptcy.
Deng, who succeeded Mao after his death in 1976, ended the founder’s ideological obsession. Deng practiced a reform policy and opened the economy to massive foreign investment. Deng’s successors followed his lead, embracing a foreign policy that maximized China’s participation in a global economy.
Chinese People Denounce Government Policies
A nationwide surge of protests suggests that Xi’s next years in power could be more contested.
In the largest anti-government outburst since the 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations at Tiananmen Square, a new generation has discovered their voices.
Ever since the infamous massacre at Tiananmen Square, the CCP and the people have had a deal. The CCP would make the people prosperous and the people would let the CCP get on with running the country. The people feel this deal is void as under the COVID lockdown the economy has collapsed.
With Xi’s stunning shift back into Maoist totalitarianism, China is destined to become an economic mess.
From GDP averaging 10 percent a year for over 20 years, China’s growth has descended sharply. This year GDP is expected to be 3.2 percent.
The Hang Seng index is off 35 percent this year as news of the newly-empowered Xi has scared investors.
It is clear, with the senior officials who have backed market reform and opening the economy no longer on Xi’s team, that China’s bold experiment with open markets and capitalism has ended.
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