The foundation of One-Person rule was laid in China in 2018 when a scripted gathering elected Xi Jinping as general secretary. Now, his ascendency to totalitarian position is embedded in the art of camouflaging the world about zero opposition in national People’s Congress having a blind support of 2,952 members, who act on the analogy of being “rubber stamp.”
Xi became the most powerful leader since Mao Zedong when he took the oath as President. He also ensured the election of his cronies, including Han Zheng as vice president and Zhao Leji as new head of National People’s Congress. This made the Trio as a deadly combination to rule 1.4 billion Chinese, without giving any freedom of speech or preservation of human rights.
Xi’s election as President may not change geo-political dynamics relating to border tension with India, especially the 4000 Km-long disputed territory. It will, instead, may be reinforced with aggression and willingness to use military as an instrument of authoritarian power, thereby making it applicable to South China Sea, Taiwan, etc. Xi’s ‘Expansion Policy’ coupled with ‘Debt Trap Strategy’ may endanger the existence of the borrowing nations like Pakistan which may be encouraged to settle scores with immediate neighbors. Experts say that India can counter Xi’s assertiveness through its fast-growing economy and strategic patience which will be effective in the backdrop of Dragon’s slowing economy and huge negative fallout of Zero-Covid policy and highly strained ties with United states.
Regarding urgent challenges, foreign policy experts opine that Xi’s open support to Putin on Ukraine war, reviving China’s economy which has touched worst level in 40 years and bad impact of crackdown on property developers, technical giants would be top priority. Escalating tensions with America and allies over sanctions imposed on Russia and improving the world image about violation of human rights with impunity, which was reflected in a report of UN high commissioner for Human rights about atrocities on Uyghur and other predominantly Muslim communities in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region(XUAR), will also have to be dealt with. Xi has exhibited his resolve to revive China’s economy at all costs, which has rallied the people behind him. President also showed his commitment to take on western powers, which are jealous of the country's rise and making relentless efforts to contain China. President has given a clarion call to his countrymen to reduce their dependence on western nations for technology and fortify themselves against the risks of food and energy. Xi and Joe Biden, the US president did give some signal to repair ties and mend fences, but their efforts were brought to naught following the shooting down of a Chinese surveillance balloon and America’s accusation of lethal arms supply to Russia in ongoing Ukraine war. The Chinese foreign minister, Qin Gang, however, said “Beijing has not provided weapons to either side of the conflict.”
Analysts opine that Xi’s over concentration of power, coupled with expansion policy, could be worrying symptoms for the entire world. Hence, India and the United States will be required to jointly evolve the strategy to checkmate Xi’s ambition, which will lead to peace in the world.
(Writer is political analyst having six-year experience of foreign posting)
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