June 16, 2024

Xi Jinping's dream - China should return to its former glory - News

Xi Jinping’s dream – China should return to its former glory – News


The Chinese president dreams of a strong and powerful China. But this dream receded to a great distance.

Xi Jinping has a dream. The dream is called “Revival of the Chinese Nation”. The Chinese president wants to return China to the Middle Kingdom, a prosperous and strong country. Specifically, the country will become the dominant global power by the centenary of the People’s Republic in 2049: economically, politically and militarily.

Just a few decades ago, China was considered the poorest shelter in the world. Today it is the second strongest economy in the world. And in the past decade under Xi Jinping, the country has continued to make giant strides.

Domination in the sea, space and markets

The country has invested billions in new technologies and is now a leader in areas such as artificial intelligence, big data, and e-commerce. Rather than just copying, China now has a self-interest in better protecting intellectual property. Finally, last year the government announced that poverty had been eradicated in the country.


The Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning in July 2017.

Photograph: Bobby Yip/Reuters

But China has caught up with the United States militarily. The Chinese Navy now has more warships than the US Army. This year, the third private aircraft carrier was launched. More is planned. Americans have eleven.

Three astronauts after landing in Mongolia in September 2021.


Three Chinese astronauts after landing in Mongolia in September 2021. Previously, they had brought spare parts to the Chinese space station.

China Daily via Reuters

Under Xi Jinping, China has also risen to become a space power. China made the first landing on the far side of the moon, sent a probe to Mars and is currently building its own space station.

Residents support the president’s role

At the last Party congress five years ago, Xi Jinping thought he was fine and declared: “Comrades, today we are closer, more confident and more capable than ever before to achieve the goal of national revival.”

China is in transition

His Chinese dream was also well received by the general public. It matches the needs of many Chinese. “In the past, we were very poor for a long time,” retired Ru Yonghwa says. “Now we will get a little rich. Our lives have improved.”

We used to be poor, now we are a little rich.

But then Covid came and abruptly interrupted that Chinese dream. Since the outbreak of the epidemic, the government under Xi Jinping has adopted a strict zero-tolerance policy. Officially, no country has the epidemic under control better than China. The downside to this: Even a few cases of Covid can lead to the closure of entire neighborhoods, cities and counties. The result is great uncertainty. Logistics and transportation chains are constantly disrupted, investments are lacking, and youth unemployment is rising.

No departure from the zero-Covid strategy can be expected

What this means for the economy on a small scale can be seen in a Shanghai neighborhood. It is famous for its many restaurants. Because of two positive cases, everything was closed for seven days. This also affects the surrounding shops that open normally.

People are afraid to come to this area. “They don’t know what’s going on,” says one shopkeeper. He hopes the lockdown will end quickly. Because his work is worse than at any time since the outbreak of the epidemic two and a half years ago.

A change of course cannot be expected. Xi Jinping is stuck in a dead end over the Covid issue. For a long time, China’s leaders have celebrated themselves for their Covid-free strategy. Xi Jinping sees this as the superiority of the Chinese system.

A woman is tested for the Covid-19 virus in Shanghai in October 2022.


A woman is tested for the Covid-19 virus in Shanghai in October 2022.

Photograph: Ali Song/Reuters

If he now declares that the strategy has failed, he loses face. His reputation as an infallible ruler is damaged. If he continues his zero-tolerance policy, the economy will only come under more pressure. Existing structural economic problems are getting worse.

Xi takes strict measures at home and abroad

But in order to realize his Chinese dream, Xi Jinping will do anything. Does not tolerate criticism. Under his leadership, surveillance and control increased greatly. The Internet and social networks are more strictly censored than ever before.

In addition, the difficult path that Xi Jinping has taken has increasingly isolated the country at the international level. With the crushing of the democratic movement in Hong Kong, his threatening gestures toward Taiwan and human rights abuses in Xinjiang, he went on a course of confrontation with the West. Instead of an equally respected world power, China has become an outsider.

Nothing stands in the way of a third term

Despite the many problems, Xi Jinping is likely to secure a third term as party general secretary, and thus also as head of state, which is unique in the party’s history.

Originally there was a mandate limit: after five years, it was over. But Xi Jinping changed the constitution and could now theoretically remain at the top for the rest of his life.

Xi Jinping during an official visit by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in October 2019.


Xi Jinping during an official visit by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in October 2019.

Photograph: Florence/Reuters

There is no substitute for Xi Jinping. He eliminated all potential political opponents. The people have no say in the party’s decisions anyway.

Xi Jinping will continue his strict path in domestic and foreign policy in the future. Even if it puts his dream of being the dominant global power away.

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