On April 30, the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) official bi-monthly journal, Qiushi (which translates to Seeking the Truth), published Xi Jinping’s speech on China’s development blueprint, delivered at a seminar for high-ranking officials on Jan. 11, 2021; his current views revealed in the article shed light on why the CCP has taken an all-out confrontational stance in recent months.
In his speech, Xi proclaimed, “time and momentum are on our side, that is where our strength and confidence lies.”
Xi emphasized China’s economic self-reliance through its internal circulation that “can defuse any international disruptions and always enables China to survive and sustain its growth amid all kinds of foreseeable and unforeseeable storms and turbulent waves.”
It is quite clear that the CCP leadership is well aware of the difficulties it faces domestically and internationally, but it is rather difficult to see the logic behind Xi’s claim that “the time and momentum” are on their side, let alone the “confidence” that he claims the CCP has.
On February 25, Qilian county of Qinghai Province published a speech by the county’s Party secretary, He Bin, who talked about Xi’s two judgments: on the global dynamic landscape, Xi sees the grand trend that the East is rising and the West is declining; on the strategic relations between China and the United States, Xi views the United States as the biggest source of chaos in the world today, and the biggest threat to the country’s development and security.
According to He, Xi believes that the United States is bound to fall and that the CCP will sooner or later replace it, so the CCP must challenge it.
On January 15, the Chinese website Guancha (which translates to The Observer) also reported that Chen Yixin, a protégé of Xi and secretary-general of the CCP’s Political and Legal Affairs Committee, conveyed a similar message from Xi’s speech: “With a pandemic only seen once in a century, the world has entered into a period of turbulent change only seen once in a century… While the international landscape is shifting in China’s favor, the U.S. containment and suppression is a major threat, becoming an unexpected encounter and a protracted battle. The COVID-19 pandemic is presenting both challenges and opportunities in crisis, and the continued global pandemic rampage will have a significant impact on all aspects of the world,” as reported in the headline.
The article published in the Qiushi Journal basically confirmed the above, revealing Xi’s main judgments on the current situations both at home and abroad.
The World Is Chaotic
Xi said that China is “the world’s second-largest economy, the largest industrial country, with the largest foreign trade in goods and the largest foreign exchange reserve.” Apparently, Xi sees that as the capital for world domination.
“The world today, characterized most notably by chaos, is undergoing a great change unprecedented in a century. How well the global COVID-19 pandemic has been controlled in a country is indicative of how good or superior the country’s leadership and system are. Time and momentum are on our side, and that is where our strength and confidence lie,” Xi said.
Xi’s above words fully revealed the CCP’s real intention of using the pandemic to seek hegemony. In fact, the CCP had deliberately concealed the critical information on the origin of the CCP virus at the beginning and let the virus spread outside of its borders. But to the CCP, the ensuing global pandemic is even regarded as a tool to bring the so-called “time and momentum” in its favor and its “strength.”
Xi believes that “democracy cannot compete [with dictatorship] in the 21st century because [democracy] takes too much time to reach consensus.”
Biden also is aware of Xi’s ambition to rule the world, as he put it in his recent address to the Congress: Xi is “deadly earnest about becoming the most significant, consequential nation in the world.”
Biden got it right on Xi’s global ambition but wrong on what to do to counter it. As to Xi, he believes now is a good opportunity to confront the United States for supremacy. Xi believes that China, strategically, has unprecedented opportunities that outweigh its challenges. He urged all CCP officials to “mobilize all the positive factors that can be mobilized, unite all the forces that can be united, and do the best to get our things done and to achieve our set goals with perseverance.”
‘Unprecedented Rise in Internal and External Risks’
The CCP has hurt the world by seeking hegemony with the pandemic, which has seriously hurt China at the same time.
When Xi gave his big talk about “time and momentum,” “confidence” and “important strategic opportunities,” he was to establish his authority and appease the CCP officials. In the meantime, he avoided admitting a string of serious mistakes he has made. These include the CCP’s mask diplomacy, “wolf warrior” diplomacy, and its global disinformation campaign to deflect blame over its initial mishandling of the pandemic outbreak, all of which have led to its isolation and troubles internationally, especially the rapid breakdown of Sino-U.S. relations.
While refusing to acknowledge many of his decision-making mistakes, Xi had to admit the current internal and external difficulties he faces.
As he put it in his speech, with “the main issues at home and the profound changes in the international balance of power” and “an unprecedented rise in internal and external risks, we must have a heightened sense of future crises, be mindful of the worst-case scenarios, and be ready to deal with more complex and difficult situations.”
Compared to external woes, Xi is more worried about the actual internal crises, as he put it, “If the foundation of security is not firm, the edifice of development will collapse.” He stressed that officials must do the following: “both dare to fight and be good at it, and strengthen ourselves comprehensively, especially to enhance the strength of deterrence”; “prevent big ups and downs”; “ensure the stability and security of the supply chain of the industrial, and prevent the disorderly expansion and barbaric growth of the capital market and enterprises”; “prevent the risk of large-scale unemployment, and effectively resolve all kinds of mass incidents”; “implement different control measures at different stages, and effectively deal with all kinds of issues related to national security.”
These remarks are actually about internal security issues. When the CCP faces huge external pressure, the first thing it worries about is whether the regime will collapse and whether its leaders will still be able to hang on to their power.
Xi added, “The Soviet Union was the world’s first socialist country and achieved brilliant successes, but then it failed and disintegrated. One of the major reasons was that the Soviet Communist Party broke away from the people and became a privileged bureaucratic group that only defended its own interests.”
Ironically, who in the CCP’s powerful elites today would believe in so-called socialism?
CCP officials have all become what Marx described as privileged powerful capitalists, only that they have gone much farther than those of the former Soviet Communist Party. In this case, the CCP acted out yet another example of the complete failure of Marx’s theory, which, however, is being used to maintain the CCP’s power and its own interests. The CCP is following in the footsteps of the former Soviet Union, and what the current CCP leadership does is accelerating this historical process of its downfall.
Truth Behind ‘Domestic Circulation’
Xi said, “Economic globalization has been put in reverse gear, undergoing deep adjustments. The COVID-19 pandemic has also exacerbated the trend against globalization, prompting each country to be more focused on its domestic market.” As a result, the global industrial supply chain has been partially broken, and many Chinese enterprises can’t get the foreign personnel and raw materials they need, can’t export the goods they’ve made, and have to shut down production. “I feel that the situation is very different now, the environment that used to favor trading massive quantities of goods between countries has changed. Last April, I proposed establishing a large domestic circulation as the main [economic] driver,” he added.
Xi’s remarks show that the CCP top leaders are well aware that the good days for their dominance over the global supply chain are gone and they have no choice but to bet on a “domestic circulation.”
Xi even quoted Mao Zedong as saying, “No matter how complex, serious, and disastrous the circumstances are, the first thing a military commander needs is to organize and use his forces independently. It is common to be forced by the enemy into a disadvantageous position; the important thing is to regain a favorable position quickly. Failing to do so would mean a defeat ahead.”
Recently, when Xi visited the Xiangjiang River Battle Memorial in Guangxi province, he hailed the CCP former Red Army’s spirit of “being fearless of death to charge forward,” and “persevering in the most difficult times.”
Obviously, the CCP’s overly aggressive behavior follows its logic of taking the initiative, but that may only serve to accelerate its downfall. As for its bet on a “domestic circulation,” few in the CCP or among ordinary Chinese people really think that it would work. Moreover, if Xi were to take this path, it would be difficult for China to sustain its status as “the world’s second-largest economy, the largest industrial country, with the largest foreign trade and the largest foreign exchange reserves,” let alone to contend for supremacy.
Nonetheless, Xi claimed that the “domestic circulation” is a preemptive move and a proactive strategic choice, yet in reality, it is more about convincing CCP officials at all levels to rally behind his leadership and to demonstrate loyalty to him. But that can hardly fool most CCP officials, especially those who have settled their family members and personal assets overseas.
The Qiushi journal has probably withheld a lot of content that cannot be disclosed, but the information revealed so far should well explain the CCP’s recent moves toward full-scale confrontation with the outside world. The CCP’s top brass tries to take the so-called initiative in a difficult situation, to show its assertiveness on the world stage in order to promote internal unity and hang on to its power. More importantly, it covers up a series of mistakes it has made to sustain its popularity and power amid internal fighting.
Xi’s big talk could hardly ease the concerns of CCP officials at all levels. On April 30, the CCP held a meeting of the Politburo to assess the current state of China’s economy and economic work, but the tone of the Party media coverage was significantly lowered, and once again, Xi gave no separate speech, either.
Perhaps Xi felt that it was difficult to convince members in the Politburo, so the Qiushi Journal had to make public a past speech that Xi made on Jan. 11.
The CCP’s political situation seems to be far less calm than it appears. Thirteen online financial companies have just been subjected to close scrutiny by the regime, perhaps signaling the beginning of yet another wave of internal fighting.
It remains to be seen whether the CCP will be able to gain a favorable position with its tough stance against its neighbors and the West.
Yang Wei has been closely following China affairs for many years. He has been contributing political commentary on China for the Chinese language Epoch Times since 2019.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.