The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been eager to improve relations with the United States since President Joe Biden took office, but the latest statement from the U.S. government calls the U.S.–China relationship “the biggest geopolitical test of the 21st century,” with Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying, “The common denominator is the need to engage China from a position of strength.”
This could be another disappointment for the CCP.
At a press conference in Beijing on March 4, CCP Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin claimed that the Party “has always been a builder of world peace … and an upholder of international order … bringing opportunities instead of challenges to the international community,” and remains “committed to developing a relationship of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect, and win-win cooperation with the U.S.”
China’s citizens don’t believe such clichés, and Americans shouldn’t either. So, what are the real thoughts of the CCP’s senior leaders? A few days ago, He Bin, county committee secretary of Qilian County in Qinghai Province, revealed part of CCP leader Xi Jinping’s talk on U.S.–China relations, which may provide a glimpse into the minds of the Party’s top brass.
On Feb. 25, Qilian News, the county’s official news website run by the propaganda department of the Qilian County Party Committee, published a speech by He, titled “Speech at a special seminar for county-level cadres to study and implement the Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th Party Central Committee.”
In his speech, He said that he’s “studied carefully the important speech of General Secretary Xi Jinping and the spirit of the Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee, word by word, sentence by sentence, from beginning to end.”
He quoted Xi as saying, “The strong West and weak East is history … the East is rising, and the West is declining,” adding that Xi said that “the biggest source of chaos in the world nowadays is the United States, … the United States is the biggest threat to our country’s development and security.”
He said Xi made these remarks in “two of General Secretary Xi’s speeches at the Fifth Plenary Session” and in Xi’s “important speech at the seminar of the main leading cadres at the provincial and ministerial levels.”
Within the CCP, impromptu speeches are generally only conveyed orally and aren’t issued in the form of documents or published on the internet. Such speeches are often discussed privately by officials and spread by word of mouth among the populace.
Most Chinese people should understand the CCP’s true viewpoint, i.e., the United States is always the enemy and the CCP wants to replace it in world influence. Still, it’s intriguing that the county’s highest CCP official revealed Xi’s comments. The sentiments that “the strong West and weak East is history” and “the East is rising and the West is declining” originated from Mao Zedong’s “The East Wind prevails over the West Wind.”
Xi, who appears to be quite influenced by Mao, still believes that the United States is bound to fall and that the CCP will sooner or later replace it. Xi even directly said that the United States is China’s biggest threat and that he wants to challenge it.
Perhaps the county official revealed Xi’s words accidentally. If the U.S. administration reads the comments, would it still consider the CCP a mere competitor?
The article also revealed that Xi, “when talking about the governance system, made the directional judgment that ‘economic globalization will continue to undergo profound changes, but the fundamental direction will not change,’ and that ‘crisis and opportunity coexist, there are opportunities in crisis, and crisis can be turned into opportunity.'”
This wishful description doesn’t exclude the possibility that Xi is trying to appease officials at all levels, or that Xi is trying to shirk responsibility for his mistakes in foreign relations. However, it does reflect the real understanding of and attitude toward the United States held by the CCP’s top leaders. The CCP has never considered a so-called “win-win cooperation.”
The Party has been trying to find ways to bring down the United States, and doesn’t want to change even as the regime rapidly crumbles.
This is not Xi’s idea alone. The fact that the county official repeated Xi’s statement with great relish shows that many people within the CCP hold similar short-sighted views to varying degrees, which also reflects the nature of the Party.
That said, it’s no coincidence that on Jan. 15, the website Guancha (which translates to The Observer), which claims to be an “online news and comments aggregator,” published an article titled “Chen Yixin conveys the spirit of the seminar: It is the trend that the East is rising and the West is falling. The international pattern is developing in China’s favor.”
The website published the original text of Chen’s speech, with an introductory guide saying that an epidemic “is only seen once in a century,” and “containment and oppression from the United States is a major threat, which is both an unexpected encounter and a protracted war. The coronavirus pandemic is a major test, which is both a challenging crisis and an opportunity. The continued spread of the global epidemic will have a significant impact on all aspects of the world.”
The article doesn’t explicitly indicate that these are Xi’s words, but general officials, secretaries, editors, etc., wouldn’t dare make up such an introduction and make it a foreword to Chen’s speech. In this passage, the same argument of “the rising East and the declining West” is quoted, and so is the expression of a “protracted war” with the United States.
Even worse, the CCP regards the epidemic as a tool to mess up the world, which reaffirms the regime’s real intention of covering up the epidemic and using it for hegemony. The epidemic is actually seen as an opportunity. The new U.S. administration, which has so far avoided making the CCP accountable for the epidemic, should take a good look at this passage.
While the CCP is trying to bring down the United States, the U.S. government still sees it as just a competitor, with no strategy in place to further counter the regime. Meanwhile, the CCP is preparing for a “protracted war” with the United States. If the lesson from the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t enough, what will it take for the United States to quickly wake up?
Yang Wei has been closely following China’s 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.