The “greatest fear” for the Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping is getting the country cut off from the rest of the world. But this is occurring, according to Gordon Chang, author and a senior fellow of Gatestone Institute.
Speaking on a recent “China Insider” program on EpochTv , Chang noted global companies have started shifting their factories out of China, as they hope to build more resilient supply chains.
“The world for economic reasons—not political, not geopolitical, but for economic reasons is doing that,” said Chang.
Companies are experiencing supply chain disruptions as the regime’s “zero-COVID” approach brought Shanghai and other Chinese cities to a halt. Millions are confined in their homes as authorities imposed lockdown and mass testing in regions where infections were recorded. The heavy-handed approach dented factory production and delayed the transportation of goods.
Yet it’s not just the strict COVID control measures prompting companies to move productions out of China. Chang said the Chinese regime’s ties with Russia also made current supply chains unreliable.
“It’s not going to be reliable because China is supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that is accelerating a division of the international system.”
China, whose ruling Communist Party declared a “no limits” partnership with Russia before the invasion, has attracted mounting criticism over its tacit support of Moscow throughout the crisis. The regime has so far declined to condemn Russia’s aggression, despite growing calls from the United States, European Union, and other countries.
While the regime’s policies have contributed to the decoupling, this trend is not in Beijing’s interests, according to Chang.
“This is not where China should want to be because China [is] the biggest beneficiary of the American-sponsored period of globalization and integration of China into the international system,” he said.
“It’s being driven by a number of things. But Xi Jinping is very much the author of this de-globalization.”
Chang said the Chinese leader warned the world not to cut the country off during a video speech to the annual Boao Asia Forum.
On April 21, Xi proposed what he called a new China-led “global security initiative,” which upholds principles including “indivisibility of security,” a key concept that Russia used to justify its assault on Ukraine. The Chinese leader said, “countries around the world are like passengers aboard the same ship who share the same destiny … the thought of throwing anyone overboard is simply not acceptable.”
“When he [Xi Jinping] talked about indivisible security [it] actually betrayed his greatest fear, and that is the world decoupling from China,” Chang said.
“Really, what he was saying was that the world should not throw China overboard,” he added.
Though fearful of getting cut off, the Chinese leader would double down on policies currently on foot, such as zero-COVID and Beijing’s partnership with Moscow, if he gets the unprecedented third term in office at an important party conclave this autumn, according to Chang.
“I think that he will then double down on policies, which obviously are not good for the country, not good for the economy, and that means a bad end for China.”
‘Most Dangerous Period’
Chang suggested the world should decouple from the communist regime, though it’s difficult due to China’s large economy.
“I believe that the world needs to start protecting itself from China’s maliciousness, which means cutting off ties, no trade, no investment, no technical cooperation, cutting back diplomatic relations,” said Chang.
“I know that sounds risky…[but] the most dangerous and risky path is to continue with the policies that have landed us in this mess in the first place.”
“We could end up going from the best moment in history to the worst, but that’s because we’ve had these misguided assessments of China, which have translated into policy, which has pushed China to become more belligerent and have weakened our own defenses,” said Chang.
“I can’t think of a more dangerous situation than we are now short of actual war.”