Xi Jinping Plays a Good Hand of Cards Poorly Through Major Miscalculations

April 20, 2021 Updated: April 22, 2021

Robert Louis Stevenson, a 19th-century Scottish novelist, said, “Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well.”

Xi Jinping, the top Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader, has just done the opposite.

In recent years, Xi has made misjudgments on a series of major issues, resulting in him turning a good hand of cards into a bad one. This article attempts to analyze his major miscalculations and the reasons behind them.

Xi Jinping’s Four Major Miscalculations

First, let’s look at Xi’s miscalculation of China in a global context.

On Jan. 11, Xi said at the Party School of the CCP’s Central Committee that “the world is undergoing a great change unprecedented in a century, but the time and the trend are in our favor.” On Feb. 25, Xi was quoted commenting on the international situation by saying that “the political judgment of the future … is that the East is rising and the West is declining.”

Is it really so?

Xi held a grand military parade on Oct. 1, 2019, in Beijing to celebrate the 70th year of the CCP’s subversion of the Republic of China. It should have been a good opportunity for Xi to invite heads of state and government and to show them that “time and trend is in China’s favor.” However, not a single foreign head of state or government was invited, which reflects the CCP’s unprecedented isolation in the international arena.

Has the world situation changed fundamentally in favor of the CCP since the pandemic of 2020? The answer is no.

From the beginning of 2020, the CCP concealed information and data about the virus, suppressed doctors who tried to warn people, spread fake news such as that there was “no human-to-human transmission” and that the virus was “preventable and controllable,” and allowed infected people to fly from Wuhan, a city in Hubei Province, to the rest of the world, which caused the rapid breakout of the pandemic around the world. By April 15, 2021, more than 138 million people had been infected and 2.89 million had died in 192 countries worldwide.

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Shoppers form a line around the side of Smith’s Food & Drug as they wait for the store to open in Las Vegas, Nev., on March 20, 2020. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

In October 2020, a survey released by Pew Research Center, a U.S. pollster, revealed that negative opinion of the CCP “has soared over the past year” and that in countries like Australia, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United States, South Korea, Spain, and Canada, “negative views have reached their highest points since the Center began polling on this topic more than a decade ago.”

Looking at the world, neither time nor power is on the side of the CCP, and the “rising east and falling west” is a self-deceiving illusion. In terms of international trends, this is a period of time when communism is to be eradicated completely from the earth since the collapse of communist regimes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Second, Xi has made wrong judgments in regards to China-U.S. relations.

“We have a thousand reasons to get China-U.S. relations right, not a single reason to ruin it,” Xi Jinping said on April 6, 2017, while meeting former U.S. President Donald Trump.

However, since the 19th National Congress of the CCP, Xi has made serious mistakes in judging China-U.S. relations. From 2018 to 2020, in just three years, China-U.S. relations have deteriorated to the worst level in more than 40 years of diplomatic relations. The United States even closed the CCP’s consulate in Houston in 2020.

After Biden took office, the CCP repeatedly stated its wishes to improve China-U.S. relations, as the CCP relies more on the United States than the United States relies on China. Finally, on March 18, 2021, China met in Alaska for its first high-level dialogue with the new U.S. administration.

However, Yang Jiechi, a member of the CCP’s Politburo and Director of the Foreign Affairs Office, suddenly lashed out: “the United States does not have the qualification to say that it wants to speak to China from a position of strength.” He said, “The Chinese do not buy it.”

Yang’s wolf-warrior-style rant has revealed that what the CCP really wants is to be able to continue to take advantage of the United States and to compete with the United States for world dominance.

On Feb. 25, He Bin, the Party committee secretary of Qilian County, Qinghai Province, revealed that Xi said at an internal meeting that “the greatest source of chaos in the world today is the United States … the United States is the biggest threat to our country’s development and security.”

Xi’s view of the United States as his number one enemy has become common knowledge. Is it possible that China-U.S. relations will return to the appeasement policy of the United States before the Trump administration? Not likely.

“Through this pandemic, most Americans have awakened. Most of us know that this is a brutal regime. This is a criminal organization. It is leading a country, oppressing its citizens, and thinking that it wants to rule the world,” U.S. Congressman Scott Perry said in an interview with the Voice of America (VOA) on April 12.

On April 13, the United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released its 2021 Annual Threat Assessment (pdf), which said that the CCP represents the greatest threat to the United States.

Once the CCP is designated as a “criminal organization,” what will be the outcome for the leaders of the CCP?

Third, Xi had made a miscalculation of the Hong Kong issue.

In June 2019, the largest protest campaign in Hong Kong’s history—anti-extradition bill protests—broke out.

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Protesters hold placards and shout slogans during a rally against the extradition law proposal in Hong Kong on June 9, 2019. (Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

Since June 12, 2019, the CCP has been escalating its violent crackdown on Hong Kong, thinking that it could subdue the people of Hong Kong by doing so.

The people of Hong Kong were not scared. On Nov. 25, 2020, the results of the Hong Kong District Council elections were announced, and of the 452 seats in the 18 districts, the pro-democracy camp won 388 seats, while the pro-establishment camp won only 59 seats.

Xi claimed to “make it our priority to win the hearts and minds of the people” at a collective study session of the CCP’s Politburo on June 29, 2018. If Xi had really made that his priority, he would have seriously addressed the “five demands” raised by Hong Kong’s protesters, and honored the promise made by the CCP to the international community in the Sino-British Joint Declaration that “one country, two systems” would remain unchanged in Hong Kong for 50 years.

However, instead of doing so, Xi forced the passing of the National Security Law in Hong Kong in the midst of the global pandemic in 2020.

In March 2021, Xi replaced the principle of “Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong,” formulated by Deng Xiaoping before Hong Kong’s handover, with “patriots ruling Hong Kong.”

On March 4, the U.S. Heritage Foundation released its 2021 Index of Economic Freedom, and Hong Kong, which had ranked first for 25 consecutive years till 2019, was excluded from the index because policies in Hong Kong “are ultimately controlled from Beijing,” the Heritage Foundation said in its news release.

Fourth, Xi made wrong judgments in regards to the Taiwan issue.

On Jan. 2, 2019, Xi delivered a speech on the Taiwan issue, proposing a unification plan for Taiwan based on “one country, two systems,” claiming that the principles of “peaceful unification” and “one country, two systems” are the best ways to achieve national unification.

When Deng Xiaoping proposed the implementation of “one country, two systems” in Hong Kong, he wanted to set a model for the unification of Taiwan. However, the violent crackdown by the CCP on Hong Kong’s anti-extradition bill protests has left the people of Taiwan dumbfounded and many of them scared. Seeing the current situation in Hong Kong, and being attacked by the CCP’s all-encompassing propaganda and military threats, the people of Taiwan have given up the illusion of the CCP’s “one country, two systems.”

In 2021, Taiwan experienced four democratic votes: the presidential election, the Legislative Council election, the dismissal of Kaohsiung’s mayor, and the election of a new Kaohsiung mayor. Most Taiwanese voted for the anti-communist Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Xi’s proposal for unifying Taiwan was declared bankrupt after just over two years.

The Reasons Behind Xi’s Major Misjudgments

First, Xi cannot hear or see the real situation.

The 19th National Congress of the CCP held in October 2017 was the peak of Xi’s power since he took office. Xi became the “Xi Core,” and “Xi Thought” was written into the CCP’s constitution.

This was followed by praises being heaped on Xi. Wang Yi, the CCP’s foreign minister, said in 2017, that Xi’s diplomatic thought “has made innovations on and transcended the traditional Western theories of international relations for the past 300 years.”

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A man walks past a billboard featuring a photo of Chinese leader Xi Jinping beside lantern decorations for the Chinese Lunar New Year in Baoding, China, on Feb. 24, 2015. (Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images)

However, people who voice criticism are suppressed. Ren Zhiqiang, a famous Chinese property developer and a second-generation red, was sentenced to 18 years of imprisonment for saying something unpleasant.

In such an atmosphere, it is very difficult for Xi to hear the truth, and he makes his judgment based on false news. No wonder he has made all these major miscalculations.

Second, the Chinese Communist Party is a Marxist party. Xi’s major misjudgments all stem from the CCP’s guiding ideology.

According to former White House National Security Adviser Robert C. O’Brien, the U.S. miscalculation of the CCP “is the greatest failure of American foreign policy since the 1930s.” In his view, the reason the United States made such a mistake was that “we did not pay heed to the CCP’s ideology.”

“Let us be clear, the Chinese Communist Party is a Marxist-Leninist organization,” he said.

This reflection hits the nail on the head.

173 years ago, Karl Marx declared in “The Communist Manifesto” that the communists’ ends could be attained “only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions.”

Marx hated capitalism and called on communists to overthrow capitalism by violence. This idea has been carried through the international communist movement for 173 years. The communist parties of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe fought against capitalism for more than 70 years but ended in failure.

The CCP has now become the single largest remaining communist party in the world. It took over and has carried the banner of Lenin and Stalin and continued to fight against capitalism. This is the most important reason why the CCP wants to destroy capitalism in Taiwan after destroying capitalism in Hong Kong, and why it wants to destroy capitalism in the United States.

173 years ago, Marx’s judgment of capitalism was wrong; 173 years later, Xi’s judgment of capitalism is also wrong.

The CCP, guided by the absurd heresy of Marxism-Leninism which has failed from theory to practice after more than seventy years of experimentation in the Soviet Union, is bound to fail in China as well.

Third, Xi has a Maoist complex.

Despite the fact that Mao Zedong made Xi’s family suffer, Xi has always had a Mao Zedong complex.

Mao Zedong advocated violence all his life. Mao was very bellicose and had fought his whole life with landlords, capitalists, intellectuals, his opponents in the CCP, the United States, and the Soviet Union.

Xi grew up with the education of Mao’s words and anti-American propaganda.  Xi has inherited Mao’s fighting theory. The word “fight” appeared 58 times in a speech delivered by Xi in September 2019 in the party school of the CCP.

The CCP has a saying that Mao Zedong made China stand up, Deng Xiaoping made China rich, and now Xi wants to make China strong. How can China become strong? Xi’s view is to fight as Mao did.

Some people call Xi “the General Accelerator,” and by saying this, they mean to say that Xi is accelerating the final disintegration of the CCP.

Wang Youqun graduated with a Ph.D. in Law from the Renmin University of China. He once worked as an aide and copywriter for Wei Jianxing (1931–2015), a member of the CCP Politburo Standing Committee from 1997 to 2002.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.