Douglas Paal says that after five years of consolidation of power, the Chinese leader will become stronger than ever before. At least this year, XI Jinping, will play the role of global leader and the world will become better.
Provocateur won the White house in January amid calls to punish China. However, Beijing remains calm and committed, without fanfare, to find ways of coexistence with the administration of the trump. For many years China has rejected calls to take on global responsibilities, but XI Jinping became the first Chinese leader who visited the world economic forum in Davos in January, and claimed their rights to leadership in globalization, since the US refuses this role.
How to explain such changes in his behavior? As for the US, much of it understandable. Donald trump ran the campaign of an outsider, and is now trying to challenge many sacred cows. However, given the constitutional barrier and balances trump is gradually returning to reality.
In China, the opposite policy is mainly carried out in Beijing a black box, and I think on the outside we see that the ability of si to expand. To paraphrase Winston Churchill after the battle of El-Alamein, in the fifth year of stay si in power we are witnessing is not the beginning of the end, and the end of the beginning. Beijing says goodbye to the operating system, XI Jinping, and welcomes 1.0 XI 2.0, which will complete the consolidation of his power this year on the 19th Congress of the party. Unlike American presidents, which will eventually weaken, with Chinese leaders it’s usually the opposite.
China uses soft power at the international level to maximize the hard force of si in the country and abroad. Si was blocked by the compromises resorted to by his predecessors, before he took over the leadership of the party in 2012. Not according to his will, he was encumbered by the standing Committee of the Politburo. The party bureaucracy was riddled with people who did not support or would not enthusiastically implement his program. The implementation of reforms was hampered by the taken unsuccessful measures. But from the beginning it was clear that si displaces potential candidates for key roles. He became Chairman only.
It is clear that this situation will change. Since the middle of last year, careful observation has shown that moving to the new officers. Si will put the loyal to him to rule with an iron hand during the second five-year term.
Of course, in the short term, this calendar year it is probably good news for the rest of the world, since si plays the role of a world leader. Thus, we have seen how the si set a precedent by taking part in the Davos summit, which behaved in a hypocritical globalist style that is very different from the new economic nationalism trump.
Then we learned about the first telephone conversation, C. and trump, in which XI urged trump to honor the “one China policy” after in December, the U.S. leader has put this sensitive political topic questioned. This was followed by a successful visit to Washington, member of state Council of China Yang Jiechi. All signs indicate the preparation for the visit of si in the United States.
Such a visit would give si the opportunity to show his people that he can successfully manage most important and sensitive bilateral relationships in the world. This would correspond to the “two sessions” — an annual Congress of all-China Assembly of people’s representatives and the all-China Committee of people’s political consultative conference, which takes place now and during which si has demonstrated its role of the “core” of the Central Committee of the party.
Another important step this year to deploy XI 2.0 will be the may summit of the “one belt, one road” in Beijing, which will be attended by leaders from more than 20 countries. Si will demonstrate his most important foreign policy innovation to date. This will be followed by an event in Hong Kong, dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the return of the territory of China, which is expected to si.
The leaders of the G20 countries will meet in the middle of the summer in Hamburg. The focus of the summit will be the new direction of US policy and the rise of nationalism among voters. Si will be in a good position: it would be beneficial to contrast with many of their colleagues.
This should be a welcome platform for si, because he is preparing for the annual informal meeting of leaders in Beidaihe in August, which is the final stage of preparations for the 19th party Congress this fall.
As I noted above, this is probably overall good news for the outside world, as the leader of China trying to show its best qualities.
But this coin has another side. A leader with a serious thirst for power must also vigorously protect the most sensitive interests of China against perceived attacks.
If, for example, trump quickly introduces punitive tariffs and barriers to trade with China, we should fully expect that XI and China will reciprocate. If China feels that do not take into account its principles on issues related to Taiwan and the South China sea, we should not be surprised if si’ll counter.
And when the end of the year will begin the second term of the General Secretary of the party XI Jinping, we must remember that he will get stronger and will not need to demonstrate his diplomatic skills. More he will need to demonstrate results.
Some of them can be very uncomfortable for those who are outside of China.