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Xi, China and the CCP commit to following the same course
This is very good news, for everyone but Xi
Today’s post is my interpretation of the excellent reporting by the Associated Press this morning on the Chinese Communist Party’s annual get-together. Here’s the first sentence from today’s reporting.
“The overarching theme emerging from China’s ongoing Communist Party congress is one of continuity, not change.”
17 October 2022
A while back, I published a white paper regarding a deep look into what makes Chinese leaders tick. In the language of narrative, I had published where Xi was going and why, based on his narrative identity. Because my career is in influence, in support of national security objectives, I know that influence cannot succeed predictably unless narrative is understood. I won’t go down that rabbit hole today but for more, please see the embedded link. For the record, narrative is not what folks think it is, due to its consistently, overused presence in news and other media. The short, most easily understood way to describe narrative is, the way humans derive meaning about all that they experience, based on their own unique identity.
Okay, I promised to not go down the rabbit hole, so let’s get to Xi, China and their threat to the world. For more on this in-depth, here is the link to the paper I published on the Xi’s narrative of ascension. Like TAT, it is written as plainly as possible. It is also built on the 3-4 years of, half of the time I had available for research.
First, China is a threat when led by Xi. It’s not because they are communist, because they aren’t. They only call themselves communist. Truth is what folks do, not what they say. They are currently, not a top tier, military threat to the world and may not be for a very long time. Xi is a threat because he is using every element of the Chinese government to influence the world to see the view as he wishes, not what it is now.
The world, All-Under-Heaven, is one, with China / the “Middle Kingdom” at the center and at the pinnacle, is an Emperor or “Son of Heaven”, the sole interface with heaven with no peer. The Han are the “enlightened” while everyone outside is “barbarian” and seeking a tributary relationship with enlightened China for commerce and protection. Those who do not voluntarily seek tributary status must be persuaded or conquered militarily. This will unify All-Under-Heaven under the Chinese paradigm of world order.
Asia Power Watch
19 Oct 2020
The simple English translation is that Xi wants to be, Son-of-Heaven, more like an emperor who is the only one who can talk to heaven. The Han Chinese are the only enlightened people on earth and every other nation must come and ask to be enlightened by them. When they are accepted, they must pay tribute forever to China in a “tributary” system. This is a form of extorsion because those who don’t seek China’s help, and refuse to become tributary nations, must be conquered. In other words, global domination for Xi at the head of the Han Chinese people where the whole world must adopt and be subservient to Xi’s demands.
This doesn’t sound very appealing to anyone but Xi. Since Xi took over in 2012, China has made great strides down this path until… roughly late 2018/ early 2019. Since then, Xi has made a habit of making poorly informed strategic decisions that have reduced nearly every opportunity of him achieving his goals. In short, Xi has run China into the ground. The three tactics he’s used to gain some early successes, are no longer are working. This is due to regional nations and global powers like the US and our allies, seeing his actions for what they are, destructive. Here are his big three tactics:
1. Military intimidation
2. Financial coercion
3. Human rights abuse on a massive scale
Xi strategy and where he uses these tactics, is along something called the BRI, Belt and Road Initiative. This is a “Silk Road” of sorts, made famous by Marco Polo. Xi’s version is not just a highway that links the world together, but a massive system of specialized SRs, “Silk Roads.” Some examples are:
- Commercial shipping routes
- Digital communications and undersea cables
He aims to control these global Silk Roads and therefore force nations to comply in order to use this massive network. The rules-based, international order must not allow him to assume control over all of the world’s infrastructure. The best way to avoid this is to invest along the key points of these SRs. That way the law-abiding nations of the world prevent him from control. If I were still in uniform, I’d say something like: “the BRI is a non-kinetic targeting diagram.” In other words, where to invest to protect more equitable, global commerce from Xi’s intended global hegemony/ domination.
Why today’s AP article is good news:
In 2012, Xi’s strategy was a truly great approach for his goals, except for one thing. He forgot that his emperor wannabe efforts would be hampered by his personality and approach. When regional nations and other primary global nations saw what he was really up to and how he went about it, they balked. Since then, he has made poor decisions, his legacy. He’s run his economy into the ground. His massive scale human rights abuse has turned off the entire world outside of dictators, despots and populists. Unity is building against him, not because he’s Chinese, but because he’s a classic authoritarian with identity traits dating back some four thousand years. He most resembles a Emperor, immediately preceding the beginning of the Han Dynasty, Qin Shi Huangdi. A brutal but effective organizer.
Qin Shi Huangdi, like Xi today was a proponent of unique, ancient Chinese concepts regarding power. Qin Shi Huangdi was obsessed with eternal life producing elixirs which ultimately killed him, potentially by being poisoned. Xi will one day fall as well, maybe poisoned by his lust for global domination based on ancient identity traits.
Xi’s massive military is also an untested portion of his quest. At the moment, it’s unlikely that they are a real match for modern, well-trained and experienced top-tier militaries. This makes them somewhat as useful as Qin Shi Huangdi’s famous, Terra cotta army
So, to wrap up today’s piece, here’s a very short summary. As long as Xi continues to proceed down his current path, he’s headed in the direction of failure or very marginal success. His miliary untested, his economy run into the ground and most Chinese divorced intentionally from their true history leaves an uninspired national security community. His wolf warrior diplomacy has become darn near as comical as Putin’s propaganda. With an economy unable to generously continue funding his military and unable to coerce rival nations through finances and subservience of his people rather than admiration, he will flounder in the years ahead.
The key to protecting ourselves from Xi’s domination is to remain unified with the global, rules-based order and present, unified resistance. Collaboration with other like-minded nations is precisely the dominant theme in our NSS/ National Security Strategy. If we stay true to the NSS, Xi may well end up as just another footnote in China’s thousands of years of history.