Politics

President Xi glosses over the CCP’s tarnished image amid US row

Washington’s targeted attacks on Beijing illustrate the CCP’s lack of a mandate from the Chinese people

If you think the Party has lost its allure, you could be right.

President Xi Jinping hinted as much when he turned up the volume earlier this week in the war of words between China and the United States. 

Sounding a defiant note, he defended the ruling Communist Party and warned Washington that the “people” will never accept foreign interference.

“The Chinese people will never allow any individual or any force to separate the CCP and Chinese people, and to pitch them against each other,” Xi said in what came across as a shrill speech to mark the 75th anniversary of Japan’s formal surrender in World War II.

To put that into context, the CCP has nearly 92 million members out of a population of 1.39 billion and has ruled for 70 years without a mandate from the “people.”

Political dissent carries long prison sentences, human rights are trampled on and the state-run media is simply an extension of the Party’s propaganda machine.

Deteriorating diplomatic relations

Social media is heavily censored while freedom of expression is stifled by the Great Firewall, which polices anti-CCP activity.

Autocracy, not democracy, is the rule of law in Comrade Xi’s world.

Still, his address to bolster the government’s legitimacy is rare these days as it is simply taken for granted.

“The Chinese people will never allow any individual or any force to distort the CCP’s history, and to vilify the CCP’s character and purpose,” he pointed out.

Again, this comes at a time when the US has targeted the CCP, and not the Chinese people, for deteriorating diplomatic relations.

Flashpoints include China’s militarization of the South China Sea and persistent threats against democratic Taiwan, which is regarded by the Communist Party as a “renegade province.”

Other issues center around human rights violations against the Muslim Uyghur population in Xinjiang and the crackdown in Hong Kong.

On Friday, a team of United Nations human rights experts expressed serious concerns about the new security law imposed on the city in a 14-page letter sent to Xi’s government.

‘Fundamental rights’

The draconian legislation allows for anything Beijing views as “subversive, secessionist, terrorism or collusion with foreign forces” to be punished with life in prison.

“[This] infringes on certain fundamental rights,” Fionnuala Ni Aolain, a UN special rapporteur on protecting human rights, and six other UN experts said in the letter.

The security law was brought in earlier this year after mass protests sparked a summer of discontent in 2019 amid fears that Hong Kong’s special status was being eroded.

Since then, the pro-democracy movement has been strangled by a wave of arrests.

“Under the regime of Xi, the Chinese Communist Party is not a force for progress for China. In fact, it is an obstacle to China’s progress,” Cai Xia, a former professor at the elite Central Party School, told The Guardian after being stripped of her CCP membership for criticizing Xi.

“I believe I am not the only one who wants to leave this party. More people would like to withdraw. I had intended to quit years ago when there was no more room to speak and my voice was completely blocked,” she said as reported by the London-based newspaper last month.

Maybe, the Party is finally going out of fashion along with the red streamers? But you would probably be wise not to bet on it.

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