The Chinese Communist Party's Master Plan is Not What Most People Think

3년 전

Annotation 2020-01-21 094542.jpg

After getting slapped in the face in elections in both Hong Kong and Taiwan, right in their backyard, one would think the Chinese Party-State would re-evaluate their approach to foreign policy. Yet, they are not. Perhaps it is time we asked "why?"

The Year the Charm Offensive Ended

If China's foreign policy in the early 2000's to mid 2010's was a "charm offensive" (Leaf), 2019 was almost globally acknowledged as the year the last vestiges of that faded away. In recent years, China's diplomats have gained a reputation for acting as if they believed they were China's imperial governors in Tributary Vassal States. In 2018, this behavior ranged from China's ambassador to the UK defending a Chinese reporter's "right" to assault a British citizen on British soil, to China's ambassador to Sweden denouncing Sweden for not arresting a hotel manager who threw out Chinese squatters (Lowsen).
Then in 2019, China's ambassador to Canada organized a lynch mob against a Tibetan student in Canada (Lenchoe) and then the Party made rather blatant military threats against Australia and the UK for failing to submit to China's wishes on Australian and British soil (Rogan). The backlash against China for this barbarism has not been quiet.
And yet, all through 2019, China continued to act even more defiant of international opinion, earning condemnations from Turkey for their treatment of Uighurs (Westscott (1)), from Sweden for China's attempts to tell the Swedish government who they were and were not allowed to award literature prizes to (The Local staff), from Canada for the detention of two Canadians, which "continues to highlight the contrast between China’s highly politicised legal system and international standards of due process. (Delaney)," from the U.S. for Huawei's espionage (Kharpal), most of the world for their debt-trap diplomacy under the Belt-and-Road project (Westscott (2)), and from Human Rights Watch for basically everything (Human Rights Watch).

How fucking arrogant can China get.jpg
Yes, they actually said, right on their embassy page, that no country has the right to "damage China's interests" by giving an award to anyone China does not like. They truly are this fucking arrogant.

It is worth asking, "what does China hope to accomplish with this? Do they truly think they are going to bully the entire world into compliance with their obtuse approach? Writing for The Diplomat, Ben Lowsen had this to say:

"Statements of support from China’s Foreign Ministry suggest that chauvinism is now a burgeoning feature of Chinese diplomacy. But China’s bullying can only sour relationships and exacerbate otherwise minor issues. Stronger nations further away from China might react with mild disdain, but smaller nations close to China – or otherwise dependent on Chinese funding – may find themselves in a position to 'suffer what they must.' "

It is possible that the Party simply thinks that they have become so powerful that this necessity of simply enduring whatever China wishes to inflict has become global. Indeed, China's internal propaganda has given its population the idea that China has become the world's unstoppable and undisputed ruler, with power to do as they please. Certainly, this would not be the first time the Chinese government has suffered from this delusion, and the parallels between Xi's administration and the Qing Court who considered themselves the "Celestial Empire, ruling all between the four seas," have already been drawn (Chan).

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It's not difficult to see the parallels. China's rampant "we believe China is the greatest nation on Earth and so should all you filthy Laowai tributaries" mentality has been so unabashedly displayed that nations from Singapore to Sweden have been distancing themselves from Beijing (Thompson). In an article for the South China Morning Post, Chauncey Jung even went so far as to say this when describing China's endless waltz of diplomatic missteps in 2019:

"Officials show so little understanding of how democracies work, they almost seem to be TRYING to make China look bad." (Emphasis mine)

Well, this may sound a bit crazy, but...
...I think that is exactly what they're trying to do!

See? We Told You the World Hates Our "Motherland!"

For decades, the Communist Party of China has had an unspoken agreement with the Chinese population. As John West of the Asian Century Institute put it...

The Communist Party government has retained a monopoly on power. In return, it has delivered unprecedented economic growth and poverty reduction for its citizens.

This agreement has held the country together for decades, keeping a population docile even in the wake of brutal repression like the Tiananmen Square Massacre. However, in the past decade, China's leaders have been aware that this trend of constant, meteoric growth was not sustainable, so they have begun seeking a new source of legitimacy. They have found it, by latching onto an age-old piece of Maoist mythology (the myth of a massive, global anti-China conspiracy) and focusing on it.

"Western countries never cease their desire to destroy China."
-Jin Canrong, China's Wisdom, p. 224

"The 14th Dalai Lama began to realize that he was no more than a tool in the Western struggle against China."
-Sun Hongnian, Zhang Yongpan & Li Sheng, The 14th Dalai Lama, p. 109

This paranoid delusion that all the nations of the world are perpetually scheming against China is usually paired with another idea: the notion that only the Communist Party can "save China." I have already cited a myriad of examples of this assertion in my review of China Intercontinental Press's Rule of Law in China, and Xi Jinping's Governance of China: Vol. II (review pending) is even more blatant, never once listing one of China's accomplishments of the past century without going out of its way to shoehorn the phrase "under the leadership of the Communist Party" into the sentence.
George Friedman's The Next Decade predicted that China would have to shift its M.O. as the 2010's approached and that the country was likely to slide back into isolation as a result, though he also predicted this would be unpopular with the Chinese populace.

The long-term question, which will be answered in the decade to come, is whether the Chinese will attempt to solve their problem as Mao did -by closing off the country and destroying the coastal businessmen and expelling foreign interests- or by following the pattern of regional instability of the late nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries. The only certainities are that the Chinese government will be absorbed with internal problems, working carefully to balance competing forces and increasingly paranoid about the intentions of the Japanese and the Americans.
(p. 178)

Paul Midler's What's Wrong with China makes another point. In the final pages of this book, Midler shows that the Chinese leadership is aware that their heyday is ending, and that they are seeking to simply rack up as many headline-grabbing victories as they can before the clock strikes midnight and their coach turns back into a pumpkin. He also comments that China's superstition of the "Dynastic Cycle" is prompting China's leaders to desperately seek a way not to establish China's rule of the world, but to maintain their rule over China.

"In moving fast, Beijing was guaranteeing that the international community would apply pressure. But by its own calculations, the window of opportunity was going to close one way or another anyway, so why not put as many points on the board before it did so." (p. 224)

"China does not in its wildest dreams believe that the world would ever allow it to rise to the stature of a global hegemon. No, this foolish rush is about something else, something simpler." (p. 225)

And finally...

"Chinese children will eventually be called upon to memorize a long list of more recent national glories, and along the way they will be especially made to remember which regime made it possible.
Living on the glory of the past is one of the most fundamental aspects of Chinese culture. Beijing political leaders believe in the dynastic cycle, not as an abstract concept, but as a reality - and they sense a change is coming. They know they cannot prevent the turn of history's wheel, but they figure that they can convince the Chinese people that they ought to remain the legitimate rulers of the country for an additional cycle. Beijing's secret plan is not world domination. It is to create as many new symbols of national pride as possible, to establish tomorrow's myths of yesteryear.
(p. 226)

Now then, this part is a bit of a stretch, but let's try a thought experiment.
What if Midler and Friedman were both right, and just didn't put their heads together?
What if the Party feels that they will not gain enough stability by racking up a list of bragging points, and that they need to seek a new core value upon which to base their legitimacy?
What if the Party's recent efforts to cultivate a sense of rampant nationalism are related to their "the world is conspiring against China" myth and their "only the Party can protect you" fearmongering?
The world is becoming interconnected thanks to the internet, and even with censorship, the Party would find it difficult to convince the population of a global conspiracy against them if there was not one. Ergo, if the Party seeks to hold onto their rule by spreading a message of "the world hates China, and only we can protect you," then what would be the best way to make the Chinese population believe the world hates China?

Why, by making the world hate China, of course. And what better way to do that then for their diplomatic corps to strut around like complete assholes on the world stage while encouraging the population to cheer this nonsense on?

I have commented in previous articles, with some sense of irony, there was no global anti-China conspiracy until China created it. And when the population sees that the world does, in fact, hate them this badly, what will they do? Flock to the arms of the Communist Party who defied these "foreign oppressors" and prevented another "century of humiliation," of course. And if this forces unimaginable hardship upon the country, there is still no reason for the leaders in Beijing to fear a revolution because Party's patriotic fervor and heartfelt speeches about a "New Long March" will keep the peasants focused and in-line. If you don't think this will work, look at North Korea's "Arduous March."

Is it possible that the Party is so desperate to hold onto power within China that they are willing to make China a global pariah in order to do it? Is it possible that the Party's goal is to make the world hate China enough that the Chinese will run to the Party for protection? Bear in mind that we are not talking about a normal nation here, but one that has a long history of isolating itself from the world for extended periods of time.

Yes, I think it's more than possible. I think this is exactly what they're doing.
And you know something else? If the Party's goal is to make the world hate not only the Chinese government but its people as well, then I have to congratulate them.

...Because with me, they have succeeded.

Works Cited

Chan, Phil C. W. "Is China Coming Full Circle by Repeating the Qing Court’s Self-Defeating Mistakes?" South China Morning Post. 31 Dec, 2019. Web. 21 Jan, 2020. https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3043907/china-coming-full-circle-repeating-qing-courts-self-defeating

Delaney, Robert. "How the Phase One US-China Trade Deal Moves the World Closer to a G2 Global Order." South China Morning Post. 21 Jan, 2020. Web. Jan 21, 2020. https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3046780/how-phase-one-us-china-trade-deal-moves-world-closer-g2-global

Friedman, George. The Next Decade. New York, 2011. Anchor Books.
ISBN 978-0-30747-6-395

Human Rights Watch Staff. "China: Backlash Against Increasing Repression." 14 Jan, 2020. Web. 21 Jan, 2020. https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/01/14/china-backlash-against-increasing-repression

Jin Canrong. Trans. Wen Jianxin. China's Wisdom. Beijing, 2017. China Renmin University Press
ISBN 978-7-300-24622-2

Jung, Chauncey. "Xi Jinping’s China is Losing its Propaganda war Left, Right and Centre This Year." South China Morning Post. 16 Dec, 2019. Web, 21 Jan, 2020. https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3042030/xi-jinpings-china-losing-its-propaganda-war-left-right-and-centre

Leaf, Paul J. "China’s Charm Offensive: A Temporary, Tactical Change." The Diplomat. 17 Dec, 2014. Web. 21 Jan, 2020. https://thediplomat.com/2014/12/how-long-will-the-veneer-of-chinas-charm-offensive-last/

Lowsen, Ben. "China’s Diplomacy Has a Monster in its Closet." The Diplomat. 13 Oct, 2018. Web. 21 Jan, 2020. https://thediplomat.com/2018/10/chinas-diplomacy-has-a-monster-in-its-closet/

Midler, Paul. What's Wrong With China? Hoboken, 2018. Wiley.
ISBN 978-1-119-21371-0

Kharpal, Arjun. "Huawei CFO’s Extradition Case: Everything You Need to Know." CNBC. 8 May, 2019. Web. 21 Jan, 2020. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/08/huawei-cfo-meng-wanzhou-extradition-case-everything-you-need-to-know.html

Sun Hongnian, Zhang Yongpan & Li Sheng. The 14th Dalai Lama. Beijing, 2013. China Intercontinental Press.
ISBN 978-7-5085-2642-3

Tenchoe, Lobsang. "Death Threats Against Chemi Lhamo Likely Coordinated by Chinese Diplomats: Canadian Intelligence Consultant." The Tibet Express. 4 May, 2019. Web. 6 May, 2019.
http://tibetexpress.net/10240/death-threats-against-chemi-lhamo-likely-coordinated-by-chinese-diplomats-canadian-intelligence-consultant/

The Local staff. "Swedish PM Hits back at China Over Literature Prize Threat." The Local. 15 Nov, 2019. Web. 21 Jan, 2020. https://www.thelocal.se/20191115/china-threatens-sweden-over-prize-to-dissident-author

Thompson, Drew. "From Singapore to Sweden, China’s Overbearing Campaign for Influence is Forcing Countries to Resist and Recalibrate Relations with Beijing." South China Morning Post. 7 Nov, 2019. Web. 21 Jan, 2020. https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3036441/singapore-sweden-chinas-overbearing-campaign-influence-forcing

Rogan, Tom. "Why China Just Threatened Australia, Insulted Britain, and Cut Canadian Imports." Washington Examiner. 2 May, 2019. Web, 5 May, 2019. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/why-china-just-threatened-australia-insulted-britain-and-cut-canadian-imports

West, John. "Recalibrating China's Social Contract." Asian Century Institute. 22 Mar, 2014. Web. 21 Jan, 2020. https://www.asiancenturyinstitute.com/society/448-rebalancing-china-s-social-contract

Westscott, Ben (1). "Turkey Condemns China's 'Torture and Political Brainwashing' in Xinjiang." CNN 10 Feb, 2019. Web. 21 Jan, 2020. https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/10/asia/turkey-china-uyghur-xinjiang-intl/index.html

Westscott, Ben (2). "Xi Jinping's Global Dreams Hit a Wall Amid Growing Backlash Against China." CNN. 16 Feb, 2019. Web. 21 Jan, 2020. https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/15/asia/china-us-xi-jinping-backlash-intl/index.html

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Koreans who are familiar with China's history expect that China will be divided. Mao Zedong shouted that all Chinese should build an equal communist state.

However, in China, there is a sharp gap between the rich and the poor, resulting in a division between social classes. In Mao Zedong's time, all were equally poor, forming a unified state.

At present, since the Communist Party has a monopoly on all wealth and power, conflicts and divisions with local governments are increasing. Thus, the Chinese Communist Party is using military force to prevent local government independence.

The Chinese Communist Party, in particular, seeks to attract Chinese loyalty and obedience by promoting the US to conquer China.
Seeing that China has become a former emperor, I believe that China will be divided again.

As patriamreminisci claims, Koreans expect a famine in China to lead to civil war and division. When famines and epidemics prevail in Chinese history, wars have always been fought for depopulation

I think another dynamic is also informing CCP policy. We observe with facility that solar cycles strongly impact society, and we presently are entering a period of low solar output, which in historic times has correlated with decline and crash of empire.

In the last year, ASF has resulted in the decline of the global pig population of 25%, and pigs are a major source of human sustenance. Across the world, crops as diverse as wheat, corn, beets, and soy have suffered an unprecedented decline in productivity, and rather chaotic economic and political results are yet unfolding as a result.

It is likely that as the solar minimum continues to reduce growing seasons and agricultural productivity, famine will result, or at least threaten populations least secure. China has been moving globally to secure food sources, purchasing Smithfield, Cargill pork subsidiary, farms, and deepwater ports suitable for transshipment of of food to China. If famine does erupt, China has done much to prevent it's people from suffering it, and this is no mean accomplishment.

I do not seek to glorify China, but bad acts do not render sound policy of no consequence entirely. Should famine strike as a result of the ongoing solar minimum, and these moves help insulate the Chinese from it, that will certainly redound to the benefit of the CCP.

Your thesis here is not the only example I have read of institutions deliberately fostering hatred directed at themselves, unfortunately. I wish such cynical manipulations weren't as profitable as they seem to be, so good people could better work together to reduce violence, war, and oppression. Perhaps, one day, we will be better people, and live in a better world.

Thanks!

·

The second and third paragraphs of this need to be examined more carefully.

In the last year, ASF has resulted in the decline of the global pig population of 25%, and pigs are a major source of human sustenance. Across the world, crops as diverse as wheat, corn, beets, and soy have suffered an unprecedented decline in productivity, and rather chaotic economic and political results are yet unfolding as a result.

and...

China has been moving globally to secure food sources, purchasing Smithfield, Cargill pork subsidiary, farms, and deepwater ports suitable for transshipment of of food to China. If famine does erupt, China has done much to prevent it's people from suffering it, and this is no mean accomplishment.

As I've pointed out, the vast, VAST majority of this loss was right inside of China. The primary reason China yielded so quickly in both Trade War deals was that Trump's primary demand, namely "buy more food from our farmers," was what they suddenly had to do to survive. In addition, China's acquisition of ports and farms (as well as their acquisition of fisheries in the West Philippine Sea) has been less about monopolizing the world's food supply and more about desperately struggling to get a grip on any of it at all. The vast majority of China's arable land is in border regions that are traditionally non-Chinese (Tibet and Xinjiang), and even that is rapidly becoming toxic. The amount of crops and meat lost due to ASF and Armyworm in 2019 were almost exclusively a Chinese problem, a problem from which most of the world has already recovered.
In short, when you speak of the CPC taking steps to secure China from a coming famine resulting from 2019's losses, that famine is not coming but already here, and China was and is Ground Zero. This famine was also a virtual direct result of the Party's policies (for example, ASF would not have caused such a shortage of pork within China if the Party's response to the outbreak had not been to block all pork imports, under the pretense that the imported pork was the source of the infection).

Still, your point is noted.

·
·

You're not wrong in the main, but I don't think famine has even begun to evidence yet as a result of the Grand Solar Minimum. ASF and Armyworms aren't the same class, even within an order of magnitude of the impact of climactic variation that will eventuate in coming decades.

I sure hope I'm wrong.

·
·
·

It'll be years before we know.
What I can say though is China's food acquisition projects so far, far from "dominating" anything, have been insufficient to even feed their population. As for famine on a global scale, watch Africa and South America. Those are the first places where such a thing will show.

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