Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Xi Jinping Thought Fails Its First Major Test

Xi Jinping Thought, short for Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, which has been incorporated in China’s Constitution, consists of 14 basic policies.

Number 12:  Promoting the “one country, two systems” model for Hong Kong and Macao with a future of “complete national reunification” and to follow the One-China policy and 1992 Consensus for Taiwan. 

The introduction by the Hong Kong government, most likely at the urging of the Central Government in Beijing, of an Extradition bill on March 29, 2019, set off a storm of protests now entering its ninth month. (seeprevious post)  Xi Jinping must have been appalled to see Hong Kongers waving American, British, and even former Hong Kong colonial flags on Thanksgiving after President Donald Trump signed a Hong Kong bill.

The Extradition bill was a bridge too far.  It set back the harmonious working of the “one country, two systems” model designed by Deng Xiaoping.  It deeply alienated Hong Kongers.  China’s hand-picked Chief Executive and Executive Councilors now face an unending period of anger and hostility from the people they try to govern.  The Extradition bill confirmed fears of what “one country, two systems” would mean for Taiwan people.

Someone or some people gave Xi Jinping bad advice on dealing with Hong Kong.  Or perhaps Xi decided on his own to force an Extradition bill on Hong Kong.  Regardless, he failed.

Will the scholars in any of the hundreds of Xi Jinping Thought Institutes in China report on this failure and recommend corrective measures?  Not likely.

Looking ahead to possible future failures, four of the fourteen principles in Xi Jinping Thought concern the centrality of the Chinese Communist Party over all walks of life in China and strengthening the Party’s internal discipline.  One of the four declares “people as the masters of the country,” the exact opposite of China’s top-down ruling system.  Two concern socialist core values of Marxism, Communism, and Socialism with Chinese characteristics.  Two are Xi’s version of the “Green New Deal (numbers 4 and 9),” which is hardly consistent with China opening a coal-fired power plant every week.

Authoritarian ideologies come and go.  Xi Jinping Thought is no exception.  Ask the former rulers of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

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