By Fong Yuen
Today, the CCP has found itself in a predicament that stemmed from striving for world hegemony. If it had not implemented an all-round external expansion policy, it would not have aroused such resentment in the Western world, especially the U.S., which led to counterattacks. If the CCP had focused on domestic development to improve the living standards of its citizens, even if the old autocratic system remains unchanged, its governance would still be more human, reasonable and modern, getting it more on the same page as Singapore.
However, the CCP’s communist belief determined its nature of world hegemony. Deng Xiaoping kept a low profile, with the intention to rest before making a comeback. He did not give up on communism. During the eras of Jiang Zemin, Zhu Rongji and Hu Jintao, Wen Jiabao, China was preparing for economic takeoff and still lacked confidence. It was not until Xi Jinping came to power that the CCP believed that it was now good enough to compete squarely with the U.S., and boldly went ahead with its full-fledged expansion.
As a second-generation Communist, the revolutionary DNA in Xi Jinping is much more powerful than that in Hu Jintao or Wen Jiabao. With riches, one gets arrogant. It no longer takes the U.S. seriously, and cannot even bother to look at the other Western countries. With the Western advanced countries, the CCP lures them with the large Chinese market; with the medium to small third-world countries, the CCP baits them with the export of capital and technology. Suddenly, all roads are clear, and everyone looks up to the CCP. At this point, the CCP “told the China story”, promoted the Chinese model, and bought off organizations and politicians to build bridgeheads everywhere for world hegemony.
Successive U.S. governments have long disregarded the existence of the CCP. At first, it was due to the discrepancies in national strength between the two countries. Later, the Americans believed that the CCP’s reform and opening up economically would lead to political reform. For three to four decades, the U.S. had let the CCP be, allowing them to grow bigger and stronger while casting its covetous eyes on the world. The doors of various international organizations were wide open, and the CCP was able to bribe and divide from within, and eventually take over. When the Americans woke up, they realized that half of the world has fallen, and then they finally understood that the CCP was up to no good.
The CCP’s full confidence in taking world hegemony is based on the improvement of its national strength. Coupled with the comfort the Western countries have taken in the status quo over the years, developments have slowed, and internal conflicts have arisen. The CCP believed that it could “take over and replace them.” In the various international organizations, the CCP has been making its moves, counting its votes, and getting itself on par with the U.S. Getting this boost of confidence, it is no wonder that Xi Jinping made the misjudgment of “time and situation both being on our side.”
Misjudgment one is ideological. Democracy is the trend of the times. Marxism-Leninism had met with its decline along with the revolutions of 1989. The reason that the CCP was able to rise has nothing to do with the Chinese model of autocracy, but everything to do with the capitalist market economy. The democratic system has a solid foundation which people aspire to, while dictatorship is against human nature and nothing but an empty shell. In the face of the threat of the dictatorship system, the Western ruling and opposition parties are united, and therefore consensus is easily reached. This is the reason why Biden’s administration is able to establish a Western anti-communist front in a short time.
Misjudgment two is on economic strength. China’s GDP is number two in the world, but GDP per capita lines the bottom of the list in the world. National strength is dynamic. It could go from weak to strong, and vice versa. It all depends on the CCP’s relationship with the other countries around the world, as well as the integration of its technology and culture with those of the world. The past 40 years have been smooth sailing for the CCP, but it was not because of the superiority in its system, but because of its conformity to the trend of the world. Today, China is no longer buddy-buddy with the West. The West has formed a full encirclement around the CCP, causing its external circulation to be obstructed, and its internal circulation to be constipated. With outdated technology, its economic decline is an irreversible trend.
Misjudgment three is on society and culture. In order to achieve world hegemony, the CCP has no choice but to impose harsh internal governance in the face of external pressure. The economic reform that was matched with cultural opening up is no longer possible. The cultural lock-up of the country led to the loss of freedom and the suffocation of creativity. Civil vitality is therefore depleted. When there’s no path ahead, the one way is back. The red culture is like a plague, the Cultural Revolution is resurrected, nationalism is on the rise, and spiritual culture is approaching a dead-end.
If the CCP has enough political wisdom, let go of its ambitions for world hegemony, and mend its relationship with the rest, there could have been a turnaround. Sadly, when 1.4 billion people’s lives are determined by one almighty, the error correction mechanism is doomed to fail under political pressure. Moreover, with the three-legged cats and wolf warriors throwing random punches, the CCP’s name in the Western world is ruined. Public opinion in the West is overwhelmingly one-sided. The CCP is only losing friends and gaining enemies by the day.
Is the goal of national revival of the Chinese nation to dominate the world? Do the Chinese have such a large appetite, such great capabilities, to rule the world? Are the Chinese people willing to tread after the CCP and force the illusion of Communism onto the citizens of other countries? If one only dreams ridiculously of “liberating all mankind” rather than perform actual deeds to benefit the Chinese people, how is this “making peace for all future generations”?
When the dream of hegemony shatters, when national revival is even more elusive, returning to the battered path of the Cultural Revolution would only lead to an unimaginable prospect. At this point, one could only lament: If only!
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