Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Communist China: Withering End is Calling

By Tenzin Lekshay

Four Generations of CCP leaders
With the 18th Party Congress approaching, so called 'the Communist leaders' are busying boiling and toiling around establishing their firm grip into the current politics of People's Republic of China. It is in fact, a gruesome act of real politics that hinges into a cut throat competition within the top brass leaders, who are affiliated unofficially into factions. Bo Xilai's case is a classic example of such practice which had maneuvered the incumbent leaders to strengthen their iron grip over the gen-next leaders. 
Comrades in the early years of Mao's China no longer exist as the communism inside China is literally compromised by the corrupted and power monger Chinese leaders. The transformation of China into pseudo-capitalist economy triggers the end of Communism, which had its principles grounded on Marx-Lenin socio-political theory.
 Unlike in the past, today's glittering and glimmering China stands favorable only to marginal portion of Chinese people, who are party leaders, associates and corporates, leaving the majority of Chinese people at the verge of struggling for their survival without much justice. So far, China emerges in producing several billionaires but such will not help China to sustain in the future, if the majority is neglected. The regime that established with the bloods and sweats of Chinese people in their initial years, now become a savior of a handful of Chinese leaders, who are leading a luxurious life. China, as known to be the People's Republic of China stands aloof in stand guarding the interest of the people, and shall doom as its interest narrowed down to the leaders.
 In such a situation, it is important to discuss about the current status of China and its pending future, which somehow indicates that communist regime in China will die in the years to come. To justify that, it is empirically important to understand the factors which will lead China in the future by taking into consideration of the current scenario.
 1) Party: Transformation to collective leadership
 Since its inception, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) remained strong as a unit under the aegis of Chairman Mao Tsetung. Mao's single voice ushered a universal and enchanted doctrine, despite the fact that several of his infamous policies were accounted for historical blunders leading to millions of death and loss of property. China overcome Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution, and Mao Tsetung still got the privilege above all other leaders, with his giant portrait hanging in front of the Tiananmen Square. Chairman Mao was credited for his long struggle in creating the Communist Regime and in occupying Tibet, Inner Mongolia and East Turkestan, which the Chinese called as the reunification of the motherland.
 Deng Xiaoping, the second generation leader as earlier labeled as 'the Capitalist Roader' opened China to the outside world in term of trade. This led to the economic liberalization of China, which boomed the Chinese economy to an extraordinary height, leading to a change in China's predominantly socialist nature into a pseudo-capitalist system. This pave a way to a disappearance of socialism from China and the Chinese leaders tactfully excused themselves by coining the term, 'Socialism in their own character'. Comrade Deng put China into the global limelight.
 Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, third and the fourth generation leaders respectively worked in building the institution within China as their role in the party had no resemblance to the authority that Mao and Deng enjoyed. The charisma of the party leaders diminished without much legacies and thus the authorities of the leaders falls apart significantly without much recognition.
 Mao Tsetung was called as Chairman Mao, Deng Xiaoping was known as Comrade Deng, but neither Jiang Zemin nor the incumbent leader Hu Jintao are called as the Chairman or the Comrade, but a president, which is symbolically just an official position. At present, the words of Hu Jintao do not carry much value and importance as compared to the words of Mao Tsetung. He or any other Chinese Communist leaders are simply considered as leaders who work collectively to decide upon the fate of China. Politburo members stand as the apex decision makers of present day China.
 2) Factionalism: Division within
Though PRC claims to have several parties, CCP is the largest and the most prominent party, which governs the People's Republic of China. Despite being a singular party, the division within the Communist party is constantly becoming visible due to the factions. In present China, It is evident enough to understand that all the party members (from top party leaders to newly recruited members) are all associated with some form of factions depending on their affiliations. As of now, CCP is unofficially divided into three factions; i.e: Shanghai Faction led by Jiang Zemin; China Communist Youth League led by Hu Jintao; and Princeling, currently spearheaded by to be China's President Xi Jinping. Even within the three groups, it can again be divided into two blocks, mainly the Princeling and the Technocrats. Shanghai gang and Hu Jintao's Youth League are basically technocrats. The power struggle amongst the factions, especially during the transition of Chinese leadership predominates all the activities of the Chinese Communist Party. Depending on who reign the party, the factions plays the game of survival of the fittest. In Hu Jintao's tenure, many of the Communist Youth league cadres became prominent to hold the position of greater importance. But, since Xi Jinping is taking over the presidentship, he had already played some political chess in putting his men in charge.
 Therefore, with the existence of a factionalism in CCP, it is less likely to have their effort in a singular form, as each members of the factions will tend to perform their duties along the command of their ultimate master, who stays invisible but yet controls the entire periphery of their domain. This creates a tendency in which the president can have no ultimate voice of authority upon the other leaders. 
Roles played by the party elders are also something to be discussed as they unofficially played significant role in many issues, right from the power struggle to the incident based problems like Tiananmen Square Massacre of 1989. Even Bo Xilai's disgraceful exit was substantially influenced by the elders.
 3) Ultra Nationalism:
For centuries, Chinese people remained loyal to their emperors. Due to the Confucius mentality that was passed on to generations, had similarly shown such loyalty to the CCP, ruling China. During the early years of Chinese communism, CCP used to portray many such propaganda films about China that bolstered people's sense of nationalism. Even at the darkest years of cultural revolution, Chinese people had toiled hard to land their support to the CCP with high level of sacrifices. Taking advantage of such untapped nationalism within people, Communist leaders often project modern era as the century of humiliation and yield public support for carrying forward their ambitious projects, which in many instant had failed to sustain. There were many instant where people’s outburst of nationalism both domestically or internationally were instigated and manipulated by the party leaders to distract people's attention. Such instigation helped CCP in a short term but had a huge risk in the long run.
 After more than a six decades, Chinese people had gone through a various phase of political, social and economic challenges that make them matured enough to understand being nationalist. Earlier, Chinese were nationalist because of the wounds injected upon them for being a victim of colonization, in spite of being an inheritance of a great civilization and a middle kingdom. In the recent past, Chinese nationalism has rejuvenated into a new paradigm that show cast a more chauvinistic approach of dictating the world. Such nationalism came after the post Beijing Olympics 2008. However, it is important to note that the Chinese nationalism is not synonymous to the CCP.
 With the integration of global economy, Chinese people tend to understand more about the outside world. Such foreign influence brings much changes within China. Even though the cyber world is partly closed to the Chinese people through great firewall, Chinese are very much longing for justice, freedom and truth. People's trust in the government (CCP) is at low point considering the various socio-economic problems in China. The gap between the people and the party has been widened and in such case, people nationalism will be a curse for the CCP existence.
 4) Diverse Nationalities: Different problems
Present China is not a homogenous society, consisting of 56 nationalities. Han Chinese constitutes 92% of the total population of PRC whereas the representation of 55 national minorities remain negligible and far less visible.
Within the minorities, Tibet and East Turkestan problems remain a constant headache for the Chinese leaders. The level of crackdown in Tibet and East Turkestan are severe and huge, which the Chinese leaders believe that repression will work in latter's favor. China uses both hard and soft powers in dominating its control over Tibet and East Turkestan, but such discriminative policies of China had neither benefitted the minorities nor the CCP.
China relies most of their policies in annihilating the identities of the minorities, whereby aiming to integrate the minorities into the motherland. Unless, China pursue a holistic and rational approach to solve the problems, it will remain a Gordian knot for China.
 5) International and domestic Affairs: Daunting Task ahead
China is no more a sleeping dragon, as she became the world second largest economy next to the United States of America. In the international forum, China used to be a recipient but the economic emergence of China later gave her an entry into giant power house. Hosting of Olympics Game in 2008 has become an honor for China, as the whole world watches her with much surprise. China in the last ten years, had campaigned tirelessly to be in the center stage and it succeeded. Now, China becomes a hub next to the United States. But being a privilege does not mean China can do anything. China need to adjust and be a responsible nation. Being responsible does not mean building a Confucius institutions or opening a Global Times office abroad, instead need to abide by the international law. China, being a world rising power, need to show their strength of justice and truth, rather than challenging the west (America and Europe) on issues related to Sudan, Syria and Iran.
 With the global economic meltdown, China suffers as well with an increasing unemployment and trade deficit problems. The world's manufacturing nation slowly ceased to produce, which cause socio-economic problems in China. With such a problem, China faces severe problems in handling rural-urban migration, social unrest, unemployment and layouts, resulting in chaotic situation. In such a situation, the damage control switch is not in the hands of Chinese leaders as it is a global phenomenon. Therefore, it is a highly daunting job for the CCP leaders to act rationally to safe guard and sustain people's livelihood. If the CCP fails to act upon this, it will lead to a series of problems, that will certainly risk the credibility as well as the existence of CCP.
 In conclusion, CCP emerges because of the support of masses. But, with shift in CCP's attitude towards the common masses, by projecting the need of a small privilege members of corporates and leaders, it distant themselves from the people. Every year, thousands of grievances and petitions were lodged but very few were being entertained by the government. In such case, people are loosing their trust in the government, which is currently dictates by CCP. With the lack of trust and support from the people, no matter how sophisticated China's PLA are, no matter how big Chinese economy is, it will ultimately remain a huge risk for the CCP to rule China. Up till now, Chinese leaders understanding of China as a state has been equally matched with the party. Party is generally considered parallel to the state, which can not work in today's circumstances where CCP faces huge challenges both internally and internationally. 
Many times, Chinese leaders expressed and accept the changes which is undergoing in China and rejects copying the western democracy. With the adoption of capitalism, China put one step forward in changing its system but the political reform remains still rigid. It is with a fear that initiating drastic changes in China has a huge risk factor which can lead to the collapse the CCP, China is carefully walking on the rope ladder. But the question is how long can CCP walk on the rope ladder.

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