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China: A paper tiger? [Guest Post]

China has recently heightened its rhetoric against Taiwan and has moved against Hong Kong’s autonomy, while initiating a standoff against India. What explains these moves? Is China and the Chinese President Xi Jinping as strong as they appear? Rohit writes.

Written by Rohit79564935

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Xi Jinping recently asked the Chinese Army to be ready for worst-case scenario. 


China has an old habit of trying to rake up foreign affairs, national security and create war like hysteria to distract internal issues. There are five problems that Xi has been literally surrounded with, that has caused much public beating of his image within the party, and several factions are starting to murmur about it.

1. Rebound of COVID-19 shows that it was never really controlled. On top of that 6.5 million people were tested in Wuhan in one go. That in itself tells you that the problem, despite their attempts to hide it, have not disappeared at all. On top of that, doctors disappearing – good indicator of a shoddy cover up. Harbin has become a disaster worse than Wuhan on top of it.

2. Taiwan & Hong Kong  – the policy of infiltration in the two countries has fallen flat. Xi’s clumsy efforts to buy media in the two regions has backfired. Tsai Ing-wen t(he incumbent Taiwanese President) still won in Taiwan, leading to much embarrassment for Xi.[1]

Protests are getting bigger by the day in Hong Kong a military crackdown will make the world actually intervene with a major blockade. Taiwan is also pushing back by supporting HK’s right to remain democratic. Hence the South China Sea assertion is being tried, but the US has already sent its ships there.

3. There is a massive public wave of anger in China. Problem as I see it is that there is no one to lead it for a coup or a ‘democratic revolution’. The party’s hold has certainly slipped at all levels, and large number of its citizens will not buy even one word of what it says. If the West identifies someone now, it may just happen. They fear Hong Kong and Taiwan for this very reason.

4. The Two Sessions are going on in the midst of all this. Xi could have stopped it if he wanted to; but the fact is that there is clearly a sentiment so strong against him that he fears displeasing factions to the point of uniting them against him now. Moreover, criticisms from within keep ‘leaking out’ of China. This is not possible without complicity of the Chinese factions rallying to fight it. Purges are clearly proving to be ineffective in silencing internal party dissent.

5. The Belt and Road Initiative is starting to fall apart. Australia has consciously decided to move out of the influence zone, despite the economic damage it is suffering; this will cause a raw material, especially coal shortage China cannot afford for its steel industry. Add to that a flailing economy – this year there was no GDP prediction by Li Keqiang (the Chinese Premier). Most ports have seen no movement for months – clearly no demand in the world is causing massive economic pain in China. Adding to all this, there is rampant army corruption in the PRC.

Things are not rosy in China.

[1] XI Jinping attempted to influence elections in Taiwan,  which were held earlier this year. Tsai’s opponent, Han Kuo-yu who has preferred stronger relations with PRC. China attempted to interfere in elections in his favour. For a good overall Brief on the issue, click here.

Note:The author can be contacted on Twitter @Rohit79564935 

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