Back to the Future: Chinese President Xi Jinping Invokes the Mao Ethos in Order to Control China and Fight Corruption in the Military/Industrial Complex!
For some time now, my readers in Asia have been asking me to write something about the present changes in China. A few days ago, a low level military officer made an official statement that “the former vice chairman of the central military commission was responsible for the sins of the father.” [Stratfor, March 10, 2015.] On the surface this seems to be somewhat of an innocuous statement. Who really cares what a Chinese soldier might have said about the past corruption in the military? Unfortunately, for those who had worked for the previous two presidents of China—Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin—this soldier’s disingenuous statement widely publicized all over the Chinese media was a clear warning shot from current President Xi.
In order for Xi to maintain a steady net growth of about 7% per year, he must get rid of hundreds of thousands of military officers who had placed their rice bowls into the private sector which replenished them very well. Xi is using an old technique mastered by Mao who would allow a poem or an esoteric reference in some daily newspaper to hint at the massive changes he was about to make. President Xi has been forced to utilized the questionable legacy of Mao in order to maintain his Communist Party control over a very rapacious capitalist system replete with political cronyism and financial corruption.
I am in no position to decide the merits of what Xi is doing. I am not a China scholar yet I consider myself a disciple of such illustrious China scholars as Dr. Richard Solomon [MIT, Kissinger Staff] and Prof. Lucian Pye [MIT]. Learning from them, I believe I possess some sensibilities regarding the fluctuating nature of the Chinese society.
After reviewing Dr Richard Solomon’s brilliant study of Chinese behavior during and after the Chinese Cultural Revolution [“Mao and The Cultural Revolution”], one point comes back repeatedly. That is the Chinese ambivalence toward a Confucius society based on moral principles of behavior toward one another which is in complete contrast toward Mao’s constant need for revolutionary change.
This crisis of ambivalence is being played out today as Xi uses the Maoist slogans and methods in an attempt to reform a society of 1.3 billion people. There is no question in my mind that Xi will purge the remnants of Hu’s $1.7B unsightly personal fortune [Forbes Magazine]. At the same time, I have this compelling feeling that Hu, his family and members of his extended family will have to go through the Kabuki [sorry for the mixed metaphor] of a corruption trial. In addition, I believe Jiang who was president before Hu will also try to retain his nefarious power base while Xi attacks him and his coterie of political sycophants [Chinese and Foreigners].
Through this past year of political purges, Xi has declared that he is like Mao in the process initiating another cultural revolution. This time, however, he will make certain that student cannibalism and chaos will not result from these national and local political purges. The number of effected people ranges in the hundreds of thousands. In my humble estimate, I think that Xi’s purges will probably number in the millions by the time he decides the anti-corruption campaign is over.
So what does this mean for Hong Kong and America?
I think Xi will continue to ignore the precepts of democracy as the youth of Hong Kong understand it. Xi will use Hong Kong as a laboratory for showing the world what he intends to do with the semblance of a democratic society that impinges on the Maoist ethos of centralized control. There will be more student protests and more confrontations, until Xi eventually exhausts the students of their elan vital.
America is not a clear and present danger for Xi right now. However, that caveat only applies as long as we as a nation state do not interfere with the internal dynamics of his Maoist Revolution. If he suspects that we are in any way creating dissension and taking advantage of his extension of power, he will reactivate the Spratly Island crises with a bravado that we have not yet seen [ read my vintage Pax Pacifica novel].
His present foreign policy concern should be the rise of Japanese Nationalism with its concomitant rise in military power in the China Sea. One must remember that in a blog I wrote about one year ago, I mentioned that Japan has the second largest navy in the world. That military fact could disturb Xi’s strategic expansions into the China Sea and Indian Ocean.
Xi is one busy leader engaged in garnering both his internal and external control of the increasing larger Chinese Military and its ancillary divisions of corruption and political cronyism. At the end of his purges, I estimate that Xi will be in complete charge of his country; as well as, his Communist Party. No one would dare mimic Mao, unless he was about to understand that he would become a target of derision and hate. Xi is neither afraid nor concerned about his personal safety. A man not afraid to die is one very dangerous man.
Only one man ever defied Mao twice. He was able to come back and rule China effectively. That man’s name was Deng Xiao Ping! However, there is no new Deng! It will take a long time for someone like him to arise. We will have to go back to the future!
One might even say in Chinese:
President Xi is in a position of tu quiong bi xian
President Xi is in a position of tu quiong bi xian
[pronounced too chyoong bee hsien]:
Meaning--- He has nowhere to hide!
The dagger is exposed!