Washington, DC: Following the 20th party congress of the Chinese Communist Party, Chinese dictator Xi Jinping consolidated his position as the core leader or the paramount leader for life of the Chinese Communist Party. In a highly scripted, staged and choreographed act, he humiliated publicly his predecessor Hu Jintao. By doing so, Xi achieved his twin objectives of silencing domestic critics and signalling the international community that he is in absolute and total control. Xi Jinping fancies himself as the modern-day divine emperor of China, the real son of heaven or Devaraja.
However, Xi’s megalomania does not end here. His China dream enunciated in 2013 envisages the Middle Kingdom repossessing its ancient glory, with all other states as vassal states or supplicants. Xi Jinping views himself as the core leader of the entire world or the supreme emperor of the world. In his megalomania, Xi believes that is he is on a divine mission to rule not only China but the entire world.
Questions are being asked if Xi Jinping will invade Taiwan soon. Xi is very astute and is learning all the right lessons from Putin’s mistakes. Traditionally, CCP has learnt from mistakes of the Soviet Communist Party. Gorbachev introduced both Glasnost and Perestroika at the same time, resulting in dissolution of the Soviet empire. CCP mandarins learnt from that mistake and adopted Perestroika without adopting Glasnost and fended of the people’s revolution in Tiananmen square and in later years. Xi will definitely act and invade Taiwan but at the time of his choosing when other nations are preoccupied with serious international crisis. Meanwhile psychological warfare and intimidation of Taiwan will continue while China builds up its lethal arsenal.
As usual, Xi Jinping will not stop playing the “salami slicing” games on the LAC with democratic India and then ask for a “mutual compromise”. There will not be any change in Chinese behaviour till India improves her comprehensive national strength at par with China. There is no other way of engaging China. All the Indian Prime Ministers since 1947 have been naïve enough to believe in rationality of the CCP leadership willing to accommodate a democratic India. India is the last bulwark against an authoritarian China that prevents it from achieving total hegemony in Asia. It is well-known that Chinese spies masquerade as journalists and Buddhist monks in India. China has infiltrated a large section of civil society and Indian polity. Chinese secret societies and international networks are well-known historically. Multiple acts of industrial sabotage have been done in India to safeguard Chinese business interests. There have been cyberattacks on Mumbai electric grid and AIIMS electronic medical records. A strike by Communist Party-supported employees’ union in a Taiwan-owned Foxconn chip factory in Bengaluru was orchestrated to prevent India from emerging as a major chip manufacturer. During the second wave of the Wuhan Virus epidemic, there was an unexplained fire in the Pune plant of the privately owned Serum Institute of India so as to halt the production of Covishield vaccine.
Communist parties and cultural outfits in India have traditionally been the mouthpieces of the CCP. India faces a situation that a prominent Indian political party still has not made open the contents of a secret memorandum of understanding signed with the CCP in 2008. Analogous to bribing all the third world leaders through BRI projects, CCP gave the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation political donations to do research to promote India-China trade. During the Doklam crisis, the scion of a political family-owned firm was secretly dining with the Chinese ambassador in the Chinese embassy in New Delhi. The same worthy had unauthorized meetings with the CCP leadership during an ostensibly staged “pilgrimage” to Mount Kailash. Fifth generation descendants of the Nehru-Gandhi family are now openly acting as Chinese agents. Xi Jinping will continue to exploit Indian political faultlines to his advantage interfering in the future elections just like they do in Nepal. Despite the loss of Nepalese Communist parties in recent elections, Prachanda becomes Nepal’s Prime Minster due to Chinese influence. China treats Nepal as a vassal state. Chinese nationals masquerading as tourists have been arrested from Nepal for trafficking young Nepali girls in Laos and other Southeast Asian countries for prostitution.
The US has been acting as the world policeman since the end of World War II. Xi’s dream essentially involves replacing the US hegemony with Chinese hegemony. That has implications for the entire world. Essentially, the US despite its faults, is a democracy and has fostered a “liberal world order”. Replacing the current democratic and liberal world order with an autocratic and authoritarian order under a totalitarian Communist China with Xi Jinping as the divine emperor of the world is fraught with serious problems.
Xi’s dream involves building a transcontinental Chinese empire by hook or by crook. China will continue to use three warfares to unsettle the current liberal and rule-based global system. China is past master of utilizing so-called ancient and medieval maps to make maximalist claims on other countries and territories. Already having gobbled up Tibet, Outer Mongolia, Manchuria and East Turkistan on the periphery, China wants to expand further southwards into Indian territories. Xi Jinping is using the so-called “nine dash line” to justify conversion of the entire South China Sea into a domestic Chinese lake. On the other hand, China’s mouthpiece, the Global Times keeps questioning India’s locus standi in the Indian Ocean by stating that Indian Ocean is not India’s Ocean. China’s recent Indian Ocean summit without India is a pointer in these directions. Maritime domination in the Indo-Pacific is the Chinese goal. Under CPEC, Pakistan has already been converted into a Chinese colony. BRI and debt trap have helped China to convert several African and East European countries into Chinese colonies. For the last decade or so, under Xi Jinping’s leadership China has proclaimed itself into a “Near Arctic State”—whatever that means.
China wants to have its finger in every territory on land, sea, ocean, air or space. China is the first nation to establish a post office in space on a Chinese space station named “heavenly place” in Mandarin. The Chinese lust for empire building might metamorphose from transcontinental empire to trans planetary empire if Xi’s dreams have to be fulfilled.
A genuine alliance of democracies using all the available international cooperation mechanisms including UN, WTO, APEC, G-7, G-20 must put a stop on Xi Jinping’s wet dreams. Unfortunately, the current hegemon, US, still under cold-war hangover does not see the Xi Jinping’s game and is bent upon further NATO enlargement, thereby transforming Russia into China’s junior partner. Only by isolating Communist China the world can be saved from a looming disaster, especially at a time when US economy is faltering, and it continues to be in a state of terminal decline. Fostering democracies worldwide should be the agenda for the next G-20 summit.
Dr A. Adityanjee is President, Council for Strategic Affairs.