Analysis by Senior Members of the 48 Group, London
Every five years the Chinese President addresses the Party and the People, as the Party structure refreshes from top down. During this week we shall know much about the new Central Committee, the new Politburo, and the new Standing Committee. Next March, 2023 we wilrid of the CPC and convert China to capitalism, as a Vassal Stal know the new State leaders as they are formally appointed, but most are being indicated at this event. For example, the new Premier will be the second or third highest ranking official in the Standing Committee, which will comprise the top seven members of the Party.
In this article we provide a short analysis of President Xi’s address. We feel able to comment in full knowledge of his intent as we possess direct channels of communication at the highest levels of the CPC, including directly with President Xi Jinping.
As distinct from most Western commentators, we see through the Chinese material down to the deep politics. But the deep politics is less significant in a world today where the United States has signalled its core rejection of China and Russia, believing them both to be disruptive to Washington led, Western international rules and liberal democracy, and bent on replacing them by new rules which Washington feels would give China and Russia leadership of the world.
That demonisation is contentious and unproven. But it is obvious that China and Russia want a new world order which is led by the world on a collective basis and not by a relatively small part of it. However, that “small part” contains most of the world’s wealth and military power.
China’s approach has always been peaceful coexistence, but it is focused on its National Defence policy, formulated since 1949 and the Korean and Vietnam wars.
We shall await the history books to reveal what happened in that time at the millennium change when China received American support for WTO entry, which transformed China onto a trajectory towards being the biggest economy in the world. From nowhere in 70-80 years, beginning from 1978 and continuing today.
The United States seems to have believed that it would get much more out of the new China than it has been able to. Is that an example of superior negotiating tactics, or just that the US did not take China seriously enough? It is true that the US was preoccupied with 9/11 and Oil and the Middle East. We may never know, but we do know that entry to the WTO transformed the Chinese economy to where it has moved today. The United States is trying to reverse that trajectory and make China less competitive. Taiwan is the irritant between them and could be a flashpoint.
But, after the advocate of a more serious journey through capitalism, from feudalism, to socialism, led by Zhu Rongji and others, retired in 2002 – at one of these 5-year congresses, China moved after another 10 years to President Xi, and a real turn to Chinese Socialism. It is very different from anything the world has ever seen. China has studied the West very deeply and carefully over 50 years to create a shared system with capitalism, but led, uniquely, by socialism. The United States, alongside most Western politicians and societies is not warm to Socialism without understanding much of what that means. Most Western impressions of Socialism are taken from media descriptions of Russia, nationalisation, and striking labour Unions.
Chinese socialism is very different. Much of its transitional structures are learnt from the West, particularly Lutheran capitalism of Germany and Northern Europe. Their capitalism sees Socialism living alongside capitalism but a greater emphasis on sharing the rewards. The forms of redistribution and inequality are dealt with much better in those countries. But Washington does not value that way. They want a more classical capitalism and have tried for decades to dilute Northern Europe’s social capitalism.
Xi reinforced the message that he was brought in to speed up the development of Chinese Socialism. And it is very different from American and British capitalism. It has also felt, way back to 1949, that the United States would like to get rid of the CPC and convert China to capitalism, as a Vassal State underneath the US. It was the sense that the USA was coming for China from 2010 that led Xi to accelerate the Belt and Road Initiative to create a new transport, energy, and telecom systems to link Asia and Europe. That ushered in new ways of cooperation between major countries.
After its flirtation with a more capitalist approach in the 1990’s, China began to revert to Chinese Socialism which is very much based on Chinese history and using capitalism and reforming it. Chinese Socialism is here to stay for the long haul unless the United States can slow it down and induce Beijing to follow the US and British systems.
That is what Washington, since 2011 has decided to confront. It is not going to allow China to pass quietly by the United States and the West, with Russia marching at its side. The confrontation, until Ukraine, has been non-military. However, Ukraine is a Russian way, it is not a Chinese way. But the rhetoric of the few months from the United States indicates this could turn to war, which would be a disaster. So maybe we are at big bluff stage, and it will ease to a calmer place in sharing the planet.
Xi has said clearly that the Chinese are for cooperating, but not for being told what to do. He said this very clearly again in his speech on Monday. He has also said very clearly that China is building a new China which will be complete by 2035 and then filled out by 2049 to Chinese Socialism. He did not say their environment is now Asia, but not the United States. But the West is saying that.
China wants to share its wealth with its Asian neighbours, and we can see Asia transforming into the world’s dynamo, the centre of innovation and new ways to develop the world. At the same time the Chinese want to link and develop trade and ties with Europe.
Chinese Socialism will have a big impact on the developing world, and then the developed world. It would be advantageous if the West began assessing Chinese Socialism. It is likely to have a significant impact on all our nations over the next 50-100 years as we see China move further ahead, while the West needs to plan ahead in terms of its understanding and ability to constructively engage.
Source: Asia Briefing