Home News Small cracks in the omnipotence of Xi Jinping – Pierre Haski

Small cracks in the omnipotence of Xi Jinping – Pierre Haski

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Small cracks in the omnipotence of Xi Jinping – Pierre Haski

October 14, 2022 9:54 am

First of all, let’s discard the idea of ​​any suspense about the holding of the twentieth congress of the Chinese Communist Party, which will open on October 16. In fact, since the date was announced, everything has already been decided.

There is no doubt that Xi Jinping, Chinese number one for ten years, will get a third five-year term, an unprecedented fact in the 46 years since Mao Zedong’s death. Xi eliminated the two-term rule imposed by Deng Xiaoping, the great leader of the post-Mao era who had wanted to prevent the return of the men of providence, often capable of causing enormous disasters. As a result, Xi will be able to stay in power for as long as he wants.

The congress will be an opportunity to make known to the Chinese and to the world the orientations of the party and the changes at the top, while observers will be able to evaluate the minimum ideological inflections and the possible struggles between clans, as happened in the days of Soviet Kremlinology.

A paradox
There will be no surprises that one would expect from a classic political congress, but Xi’s intervention will still be gutted, especially considering the delicate global moment.

Xi represents a paradox. On the one hand, he concentrates all powers on himself, to the point of being the most authoritative leader after Mao and even more than Deng, a crucial figure of the Chinese twentieth century, as the Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd pointed out on October 13 in Paris. connoisseur of China.

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For the first time in more than thirty years, Chinese growth will be below the Asian average

On the other hand, however, Xi has to face complex challenges that weaken him and of which he is often one of the causes. The first is represented by his political commitment alongside Vladimir Putin in the catastrophic war in Ukraine. Two weeks before the invasion, Putin and Xi signed an “unlimited” declaration of friendship in Beijing, but today Putin’s Russia has become a source of embarrassment and disruption by hindering Beijing’s programs.

The second challenge concerns the economy: China will record just 2.8 percent growth this year, half of the target set by the government and above all below the Asian average for the first time in more than thirty ‘years. Among the reasons for this slowdown are the “zero covid” policy, the consequences of the Ukrainian war on the world economy but also the ideological choices of Beijing in favor of the state sector and at the expense of the private sector, both nationally and abroad. Everyone is waiting to see which direction Xi will take on October 16.


The third challenge is given by the growing rivalry with the United States, with a technological war that does not stop and a cold war that involves Asia and the whole world. In this case too, Xi bears the responsibility of him: some at home reproach him for having ignored Deng’s modesty advice, a ubiquitous figure in the Chinese debate.

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Today the risk is limited for the man who calls himself “the navigator”, with a reference to the “great helmsman” Mao. The totalitarian system of Xi, in fact, continues to control the country. But the leader who will be crowned at the twentieth congress is much less serene than the red wave of the next few days might suggest.

(Translation by Andrea Sparacino)

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