Finding yourself in a new era | Latest news The Moscow Post
04 December 2022

Finding yourself in a "new era"

The next congress of the Chinese Communist Party was held, questions remained.

The first plenum of the CPC Central Committee of the 20th convocation, held on Sunday, re-elected Xi Jinping, the current general secretary of the party and chairman of the Military Council of the CPC Central Committee for a third term. Speaking at the end of the plenum, Xi Jinping called modernization a great and difficult thing for the entire Chinese people. Economics and technology are the "main priorities" of the PRC along with security, the correspondent of The Moscow Post reports.

The results of the last ten years of China's development speak for themselves, the party's new goals are large-scale. Valentina Matvienko, Chairman of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation, said this in an interview with CGTN, according to the information service of the Russia-China: The Main Thing mobile application. Valentina Matvienko stressed that modern China has the most powerful scientific, technical, production, defense potential, confidently follows the path of economic, social and cultural progress. In Russia, sincerely rejoice at the impressive achievements of the Chinese people.

The central task of the CCP in a new campaign in a new era is consonant with the challenges that Russia faces today. This is a comprehensive advancement of the cause of the great rebirth of the nation through modernization. The congress included this provision in the Party Charter. The congress approved the introduction of such additions to the Charter as ensuring the universal prosperity of the people, promoting high-quality development, the development of a broader, fuller and more perfect people's democracy.

Comrade Xi, Mao and Dan

The significance of the congress and plenum is hard to overstate. In 2018, the constitution of the PRC was amended, which, among other things, mention "Xi Jinping's thoughts on socialism with Chinese specifics in a new era." Thus, Xi Jinping became the third leader of the PRC, whose name is included in the constitution, along with the names of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. The Central Committee of the Communist Party also approved the new composition of the Standing Committee of the Politburo, it included seven people, four of whom are new members.

The final communiqué of the plenum emphasizes the need to "properly respond to the risks and challenges" posed by the Ukrainian crisis for China. Is this due to the development of the situation around Taiwan, which Beijing considers its territory? The United States intends to turn Taiwan into a fortress and tighten the hypothetical conflict between Beijing and Taipei as much as possible. The U.S. has prompted Taiwan to restrict shipments of chips and other high-tech products to China. Beijing expects the United States to continue its escalation, building an alliance around the PRC in the Asia-Pacific region, possibly with the participation of NATO countries.

"In the new campaign, we will adhere to a common system of value for all mankind. In the face of challenges, we urge that all issues should be resolved jointly, and we are ready with all countries to move together, develop and create our bright future, "Xi Jinping said. Together, "move, develop and create our bright future" are real hopes or the diplomatic shell of real politics in the American direction? For the CCP leadership, relations with the United States have been at the center of reflection on how to ensure national security.

There is no hierarchy in Russian-Chinese relations - such interaction allows Moscow and Beijing to move forward and implement ambitious projects. Genuine sovereignty is the values ​ ​ basic for both states, said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

The re-election of CPC Chairman Xi Jinping characterizes China as an "island of stability" during the turbulent period of world history, Sergei Sanakoev, deputy chairman of the Russian-Chinese Friendship Society, told RIA Novosti. As for Russian-Chinese relations, the expert noted that relations between the two countries are an example of a new type of relationship for all states that "demonstrate a positive agenda and friendship, and cooperation of a comprehensive nature entering a new era."

It shouldn't have happened

The results of the congress are beneficial for Russia and bad for the United States and Europe. This conclusion was made by political scientist Sergei Markov. "This should not have happened," The Washington Post said in an editorial published Oct. 15. Because "the rise of China is incompatible with the strategic interests of the United States and even less compatible with the rules-based world order," RIA Novosti noted in the article.

The 48-page text of the US National Security Strategy mentions China and the CCP 50 times in the context of a "threat." The text says: "Even after Russia's" invasion "of Ukraine, China poses the most serious challenge to the world order, and the US must win an economic competition with it to maintain its influence in the world."

The new US strategy can be called illogical and controversial, said the publication "Guancha." Although the Strategy demonstrates the reluctance of the second Cold War, it advances the idea of ​ ​ American hegemony. The document emphasizes that "Beijing's ambitions are to expand its sphere of influence in the Indo-Pacific region and become a leading world power." It is noted that "China is the only competitor with the intention to change the international order and has more and more economic, diplomatic, military and technological power to achieve this goal."

Taiwan syndrome of American politicians

To develop the common values of humanity - peace, development, equality, justice, democracy and freedom - all of this is also included in the Party Charter. Several times in Xi Jinping's speech there were words about national security. Delegates approved the introduction of a provision to the party's charter to oppose Taiwan's independence.

The reaction followed immediately. The US should be prepared to respond to a potential Chinese army invasion of Taiwan as early as this year, US Navy Commander-in-Chief Admiral Michael Gilday told the Financial Times. The invasion "could happen in 2022 or theoretically in 2023," he said. He argued his assumptions that "Beijing is fulfilling its every promise." The current situation is dangerous because China may try to solve the problem of Taiwan within the next five years, some American diplomats believe, based on the latest report on the US Military Power Index.

Delegates to the congress approved the introduction into the party's charter of the task of transforming the People's Liberation Army of China into "world-class military forces." The introduction of these provisions into the party's charter is important for military modernization, as a priority of state policy. The current CPC Charter was adopted in 1982. The last time amendments to the text of the document were made at the XIX Congress of the CPC in 2017.

Parity changes towards Chinese specificity

These "amendments" were ideas of the President of the PRC, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Xi Jinping about socialism with Chinese specifics in a new era. The Chinese leader announced a "new era of socialism with Chinese specifics" in 2017 at the XIX Congress of the CPC. This implied that the initial tasks of state construction were mainly fulfilled, productive forces were developed, the material base was formed. According to the plan, the first phase of the "new era" will take place from 2020 to 2035, when it is planned to accelerate socialist modernization. The second phase will take 15 years.

The "Chinese feature" (specificity) is believed that in the PRC at the "primary stage of socialism," capitalist methods of production and trade with the countries of the capitalist world were adopted. As a result, the country's productive forces were increased many times. But socialism with Chinese specificity is not capitalism with Chinese specificity.

The policy of "reform and openness," led by Deng Xiaoping since the 80s of the last century, led to the creation of a mixed economy called "socialism with Chinese characteristics." Deng Xiaoping vy­dvinul the idea of ​ ​ "going your own way and building socialism with Chinese specifics" at the XII Congress of the CPC.

Then, in 1982, the country's GDP, which amounted to $286.7 billion, grew by 1991 to $361 billion, and 30 years later, exceeded $17.7 trillion. By comparison, US GDP has grown 3.5 times over three decades - from $5.96 trillion to $22.99 trillion.

In the ten years during which Xi Jinping led the country, China's economy has strengthened qualitatively. China surpassed the United States back in 2014, if we summarize all GDP indicators by purchasing power parity (PPP), which is used in the calculations of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In 2021, China's PPP GDP was about $3 trillion higher than the US one. In the early 2020s, GDP per capita exceeded $10,000. The target rate of economic growth of the PRC for the current year is "about 5.5%." The IMF lowered this forecast value to 3.2% amid restrictive measures related to COVID-19. According to other forecasts, in 2030 the PRC will overtake the United States in terms of nominal GDP.

Conflict or episode?

The anniversary congress of the CCP will also be remembered for the fact that on October 22 at the closing ceremony, the "generation change" in the highest party leadership was held literally in front of the whole world. The media published a video and photo of the minute when Xi's predecessor, former Chinese President Hu Jintao, left the meeting room. From the Great National Assembly, the 79-year-old elder was taken out by the hands. It seems that along the way he said something to President Xi Jinping, patted on the shoulder of already former Premier Li Keqiang, his protégé from the Communist Youth League.

A Nikkei Asia correspondent observed that "while the sudden departure may be related to Hu Jintao's health, it may also reflect that the former leader may have been unhappy that his closest protégés have been removed from the leadership." Russian experts express the opinion that Xi went to the "defeat of the Komsomol group."

Reuters reported that Hu also looked slightly uncertain at the opening ceremony of the convention when he was helped to the same stage. According to Nikkei Asia, the former chairman of the PRC insisted on attending the final meeting, "despite the fact that recently he needed time to regain strength."

State news agency Xinhua reported on the matter that Hu "became ill" and that "his staff, taking care of his health, escorted him to a rest room near the venue." Xinhua correspondent Liu Jiawen learned that Hu Jintao insisted on participating in the closing ceremony of the 20th Congress of the CCP, despite his well-being. When he felt bad during the meeting, the assistants escorted him to the nearby rest room, "it was reported.

This information was confirmed by the incident by the Chinese state media. It was published only on Twitter by Xinhua in English. Access to this resource in the PRC is blocked. This message could not be found on the Xinhua information feed and its website in Chinese, TASS reported.

Hu Jintao, according to the Japanese agency, advocated good relations with the United States, was an opponent of a military solution to the Taiwan issue. It is possible that he was a representative of those in the Chinese elite who retained hopes of "reconciliation" with America. Hopes may not have faded in America, if only for reasons of preserving the structure of the interdependent relations of the two main economies of the world.

In particular, the increase in the CCP hierarchy of Foreign Minister Wang Yi, as well as Chinese Ambassador to the United States Qin Gang, may indicate Beijing's interest in developing relations with Washington and reducing the level of competition in these relations. This opinion was expressed by CNBC columnist Evelyn Chen. Indeed, a serious aggravation of the situation around Taiwan could mean the scrapping of economic ties in the US-China-EuroNATO-Union triangle. Only trade and investment under this construct is measured by volume in trillions of dollars. And the introduction of the topic of Taiwan into the Charter of the CCP can be considered an ultimatum of Beijing to the whole West.

In the world of big politics, anything is possible, even if it happens at a "level" where accidents are rare. Involuntarily, I recall the speech of the Secretary of the Moscow City Committee of the CPSU Boris Yeltsin on October 21, 1987 at the Plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU. A speech that changed the course of history, and made its author a fighter against party nomenclature, its "privileges" and the slow pace of transformation. The plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU met on the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the October Revolution and was already nearing completion when the first secretary of the CPSU MGK raised his hand. "Comrade Yeltsin has some kind of statement," Mikhail Gorbachev said.

With the light hand of Mikhail Poltoranin, the fake version of the text "demarche" of the future leader of Russia received widespread circulation in samizdat. When the transcript of the meeting was published, almost no one noticed the substitution (Izvestia of the Central Committee of the CPSU, No. 2, 239-241), although the texts were very different. Since the day of Boris Yeltsin's speech, 35 years and three days have passed. It was then that the first step was taken towards the collapse of the CPSU and the destruction of the USSR.

Photo: Thomas Peter/Reuters

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