July 23 will mark the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Communist Party of China. Today, we will take a look at this "monster" and attempt to understand why this political "power" is slowly destroying China and its relations with the rest of the world.
The Communist Party of China (CPC) is the People's Republic of China's ruling party, i.e. the only party that makes the rules. The current leader of the party is none other than Winnie the Pooh, excuse me, Xi Jinping (pictured) who has been the General Secretary of the party's Central Committee since 2012. The "unity" of the CPC is so strong that in 2013, when China and its only party had to elect a president, Xi Jinping received 2952 votes FOR and a single vote AGAINST.
Eight years have passed since Xi Jinping's election, and his tenure is characterized by an unprecedented level of political restrictions not seen since the 4 June repressions 30 years ago. From mass arrests and surveillance systems to the eradication of the apolitical intelligentsia - Xi and his allies have been doing everything in their power to tighten the CPC's grip over all economic, political and social aspects of China.
"Totalitarian regime" is not yet the motto of the CPC, but Xi is certainly heading in this direction. Today, the CPC controls everything that a political party can control, leaving non-political organizations and those not members of the party with little to no chance of participating in China's "success" story.
We will now look at several signs that point to increasing political control and a fundamental shift in processes that could potentially bring about political reforms and economic liberalization.
Sheer terror and fear
For several years now, it is rumored that President Xi Jinping is facing growing internal political disagreements that threaten his chances of remaining in power. None of these threats has yet come to pass, but the president feels that he is walking on relatively thin ice. This is backed by the fact that he has spent most of his tenure attempting to safeguard himself and his party against a coup.
You don't have to be an expert to understand that the Chinese people are getting tired of being ruled by a dictator. Just open any credible media outlet and you will see - from protests in Hong Kong to the Uyghur genocide.
Even if Xi can feel somewhat safe with security services and the People's Liberation Army behind him, the only way of guaranteeing his political survival is to constantly prevent organized protests, strikes, etc.
Ironically, but Xi Jinping is not as safe within the CPC, as it has 91 million members across China. Mathematically speaking, such a huge number of members is dangerous to the leader, since there is no way for him to determine who is truly loyal and who will change sides when the people begin pressing the president and the CPC even more.
Such internal political drama can cause growing paranoia. Just like Joseph Stalin began his mass terror to fight this paranoia, so can Xi feel forced to cleanse the party from his political rivals - both real and imaginary. His main adversaries from the party's highest ranks, for example, Bo Xilai and Sun Zhengcai, have already been imprisoned, but a new purge could turn out to be much more extensive and potentially even more deadly.
Forced cult of the leader
Every Chinese leader has been praised, but in the case of Xi the flattery has already far exceeded that of his predecessors. Signs of systematic "kissing of the behind" are already present in modern China with such labels as "leader of the people" and even mobile applications that introduce new members of the CPC with Xi - which is, of course, mandatory.
For years now, any negative online information about the president is being censored. From simple entries in forums to videos and edited photographs that, for instance, compare Xi Jinping to Winnie the Pooh. If this article would reach the Chinese internet, it would be removed instantly, and I would be kidnapped or imprisoned for defaming the "leader". It comes as no surprise that the freedom of speech in China is severely restricted.
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