As the ruling Communist Party prepares to hold a major national congress later this year that will decide a new leadership lineup, President Xi Jinping and his allies continue to tighten their grip over the world’s most populous nation with a notorious Fire Wall.
The newly-mentioned “Xi Jinping Thought” prioritizes “five in one” construction, or integrated economic, political, cultural, social and ecological development. The policies to advance this goal are summed up by the “Four Comprehensives” — building a moderately prosperous society, deepening reform, advancing the rule of law and strictly governing the party.
But the ruling party has been so corrupt that the government has punished more than one million officials for corruption over the past three years, according to CCDI report.
Xi’s anti-graft crusade with Wang Qishan, head of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, seems to add some legitimacy to its rule but the majority of its people denies it. Xi’s Four Comprehensives include “comprehensively strictly governing the Communist Party” — that is to say, stamping out corruption. Adding this to the constitution would imply that the campaign, which has helped Xi consolidate power, will continue even after the leadership reshuffle at the 19th party congress.
In a piece carried by the official People’s Daily, Wang boasted that more than 60% of corruption cases were initially sniffed out by a special inspection team led by himself. The piece stressed that the team has the blessing of Xi, who told it to serve as the party’s eyes and ears. The watchdog will keep serving as the party’s “sword” after this fall’s congress, Wang said.
But Wang remains in the doubts whether he will succeed to the next Politburo when the fugitive businessman Guo Wengui repeatedly accused him of sex scandals and corruption in his whistle blows.
Last month, it has been widely reported in the free world that Liu Xiaobo, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, recently died in Chinese custody — denied access to his wife, who is under house arrest. But Chinese officials who control the media have been on social sites busily blocking news of Xiaobo’s death and monitoring “private” conversations.
Xiaobo was in state custody because he had been sentenced to 11 years in prison for writing about and advocating “universal values shared by all humankind,” including human rights, equality, freedom, democracy and the rule of law.
In spite of restrictions on freedom of association and of speech, a wide variety of protests and dissident movements have proliferated in China in the past two decades. After one political movement after another, the people have seen more clearer that their government has “never been a people’s government”.
During a preparation session of the 19th CPC National Congress held late last month in Beijing, President Xi Jinping said, “The CPC clearly understands that the people’s desire for a happier life is stronger than ever. They want better education, higher incomes, stable jobs, reliable social insurance, higher quality medical services, more comfortable living conditions, a more beautiful environment and a richer cultural life.”
“We will forever be on the path of comprehensive, strict governance of the party. One political party, one political authority, it’s prospects and fate rest on the support of the people,” Xi added.
But Xi faces more and more challenges both at home and abroad. For over three years, he has advocated his Belt and Road Initiative by all efforts to the world, and pledged an idea of openness of its government.
On July 25 when meeting the press with Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano of the Philippines in Manila, Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed that the “Belt and Road” is a cooperation platform featuring openness, inclusiveness, mutual benefit and win-win results. But less and less countries in the world would believe in what Mr. Wang claimed.
In an editorial by George Friedma with Business Insider, “Here’s why China’s One Belt, One Road is doomed to fail”, the author says that “The comparatively low level of investments and ownership interests raises the question of what China wants in OBOR countries.”
“So far, One Road has been a mixed bag for China. It has secured contracts to build ports in Myanmar and Sri Lanka, but a deal with Bangladesh fell through in 2016 when Dhaka opted for an offer from Japan instead.”
“From a US perspective, China’s projects along the Maritime Silk Road are overblown. Constructing ports will not provide China with permanent bases for Chinese destroyers or armies—the countries in question have yet to agree to host them.”
“More important, the Chinese navy is still not capable of extended, long-term deployments in countries far from the mainland. In short, OBOR matters relatively little.”
China is bordered with 14 nations and it seldom has the ability to maintain friendly relations with these neighbors. The recent standoff with India, its powerlessness in North Korea , harassment by Vietnam, Philippines, and Indonesia in the South China Sea…. Many events show that China is just a “paper tiger”.
CPC knows deeply that its enemies are not foreign nations, but its own people, whom the top Party officials are most afraid of.
At the massive military parade held just two days ago, Mr Xi said China’s army had the capability to “defeat all invading enemies”, and safeguard national sovereignty, security and “development interests”.
The world knows too well that China has been building walls against its people.
“The Great Firewall of China has always been porous, allowing an easy flow of information from the outside world and into the hands of those who possessed the simple technological tools to digitally tunnel through it. ”According to a report in the Globe and Mail just published last week.
“Now Beijing is preparing to create a much harder barrier against unapproved information, calling on state-owned telecommunications providers to stamp out the virtual private networks, or VPNs, that everyone from scientists to dissidents and amateur musicians use to access foreign content. It’s a move that would give China’s Communist Party leadership an even greater chokehold on information.”
“If the authorities really move to neuter all VPNs, it will also mean that they have to cut off China from the global Internet,” said Charlie Smith, the pseudonym used by the co-founder of GreatFire.org, which monitors and works to defeat Chinese Internet censorship. “The long-term effects will be devastating,” he added.
When we look at the case of Nie Shubin, the case of Leiyang, the case of 709 lawyers and many others, we can see no rule of law or rule by law ever exist in the “great country” of China. If there is, it is actually the rule of “bad law” or rule by “evil law”.
In the country of red, there is no judicial independence, no media watch, no public votes – how can the regime represent the interest of its people. As the country’s most wanted exiled tycoon Guo Wengui put it, “China’s rule of law is nothing but a joke.”
By Cloudy Seagail