Foreign Policy

Next in a Long Line of Chinese Dictators

Xi Jingping is seeking to make himself president for life, and the implications are huge.

Political Editors · Feb. 27, 2018

Chinese President Xi Jingping recently announced that he will seek a third term in office, which required amending China’s constitution because it allowed for only two terms. The political implications are huge — Xi will become the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong. Xi’s move puts the world’s largest communist nation on an obvious path to one-man rule. As with Vladimir Putin in Russia, Xi has engaged in a similar power grab for control of China, and the potential negative implications for the U.S. and its allies across the globe are significant. Is this 1934 revisited?

The Wall Street Journal writes:

After taking power in 2012, Mr. Xi used an anticorruption campaign to purge rivals and concentrate power in his hands, breaking the post-Mao convention that power should be shared among a group of leaders loyal to different factions. China’s elite politics has since reverted to a winner-takes-all contest. … Mr. Xi has created a Mao-style cult of personality, most recently granting himself the title of lingxiu, a term for a supreme leader not used in four decades.

Under Xi’s leadership, China has aggressively strengthened its military and expanded its role in regional economics. Many Asian nations are finding themselves increasingly caught in an economic orbit that is dominated and largely governed by Chinese policy rather than the U.S.-led international policy, which Xi is aiming to replace. Physical evidence of Xi’s policy is China’s continued defiance of international law with its ongoing construction of man-made islands designed to house military installations that artificially expand its maritime boundaries, essentially giving China greater control over international shipping routes. That’s not to mention China’s manipulation of its nuclear puppet regime in North Korea.

The Journal concludes, “By making himself essentially President for Life, Mr. Xi has made Chinese politics more volatile and unpredictable.” And it’s also fair to speculate that Xi’s lust for power will only grow, as history has repeatedly demonstrated often with disastrous results.

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