China Is Hardening Its Citizens
Beijing enacts a “common prosperity” campaign as authorities crack down on individual expression.
Chinese citizens have recently experienced a sudden crackdown on their already severely limited freedoms of expression, with several popular actors and social media influencers having disappeared from the Internet. What happened? Communist strongman Xi Jinping has aggressively implemented his “common prosperity” campaign.
“You get the sense that what Xi is saying is, ‘No, we don’t want a society that’s individualistic. Your job as a Chinese citizen is to support and follow the state,’” observes economist Robert Atkinson. “The goal of Chinese society is not to make people happy, it’s to make the state powerful.” And Beijing is “sending a message that says to the capitalist class that … you as a businessperson are under the thumb of the state.”
The new measures include a host of new controls on everything from e-commerce, entertainment, and education to online gaming. The objective, it seems, is an effort by the ChiComs to counter and combat liberalizing influence from the West. Yet Xi’s moves harken back to Mao Zedong’s infamous Cultural Revolution and his decade-long effort to forcefully remold China’s culture into reflecting his own communist ideals.
But Xi’s actions appear to be more than merely shoring up his own power base within China while he seeks an unprecedented third five-year term as leader next year. Xi looks to be hardening the Chinese population for conflict. One bit of evidence for this is Beijing’s recent regulations on the arts and entertainment industry forbidding the depicting of effeminate men in television and film. State censors asserted that the industry was “failing to encourage China’s young men to be masculine enough.” (Sadly, our own society can relate, but we don’t have such government censorship … yet.)
In a country where the number of young men significantly outnumber young women thanks to the ChiComs’ long-running murderous one-child policy, the result is a lot of frustrated men with little realistic prospect of finding a wife and having a family. What does a massive country like China do with these millions of frustrated young men? Put them to use in the military.
Xi has been working to develop China’s military and it’s becoming increasingly apparent that he is readying for war, with the most obvious target being Taiwan. While the U.S. is awash in “woke” nonsense distracting our own military from focusing on readiness and softening our convictions, China is aggressively hardening its people in preparation for coming conflict.
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