While war with Russia has unsettling consequences for countries all over the world, the greatest threat to the U.S.A. and West will likely come from Beijing. The 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party convened. General Secretary Xi Jinping seems set for a third term and may even rule for the rest of his life.

His 64-page report was simple to understand for assembled CCP paladins: dictatorship and communism forever. Explained Xi: “Since its foundation a century ago the Communist Party of China (CPC) has been on a remarkable journey. Our Party has committed itself to achieving lasting greatness in China and to the noble cause for peace and development for all peoples. Our mission is extraordinary and unmatched in its importance.


China, a poor-governed and ramshackle empire, has been underperforming for centuries. Japan and the West joined forces to exploit this land and extract wealth. The “Century of Humiliation” was a period of hardship for Imperial China. Both Hong Kong, Taiwan and the mainland were separated by military defeats. This history is a long-used narrative by the CCP to support its rule.

The Soviet Union was more attractive for much of the PRC’s existence than it was for much of its existence. Despite their famed appeal as rural reformers, Mao Zedong, along with his other revolutionary icons, were not moderates. The life in China was much worse under Mao , the Chinese Communist Party, than it was in the USSR, even under Joseph Stalin.

As bloody and as deadly was the Russian civil war, and its aftermath, the Chinese civil war as well as CCP’s postrevolutionary consolidation were. The Great Leap Forward combined agricultural collectivization and backyard industrialization to kill more people than Stalin’s similar campaign. His Great Terror was not comparable to the PRC’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. This terrible and bizarre combination of power play/party purge/social upheaval/personality crusade/civil war/political obliteration, was a horrible and bizarre mixture of party purge/powerplay/social upheaval/personality worship/civil war/political crucifixion.

In 1972, Richard Nixon ended China’s isolationism from the West. This was a grand geopolitical maneuver, but the Western governments and a group of analysts hoped for a liberal, democratic change in the PRC. The communist state is still in existence, more than 73 decades after Mao famously declared its foundation.

After Mao’s death in 1976, China began to move away from him. After Mao’s death in 1976, China moved away from him. Deng Xiaoping, a pragmatic leader, climbed the political mountaintop and was tagged as the “paramount leader”. However, he rejected communist orthodoxy in economic management.


While the PRC relaxed its economic controls, it maintained its tight political control. The PRC’s release of workers from the collective farms increased food production. It also created surplus labor that fueled economic growth and improved living standards. Chinese citizens took over education, employment, as well as other decisions in their lives that were previously made by the CCP. Both corruption and prosperity were both possible through private business. China saw economic benefits, as well as resentment at corrupt and overbearing political elites.

The Tiananmen Square incident of June 1989 saw a rise in support for political liberalization. Although the violent crackdown in Beijing slowed progress toward a more free political system, even after the CCP purge, political control was substantially less restrictive than under Mao. Although the system was strict and authoritarian, it allowed for thoughtful criticism and debate.

For the West, Beijing was even more important because it remained behind the U.S.A. and its allied countries. The PRC appeared to be a very small threat to the U.S., as well as the international liberal order. But China was quickly swept aside. The country grew quickly. The Chinese state and the private sector were strengthened by wealth accumulation, which made Beijing a military and economic powerhouse. Xi’s stance on Leninism has been marked over the past decade. He emphasized party and personal dictatorship.

This regime is hostile to almost every liberal value and interest in America and around the world. China, once an important player in international affairs, is now a major threat to a democratic, liberal, and free order. It does not follow every policy that is bad. Not all problems it creates require a solution. Beijing is an entirely new type of adversary.

The PRC has been closing down the space for individual thought, and collective action over the past decade. The Maoist era’s themes are back. Xi’s government is promoting labor education, which is meant to correct “wrong ideas” and echo Mao’s campaign for urban elites to go to the countryside.

Personal behavior with only the slightest political undertones is increasingly being influenced by the regime. Beijing, for example, has started to restrict “LARPing,” which is essentially costumed playing-acting. This practice is very popular in the U.S., and is gaining popularity in the PRC. Report the Economist “The government is concerned, for many reasons. The first is the lack of a formal mechanism for censoring scripts. These scripts are distributed in samizdat format, and do not need to go through the normal publishing process. State media has engaged in much debate about the danger of players being exposed “harmful” content like sex, violence, or other supernatural horror. One Weibo user commented: “If we want to become North Koreans just say so.”

Xi also has been limiting his contact with the West, and other liberal values, which he considers a threat to CCP control. Report the New York Times: Education officials have placed restrictions on English education, and require that scholars request permission to attend virtual international conferences. Chinese companies have been punished by regulators for raising funds overseas. Mr. Xi exhorted artists and warned against copying Hollywood to cultivate ‘cultural confidence’.

The “China threat” could be a country’s return at Maoist levels. However, peoples around the world might not regret it but feel secure. Beijing’s ambitions go beyond the PRC’s borders. Dissidents and expatriates living abroad are threatened, monitored, and harassed. The civil and political freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong under British rule for decades have been nearly lost.

If China were to absorb Taiwan, a chaotic, often loud democracy, it would also suffer the same fate. Lu Shaye, the ambassador of the PRC to France, stated that reeducation by unstated means would be necessary: Why do I say “reeducate”? The Taiwan authorities have imposed a ‘desinicisation” education on their population. They are effectively indoctrinating and intoxicated. It must be reeducated in order to eradicate separatist thought and secessionist theories.” And, without doubt, belief is a prerequisite for acceptance of liberal values. Lu said that Taiwanese will become patriots again if they are given enough indoctrination.

Beijing is using its wealth to build a military that ranks third behind Russia and the U.S., and may, with plans for nuclear expansion and other developments, become number two. Although there is no evidence that China is planning to seize Lebensraum’s equivalent, the PRC is becoming more open to challenging the international rules-based order, or status quo. This is a good sign for the Western countries that have the most to gain from this system. There are increasing chances of a violent confrontation between China, America.

Since the establishment of official relations, the PRC has undergone significant changes. The hope that Xi would become a reformer has long since died. The national congress heard his driving philosophy: “Upholding Party’s overall leadership” is the only path to uphold and develop Chinese socialism.

It is necessary to have a serious, but well-planned international response. Despite the fearmongering from the U.S., and others, the PRC will not overthrow the U.S. as the dominant world power and take control of most of the world. Beijing is now facing a storm that looks increasingly like a perfect storm. It has a slowing global economy, real estate collapse and tsunami of bad loans, increasing CCP economic interference, demographic implossion, and threatening zero-COVID policies.

China is a country with few allies and friends internationally. Beijing tolerates Pyongyang’s behavior but not China. The Wolf Warrior diplomacy has upset close trading partners. The PRC’s military ambitions are limited to its own territory, which Beijing does not dominate, unlike Washington in Western hemisphere. The Chinese are not a threat to America’s homeland.

The West still has much to do. Contra Xi’s boastful rhetoric and the future isn’t set, freedom is still the best option for the world. Washington must address its weaknesses first. Allies and free states can limit the PRC when necessary, while cooperating with Beijing whenever possible. This will allow Washington to address Chinese abuses without resorting to the collectivist and authoritarian strategies of the PRC. Americans must continue to engage with the Chinese people, particularly the young ones, showing respect for their great civilization and arguing for a free society, rather than a totalitarian one. America can recall the crises she has faced in the past and be confident when facing the China challenge.

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