Chinese President Xi’s self-deception

    By Paul Lin 林保華
Taipei Times  2024.2.26

At a gathering held by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Chinese State Council during this year’s Spring Festival, Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) reviewed the achievements of the past year.

“Good scenery on this side only” (風景這邊獨好), he said about the global situation.

The phrase comes from late Chinese leader Mao Zedong’s (毛澤東) poem Qing Ping Le (清平樂), written when he lost power in 1934.

It was full of the “Ah-Q” (阿Q) spirit of self-deception. Did Xi not know about this history, or was it a trap laid by his aides?

Originally, the Third Plenary Session of the 20th Central Committee of the CCP should have been held in fall last year. However, for the first time in 40 years, it did not take place. Neither did the plenary session that should have been held before its annual “two sessions.”

So what exactly was the cause for these cancelations?

At the Beidaihe Conference last year, former Chinese vice president Zeng Qinghong (曾慶紅帶) brought along former defense minister Chi Haotian (遲浩田) to criticize Xi.

Chi was the military officer who assisted then-general Geng Biao (耿?) in taking over the central media during the October 1976 coup when the so-called “Gang of Four” was arrested. He later served as the People’s Daily’s first editor-in-chief.

The relationship between Chi and Geng made it difficult for Xi, who served as Geng’s secretary for a time, to use Geng’s name as a shield.

Xi later launched a counterattack, which led to the mysterious death of former Chinese premier Li Keqiang (李克強), eliminating the potential threat of Li’s succession.

Since Xi has not yet dared take action against Zeng, he should at least achieve something regarding his governance so that he could report them at the Third Plenary Session.

Xi continued to hold extreme leftist and blind views.

He has been widely resisted by Western countries in economic, diplomatic and military arenas, so he is only able to abuse his power when it comes to Hong Kong and Taiwan issues.

Hong Kong has started to conduct a so-called “consultation” on Article 23 of the Basic Law, targeting “foreign hostile forces.”

However, this has completely ruined Hong Kong’s efforts to bring itself back from the brink of financial disaster.

There is also a censorship campaign in Hong Kong, leading to the cancelation of some stage performances.

For example, a friendly match between Inter Miami CF and Hong Kong XI was originally considered the biggest sports event of the year in Hong Kong.

However, when Argentine forward Lionel Messi did not join the game due to an injury and did not issue an apology, disappointed local fans demanded refunds, presumably regarding the soccer star as a “foreign hostile force” who was deliberately attempting to embarrass Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, Chinese military aircraft have been harassing Taiwan and balloons continued to fly over the nation during the Lunar New Year holiday.

After an incident between the Taiwanese coast guard and a Chinese speedboat in Kinmen, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office declared that there are no “prohibited or restricted waters” between Kinmen and China’s Xiamen.

The Chinese Coast Guard even searched Taiwanese tourist boats in Kinmen’s waters.

This shows “good scenery on Taiwan’s side only,” which is why Xi is so jealous and hostile.

Paul Lin is a political commentator.

Translated by Eddy Chang


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