China is in the midst of a different kind of political transformation! The Chinese Communist Party has been at the steerage of affairs since 1948. Even in the time of Mao Zedong, the Communist Party reigned supreme. However, now, the Chinese President, Xi Jinping is emerging as a leader that resembles a single entity dictator whose position is far greater than the Communist Party who put him to that top spot.
Much like a military junta, Mr. Xi’s photo is regularly plastered on billboards across the country and his authorized nickname, “Papa Xi”, appears in official songs.
The recently held China’s annual Lunar New Year was celebrated amid much fanfare, where Mr. Xi was projected as the “New Era of Chinese Thought” throughout. This event was watched by an estimated 800 million in television.
Mr. Xi’s popularity and control over the politburo and the Communist Party surpassed all his predecessors with the exception of Mao Zedong. He is trying to emerge as a leader with larger than life image and breaking the Chinese tradition of the President being a disciplined soldier who dutifully hands power to another after serving a decade in power.
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So, naturally, this needs amendment of the Chinese constitution. Thus, a proposal has been initiated by the Communist Party to scrap the Presidential term limit, which will allow Mr. Xi to stay in power for as long as he wants.
Mr. Xi has also won the loyalty of factions of the politburo. He silenced his detractors by instituting an anti-corruption campaign that disciplined more than a million Party officials for graft – usually for accepting bribes or wasting government money. The same campaign conveniently eliminated Mr. Xi’s political rivals and silenced any doubters into submission.
What this development means is that China’s dictatorship will be no more any different from the kind of dictatorship seen in Africa and the Middle East. It would be then a one-man show and there would not be an alternative voice in the country. Although China’s image to the foreign investors is far superior to the African dictatorial countries, if this trend continues and goes overboard, the nation can become something of a circumspect to the foreign investors. This trend also will take China further away from any kind of democracy or any chance of that in the future.