Categories: Top News

Belt & Road has dents that may melt Xi’s iron fists

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Caption: Xi’s rapid rise to stardom and full power in China could collapse with the belt and road gathering dust and holes

Chinese President Xi Jinping has ordered a coup, one not seen since the era of Mao Zedong. The coup resulted in Xi consolidating his rule into a one-man show with a powerful grip on power.

He initiated the coup without apparent resistance from the Chinese Communist Party and the powerful military leadership. They simply moved aside to open the door for Xi to impose himself as the most powerful man in China’s history – after Mao.

His name is now so entrenched in the Chinese folklore and his praises are sung by party groupies who want him forever as the leader of the party and as President of China.

This is the new communism, with a dictator ruling over a capitalist market economy that has overridden the Marxist-Leninist principles.

But this cosy amalgam and the rosy picture that mirrors out of it is about to face one of its biggest challenges.

It is a challenge that could prove to be even bigger than the multi-billion dollar tariff war waged by the US against Beijing.

However, it is an extension of the tariff war itself. One could say this trade tango between China and the US came just in time. For one, it will shake the Chinese kettle, boiling it to exploding levels for sure, while it will also put America under a melting pot.

But of concerns here is what will the trade spat do to Xi’s firm grip on China?

From there, we will not only hear the rumble of the Chinese market and its pumped-up Yuan. We will also hear the sabre-rattling sounds coming from the Chinese party leadership unless dissenting voices are completely muzzled.

Which will prove that the decaying powers of the one man who rose to absolute dominance in such a short time? Why? Without allowing dissenting voices to be heard, China may be heading towards an abyss.

In these days of major disruptions, the rapid rise of Xi to absolute power in China can altogether see him come down crashing with even greater speed.

But for this to happen, China has to face more trouble abroad and it has to continue to stifle growing dissent in Hong Kong, in the Xinjiang province and among almost all the minorities in the country.

The country has also silenced all forms of dissent among the majority ethnic group. It is bound to continue in this path for the next few months ahead. The pressure of the tariff warfare is being felt, deeply. But the on the facade, it is business as usual for the Chinese leadership. But not for long.

Look at the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge. It is the perfect example of the isolation of the Chinese regime on the international stage.

A massive opening ceremony, a dedication to the Maldivian people, the bridge was built with Chinese fund, mostly. China projected the bridge as the deal of the century and a dream come true.

For Beijing, this is the showcase of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), aligning Asia to Africa. Because it was largely funded with Chinese money, the opening ceremony displayed more of traditional Chinese performances and Chinese fireworks than Maldivian,

The Chinese did not come to the Maldives to protect or maintain the Island’s rich cultural heritage. The cultural show overshadowed the Maldivians cultural identity.

China’s initiatives in the Maldives, condemned by the Maldivian opposition and some say by a majority of the people, is not well taken by India.

Mumbai has its own line of conduct to address, with the many issues impacting the minorities in the once-largest democracy on earth. It is not anymore since the arrival of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in power, and don’t bother arguing whether some will agree or not.

However, the Indian Ambassador to the Maldives “boycotted” the event. He did not boycott the event because of the Chinese growing influence on the Island, but he was stung by preferential treatment to the Chinese delegation in contrast to the shabby treatment meted out to Indian diplomatic staff.

So now we have two visibly isolated nations fighting for a share of the Indian Ocean-African pie, believing the colonial era powers are willing to give up their control of these territories. And this is where China is absolutely wrong.

China’s OBOR, crafted with the control of land, sea and air in view, from China to South Asia and Africa by-passing Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, is doomed.

Myanmar is holding the Chinese hostage with their slice of the OBOR. Malaysia has dumped the OBOR for a leaner rail link that is still being negotiated with Singapore. Singapore has not really dipped itself in the OBOR or the BRI antics from China.

The African nations getting on board with the BRI and its OBOR are accused of corruption by opponents to their regime.

These opponents to the African regimes dealing with China are given sharp responses from Beijing. They (China) treat the Africans as corrupt by saying these ‘corrupt regimes’ as claimed by the opposition in those countries are in place because they were voted in by the people.

This is how China rates African ‘democracy’ and uses it in its favour. That is, they will deal with anyone, even the devil at all cost as long as the people want these regimes in place.

The BRI gathered dust in many places, has holes here and there with Sri Lanka now peddling for change after realising its mistake.

But China is adamant. The trade war will end in its victory against US President Donald Trump, and it will march on inexorably to become a global superpower. So Xi believes.

Not realising that it is already a superpower with claws and no brains but jaws that make the talking, China is bound to be hit by a series of realistic simulations.

It is cowed in its illegally acquired positions in the South China Sea, fearing the reprisal of the PCA ruling which it touted as a toothless tiger. But it has since realised that the global powers have set rules that are followed by cohorts of countries that are wary of Chinese dominance.

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