How to handle the Chinese Communist Party at 100

Paramilitary police and police officers are watching people gather to see a light show celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party's founding on June 30, 2021 in the Bund in Shanghai, China.

Paramilitary police and police officers are watching people gather to see a light show celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party’s founding on June 30, 2021 in the Bund in Shanghai, China.

As China’s ruling Communist Party celebrates its wedding anniversary, there is intensifying debate about how to deal with the new excellence of authoritarian values ​​at the heart of the world’s second-largest economy.

For the Communist Party, this means not a story of the new Cold War, but a moment of warm compliment to the masses.

And Max Baucus, a former US Democratic Senator who served as US Ambassador to China from 2014 to 2017, realized he agreed.

“The majority of people in China … care less about party changes because they are more interested in their lives,” he says.

“China’s standard of living has risen dramatically over the last two decades and they are very happy with it.”

Tightening of the power of the Communist Party, the growing personality cult of Xi Jinping of the leaders, and for the strict direction of domestic policy, if anything, is what to do, of our critical international policy debates of the era 1 It is one.

And it divides the views of Washington and Europe-between those who advocate idealistic conflicts and those who advocate continued strategic involvement, such as Mr. Vocus-but such a difference is within China. It may be much more difficult to collect.

But they are there.

Cai Xia is a retired professor at Beijing’s Elite Center Party School, training her life in collaboration with senior officials until her growing suspicions and criticisms pushed her into effective asylum last year.

She doesn’t buy the idea that the Chinese people don’t want political change, nor that their involvement with the Communist Party is better than the alternative.

“It’s never too late to change China from a dictatorship to a democracy,” she says.

“For China and the whole world, but earlier the better. Xi Jinping is seeking a” shared future of all mankind “, he has already started the Cold War, it never stops. “

Beijing’s party, which includes a plethora of glitz, pageants and fireworks, is increasingly emerging and highlighting the outlook for capitalist China, which is more prosperous than ever, centered on a solid Leninist regime.

The question is whether the celebration is just part of the theater-a distraction from the true story of unquestionable personal affluence and an increase in millions of ordinary Chinese lifestyle choices.

Or is it a nasty reminder that all this prosperity and power is held more firmly in the hands of a one-party system and willing to use it not only for its own people but also for the rest of the world? please.

Submitted a photo of former US Ambassador to China Max Baucus at the US Embassy in Beijing, China in March 2014

Max Baucus was the US Ambassador to China from 2014 to 2017.

Max Baucus belongs to the School of Thought, which has dominated relations between the United States and China for decades. Trade and involvement is the belief that it is an end in itself.

China’s growing prosperity and the rise of the middle class offer promises of gradual political reform, and even if it does not happen painfully slowly or at all, economic integration is at least an alternative than conflict. Is also excellent.

He is worried that the consensus seems to be changing now and that the new Cold War mindset is taking hold in Washington.

“I think there is too much groupthink in Washington,” he says.

“It’s very easy for the president, the House of Representatives, to blame China politically. It’s very bipartisan, and that’s a big problem.

“We have to work with China,” he adds. “People in China and the United States are basically the same. They care about putting food on their families and tables, and I think policymakers should keep that in mind.”

The flowerbed, which has the theme of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, will attract residents to take pictures in Taicang, Jiangsu Province, eastern China on June 30, 2021.

China is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the ruling Communist Party with events of all sizes.

However, Cai Xia disagrees.

Exiled from the party while sabbatical in the United States and unable to return to China for fear of her security, it is foolish to ignore the party’s politics and focus on the positives of economic change. I think it is.

“Western politicians and scholars lack a real understanding of China,” she says.

“After China was opened to the world, China wanted to use its global system to strengthen its power. That was the real intention. That is why China is friendly to the world. It shows an open attitude, but in fact, the party’s Cold War mentality hasn’t changed. “

She believes that the West does not understand that it is already trapped in an idealistic conflict, whether it wants it or not.

Deng Yuwen, a former editor of the influential Communist newspaper Study Times, another insider currently in exile, is in China for fear of being arrested for criticism of his own published system. I can’t go back.

He has some sympathy for the view that China’s rapidly changing economy may have once hampered the outlook for political reform.

“Ten years ago, the party gradually disappeared into the background,” he says.

“It is intended that did not satisfy 習近 Xiaoping, he So now think of it as dangerous, using his own words -.” North, south, east, west and center “- the party is the country It controls comprehensively. “

Mr Chung believes that China has retreated significantly under this new rule of the party.

Huge re-education camps in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region and mass arrests in Hong Kong have made them increasingly oppressive in the country and more and more prepared to claim authoritarian value on the global stage.

“China is now strong and doing business with the world, so other countries need to pay attention to China’s sentiment and its practices,” he says.

“This will gradually affect those countries. By accepting the Chinese system and its logic, the West may change gradually, which may be dangerous to the West.”

Professor Kai goes a step further, claiming that this is now a deliberate part of the strategy. If globalization forces fail to reform the Communist Party, they are ready to use the same forces to aggressively impose their value on the West.

“China has stopped the peaceful evolution that Western values ​​could enter China and affect the Chinese people, and has stopped it in every way,” she says.

“At the same time, China is using the freedom of speech and press in the western world to export information, illusions and publicity to other countries,” he said.

As an example, the BBC has given more than 12 scholars at many Chinese universities, including Professor Kai’s former party school, the party, its position in Chinese society, and anniversaries.

The control over information in China was very tight, and none of them were available or willing to speak, especially before and after such an important opportunity.

Despite offering support, the Foreign Ministry did not respond to some requests to help procure the right experts on party issues.

The performers will participate in a show commemorating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party at the National Stadium in Beijing, China, on June 28, 2021.

The 100th Anniversary Event was planned with great care

Given its ripe old age and its central role in Chinese history, those who support the idea of ​​involvement with the Chinese Communist Party believe that you cannot simply hope that it does not exist.

“We believe we should continue to support our Western liberal values,” says former Ambassador Vocus. “They are better, no doubt about it.

“That said, China is growing in another way and will continue to grow in another way … and if it can’t influence China towards a more democratic form of government. , We have to accept it and deal with it. “

When asked about Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Hong Kong, he told me that the party was determined not to give up its political stakes, but he believed there were limits.

“They adjust their control fairly well. That is, if you control too much or suppress it too much, people tend to react to it, but it can be oppressive to some extent.”

However, Professor Kai, who knows the party thoroughly, argues that it is now time for another model, with few internal restrictions on its power in practice. Their own rights.

“I hope Western politicians and the world will take action in view of the situation in China. This totalitarian regime-no totalitarian regime-will last forever. It will change someday. It really should help it progress. “

Do you have any positive words for the party you’ve been working on for many years on your 100th birthday?

“In China, 100 years old also means that people lived longer, and it’s time to think about death,” she says.

“If I have to say positively, I hope that on this anniversary, the Communist Party will consider the serious mistakes of policy making that have plagued the Chinese people and made them pay huge sums of money. It’s not a celebration. Should be redeemed. “

Posted on