Big triumph for Xi, a step back for China
Its 20th Congress might be a triumph for Xi but the future of the country he leads appears fraught
At the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) underway in Beijing, General Secretary Xi Jinping adopted a particularly trenchant tone with respect to perceived external challenges to his party’s absolute control over claimed Chinese territories. Indeed, the language used by the party with respect to such challenges has grown increasingly strident. In the 18th Party Congress report of 2002, for example, the CPC was concerned about “guarding against and forestalling external intervention in the affairs of Hong Kong and Macao". In the latest report, there is greater determination to “take resolute action to prevent and stop interference in the affairs of Hong Kong and Macao by external forces." The change in language appears to indicate a change in evaluation of the ‘threat’ that the CPC sees coming from the outside world.