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Xi's backward odyssey

14 0 1
05.12.2021

By Joschka Fischer

BERLIN ― Momentous changes are casting a long shadow on China. The country's political system will soon undergo a profound reform, pending final approval (a quasi-formality) at next year's congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC). President Xi Jinping, the party chairman and the "navigator" of the country, has decided on a new course, abandoning the principle of collective leadership.

Xi is leading China away from the path taken by Deng Xiaoping after the terror of the Cultural Revolution, and back toward a system of absolute rule by one person without term limits, as under Mao Zedong.

From a Western perspective, these changes may look trivial. After all, the CPC's political monopoly remains untouched, leaving no possibility for genuine democratization. But for China ― which will soon be the world's largest economy and one of this century's two superpowers (along with the United States) ― recent developments signal a return to a disastrous past.

Xi's formal elevation to the same stature as Mao implies a transition from authoritarianism to personal dictatorship. Given the enormous increase in China's power and strategic importance since Mao's rule, this change will have far-reaching implications for the rest of the world.

For the time being, the CPC seems to have managed to combine its one-party system with........

© The Korea Times


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