•President Xi has in fact has replaced Jesus in Churches and Mohamed in the mosques
•Propagation of ideology and the cult of personality have been taken to extremes not seen since the days of Chairman Mao.
“Longing on a large scale makes history.” ― wrote Don DeLillo and these words streamed into my consciousness as I watched the celebrations in Tiananmen Square, which were marking the 70th anniversary of Chinese Communist Party rule.
Xi Jinping and the party were seeking to project national power and confidence on a grand scale. Nothing and nobody was going to rain on this parade.
The pomp and pageantry included a parade that involved 15,000 soldiers and sailors, 160 planes, 580 tanks and other weaponry including what Hu Xijin [President Xi's trusted mouth-piece] described as ''This is the legendary DF41 ICBM. But it is not a tale. Today it is displayed at Tiananmen Square I touched one about four years ago in the production plant. No need to fear it. Just respect it and respect China that owns it''.
Hu Xijin, my friend Herve Gogo and I were simultaneously bamboozled by the all women militia, selected from the militia force in Beijing's Chaoyang District, who were a Sun-Tzu level knock-out blow and certainly more than the legendary DF41 ICBM which Xijin is welcome to keep as long as he hands over the ladies who are most welcome to stream in my dreams.
President for life Xi has been fending off a trade war and been dealing with a flaring up on the periphery but last week was his opportunity to paint on a blank canvas and show the world who he is and what China wishes to be."No force can stop the Chinese people and the Chinese nation forging ahead", he said.
The President for Life was seeking to project a sense of inevitable forward motion and a fulfilment of the promise that Mao Zedong made on the founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949 that China would stand up.
They have “stood up.” Xi's model is one of technocratic authoritarianism and a recent addition to his book shelf include The Master Algorithm by Pedro Domingos. Xi is building an Algorithmic Society.
Some of the Xi-era slogans are short and simple, in the manner of Western advertising, such as the “Chinese Dream,” the catchphrase embodying the party’s aim to become a global power by 2049, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the People Republic of China. In a way, this is also nothing new.
But Xi has taken the propagation of ideology and the cult of personality to extremes not seen since the days of Chairman Mao. Xi in fact has replaced Jesus in Churches and Mohamed in the mosques. "Unity is iron and steel; unity is a source of strength," "Complete reunification of the motherland is an inevitable trend..no one and no force can ever stop it!" he added.
Today we know the Chinese economy is slowing, but Xi is relying on Chinese resilience “If there is a decoupling between the two economies, so be it. The Chinese people can endure more pain than the spoiled and hubristic Americans.
"The Folks in Hong Kong [whom Xi is seeking to unmask so he can exercise algorithmic control over them] are in open rebellion. Joshua Wong told German Media "Hongkong ist das neue Berlin" referencing the "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech given by United States President John F. Kennedy on June 26, 1963, in West Berlin.
I am sure Xi sees Hong Kong and Taiwan like a virus and he is looking to impose a quarantine just like he has imposed on Xinjiang. The Chinese Dream has become a nightmare at the boundaries of the Han Empire.
The World in the 21st century exhibits viral, wildfire and exponential characteristics and feedback loops which only become obvious in hindsight. I would venture that Xi's high water mark is behind him. Shorting the renminbi is a bit of a no-brainer. The Pork Apocalypse speaks to a very fragile food situation.
The periphery requires a lot more finesse than more blunt force. But he can rely on a US President whose dereliction of his international duty is now in plain sight.
“China will not interfere in the internal affairs of the US, and we trust that the American people will be able to sort out their own problems," China's very subtle Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in response to questions around Trump's pursuit of Biden and his personal political agenda at the price of the US' international agenda.