The other day China celebrated the 70th anniversary of the founding of the “modern” China meaning Communist China.
It also made me think about the founding fathers of the United States. First amongst them was this guy:
Both of these guys were citizen-soldiers who had a hook into agriculture. Our two nations have a different character which I attribute to the difference in our founding stories and our founding fathers.
Both China and the USA were the product of an armed rebellion against established forces that the instigators of the revolution believed were doing wrong by the people.
We had decidedly different outcomes.
China and Mao rebelled against the Nationalist rule, had a rapprochement when fighting the Japanese during World War II, re-engaged, and then hit the following touchstones:
The Long March, a seminal event when the Communists retreated 5,600 miles to northwest China during October 1934 to October 1935. [This was before the end of World War II, but it is the signature event of the revolution. Had they not done this — Mao’s command — the Nationalists would have killed all of them.]
Victory against the Nationalist government of Chiang Kai-shek which was banished to the island of Taiwan in 1949. The Generalissimo ruled the Republic of China from 1928 to 1975.
The War Against the Landlords wherein the Chinese seized and re-distributed agricultural land from the landlords to the peasants.
The Korean War wherein the Chinese provided millions of troops to North Korea (They were the primary opposing force to the United Nations forces by the end of 1950.)
The Great Leap Forward wherein the Chinese tried to move their peasants off the land, to industrialize, and managed to starve more than 30,000,000 of their peasants to death while anointing 30,000,000 more to live while also exporting foodstuffs to obtain hard currency.
The Cultural Revolution wherein the Chinese made war against the intelligentsia — particularly those who had criticized the efforts of Mao during the disastrous Great Leap.
Mao ran these debacles that resulted in the death of more than 100,000,000 Chinese. When he departed this world, he was replaced by men who worshiped at his feet and embraced his philosophy. Part of this philosophy was a notion that China might actually do well with a nuclear exchange with the United States because its enormous buffer of population would enable China to survive if America was wiped out.
Now, we come to modern China as exemplified by this guy in a well cut western suit: Xi Jinping who is the fifth generation Paramount Leader since 2012, but who is also the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, the President (for life) of the People’s Republic of China, and the Chairman of the Central Military Commission. There has never been this much concentration of power in the hands of a single man since Mao. [Doesn’t Kim have beautiful skin?]
1. Xi is an enforcer. He enforces party discipline — the Hong Kong mess is all about control and party discipline. He may have agreed to “One China, Two Systems” but the second system is on life support.
2. When he gained control, he conducted a house cleaning that was a purge in overalls. He got rid of his rivals in the Communist Party at the politboro level under the guise of ridding the nation of corruption. Of course all of China is corrupt so he had a factual basis for his actions.
3. After he got rid of his rivals, he rolled up power including being named the commander-in-chief of the military.
4. The guy is a control freak who not only advocates for Internet censorship, but makes it happen.
Twitter? Blocked in China.
Think you’ve had some bad Twitter experiences? Cheng Jianping, a woman, spent a year in a labor camp for retweeting someone else’s Tweet that was not approved by the Chinese government. Of course, the first thing to note is that China has re-education labor camps.
5. The Chinese Social Credit System (already live, fully deployed next year) will assign a value to every Chinese person from those who are “obedient/trustful” to those who are “disobedient.” This is buttressed by a wholesale physical control and facial recognition program of gargantuan proportions. Why are Hong Kong protesters banned from wearing masks? Facial recognition.
This system is already working, with more than 15,000,000 Chinese already being punished plus more than 32MM airplane tickets and 6MM train tickets cancelled for those designated to be disobedient.
Xi has anointed himself as the Chairman of the National Security Commission — he is a hands on sort of fellow.
6. Xi is the Thomas Jefferson of the Chinese Dream, the Belt and Road Initiative, the tech Catchup and Surpass program, the Made in China 2025 program, and the militarization of a dozen contested atolls and island China has seized and developed in the South China Sea.
7. Xi is the primary architect and defender of the current Chinese trade positions on theft of technology (a key ingredient in the Made in China 2025 program), currency manipulation, barriers to entry for foreign manufacturers, wholesale industrial espionage, and cyber warfare.
8. Xi has masterminded the development of a nuclear arsenal that now includes more than 900 warheads, the ability to reach the US with an ICBM in less than thirty minutes, and missiles that can close with a target at more than 7,000 MPH.
All of this is to say that in seventy short years the current leadership of China has followed the direction set by its Founding Father, Mao Zedong.
Want to learn more about George Washington? Go read these posts.
Our nations — China and the United States — are held hostage to our founding fathers and the governing philosophies they set in motion. China is still Mao’s China while the USA is still under the influence of George Washington.
Which do you prefer?
But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. Be well and Hook ‘Em Horns.