China, the doctrine of power

(To Gino Lanzara)

Il power. An occult allele in the human genome inevitably re-emerges every time fighting passions and rationality indicate the emergence of a risk for its possession.

The twentieth century, a short century by definition, led to a political evolution aimed at affirming a complex, global governance, a reality without borders inserted in an immense network. If the Western world has embodied net-centrism, it cannot be excluded that, elsewhere, the politic science has generated or preserved various declinations: in the pyramid scheme the dominant party constitutes the point of formation of the political project, as well as the movementist trait d'union with a popular base that provides consent.

The China; his work rests on power, stability, temporality and on the principles of geographical advantage e spatiality, expressions of the union between geopolitics and resource politics in a country that represents an oxymoron: a capitalist economy flanked by a one-party socialist system devoid of the link between democracy and free market.

Unable to contextualize, Westerners believed that the action of social dynamics typical of the new economic order could awaken millions of Chinese consciences, causing the implosion of a regime that cannot be evaluated according to paradigms that are irreconcilable with the political culture of a Empire which has never abandoned its yearning for centrality, and which intends to erase the memory of the 900th century to recur in the splendor of 2049, the centenary of the republican foundation, with the calculated risk of fueling new frictions with the regional powers1.

In the 1947 long telegram by G. Kennan gave birth to the doctrine of containment of the USSR; more than twenty years later, H. Kissinger inaugurated Sino-American bilateral diplomacy; now M. Pompeo, who however lack a clear strategic vision and instinct of international relations, takes up the theme of bipolarism, leading it to geopolitical dispute. Pompeo, like Clinton in the 90s, highlights the American analytical superficiality in the approach to international politics by reiterating the stylistic features adopted with the USSR, and not considering the hybrid and transversal character of the current conflicts.

Since 49, China has experienced a continuous balance between ideology, the legitimizing tool of the ruling class, and political development to which the transformations imposed by the economic course inaugurated by Deng Xiaoping in 1978, after the failure of Marxist purism and Maoist cultural revolutionary, and continued after Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Xi Jinping, the general secretary of the CCP, inherited a fairly stable power, a remarkable economic growth, but a political system to be revised, prone to compromise, in which there is no broad social programming, and which has left room for a nationalism aimed at to fill ideological voids and faults generated by social disparities and fragmentation. It was this combination of factors that prompted Xi to promise one better life, and which led to idealize a new chinese dream, which has little of Martin L. King or JFK, but a lot of renewed historical materialism and a practical Marxist sense, and is capable of expressing the renewed relationship between ideology and political development.

Nothing new under the sun: man new, doctrines embellished, filling of ideological voids, strategies of reinforcement, adaptation to the times, remodeling of Marxist thought in a free market mode, with a vein of exogenous skepticism motivated by mistrust for the return to a not very malleable ideological base. The economy, even in the presence of a strong debt herald of possible stagnation, remains the most precious gem of the diadem, and it is flanked by trust in the Party and the spread of the dominant ideology, the only legitimizing element of a structure capable of exceptional adaptive capacities. and based on a meritocracy that rewards i best only after having tested them hard in the studio and in the field. It should be remembered that the concept of Chinese legitimacy is not linked so much to the idea of ​​a representation greased by the chrism of electoral suffrage, as to the principle of the results achieved; like, it doesn't matter.

Xi was, is and will always be a Taizi2, un Red Prince pragmatic who declines the Maoist ideology within a liberal scheme, so flexible as to realize the second dream, that of New Silk Road, which unites China, Eurasia and Africa. Xi is not an apparatus product, it is more; as a young man, albeit in disgrace, he was resilient, assumed ever higher executive positions, reached the Party Secretariat, then the Central Military Commission and, following Hu Jintao's succession, the presidency of the Republic; but the coup de maitre it is the removal of the limit of 2 presidential terms: Xi is in fact President for life, only the USA can contain Beijing.

Next step, after the attribution of the title of New Helmsman, the Party Presidency, which belonged to Mao; his is a socialism Chinese, a nationalistic and Confucian mix, not a rigid agricultural communism: "Xi embodies the communist of the future who has his roots in the tradition of the empire. The big bet… is to put together the new communist man with the old Chinese man: an operation based on the recovery of five thousand years of Chinese civilization "3; his thought, like that of Mao and Deng, is included in the Constitution, it is the necessary springboard to lead the Party to silence the difficulties linked to an unbalanced economic development, and to the increasingly pressing demands for social justice.

Xi is clear, warns against the black swans (unexpected events, such as the devastating Covid) and i gray rhinos (known risks) brought by a not negligible color revolution that would undermine all efforts.

Only lights? No, also many shadows, first of all concentrated in a constant criticism of liberticidal measures, many centered on the cult of the personality, and not entirely unfounded, given that in the ranking of democracies China is not in the top positions, and that censorships and purges they followed one another with disturbing regularity. Even in the Forbidden City there is something rotten, given that there is no shortage of opposition from regional administrators, employment and economic problems that alienate the sympathies of the middle class, discontent in the - purged - ranks of deeply restructured FAs and among the ranks of intellectuals intolerant of suffocating control which they are subjected to.

We look to the present; the desire for hegemony leads China to many tables, where it dosa hard e soft power; within the Party strictly manages the coexistence between ethnic groups, about 57 including the dominant Han, for whose survival no other model is conceivable than that of a melting pot4, in which the mixtures form a single one state ethnicity based on conversions to the cause dictated by single thought. Given the territorial extension and the marked differences, the central power resorted to the instrumental use of the terrorist risk, which led to the opening of re-education camps5 for the Uighurs6 in Xiniang, and the repression in Tibet.

While Hu Liahne and Hu Angang7 hypothesize a theory of stability which, by force, prevents the phenomena that have fragmented Yugoslavia and the USSR, the controversy of rebel province of Taiwan and the uprisings in Hong Kong, regurgitations of a policy that, beyond the statements of principle, cannot hide imperialisms that are no longer concealed even in the conflictual relations with India, the subject of recent and violent armed clashes along the 'Himalaya, and which is approaching the Australian-Japanese political orbits.

Along the BRI (Belt and Road Initiative, the New Silk Road, ed) then move geopolitical interests that lead to the clash with the American hegemon, which has long been reaching out with its pivot to Asia to contain a threat that, realistically, could entangle Yankee e tangerines in a ruinous Trap of Thucydides; all this in the light of the Chinese war enhancement, to which the concepts of asymmetric warfare before 2004 by Colonels Liang Qiao and Xiangsui Wang, an aspect that leads us to consider how little the West knows about Chinese strategic doctrine, and how much Beijing studies and observes.

Also noteworthy is the relationship with the Vatican, once more the subject of Stalin's question on the consistency of its Divisions; the US approach further stiffens a situation which, historically, recalls the disputes between the Pope and the Emperor.

Politically, for a Papacy without new ones vassals of Christ, a fault point opens up caused by the end of the division into blocks, where Russia also builds new churches, in a very close union with the Orthodox Patriarchate; needless to add that Vatican political softening can only make sense of Uyghur sinization and the violent repression of Falun Gong8.

Naval Power: the Navy, despite aspirations for change from Brown a Blue, is experiencing an expansion that will need time to acquire the necessary expertise to give an effective thalassocratic connotation to a country that plays on the projection points of power to prevent any possible encirclement, imposing itself in the island control of the nine dash line9, and projecting up to Djibouti.

Let's try predict the future: objectivity, realism, and a small K percentage of imponderability human. Will the Chinese regime end or change? Sure, like everything, but on when e like opinions are divided, also because the western vision of Change regime it does not fit the oriental one characterized by a different philosophy of government; the paradigms of Mao, Zhou Enlai and Xi are different from each other, and they represented gods transformations, not gods changes; the Chinese vision of leadership is unique, and to hypothesize a political change, we should take it for granted shoulder, unpredictable outcomes and not necessarily democratizing.

Wanting to compare the situations, we could say that Xi is by now too rooted like Putin or, fading, like Merkel, who managed to weaken both competitors and opposition; it all makes sense if a post change, especially in China, where revolutions could occur velvet, hidden by an apparent political cohesion and known only after years, as happened for the effects of Tiananmen.

So beware of another characteristic, and less noble, trait of the CCP, namely the attacks of internal opponents; so far Xi has managed to parry the blue fire, but there is the possibility that its authority will be affected, despite the control of the FA and the police, by opposition to its economic and foreign policy, characterized by the abandonment of open door by Deng.

If it is true that the most violent Eastern revolts have often been promoted by characters trained in the West10, to what extent could the outside world penetrate a waterproof system? As for fidelity, even the provinces could reserve surprises, given that the various areas, in terms of porosity, evolution, richness and relevance, are different from each other and lack real cohesion, especially in an endemically poor hinterland; the Muslim and north-western Xiniang, populated by less combative Sufis than the jihadist Salafists, is as strategic as Siberia is for Russia: it is unthinkable to suppose the renunciation of such a crucial area for traffic.

We hypothesize four scenarios correlated to: development forecasts and internal production capacity; at specific national and foreign conditions useful for the realization of the scenario; to the result in terms of global Chinese influence; the consequences for the USA. A winning or rising China is unlikely, as it would assume management's margins of error are too small, the complete absence of black swans, and because it would trigger the constant attention of the US, which could not lose its pivot to Asia for any reason. and with that the Pacific bases and alliances; in the extreme, institutional implosion is equally unlikely given the ability of Chinese management to adapt to different circumstances. Much more likely we will see successes and failures which, plausibly, will see China alternately in partial ascent or stagnation with a more or less decisive areal use of war force.

China is not immune from problems and crises: debt, international exposures, possible social crises cannot be forgotten also in terms of the planetary consequences of violent upheavals, but we must not underestimate the deep roots of an all-encompassing party which, striving to achieve little clear Marxist phases following the first, it will hardly deny its not very hidden allele, that of maintaining power.  

1 Japan, Korea

2 Sons of senior officers prior to the Cultural Revolution who fought with Mao

3 Alessandra C. Lavagnino

4 A heterogeneous amalgamation of groups, individuals and religions, diversified by class, condition, ethnicity, cohabiting within the same geographical and political territorial area. Initially referring to American society, the expression indicates a model or ideal of a multi-ethnic society in which after a certain time, generations, cultures and specific identities of immigrants would be destined to merge with those of the host countries.

5 No recognized by the central authority

6 Turkic Muslims

7 Government and academic officials

8 Falun Gong is a spiritual discipline that involves meditation and teaching based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance. Since 1996, the CCP has seen the FG as a potential threat to popularity, independence from the state and its spiritual teachings. On July 20, 1999, Jiang Zemin, then the leader of the CCP, launched a nationwide crackdown and an extensive propaganda campaign to discredit and eradicate the practice.

9 The line refers to the indefinite and vaguely localized demarcation used by China and Taiwan for their claims over most of the South China Sea

10 See Pol Pot in Cambodia, Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam

Photo: Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China / Studio Incendo