Can Bharat rise to the Xi Jinping challenge?

As a student of global politics and power structures, I feel disappointed at the absence of meaningful debates on the rise and rise of Xi Jinping and what it means for our country.

Xi Jinping
While China has laid out its 30 year plan, Bharat remains smug on various national security and strategic issues. Image Credits- DNA India

Background

Also called as Paramount Leader, Xi Jinping became President of China on March 14, 2013.

During his march to power, Xi, like his predecessors, became the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party as well as the Chairman of the Central Military Commission. This kind of consolidation of power can also be seen in the erstwhile Soviet Union, where the President of the country doubled up as the Head of the omnipresent Communist Party and also the Head of the armed forces.

Except for Chairman Mao, all the other Chinese Presidents have served either one or two terms in office.

Mao, on the other hand, had concentrated limitless power in his hands and ensured that all aspects of the Chinese society remained under his influence. It is common knowledge that he presided over some of the most brutal massacres the world has ever seen.

In the late 70’s, Deng Xiaoping, mindful of the pitfalls of authoritarianism,  enacted a law that mandated a limited time period for the future Heads of the Chinese state.

However, a weeks ago, China amended its constitution and allowed Xi Jinping and future Chinese Presidents to continue for more than 2 terms.

Why?

The Chinese have for long longed for their ‘glorious history’ before they were rampaged by the Japanese and other alien forces. This may come as a surprise to most of the readers but the underlying reason behind their rise in the global polity is the undying belief in the supremacy of the Chinese culture.

Sina Weibo, Baidu, and Tencent are blue-chip Chinese corporations that rival the Facebooks and Googles of the world. In terms of manufacturing and infrastructure, China has emerged as the global powerhouse. It makes more steel than Japan, Bharat and United States combined.

While the above achievements cannot be credited entirely to President Xi, he has managed to convince his domestic audience that in order that China remains a global powerhouse, there needs to be stability at the top.

And his message has indeed been accepted by the top Chinese leadership. Xi is all set to remain President for life and bring in vast and deep changes that will impact not just his country but the rest of the world.

So, despite China being a communist country, deep down it still retains its cultural DNA, which is so unlike the Bhartiya polity.

The vision of Xi Jinping

Speaking at the Party’s general meeting last year, Jinping laid out some highly ambitious goals for the society and the government.

First, he wants China to be the dominant global power by 2050; by that year, the country would be entering its 100th year as a sovereign nation. Between 2020 to 2035, China will become the country with a large middle-class population.

Two, Xi Jinping vowed to thwart the moves of Taiwan from achieving independence. He also resolved to exert greater control over Hong Kong and Macau.

Three, the Chinese President also expressed his commitment to preserve China’s national unity and sovereignty. Xi said that all attempts to break China on religious and ethnic lines will be crushed.

In his speech, Xi also promised to come down hard on corruption. Poverty would be removed and China will be made an attractive investment destination for foreign firms.

What it all means for Bharat

The above declarations of Xi Jinping are not just hollow words.

In 2016, China’s share in global exports rose to 13 percent making this country the topmost exporter in the last 50 years. The One Belt One Road initiative is slated to dump the surplus steel of China into its partner states, giving the country a huge export leverage. As per a WorldAtlas report, this country was the largest producer of steel- 800 million tonnes. In contrast, Bharat’s share was just 10 percent of this figure.

Now let us look at the share of Bharat in global exports. As per Bharat Sarkar, it stands at a measly 2%!

So, do we have the required capacities to stand up to the Chinese juggernaut? More importantly, do we as a country have the right DNA to carve our place in the comity of nations?

Does our government have even a quantified vision for the next 30 years?

It is not just Doklam

Many Bhartiyas tend to look at the Doklam faceoff and point to the emergence of Bharat. But, China -Bharat relations are not just centered on the passage of Bhartiya troops through the Chicken’s Neck, or Ladakh.

In the modern world, countries fight more for market and export shares than for remote mountain outcrops. Technology is not just about reverse engineering and finding out jugaad techniques. Like China, we should have invested in our own Bhartiya-bhasha led search engines. Like China, our successive governments should have been imaginative and thought of a world where our Bharat is not just a Vishwa Guru in philosophy but also in material wealth.

It is time we as a society started giving the required emphasis on generating wealth and jobs. But that situation can come only when we vigorously assert our Hindu civilizational identity.


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