Editorial: A pending upgrade for the invincible Xi Jinping Thought? | Apple Daily HK
By Li Ping
After Yang Jiechi and Wang Yi publicly reprimanded Antony Blinken and Jake Sullivan in Alaska, the Chinese media “rejoiced” and cheered for the expurgation from the Boxer Protocol (Xinchou Treaty) 120 years ago, for Xi Jinping’s diplomacy, and for the invincibility of Xi Jinping Thought. Sources have claimed that Xi Jinping Thought is going to be upgraded to Xi Jinpingism which would surpass Deng Xiaoping Theory, Mao Zedong Thought, and be regarded as equals to Marxism and Leninism. Whether Xi Jinping Thought is truly invincible is of course whatever the CCP says, and not according to established CCP standards. However, there are some who would not be well-versed in political correctness, who are more genuine, who would propose to evaluate the theory of victory with short-, medium-, and long-term criteria.
On September 7, 1901, the Qing government signed the Boxer Protocol with 11 countries including the U.K., the U.S., Japan, and Russia. It was considered to be the most unequal treaty in China’s history and involved the largest amount of compensation and most serious loss of sovereignty. It was also known as the “97 National Humiliation”. 120 years later, around the spring equinox, the 17-minute lengthy clip of Yang Jiechi reprimanding the U.S. representatives swept the Chinese Internet. The Chinese media not only rejoiced, cheered, and celebrated, and reports of “Japan is envious: wishing our country can do the same”, “Russian media: America is a paper tiger” appeared everywhere.
It is no surprise that the Sino-U.S. “2+2” talks have been rendered as a historic victory for China’s diplomacy. After all, the Sino-U.S. diplomacy is one step on the stairs to the throne that Xi Jinping cannot avoid. What is surprising, however, is that the CCP is using the opportunity for some new thinking in Xi Jinping’s diplomatic thinking propaganda. It stresses the use of Chinese-style democracy to counter American-style democracy. One democracy, different interpretations. It is a new tool for ideological struggle, and it is an extension of the Beijing model counter to the Washington model.
To add to the elements of surprises, the confrontation between senior diplomatic officials of China and the U.S. was not only portrayed as a victory of Xi Jinping’s diplomatic thought and strategy, but also as a catalyst for the upgrading of Xi Jinping Thought to Xi Jinpingism. The leaders across generations of the CCP have always had an attachment to the theories they put forth, which have been written into the party charter and constitution in order to secure their statuses in history. Among the Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important thinking on “three represents”, the scientific development concept, and Xi Jinping’s new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics that have all been written into the constitution, Xi Jinping has surpassed Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin by establishing his own school of thought. With the diplomatic offensive put forth by Xi Jinping towards the U.S., his think tank is conceiving the expression of Xi Jinpingism such that Xi would surpass Deng Xiaoping and Mao Zedong in one fell swoop, and put him on par with the ancestors of the Communist Party, Marx and Lenin.
However, it is said that the basic principles and the highest levels of diplomatic negotiations are rationality, advantages, and integrity. In the Sino-U.S. “dialogues”, where is rationality, advantages, and integrity from the Chinese side? It is said that practice is the only criterion for testing truth. So where exactly are the testing criteria for all these talks of Xi Jinping’s diplomatic thoughts “surpassing Western theory of international relations for more than 300 years”, and the invincible Xi Jinping Thought? Do we need to issue a set of stamps, like those during the Cultural Revolution of “Long live the invincible Mao Zedong Thought”, or to paint a few slogans around towns and cities with “Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought are invincible”?
To test the victory of Xi Jinping’s diplomacy with the U.S., there should at least be three criteria. One is short term: After being reprimanded by the Chinese, will the U.S. grant the wishes of China with a video summit between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping in April? Will Biden be taught another lesson by Xi Jinping in the April summit?
Two is medium-term: When is Biden going to appoint an ambassador to China? Since the former ambassador Terry Branstad left his post and returned to the U.S. in October last year, it has been six months since the U.S. had “recalled” its ambassador. The candidate of the U.S. ambassador to China needs to be approved by the U.S. Senate as well as by the Chinese side. To a certain extent, it also reflects Biden’s attitude towards China and China’s acceptance.
Three is long-term: Yang Jiechi said, “The U.S. has its style of democracy and China has its style of democracy. It is not just up to the American people, but also the people of the world, to evaluate how the United States has done.” Some have picked up on what was said about China’s non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs, while others are obsessed with Wang Yi’s statement that “whether China is doing well is up for the Chinese people to have the most say”. To compromise, let’s take Hong Kong, this third place, as a departure for the evaluation. Isn’t the CCP improving the Hong Kong electoral system? If we do get to a point where it is not because China says so, and not because Hong Kong says so, but because “the people of the whole world say so”, then the words reflect the deeds, and this proves that Xi Jinping’s diplomatic thoughts are invincible, and that Xi Jinpingism truly surpasses Marixism-Leninism.
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