It was perhaps Benjamin Franklin who said that “Glass, China, and reputation are easily cracked and never well mended.”
Franklin would have felt proud that his prognosis of China is holding even after three centuries. China has built a reputation of invincibility and brute force on the outside, but from inside the superstructure seems to be made of glass. Glass façades look splendid from outside, but often cracks up due to heat from inside.
China’s reputation of invincibility has grown under the leadership of President Xi Jinping as the nation has expanded its control over Eurasia, Africa, and the western hemisphere. China has managed to use its global clout to buy out or copy the industrial and technological properties of other countries. While the world was appreciating its rise, China was discreetly co-opting the minds of the western intelligentsia.
Fifth-generation Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping is the first to hold all three of the nation’s top offices — President of the People’s Republic of China for life, General Secretary of the CCP, and Chairman of Central Military Commission and has become the most influential leader in today’s time.
Xi has influenced the political sphere of China in such a way so that his political thoughts have been inducted in the party and state constitutions. Some compare him to the ruthless Mao Zedong, one of the most authoritarian rulers of modern times. Some critics say that Xi Jinping has surpassed Mao and now competes with the world’s most ruthless dictator of all time — Adolf Hitler.
One cannot fail to notice how much President Xi reminds of Adolf Hilter. Like Hitler, Xi Jinping has crafted a cult of personality and projects himself as one who has been born to bring back the glory of past times. Xi projects his party leadership as the emperor who can bring back the glory of imperial times and take revenge of the West for opium wars just like Hitler used to promise in the 1920s and 1930s to bring back “racial supremacy” and “puritanism”. Like Xi, Hitler combined the offices of chancellor and the president to create the post of “Führer und Reichskanzler” in 1934.
Xi Jinping and the CCP are almost on a Hitlerite expansion spree as they think they have the “moral right” to acquire the lands of “lesser” races. The CCP has systematically destroyed all traditions of the other pre-existing races of mainland China except the Han Chinese. They have eradicated ancient cultures of Tibet, Turkic people, Uighur, Hui Manchus, Mongol, and Yi people. The CCP is alleged to carry out practices of running concentration camps and organ harvesting. The CCP has also built up illegal islands in the South China sea and increasingly taunting its naval neighbors. The dictatorial regime has been accused of using mass surveillance, mass incarceration, censorship, and abuse of human rights.
Sudden meteoric rise
Xi’s uncanny similarity with Hitler does not end here. Like Hitler, Xi’s meteoric rise to the top has been the stuff of fables. Xi was persecuted in his youth being banished by Mao to till the land in a remote village. That experience may have turned Xi to be a stoic, hardened dictator. “Fat in January, thin in February; half-dead in March and April. We say a sword is made on a grinding stone and man is forged in hardship,” Xi wrote in his autographical essay in 1998 reminiscing about the time he spent in — After moving to Munich after his father’s death, Hitler lived in poverty.
One by one, Xi has succeeded in eliminating all the top CCP leaders who could pose a challenge to him in the future. Xi has removed some of them from important posts, banished some from the party, and foisted corruption charges against the rest, a script that Hitler also followed. Within five years, Xi cleaned the CCP of all dissenters and usurped absolute power, like Hitler.
Ruthless mass murderer
Like Hitler, Xi is allegedly using brute force to persecute Uighurs in concentration camps in Xinjiang. The President of the United States of America Donald Trump has accused China under Xi for being complicit in the rapid spread of COVID 19 across the world and the consequent death of millions of people.
Hitler was unable to forge ties with like-minded nations before the start of World War II due to his agenda of hate and racism. Hitler’s arrogance and ruthlessness drew potential allies away from him, thus sealing the outcome of World war II against the great dictator. Currently, the United States, Japan, United Kingdom, Australia, and India have expressed displeasure with China’s aggressive territorial expansionism and are set to counter the dragon nation at multilateral forums.
Army morale weak
Hitler had collapsed the distinction between the army and the executive. So the army was not allowed to operate and devise war strategies. In China too, there has been a growing schism between the philosophy of CCP and the Army. On the one hand, the Chinese Army is weak in combat experience, and on the other decades of reckless territorial expansionism has weakened its zeal to fight. By contrast, the Indian Army is high on emotions and equipped with age-old qualities of valor and nationalism. Moreover, Indian soldiers have shown their superior combat skills in both the world wars and as recently in the Kargil war. Thus it is no secret that the rearguard action of Indian troops in Galwan caught the Chinese totally off guard.
The incursion at Galwan was a tactical mistake and it showed the chinks in Xi’s armory. Also, the reported high number of Chinese troop casualties, hushed up by Beijing, may make it difficult for any truce to be long-lasting. Xi’s men will surely return to Ladakh to avenge the humiliation. India has proved to be the epitaph for many a foreign aggressor and General Xi may not be an exception.
Note: Article co-authored by Saptorshee Kanto Chakraborty.