If the founding of the Communist Party of China in Shanghai in 1921 in the shadow of the Russian revolution of 1917 — Ten Days that Shook the World — as the title of a famous contemporary book by an American journalist put it — was an event that would hardly have been noticed, CPC’s July 1 centenary would be analysed around the world. This is chiefly on account of the speech of Xi Jinping, who is CPC general secretary and President of his country for life.
It is a speech that sets out China’s vision of the next one hundred to build a mighty military machine. This seems an eerie recall of Hitler’s resolve as he went about building the Third Reich. In his hour-long address, Mr Xi noted that “on the journey ahead” the country and the Party “should always be prepared for potential dangers” and “balance development and security imperatives”.
For India, which has come to share a border with China in its Himalayan north and east after the obliteration of Tibet’s national status and China’s militarist push through Aksai Chin into Indian Ladakh, the special address brings home the fact that India will be face to face with a national security state where the people’s military will be the driving force in securing China’s vision of the next one hundred years.
Under the leadership of the Communist Party, the “people’s military” will be the “strong pillar” of strengthening socialism. China, Mr Xi warned, won’t accept “sanctimonious preaching” from “those who think they have a right to lecture us”. This is no doubt upbraiding the US (which is in the habit of pointing fingers at those that don’t show it love and affection).
China’s leader also declared that his country will not tolerate any power trying to “bully” or “subjugate” it. Any attempt to do so will be “on a collision course with a great wall of steel”. It needs to be clarified that while some of the international news reporting on the centenary event in Beijing speaks of Mr Xi warning of “broken heads” and “bloodshed” if there is a bid to bully China, the official English language version of the speech circulated by the Chinese news agency Xinhua (and carried on the portal of Nikkei Asia) carries no such reference. If the official English version has been duly edited under the Party’s guidance to soften the original, then India should take note. It is broken heads and bloodshed that was headline news from Galwan in June 2020.
Mr Xi’s special address collapses the Communist Party, the Chinese state, and the Chinese people, making clear China’s intention to perpetuate its one-party State. It opens with the sentence that July 1 was a “great and solemn day in the history of the CPC and the Chinese nation.”
China’s strongman says that “socialism with Chinese characteristics” “transformed” the country, through “reforms”, from being a “highly centralised planned economy” to becoming a “socialist market economy”. It is this which had made China “a moderately prosperous society in all respects” and the country is on course to becoming a “great modern socialist country in all respects” in the next one hundred years.
Evidently, the Vietnam Communists paid greater attention to the military state aspect and did not send Mr Xi’s felicitations on the big day, but the CPI(M) and the CPI did. Both noted China’s success against the pandemic. CPI highlighted the need for peace on the border while the CPI(M) eulogised CPC’s history....