A More Ubiquitous President Xi

Published on Author fishman

Following the most recent four-day Plenum, China’s top officials have begun cementing President Xi Jinping’s power regarding initiatives within the military, domestic security and foreign policy jurisdictions, further establishing him as the country’s most singularly influential leader since Deng Xiaoping. This development reverses the trend toward a collective leadership that has been occurring since Deng’s presidency. For the past few decades, the government has been governed by technocrats peculiar to the specific division of government. In addition to the strengthening of his political and security policy powers, President Xi announced that market reforms will take an increasingly “decisive” role in Chinese economy. Still, he, ironically, reiterated that the party’s hand in the matter is intended to remain strong, fostering mixed conclusions from the policy statement.Happy Xi Jinping

However, the aforementioned statements support what one analyst believes to be President Xi “showing that he controls all the levers of power.” The recent plenum has demonstrated how President Xi is setting himself apart from the previous two presidents—Jian Zemin and Hu Jintao—through an authoritative assertion over the military coupled with the launching of his campaigns to fight both corruption and the enforcement of ideological orthodoxy. Moreover, the plan for the new security committee is expected to be modeled similarly to the NSC. The president will head the committee with representatives from the military. The importance of this initiative is the resulting schism between the Security Council and the Politburo Standing Committee. President Xi will be enabled to oversee foreign and defense policy coordination with reduced interference.

This is interesting in the context of China’s recent, rapid buildup in military strength coupled with the historic lack of communication between civilian and military officials. China has been taking a bold approach to maritime disputes, especially with Japan, and the country’s initiatives have been garnering some uneasiness among neighboring or regional countries. Hopefully, the Plenum’s strengthening of President Xi’s domestic security powers will result in greater policy cohesiveness. Domestic agencies have become increasingly fragmented, and, as a result, many believe that the strengthening of the president’s role is justified. The fragmentation previously resulted in a breakdown in communication between civilian and military leadership. Resulting in informational issues, for example, during the Kosovo war in 1999, the U.S. bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, and Bill Clinton claimed that he was unable to reach ex-president Mr. Jiang. As President Xi further strengthens his ability to uniformly influence all real domestic and foreign policy initiatives, China will become a more coherent and politically stable country—a net benefit.



Works Cited   

China Deepens Xi’s Powers With New Security Plan

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One Response to A More Ubiquitous President Xi

  1. I found the point about how President Xi is trying to separate himself from the previous two presidents interesting. Taking charge of the military and improving communication between military and party officials is definitely a step in the right direction for China, and also for President Xi. Controlling the military is a sign of power, and it appears that Xi is using that power strategically to gain the people’s trust by campaigning to fight corruption and enforce ideological orthodoxy. However, the people of China must be weary because there is often more than what is on the surface when dealing with corruption. There is the possibility that President Xi is only fighting corruption in an attempt to hide what is really going on from the people.