US-China relations have seen the first two terms of Chinese President Xi Jinping. There were escalating rivalry and tensions between them. The relationship between the two nations appears to be about to become more contentious. As we see that Xi begins a historic third term with tighter control over his party. At the beginning of the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) twice-decade congress some days ago, he declared that External measures to repress and control China may increase at any time.
Xi’s Ambiguous Stances
China should be ready to resist fierce winds, turbulent waves, and even deadly storms, Xi added. He narrated this without mentioning the US. A few days later, he came out of congress with a new leadership team. It appeared to be devoid of anyone who may challenge his staunch political stances.
The Chinese communist party Standing Committee is obviously China’s top decision-making body. It is made up of Xi and six of his close allies, all men.
“Foundation for Defense of Democracies” is a Washington think tank. It states its opinion that China’s collective leadership, which had been on life support for a while, is now formally dead. Craig Singleton is a senior fellow of this think tank. He said that Xi has reduced the formerly Standing Committee to a committee made up solely of himself.
He also said that Wang Yi, the foreign minister, and Qin Gang, the Chinese ambassador to the United States, both received promotions that were subtly supportive of their combative “wolf warrior” diplomacy.
Liu He and Yang Jiechi were two important centers of contact for foreign policy officials. Xi removed them from the party’s new 205-member Central Committee at the same time. It is because they had both reached the traditional retirement age of 68. Singleton wrote in an email that the Biden administration has already challenged the task of establishing guardrails in Washington’s rivalry with Beijing. In this scenario, it will become more difficult for the US due to their dismissal, because they had substantial U.S. experience.
The most recent changes come after at least ten years of deteriorating ties with China.
Are US and China in Cold War?
According to Jia Qingguo, a former dean at Peking University in Beijing, the United States and China are not now engaged in a cold war but are moving in that direction. In an interview with The Carter Center in Atlanta, he stated that China definitely hopes that the Sino-U.S. relationship would be generally stable, and ideally it can be improved, for the mutual benefit of both nations.
He claimed that the issue is that several powerful American senators and policymakers do not share his perspective. According to Jia, if Republicans gain ground in the next congressional elections, U.S. policy toward China may continue to be strict in the near run.
Fragile or Stable?
Predictability is what five more years under Xi, who appears satisfied to keep up his existing policies, would provide, according to Wang Yiwei, a professor at a Beijing university.
Ian Johnson on US-China relations and other foreign relations
Ian Johnson is the senior fellow at Council on Foreign Relations for China studies. He said that at 69 years old, Xi has not named a clear successor. It is suggesting that he may intend to hold onto the presidency indefinitely.
But he warned that if there is weak or no successor, the legacy of the founder of communist China might be easily undone. Mao Zedong, who died in 1976 was the founding father of Communist China. His centrally planned economy was replaced with reforms to the capitalist system.
Recent CPC Hall Incident with Former President
China has decades-long efforts to avoid a return to one-man rule akin to that of Mao Zedong. Mao put the country on the path to becoming a world power. But then they blamed him for tens of millions of deaths. Xi’s apparent insistence on strengthening his position while diminishing the role of the Politburo runs counter to that effort.
This highlight was on the final day of the carefully staged congress. Former president Hu Jintao, 79, had been seated close to Xi, was abruptly removed from the platform. Although the Chinese official media said his resignation was due to health reasons. It may concern a deeper political message from Xi, whose leadership change kept Hu’s faction members in the dark, increased.
The message is that “I’m in power, I can do anything I want, even to a person like Hu,” according to Henry Gao, a law professor at Singapore Management University.