Why is China's communism a threat

China: The big mistake

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At some point, China will become democratic. There is no other way, because China has a market economy and its borders are open. That was the underlying hope in the government headquarters of the democratic industrialized countries for almost 40 years. A very western and understandable perspective. Today we know that this was a misconception: the National People's Congress in Beijing, the Chinese pseudo-parliament, which has now ended, has just secured a lifelong reign for the current President Xi Jinping.

The path of the political system in China does not lead from the autocracy of the ruling communists to more democracy, but in exactly the other direction, to dictatorship, to personal rule. China is thus facing a historic upheaval. In memory of the arbitrary rule and the associated chaos under the founder of the state Mao Zedong, the party and government were separated in 1982 and a succession plan was introduced that provided for a generation change every ten years.

Xi has reduced this separation again, centralizing important military, economic and security competencies for himself and the Communist Party, of which he is chairman. The party should be everywhere today, in politics and business, in the media and ideally also in the midst of society. A digital surveillance system is now being set up for this, dissenting opinions are less and less accepted, and repression is growing.

Solidarity among democracies is crumbling

In the past, you could still avoid such dictatorial powers - Mao's China or the collapsed USSR were located in other, separate areas, there were few interfaces with the western industrialized countries. It's completely different today. China has become a rich state, and with globalization the blocs of the USA, the European Union and the fast-growing China have become highly intertwined. Nations with strong exports such as Germany, Japan and South Korea are dependent on the Chinese market; conversely, China's companies do good business with liberal, market-open countries.

So no one can ignore China any more. At the same time, however, the Communist Party dictatorship has become something of a threat from the perspective of the West. It's no longer just the old, anti-communist hawks who say that. The CP strategists are actively involved in infiltrating politics and economics in the West. And they are helped by the open, liberal social order of the Europeans and Americans. In the European Union, for example, Beijing used clever lobbying last year to prevent an official condemnation of its human rights policy and its military expansion in the South China Sea.

Solidarity among democracies has been crumbling, especially since Donald Trump has ruled the USA and he no longer sees his country as a guarantor of the free world. China's CP strategists understand how to use this crisis of confidence in the West for themselves. At the big party congress, which takes place every five years, last autumn, party leader Xi took advantage of this by offering other states that they could share in Chinese solutions and wisdom, such as the New Silk Road infrastructure project. The CP presents its dictatorship in this way as an alternative to the liberal model of government: stable, decisive and not subject to the whims of democratic elections. This is already generating interest in EU countries such as Hungary and Poland. People there are more relaxed about coercive regimes and sometimes thwarted basic liberal values ​​such as the independence of the judiciary.