Xi Jinping and China’s endgame for America
The Chinese leader’s speeches make clear his intentions and his words are disquieting
- Xi Jinping’s works show a deep hatred of the American way of life and harbor a conviction that the Chinese communist system is superior and will prevail. | POOL / VIA REUTERS
- by Ian Easton
- The Diplomat
Sep 16, 2022
For some time now, the ruler of China has been talking about destroying the United States and the liberal world order that Washington helped create in the wake of World War II.
Uncovered documents and never-before-translated speeches shine light on what Xi Jinping has in mind. His words are disquieting.
Over the past decade, Xi has built a cult of personality around himself founded on the idea that his interpretation of Marxism is pure, better even than that of Lenin and Mao. China is officially an atheist state, but given the vital importance of ideology to the CPC, this is akin to a religious leader telling his followers that God is speaking the truth to him — and him alone.
If Xi’s words seem antiquated and faintly ridiculous to you, that’s because Beijing’s Propaganda Department wants it that way. Since the late 1970s, China’s government has gone to great lengths to encourage a foreign perception that Marxism and Leninism were all but dead and China would gradually assimilate into the post-war international order and become a “responsible stakeholder.” According to this narrative, the story of post-Mao China was one of economic and social reforms, a gradual opening process whose endpoint would involve reforms that, one day, would make China a free-market, capitalist country.
Of course, Xi Jinping and other officials have been saying something very different in Chinese, something that many Communist Party faithful believed all along: China is not going to be absorbed. Rather, it is going to do the absorbing. The CPC’s mission is to gain access to the international system without being changed by it, to gain enough leverage to subvert it and then to remake that system in the model of its own totalitarian form of government. To this end, Chinese rulers since Deng Xiaoping have been conducting a campaign of global infiltration.
Xi calls the CPC’s long-term game plan “constructing a community of common destiny for all mankind.” Textbooks on Xi Jinping Thought describe the process as follows: “The community of common destiny for all mankind will mold the interests of the Chinese people and those of the world’s people together so they are one and the same.” In other words, Beijing envisions replicating on a global level what it sees as its own superior system.
In 2020, the Central Party School published a new textbook, “The Fundamentals of Xi Jinping Thought on Chinese Socialism in a New Era,” which was not translated into English but was particularly candid in the original Mandarin.
The textbook on Xi Jinping thoughts states in no uncertain terms that “revolution is an ideal higher than the sky.” And it bluntly says that the CPC aims to export its system to every country in the world. “The fundamental mission and aspiration of a Marxist political party is achieving Communism. Achieving this sacred mission and aspiration will be the grandest and most magnificent enterprise in the history of human society. It will also be the most difficult and complex mission ever.”
China’s foreign policy and all its strategic actions abroad — everything the CPC seeks to do and have in the world — is reportedly guided by this vision.
Welcome to Cold War II. As Xi himself said in an internal speech to the PLA, “When it comes to combat in the ideology domain, we don’t have any room for compromise or retreat. We must achieve total victory.”
Ian Easton is a senior director at the Project 2049 Institute and author of “The Final Struggle: Inside China’s Global Strategy.” © The Diplomat, 2022