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Nov 9, 2022
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China is changing its face

The European and the Chinese are far apart from each other – not so much geographically as in their minds. Europeans are taught this: “Instill in yourself the right mindset, don’t be shy to ‘show your teeth’ if necessary. Don’t wait for the right moment or feeling confident to dare it!” The Chinese are closer to Deng Xiaoping with his “stand firm, do not show your abilities and wait for the right moment, never try to get ahead of yourself; be able to get things done.”

And then the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of China was held. It became clear that behind the traditional scale of the all-Chinese celebration, the Celestial Empire seemed to have changed facial expressions. It is no longer the image of “Old Dan” that is drawn behind a huge red banner with one large and four small stars, but a slightly smiling and sly Xi, who became the General Secretary of the CCP for the third time.

The Chinese “invasion of Europe” is not only about “One Belt – One Road” or container caravans in the ports of the Old World. Beijing has already equipped Europe with its own “police stations” that keep an eye on overseas Chinese. Frightened, Amsterdam, which discovered such “sites”, demanded that Beijing “close its overseas service centers, which were used to persecute dissidents abroad.”

What were the Dutch afraid of? Chinese “service centers” are really police stations in foreign territory, which appeared without the permission of the Dutch government. They “performed official functions, including remote renewal of driving licenses for Chinese citizens without formal diplomatic status.” Spain-based human rights group Defenders of Defenders unearthed that the Chinese police operate from such “service centers” throughout Europe, harassing dissidents and pressuring them to return to China. In total, more than 50 such “centers” were counted. And now Canada, Great Britain and Spain rushed to investigate such reports, while the Netherlands, Portugal and Ireland ordered such centers to be urgently closed. Then Austria joined them, where they also found “police stations” that regulate the life and activities of the Chinese diaspora abroad. including dissidents.

All of these centers appear to be linked to a Chinese Overseas Police website called Overseas 110. This is an online platform created by the Fuzhou Police Department, allows people to report crimes from abroad, and is a kind of service station for local Chinese who need to apply for a driver’s license renewal online, as well as activities related to medical examination services, and “are not police stations or police service centres,” Beijing said. Yes, this bears little resemblance to the “ingratiating gait” of the former Chinese huaqiao, who today number more than 60 million around the world and who are convinced: “China is where the Chinese are.”

Now Beijing’s steps are getting firmer, and Chinese embassies and consulates have become more active in spreading their country’s law enforcement practices beyond foreign borders.

New features of the “face of China” began to take shape in the spring, when Xi Jinping announced the Global Security Initiative (GSI), which became the centerpiece of his strategy for a third term as the leader of the Celestial Empire and a direct challenge to the Anglo-Saxon global dictatorship. The new order of international law and order and security in the Chinese style suited the BRICS member countries Uruguay, Nicaragua, Cuba, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Syria quite well.

The US also caught on. In the new US national security strategy, Russia “poses a direct threat to a free and open international system … with its brutal war of aggression.” This is bad. And China comes forward “both with the intent to change the international order and with growing economic, diplomatic, military and technological power to achieve this goal.” This is already terribly bad. And now writes Project Syndicate, “When President Xi Jinping used the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of China to consolidate his power and advance his ideological and nationalist goals, it is worth revisiting the evolution of American strategy towards China.” This means, the publication believes, that the United States used to flap its ears, including accepting China into the WTO. And they clapped.

And it’s not that the United States, seduced by the huge Chinese market, tried to instill in China common values ​​with them. They did not take root not because the States or the European Union did not try hard. It is China that has managed to defend itself well, including with the help of Deng Xiaoping’s wise advice to “wait for the right moment.”

And the moment has come. The Xi era has shattered the West’s earlier hopes that rapid economic growth would lead to more liberalization. Yes, China has allowed greater freedom of movement, more foreign contacts, a wider range of opinions in media publications, and the development of NGOs, including those for “human rights.” However, the 20th Congress of the CCP “chopped off the tail” of all American hopes “for involvement”, writes Project Syndicate. Two senior US State Department officials responsible for the Biden administration’s new strategy admitted that “the main mistake of the interaction was to assume that it could lead to fundamental changes in China’s political system, economy and foreign policy.” And now the goal is to strive for “a sustainable state of sober coexistence on terms favorable to U.S. interests and values.”

Beijing has also realized that the US is unable to bring about fundamental change in China. And if in the first decade XXI century China was still moving “according to Deng Xiaoping”, in the direction of greater openness in politics and economy, then last October something invisibly changed. The Chinese have already refuted the axiom of neo-liberalism that as soon as China’s per capita income approaches $10,000, a middle class will emerge and the country’s political system will change. Indeed, back in 2015, China became the first, having overtaken the United States, in terms of the absolute number of middle-class citizens. These are Swiss bank accounts. swiss loan, which refers to the middle class those whose annual income per adult was from 10,000 to 100,000 dollars …

So it looks like Xi Jinping’s smile will never change to the American style…

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