by John J. Metzler
Weirs Times Contributing Writer
UNITED NATIONS – The political optics could not have been more contrasting as China selected its leader and Japan elected its Prime Minister. In a grandiose and stunning setting, draped in the trappings of crimson and gold, 2,300 Chinese Communist Party (CCP) grandees predictably anointed Xi Jinping as the paramount leader of the People’s Republic. Across the Sea of Japan and lashed by heavy rains, 55 million Japanese voters re-elected Japan’s long ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The study in contrast between these two East Asian giants could not be more obvious. The People’s Republic of China staged its 19th Party Congress with the usual minority in charge.
President Xi Jinping has been elevated to the political heights and raw power not seen since the sanguinary days of tyrant Chairman Mao-Tse-tung more than a generation ago.
Though Chairman Xi commands a fundamentally changed and economically vibrant China than few could have ever imagined, politically, the levers or power and control have not seen the reform of the socio/economic sector. Stifling media censorship and political control remain the hallmark of the CCP system.
The Party/State rules, not the government in the traditional sense. People are often surprised to learn that in a country of 1.4 billion people, a mere 90 million or six percent are members of the ruling CCP, the sole political party.
Xi (64) first assumed power in 2012. Abe (63) entered office in 2012. But both men experienced a very different political trajectory.
Chairman Xi came into power amid the collective leadership that characterized the post-Mao era since the 1970’s. Chairman Xi has been granted the mantle of absolute power, a moniker not seen since Mao. Today Xi leads the world’s largest and powerful authoritarian state. As a special touch, an amendment to the CCP Constitution enshrined “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era”.
A laudatory article in the state run China Daily extolled, “According to the new plan, the CCP will basically realize socialist modernization in the first stage from 2020 to 2035, before developing China into a ‘great modern socialist country’ that is ‘prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful.” Continue reading