Donald Trump Should Behave When He Meets The “Demi-God” Xi Jinping

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Oct 26 2017
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When President Donald Trump meets President Xi Jinping next month, the world will watch with great interest on what the U.S. leader has to say to the Chinese supreme leader. And the U.S. leader should behave, or at least pretends to behave, because the same person whom Trump met in April at his Mar-a-Lago estate wasn’t just a president but is also the supreme leader of China today.


Xi Jinping has had himself elevated to a level of political deification unseen in the Middle Kingdom since Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. Unlike the U.S. president whose authority is still being questioned by his own people close to 1 year after his inauguration, the Chinese president is now like a “demigod” – his name is being enshrined in the country’s constitution.


In his newfound power, party delegates voted unanimously – the entire 2,336 votes – to make “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” part of the nation’s constitution. In comparison, China’s previous two presidents, Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin, haven’t had their names enshrined in the constitution in this way.

China President Xi Jinping Name and Thoughts Enshrined - Souvenirs

This also means that Xi Jinping’s name and political ideology will be on par with Chairman Mao Zedong who founded the People’s Republic of China in 1949 and paramount leader Deng Xiaoping, who oversaw China’s opening up to the world. But Deng Xiaoping didn’t get to have his name added to the constitution until 6 months after his death in February 1997.


Essentially, that would make 64-year-old Xi Jinping more important than Deng Xiaoping because no other leader since Mao Zedong (who died in 1976) has had an eponymous ideology included in the document while in office. Even after Deng Xiaoping’s name was honoured, it was because of his “Theory”, while Xi Jinping’s “Thoughts” – clearly more significant – is being enshrined.


No wonder Xi Jinping was the only one smiling when 7 members of the Politburo’s Standing Committee, 5 of them new but all are allies of President Xi, made it to the stage for photo op. As Willy Lam, a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Center for China Studies, said – “Xi Jinping now has an institutional guarantee of support. He can be emperor for life – staying in power as long as his health allows.”

Emperor Xi Jinping

In other words, Xi Jinping could rule until his death like Deng Xiaoping and therefore, outlast Donald Trump and perhaps many more coming U.S. presidents. He has taken down senior leaders in his anti-corruption drive, including those aligned with former president Jiang Zemin, whose corrupt allies included “Tiger Zhou” Zhou Yongkang and “Tiger Xu” Gen. Xu Caihou.


True, it was to consolidate his personal power in Beijing, but Mr. Xi’s anti-corruption campaign was also one of the essential keys which have gotten his work to be enshrined. Interestingly, even his OBOR (One Belt One Road) initiative, an ambitious program to build infrastructure linking China with its neighbours and beyond, was also included in the party constitution.


Xi’s goal to transform the 2-million strong People’s Liberation Army – from being the world’s largest to (hopefully) become the world’s best – has also seen a radical overhaul. He declared that China should “take center stage in the world,” and said that “no one should expect China to swallow anything that undermines its interests”; obviously a statement aimed at superpower United States.

China Past Leaders - Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao, Xi Jinping - Stamps

Premier Li Keqiang and President Xi Jinping were the only two incumbents to retain their seats on the Politburo Standing Committee, China’s highest decision making body. More importantly, Xi has failed (or rather refused) to endorse a successor – as all of his predecessors for the past 25 years had done by the end of their first terms – suggesting he will likely stay beyond 2022.


It appears that Xi Jinping is following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s footstep, breaking a tradition in an ambitious plan to rule for as long as he likes. And that’s a big deal because when President Trump meets President Xi during a state visit to China early next month, the U.S. leader will be dealing with an economic and military powerhouse ruled by one person.


President Trump begins an 11-day trip to five countries plus Hawaii on November 3 and is scheduled to arrive in Beijing on November 8 for meetings with President Xi Jinping. And fresh from being crowned the supreme undisputed leader of China, the last thing Xi wants to hear is a lecture from Trump on how to run his kingdom in relation to North Korea.

President Donald Trump Handshake President Xi Jinping

The tone is of paramount importance hence Trump can only ask nicely even on the matter of Rocket Man Kim. It would be an insult not only to Xi, but also to the 1.4-billion Chinese populations if the U.S. leader starts threatening China on what to do and what not to do on Chinese soil. After all, Xi’s accomplishment this week was a modern equivalent to the founding of a new Chinese dynasty.


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