The Statesman, New Delhi, 11 October 2015 page 7. (www.thestatesman.com).
The Chinese saying “Due to Mao Zedong, we could stand up; thanks to Deng Xiaoping, we are getting rich” highlights China’s two stages of growth.
Xi Jinping is now in his third year as party General Secretary of the CCP, Chairman of the Central Military Commission and President of China. After Deng Xiaoping he is the third maximum leader of China after Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao. Nobody before him, excluding Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, had been able to concentrate so much power in their hands as Xi Jinping. Both his immediate predecessors took some time to consolidate their positions, especially Hu Jintao who took over from Jiang Zemin. The reason for the time lag in consolidation of power was on account of the predecessors dragging their feet in handing over power after their tenure to try and position their own persons as members of the important Politburo as well as other key appointments, especially in the CMC; the reason being to maintain residual political power and to ensure the continuation of their policy as long as possible. It was also an exercise to ensure that the family, close friends and associates of the leader handing over power were not targeted by the successor, so that the treatment meted out to Hu Yaobang and Zhou Zhiyang by Deng Xiaoping was not repeated. This fear continues to lurk and will not go away easily.
Chinese leaders since the time of Mao have developed a penchant for enunciating their policies in pithy three-word maxims or short phrases like the “Three Represents”. Deng Xiaoping, of course, during his southern sojourn made an unique contribution to China’s break from rigid state control of the economy by his famous maxim, “It is glorious to be rich”. Deng Xiaoping thereby laid the foundation for China’s rise as a world power. In less than a quarter century after Deng’s historic turn China has overtaken the leading economies of the world to become a world power of the first rank, , both economic and military. It has enabled Xi Jinping to unfurl his famous ‘Dream’ for the future of China.
Not only has Xi Jinping’s recently unfolded dream taken China further than many of his predecessor’s could think of, it has set alarm bells ringing in China’s neighborhood; starting from the Pacific Ocean, to East Asia, South China Sea and on to the Indian subcontinent and the Indian Ocean. Mr. Xi has been able to flesh out his dream very early in his tenure. To an extent the enabler can be said to have been Hu Jintao who had put China’s economy on a sound footing. Xi has concomitantly undertaken to push the development of Chinese military might. If there were any doubts as to where China was headed, these doubts should have been laid to rest by China’s latest defense paper and more so by the military parade held in early September 2015 in Beijing to mark the 70th anniversary of Japan’s defeat and capitulation. Since tomes have been written on China’s rising military power and the new weapon systems displayed to the world for the first time during the September military parade it is not being dwelled upon any further.