The New Great Wall of China
Xi Jinping now has absolute power for life, power over the second biggest economy on the planet. And it seems he has decided that his economy does not need the rest of the world. They are going to go it alone.
He is erecting a new Great Wall, but we will not be able to see this one from space. However, before he completes this wall of secrecy and silence, he has to fulfill his other great obsession. He has to assimilate Taiwan, a sovereign nation he claims as part of China, though it never has been in the past hundred years.
These two goals, isolation and attacking another country, do not go hand in hand, because any invasion will bring a response from the world and reveal the extent of the power of China’s military. We will find out soon just how mad this man is.
Mad may not be the right word. Though Xi’s family was treated horribly in the purges during Mao’s reign as supreme ruler, after being high ranking loyalists, Xi emerged with his loyalties intact. He believes that the Party is forever. And he may be right.
But he also seems to know that the only way he can keep his mythology alive is to keep the West out, to shield his people from knowledge of how the rest of the world lives. His new Wall will be a wall of cultural ignorance. Behind it he can build his own version of what a superior civilization is.
Except that he has ambitions of warfare with Taiwan, warfare that could expose his people to the world in awful ways. The same ways that his counterpart in Russia is exposing his people to the price of war.
Thousands of dead, thousands of wounded, and exclusion from a global economy that has driven Chinese prosperity for decades. Their current growth rate is the worst it has been in forty years.
His Wall is also around himself, as he purges the Party of competent people and surrounds himself with loyalists, yes-men who will shield him from any unpleasant reality. We now have two world leaders who we cannot be sure are hearing any truth they don’t want to hear.
Here in the US there are politicians on the right who want to embrace an America First campaign, isolationism. I don’t know how that would…