China’s President Xi Jinping will do anything to stay in power. Xi feels he is losing his grip on political power and unfortunately he has started considering how to stay in power. Xi feels threatened by star-billionaire Jack Ma. The Chinese President has probably sent the Alibaba founder into supervision. Chinese media says Ma is ’embracing supervision’.
But now the Chinese President is looking at much more drastic measures. Xi fears that a coup may be around the corner and what does an authoritarian regime do to retain power? Create war hysteria. Fearing a coup, Xi Jinping wants to instigate war-readiness. The first order by Xi to China’s armed forces in 2021 is an act of war-mongering. As per China’s state-owned CGTN, Xi signed a mobilisation order on Monday “for the training of the armed forces.”
CGTN added, “It asked the armed forces to maintain a high level of readiness and step up emergency and combat training.” Xi Jinping wants “full-time combat readiness”. He also wants the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to “act at any second”.
As per the Chinese state media, “Stressing strengthening the rule of law over military training, the order said training management should be reformed and the evaluation system should be improved.”
Xi, who literally commands Chinese armed forces, has also ordered the PLA to “substantially increase” the use of technology in its exercises. He also said, “[The PLA must] increase the integration of new equipment, new forces and new combat realms into training and combat systems.”
In a very confrontational language, Xi even wants frontline frictions to polish PLA troop capabilities. Now, the remarks about Chinese PLA’s ongoing “frontline military struggles” are actually quite provocative. Last year, for example, the Chinese President wanted his troops to “manage crises and deter war”.
So, what changed in the past one year? It seems that Xi is himself worried about China’s changing landscape in the past one year. This is what encapsulates the shift in narrative from deterring war to getting war-ready. Remember, Xi himself remains as powerful in China today as he was a year ago, if we think of it at a completely structural level.
But within China, Xi anticipates a major chaos. Following the Pandemic, economic slowdown and global backlash against China, Xi is facing strong anti-incumbency. Also, Xi administration is losing the faith of investors- both domestic and foreign, which is why the Chinese President actually targeted Jack Ma.
So, Xi’s only choice is to slip China into a war, or at least, a sense of fear about the possibility of an upcoming war. Xi’s first order to the Chinese military in 2021 is actually an attempt to achieve such blatant war hysteria. As such, war is Xi’s answer to coup fears.