Xi Jinping Has Ruined China

He turned an economic miracle into a dystopian, genocidal, racist, nationalist, expansionist dictatorship

Xi Jinping Has Ruined China

He turned an economic miracle into a dystopian, genocidal, racist, nationalist, expansionist dictatorship

Aside from the thousands of Chinese protestors – possibly 10,000murdered by the CCP in the Tiananmen Massacre, I long admired post-Deng Xiaoping China and its pragmatic approach to economic growth that lifted hundreds of millions of Chinese out of poverty. And 28 years ago, I married an amazing woman from China and began seriously studying Mandarin.

As I was completing my economics Ph.D., I had a fellowship to study advanced Chinese the following year and was excited to be choosing between The Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies (IUP) at Tsinghua University (China’s MIT) and the Hopkins-Nanjing Center when the U.S. bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, Yugoslavia on May 7, 1999. On TV, I watched Chinese hurl Molotov cocktails at the US Embassy, where I had recently helped a fellow Stanford economics Ph.D. student from China skip the line. Instead of pursuing my dream of becoming a professor of Chinese political economy, I drifted into tech but have remained fascinated by China.

Though the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has long held a political strangehold over China, its various internal factions tended to balance one another out and generally move the nation in wise directions. China was opening up to and slowly integrating with the world. And the CCP had developed a George Washington-like tradition – enshrined in its constitution – under which leaders served no more than two five-year terms before yielding power to the next generation.

I was quite optimistic in November 2012 when Xi Jinping took power. He seemed another reasonable, bland, moderate leader who would continue China’s growth and integration with the rest of the world.

Instead, he has thrown it all away:

Even worse, many fear Xi’s recent purges are just one of many signs Xi is seriously preparing to seize Taiwan by military force.

The Chinese people cannot watch foreign media. All domestic media is either government media or government-approved-and-censored media. And Internet posts the CCP dislikes are quickly censored. People can get imprisoned for posting opinions and even facts the CCP finds inconvenient.

To evade ever-present censorship, Chinese netizens couch their language in analogies, obscure historical references, and words sounding similar to the banned words they want to share, like “May 35th” after references to “June 4th” were banned (though references to “May 35th” were similarly banned soon thereafter, as netizens and censors play a constant cat-and-mouse game).

References to Xi Jinping are especially sensitive, as you might infer from China’s banning Winnie the Pooh after some noted that Xi looks like the famous chubby-cheeked bear:

[C]ontent moderators discovered 546 nicknames, or “typos,” for Xi Jinping over a two-month period….

“The Driving-in-Reverse Emperor” (倒车帝): Xi’s critics have tagged him the accelerator-in-chief, an accusation that his attempt to drag China back into its totalitarian past is hastening the Communist Party’s demise. This name plays on the perception that China is going backwards. As put by one Shanghai resident during the city’s long lockdown: “We’ve put the car in reverse and we’re giving it gas.”

“Xissolini” (习索里尼): comparison to the Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini…

“Tsinghua Graduate” (清华毕业): A snide reference to Xi’s [honorary] academic credentials. [James note: Xi reportedly has only an elementary school education]

“The Devil Mao Incarnate” (毛魔转世): As with the Mussolini-inspired one above, this nickname imagines Xi as the reincarnation of one of the 20th century’s greatest dictators, in this case Mao Zedong.

– Cited in: Victor Mair, “Typos as a means for circumventing censorship”

Since Xi expelled foreign journalists for doing their jobs, I’ve been struggling to find quality, unbiased coverage of China, since much English-language coverage of China comes directly from the Chinese government, its paid Western shills (“white monkeys”) who are some of the few foreigners remaining in China, or Falun Gong-owned media.

I recently discovered a pair of westerners (one American; one South African) who each lived in China for over a decade, motorcycled all across the country, and married Chinese women. They loved pre-Xi China but eventually fled with their families and are now sharing their honest perspectives on and footage of Xi Jinping’s China. I’ve watched a ton of their videos (albeit skipping the annoying ads) and have learned a lot from their Youtube channels:

I have posted a few samples below and encourage you to watch if you’re interested in better understanding modern China and why so many fear China’s rabid and rising racism, xenophobia, nationalism, militarism, and expansionist fervor pose a grave threat to the region, the world, and the Chinese people themselves (not to mention the countless non-Han ethnic minorities who have long been oppressed by the Han majority):

I hope the growing signs of a militaristic China prove wrong. I fear Xi’s mounting problems – for which he deserves great blame, given that the whole nation basically does whatever he demands – will only strengthen his resolve to pursue his dream of capturing Taiwan by force.