Op-Ed: In China, Xi Jinping is getting an unprecedented third term. What should the world expect?
A year after Donald Trump’s historic victory in the US presidential race, Xi Jinping, China’s president, is in the process of taking a third term in power.
Though he has already held two unprecedentedly long presidential terms, this will be Xi’s closest to an unprecedented third.
“Beijing is likely to go all-out to ensure that Xi will get his wish, because it is his,” said David Bandurski, director of the South China Sea programme at the International Crisis Group.
“China wants to win again and to go back to the days of glory. It’s all about nostalgia.”
Xi’s decision to serve a third term has been preceded by a number of high-profile diplomatic crises, including the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue. Xi’s relationship with Donald Trump has been deteriorating, but he has made no public moves to distance himself and even issued a warning to the US president.
On the surface, there appears to be no obvious policy difference between the US and China in how they conduct themselves when it comes to trade and the world of diplomacy and international relations.
The truth is that both are behaving in a similar manner when it comes to global diplomacy, which both sides have used as a means to impose their will and to pursue their national interests.
In this respect, there is no discernible difference between Washington and Beijing. Both are acting as autocratic, dictatorial regimes, pursuing similar courses of events through bilateral relations.
Xi and Trump are not the only autocratic leaders in the world and they will not alone bring about change in how the world is run.
In other words, while both are autocratic and authoritarian at the same time, they are completely different in how they operate.
Xi Jinping is not being backed into a corner, he doesn’t have a mandate from the people, Trump is not facing a mandate from the voters. But what both Xi and Trump are doing is consistent with the autocratic and anti-democratic nature of their regimes, which has been defined by what they have done for the people in their country.
And Xi and Trump are the only leaders in the world that have tried to win a third