Geopolitics

China’s Internal Fissures
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Issue Book Excerpt: China: Threat or Challenge? | Date : 16 Aug , 2017

Despite the fact that China has become a formidable economic and military power, able to compete with the United States, the Middle Kingdom remains very weak, not to say shaky in other domains.

The inner stability of the regime is in some cases so threatened that China appears a colossus with clay feet to an outside observer.

We could have dealt with issues such as the South or East China Seas, through which Beijing tries to show to the world that China is the major Asian power, but we chose to only mention internal instability factors.

About the external factors, one can just say that many watchers feel that Beijing is taking more that it can chew.

Let us look at the fissures in the regime.

The Legitimacy of the Party

The biggest threat to the continued existence of the Middle Kingdom as an entity is perhaps the legitimacy of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

On June 26, Wang Xiuying, an eighty-year-old senior petitioner from Beijing whose home had been torn down, wrote a letter to President Xi Jinping. In the petition published in the Mingjing News, Wang urged Xi Jinping to register the CPC with the Ministry of Civil Affairs as soon as possible: “As a social group, the CPC has never registered with the Ministry of Civil Affairs, which is in violation of the existing constitution.”1

Wang said: “Even though the Communist Party is the ruling party, it is also a social organization. If it is not registered with the Ministry of Civil Affairs, it is an illegal organization.” This case, like many others, shows that citizens have started questioning the CPC’s legitimacy.

Unlike India which is not afraid to debate the ‘differences of opinion’ between the three pillars of democracy, China is still unable to openly discuss its own pillars, i.e. judiciary, legislative, executive and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Chinese have no choice but to obey the diktats of the CPC, represented by the Politburo of its Central Committee.

For nearly seven decades, discussing the legitimacy of the Party’s supremacy has been forbidden in China. However, with the changing economic scenario, one may soon witness changes, as mentioned in the example cited above.

Can Legitimacy be Questioned?

In September 2015, The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported: “Open discussion by top graft-buster Wang Qishan about the legitimacy of the ruling Communist Party – a topic long deemed unquestionable – has raised the eyebrows of some commentators.”2

While addressing the Party and World Dialogue 2015 in Beijing, Wang, a member of the Politburo’s Standing Committee asserted: “The legitimacy of the CPC derives from history, and depends on whether it is supported by the will of the people; is it the people’s choice?”3

It is a new discourse, especially in front of a gathering which included overseas participants.

Though many analysts did not agree with Wang’s interpretation of ‘legitimacy’, his utterances seem to mark a change of wind.

The SCMP quoted Zhang Lifan, a Beijing-based commentator, who believed that Wang’s remarks are “a shift of attitude in the party as a result of intensified social conflicts and increasing pressure from an underperforming economy.” Zhang added: “In the past, the issue was not allowed to be discussed, because the Party thinks its rule is justified unquestionably.”

After the Revolution, during the Great Helmsman’s days, political power grew out of the barrel of a gun. Many China watchers believe that since Mao’s death and the advent of Deng Xiaoping at the end of the 1970s, the Party’s legitimacy shifted (and relied) on economic growth, which was supposed to suffice for the masses; it was the ‘to get rich is glorious’ policy of Deng.

Today, China cannot depend anymore on the ‘gun’ to impose its rule over the masses and with the power of Xiaoping’s mantra receding with the economic slowdown, is the Party’s ‘legitimacy’ fading away?

Can this explain Wang’s words?

Despite the dysfunctional ups and downs of the democratic process, India has indeed a great advantage over the Middle Kingdom in this field.

‘Always Follow the Party’: The Temptation of Authoritarianism

At a time when a senior leader seemed to be ready to open a debate, a hardening can be witnessed all over the Middle Kingdom.

On June 28, 2016, Internet authorities announced that they were tightening their grip on the growing app market: the new rules would require all app providers to register the real names of their users and the latters’ activities would have to be kept for 60 days.

The objective (or pretext) of the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) is to rein excessive access of users’ personal data by app-providers.

It is unclear if the new regulation would affect overseas users of Chinese apps. The new regulation, which will be implemented on August 1, 2016, is in fact aimed at curbing the dissemination of ‘illegal information’.

An official stated on the CAC’s website: “Lawbreakers exploit a handful of apps to disseminate violent, terrorist, obscene and pornographic information and rumours against the law.”4

This is one example of the fragility of the regime which has to rely on more and more restrictions and surveillance to control the ‘masses’.

Praising the Party

Another aspect of new authoritarianism appeared in a recent study conducted by US researchers: they analyzed of China’s government-backed internet warriors known as the ‘50-cent gang’

The South China Morning Post (SCMP)5 wrote: “It’s an open secret that China employs a veritable army of internet commentators to sing the government’s praises and attack its critics.”

Dr Gary King, a well-known political scientist carried out what he describes as “the first large-scale empirical analysis of online comments by the notorious ‘50-cent gang’ – so called in the popular but mistaken belief that this is the amount they are paid for each online post made in defence of the government.”6

King terms the actions of the gang ‘reverse engineering online censorship’. His team intercepted communications between authorities and the ‘50-cent-ers’ on assignments as well as their work reports.

King estimated the government posted about 488 million social media comments a year to deflect public criticism and praise the Party and government.

The SCMP quotes Professor Qiao Mu of Beijing Foreign Studies University, saying that King’s study “shed light on the distraction strategy adopted by Chinese internet censors, …these people – who are not getting paid or ordered to post online – do not want to see drastic changes in society and they are voluntarily defending the authorities.”

Of course, apart from the ‘volunteer 50-cent-ers’, professional censors are removing posts by thousands, if not by lakhs.

This type of examples of propaganda tactics and repressive monitoring of the Internet can be multiplied.

‘I love My Motherland’: Patriotic Education

On February 9, Xinhua reported that China’s Ministry of Education has issued a directive asking Chinese schools to re-enforce patriotic education using innovative methods such as the new media (i.e. social networking).

In the directive, the Ministry says that schools at all levels must creatively carry out the patriotic campaign with a focus on the new media. Schools are required to integrate the patriotic spirit into curriculum standards, textbooks, and exams and evaluations at the primary and secondary levels and in higher education; and also into morals, Chinese language, history, geography, physical education, arts and other endeavors.

The directive calls for launching special campaigns in universities with the themes of “I love my motherland” and “Always follow the Party.”

This shows how nervous the Party is about losing its grip on the ‘masses’, especially with the economic recession.

Fearing Coloured Revolution

The plurality in the Chinese social structure makes it difficult to lead and guide the people, complains the Qiushi, the organ of the Central Committee, while, “economic globalization and the Internet make it easier for the West to achieve a cultural infiltration of China.”

The publication also quotes the disintegration of some regimes (‘coloured’ revolutions), “all have had a disturbing psychological impact on the people of China,” before concluding: “some people no longer trust and follow the propaganda of the Party the way they used to.”

And what about the large scale corruption in the Party and in the PLA?

Many feel that the possibility of a revolution could not be ruled out in China in the future. The situation in the Armed Forces is particularly worrying for the leadership in Beijing.

In April, Xinhua reported that Xi Jinping, Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), approved a Notice titled, “Opinion to Develop a Political Team of Cadres That Will Demonstrate Absolute Loyalty to the Party, Has a Strong Capability to Fight in Wars, and Displays a Good Work Style and Image.”7

When this type of ‘order’ is issued in China, it usually means that the opposite is happening; scores of senior officers are not loyal to the Party anymore. India with her multi-parties democratic system, even if often chaotic, does not have this type of problems.

Liberalism has Always been the Great Enemy

In June 2015, Reuters quoted the PLA Daily affirming that ‘enemy’ forces were trying to infiltrate the ranks to push for the ‘de-politicisation’ of the military and reduce the Party’s role in the Army.

The PLA publication admitted: “With a changing society, younger officers were now entering the forces without a proper understanding of the party’s role and its discipline requirements.”8

It cited Mao: “When political discipline is firm, then the ruling party prospers; when political discipline is weak, the ruling party falls … Liberalism has always been the great enemy.”

The military is deeply shaken with two former CMC’s deputy chairmen Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou being charged with corruption.

In a separate analysis, the SCMP affirmed, “Without a more durable basis for power, challenges loom.”

It cites some facts of history: 3,000 years ago, the House of Zhou overthrew the Shang dynasty in the battle of Muye and became the Middle Kingdom’s new ruler. At that time, the Duke of Zhou came up with the concept of the Mandate of Heaven: a bad ruler will be thrown away by Heaven and replaced by a virtuous one: “but the new king, whose legitimacy came from heaven, must have good conduct for it to continue endorsing his status as the rightful ruler.”

Historically, dynasties which have not been able to deliver the goods to the masses have been overthrown. Rebellions or revolts are a sign that the divine approval was been withdrawn and that it is time for the Kingdom to give way for a new dynasty, which will have Heaven’s legitimacy.

Curious Tale of Missing Hong Kong Publishers

Hong Kong (‘Fragrant Harbour’) was to be a model of governance; it may not be. In 1997, the territory’s transfer of sovereignty from the British Crown to the People’s Republic of China marked the end of 156 years of ‘imperialism’ for the Communist leadership, while for the British, it signaled the disappearance of the last remnant of their Empire.

Hong Kong became China’s Special Administrative Region, governed by a principle known as ‘One Country, Two Systems’, a genial brainchild of China’s paramount leader, Deng Xiaoping, who thought that the recipe could later be applied to Taiwan, the ‘rebel island’. But recently, the scheme has shown its limits.

The Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1997 had provided Hong Kong with ‘a high degree of autonomy in all areas except defence and foreign affairs’, while the territory’s political and judicial systems could continue to function independently from those of the mainland.

The guarantees for Hongkongers’ individual rights and freedoms were enshrined in Hong Kong’s basic law, the territory’s ‘Constitution’. Today, the entire system is in jeopardy due to some strange events. What has happened?

When in late December, Lee Bo, a bookshop owner and publisher in Hong Kong went missing, his wife filed a police complaint saying that he had ‘disappeared’. Soon after, alarm bells started ringing louder: Four of Mr Lee’s colleagues — Gui Minhai, Cheung Ji-ping, Lui Bo and Lam Wing-kei — were also untraceable.

Lee’s crime is that he may have been working on a ‘private life’ of Xi Jinping. Tricky business these days, certainly not appreciated in Beijing, which has tightened its grip on the internet and literary freedom in the recent months. Political and gossip books on the Chinese leadership have been a lucrative business for Hong Kong booksellers as Mainland visitors are avid readers of ‘censured’ literature, unavailable at home. With the Hong Kongers particularly attached to their special status, the issue has quickly taken a political turn.

The CPC’s mouthpiece, The Global Times, articulated Beijing’s position: the booksellers were exercising an ‘evil influence in China through their political publications’.

In the meantime, Lee Bo reappeared on Hong Kong’s Phoenix TV and admitted he had sneaked into the Mainland “to assist in an investigation involving his publishing associate Gui Minhai,” co-owner of Mighty Current and also missing. He declined to say more.

In terms of tolerance India is eons ahead of China, with an opinionated press, scores of anti-government news channels, and an extra-vigilant judiciary.

Four of the booksellers have now returned to Hong Kong, including Wing-kee and Chinese-born British national Lee Bo (Swedish passport holder Gui Minhai who disappeared from Thailand) remains in detention in China.

Lam Wing-kee, one of the five Causeway Bay booksellers who recently returned to Hong Kong, revealed that he had been kidnapped at the border and put through eight months of mental torture. Lam described in explosive detail how he was taken away, blindfolded and handcuffed by a special task force crossing the border to Shenzhen in October 2015.

If the Hong Kong experiment fails, it will have serious implications for Taiwan as well as Tibet and Xinjiang.

Tibet, the Unstable Border

In March 2008, riots erupted all over the Tibetan plateau.

It was not the first time; several times since the Chinese invaded Tibet in 1950, the plateau witnessed riots: in the mid-1950s in Kham province; in March 1959, provoking the flight of the Dalai Lama; in 1987-88 when ‘martial law’ was imposed in Lhasa; or the mid-1990s.

On March 10, 2008, 500 monks of the Drepung monastery marched to the Tibetan capital: they wanted to commemorate the 49th anniversary of the 1959 uprising. Like in 1987-88, the clergy took the lead in the protests.

This protest was followed the next day by the march of 14 monks of Sera Monastery towards the Jokhang Cathedral. More and more lay people and monks joined. Minor protests were also reported from Amdo region9.

Later 600 monks from Sera monastery marched peacefully to the Tibetan capital. They were tear-gassed by police and many were arrested. The same method was used by the People’s Armed Police Force (PAPF) in Sera: the water supply of the monastery was cut off and restaurants in the area closed.

Local authorities considered the happenings on the plateau as “a direct challenge to the long term stability of Tibet”.

Robert Barnett, a scholar from Columbia University later wrote the details of the events for the New York Review of Books10: “The rapid increase of migrants in Tibetan towns (they were already 34 percent of the Lhasa population when official figures were last made available in 2000, and this figure probably excludes temporary residents and the military) had created uneasy resentment — until then silent — among the indigenous population. About a thousand Chinese-owned shops were set on fire by rioters.”11

Fifty years of bitterness and anger against the ‘colonisation’ of Tibet finally expressed itself in the streets.

The unrest occurred as many local Party cadres were attending the annual National People’s Congress in Beijing. From Beijing, the TAR’s authorities immediately blamed the Dalai Lama. Even Premier Wen Jiabao accused the Tibetan Leader to have masterminded the violence for sabotaging the forthcoming Olympic Games. This was denied by the Dalai Lama.

But since then, China is nervous. ‘Stability’ has become the main catchword of the Chinese policies and propaganda on the Tibetan plateau (as well as in Xinjiang).

China Loves Tibet

Today the Chinese propaganda will tell you: China loves Tibet.

A year ago, China Tibet Online announced a photo contest on ‘Charming Tibet’ to be held in Beijing: “The event aims to provide a platform for Tibet enthusiasts and photography lovers to showcase and share the charm of Tibet through their lens. Outstanding photos will receive awards. …In order to objectively present Tibet’s achievements in economic development, peace and stability in Tibet over the past 50 years, the event encourages all amateur and professional photographers, domestic college students and foreign students to show to the world a real Tibet through their cameras.”12

Today, everyone loves ‘charming’ Tibet in China.

In September 2015, China celebrated the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). On the occasion, Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) met with the representatives from the PLA and the PAPF posted on the plateau. Yu urged the army, the police and the judicial staff “to crack down on separatist forces and be ready to fight a protracted battle against the 14th Dalai clique.”

Yu also asked the defence forces “to improve their abilities of governing Tibet according to law, specifically cracking down on the separatist forces, strengthening social management and protecting the people’s rights.”

The defence forces should uphold the correct ‘political direction’ and exert a larger role for safeguarding border stability and ethnic solidarity.

Yu also addressed through video conference the defence staff posted at the ‘stability-maintaining command centers’ in the seven prefectures across the plateau region, says China Tibet Online.

Yu praised the army, police and judicial staff’s contribution to Tibet’s stability and development, calling them a strong team that the Party can trust and the masses can rely on.

A few weeks earlier, during 6th Tibet Work Forum held in Beijing, Xi Jinping stated: “Given that the stability and security in the TAR are closely relevant to those of the whole nation, any work related to the region should focus on maintaining national unity and consolidating ethnic solidarity.”13

On another occasion, President Xi Jinping declared: “To govern a country, we must govern the borders, for governing the borders, we must first make Tibet stable and [we must] work hard for Tibet’s sustained stability, long term stability and comprehensive stability.”14

There is no doubt that ‘stability’ on the plateau is a major concern for the leadership in Beijing.

Xinjiang: the Restive Province

The dust had hardly settled on the TAR’s celebrations in Lhasa that the Chinese leadership moved to Xinjiang to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. According to the Chinese media, everybody rejoiced in Tibet, but it was not the case in the restive far-western region of China.

In Tibet, the Communist leadership openly said that Tibet had entered the Golden Age; it is not the case in Xinjiang where the situation is far more unsettled; in fact it is one the thorniest issues facing the CPC.

Though like in Lhasa, a large delegation of Party cadres landed in Urumqui for the ‘festivities’, nobody spoke of the Golden Age. Yu Zhengsheng presided without fanfare over the function.

Like in Lhasa, Vice-Minister Liu Yandong was present, but the other lady member of the Politburo Sun Chunlan was ‘missing in action’, though she is the powerful Director of The United Front Work Department which overlooks Xinjiang affairs.

A few days earlier, Reuters had reported a fatal attack which occurred in a coal mine, in which 50 Han Chinese lost their lives. As he arrived, Yu Zhengsheng warned that everything was not under control in the region. He stated: “We must fully recognise that Xinjiang faces a very serious situation in maintaining long-term social stability, and we must make serious crackdown on violent terror activities the focal point of our struggle”15; he invited the local cadres ‘not to rest on their laurels’, while Beijing faced a grave ‘threat from militants and separatists’.

Xinhua quoted Yu as saying in Urumqi: “Firmly fighting violent terrorist activities should be the priority of our battle at present.”

In recent years, the energy-rich Muslim province has witnessed hundreds of deaths in ‘separatist’ violence.

As mentioned earlier, in September 2015, Radio Free Asia (RFA) had reported that “at least 50 people died in an attack on a Chinese coal mine in the far-western region of Xinjiang”. The incident occurred at the Sogan colliery in Aksu; all the casualties belonged to the Han Chinese majority.

Although local police immediately blamed the attack on knife-wielding separatists, the incident was not reported by state media: the Chinese television just beamed happy ‘ethnic minorities’ dressed in colourful outfits dancing and celebrating the great Chinese Motherland.

While the Chinese government put the blame on a handful of Muslim fundamentalists, Uyghur exiles and rights groups point out that Beijing “never presented convincing evidence of the existence of a cohesive militant group fighting the government, and that much of the unrest can be traced back to frustration at controls over the culture and religion of the Uyghur people who live in Xinjiang”.16

According to Radio Free Asia (RFA), when police officers arrived at the mine, attackers “rammed their vehicles using trucks loaded with coal”.

The colliery has three separate coal mine shafts with a six-storey dormitory to house some 300 or 400 workers – around 90 per cent being Han.

In May 2014, as President Xi Jinping was wrapping up a high-profile four-day visit to the restive region, a bomb attack in Urumqi railway station killed three people and injured 79. It was the third major incident in seven months targeting civilians, following earlier fatal attacks in the heart of Beijing and Kunming.

A few weeks later another terrorist attack in Urumqi left 31 people dead and a large number of Han Chinese was injured. At that time, Xi ordered troops in Xinjiang to deliver a ‘crushing blow’ to terrorism.

One can bet that Xinjiang will remain ‘unstable’ in the years to come.

China is Gambling with Terrorism in Pakistan

Despite these serious warnings, China is gambling. Beijing can lose its stakes and more. It believes that Masood Azhar, the Jaish-e-Mohammed chief and Pathankot terror attack mastermind, does not qualify to be listed as a ‘terrorist’ by the UN; his case “does not meet the Security Council’s requirements”, says Beijing. It is all the more ironic since the peace-loving Dalai Lama is branded as a ‘terrorist’ by China.

When asked the reason for China’s decision in the UN Sanctions Committee to place Azhar’s name on ‘technical hold’, Liu Jieyi, China’s Permanent Representative to the UN explained: “Any listing would have to meet the requirements for blacklisting. It is the responsibility of all members of the council to make sure that these requirements are followed.”

Beijing probably believes that it is its responsibility to block Azhar’s name at a time17 when China, one of the five permanent members of the 15-nation Council, assumed the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council.

The Collapse of China

China-watchers are today divided. Many believe that the Middle Kingdom will collapse in the near future, some think it may not happen.

A few months ago, David Shambaugh, a respected Chinese expert who is director of the China Policy Program at George Washington University, published a ‘Saturday Essay’ in The Wall Street Journal. ‘Coming Chinese Crackup’ circulated widely on social media and hundreds with an interest in the ‘cracking up’ of China, enjoyed the prediction.

Since then David Shambaugh has elaborated his theory in a 203-page new book, China’s Future, where he argues that “China is in a state of ‘atrophy’ and ‘decline’, which will continue if no major political reform takes place in the near future.”

What had David Shambaugh ‘prophesied’ last year? He remarked: “The endgame of communist rule in China has begun, and Xi Jinping’s ruthless measures are only bringing the country closer to a breaking point.”18

The professor’s main argument is the following: “Despite appearances, China’s political system is badly broken, and nobody knows it better than the Communist Party itself. China’s strongman leader, Xi Jinping, is hoping that a crackdown on dissent and corruption will shore up the party’s rule.” His new book elaborates on his earlier conclusions. According to Shambaugh, it is the political system which is not up to the mark.”

If China continues on its present track of hard authoritarian rule, then the mainland will crack up, he believes. The only way out would be to “unleash innovation and effectively reform the financial system” but this is unlikely, as the Communist Party is too insecure; it can’t’ envisage any means other than control and coercion. Shambaugh argues that continuing with the current repressive policies is “a recipe for further social volatility.”

Ren Zhiqiang, a property tycoon, one of the richest men in China and a long-time ‘outstanding party member’, dared to question President Xi Jinping’s ‘absolute loyalty to the party’; Ren’s microblogging accounts were swiftly blocked. A party official announced that Ren would be ‘dealt with seriously’ for his critical postings: “Any remark that does not accord with the party’s lines, principles and policies …is not allowed under party discipline,” the official stated. Ren has (or had) 26 million microblog followers. A week earlier President Xi Jinping had paid a highly publicized visit to China’s top media organizations, journalists had to pledge ‘absolute loyalty’ to Xi.

Authoritarianism has limits and President Xi seems to have entered a vicious circle with the impossibility to reset the Middle Kingdom to ‘normal’. India does not have these problems. In terms of tolerance, incredibly chaotic India is eons ahead of China with an opinionated press, scores of anti-government news channels and an extra-vigilant judiciary.

Authoritarianism translates as repression in Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet, where the Communist regime sees an added ‘nationalist’ factor.

Conclusions

There are serious fissures in the Middle Kingdom.

Can India, which is far more stable despite the apparent chaos, benefit from China’s weakness? It may depend on the foresight of Delhi’s’ leaders.

It is however certain that the above ‘fissures’ will dampen or reduce the Chinese threat.

Notes

1. Ming Jing News, June 26, 2016; see: http://www.mingjingnews.com/MIB/blog/blog_contents.aspx?ID=0000803700002588

2. China’s top graft-buster breaks taboo by discussing Communist Party’s ‘legitimacy’, September 15, 2015; see: http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/1857441/chinas-top-graft-buster-breaks-taboo-discussing

3. Ibid.

4. All mainland app providers ordered to keep user logs for months to curb spread of ‘illegal information’, June 28, 2016; see: http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/1982756/all-mainland-app-providers-ordered-keep-user-logs

5. Incidentally, the SCMP was recently bought by Jack Ma of Alibaba

6. Revealed: the digital army making hundreds of millions of social media posts singing praises of the Communist Party, May 19, 2016; see: http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/1947376/revealed-digital-army-making-hundreds-millions-social

7. PLA General Political Department to Develop Team of Cadres with Absolute Loyalty to the Party, Xinhua, April 19, 2015; see: http://news.xinhuanet.com/politics/2015-04/19/c_1115016951.htm

8. China military stresses Party control in face of “liberal” enemies, Reuters, June 7, 2016; see http://in.reuters.com/article/china-defence-idINKBN0ON04F20150607

9. Today in Qinghai province

10. Robert Barnett Thunder from Tibet in New York Review of Books, Volume 55, Number 9 May 29, 2008; See: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/21391.

11. Ibid.

12. China Tibet Online launches “Charming Tibet” photography contest, exhibition, September 11, 2015, ChinaTibetOnline; see: http://wap.tibet.cn/en/home/201509/t20150911_3938027.html

13. China issues white paper on Tibet, reaffirming regional ethnic autonomy, Xinhua, September 6, 2015; see: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-09/06/c_134593836.htm

14. Xi stresses unity for Tibet, vows fight against separatism, Xinhua, August 25, 2015; see: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-08/25/c_134554681.htm

15. At least 50 said killed in September Xinjiang attack as China warns on security, Reuters, October 1, 2015; see: http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-china-xinjiang-idUKKCN0RV37W20151001

16. China premier urges more efforts in restive Uighur heartland, Reuters, March 10, 2106; see http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-parliament-xinjiang-idUSKCN0WD0B2

17. In April 2016

18. The Coming Chinese Crackup, WSJ, March 6, 2015; see: http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-coming-chinese-crack-up-1425659198

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

Claude Arpi

Writes regularly on Tibet, China, India and Indo-French relations. He is the author of 1962 and the McMahon Line Saga, Tibet: The Lost Frontier and Dharamshala and Beijing: the negotiations that never were.

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One thought on “China’s Internal Fissures

  1. It is a always a pleasure to read articles from Claude Arpi. While as an Indian, I might wish that his prophecies come to be true, in something akin to what Nostradamus, The Man who saw Tomorrow , said almost 500 years back.However , going by the current economic clout , military power and capability to spend money all across, it is doubtful whether Chinese internal fissures would result into any change in its geography. At the same time, its authoritarian rule, which Mr. Arpi, mentions as leading to utter public dissent and discontent , has only helped it to grow into the second largest economy. While, in India, we have been discussing and arguing among ourselves, China carried on with a single minded pursuit: that of powering its economy and geo-political strength. Definitely a little bit of this high handedness is something, which India needs if it has to move up the curve at 10% plus GDP growth, which China could maintain for almost a decade.

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