China’s Decline

Harry Yang, Opinion Writer

“Long united must divide, Long divided must unite.” 

This quote echoes throughout Chinese history and describes the many civil wars and reunifications that the country has undergone. The latest civil war that China experienced ended in 1949. The victory of the Communist Chinese spelled an end to the era of instability that is known in China as the Century of Humiliation. Throughout the reign of this new party, China has shown tremendous growth, but there have also been some signs of instability.

The leader of the Communist Chinese Party, Xi Jinping, has just been elected by the government for an unprecedented third term. After the end of Mao Zedong’s long reign over China, a term for the Constitution was added in 1982 that states that presidents could not serve for more than two terms.When the system was abolished in 2018, Xi Jinping rose to a new level of power within the Chinese political system. With all of his opponents silenced, he had the full power of the government and transformed himself into a cult of personality. A cult of personality is what dictators create to make themselves an idealized and heroic leader. Xi Jinping has cemented his dictatorship through bans on freedoms enjoyed by the Chinese people and enforcement on the education of his rise. His birth town has become a sight of pilgrimage for the people of China. Xi Jinping is not only the leader of China, but the face of it as well.

A cult of personality lasts as long as the leader does. This type of dictator can be found throughout the world. The consequences for the country that are made with these types of dictatorships are massive: Hitler died and left his country scarred, Stalin left a Soviet Union hopelessly crumbling with rebellions throughout the country, and Mussolini fell from power as his country descended into a brutal civil war. These examples show the consequence of ambitious leaders fending only for themselves. Xi Jinping will have a similar effect on his country. He has resorted to using his powers by cruelly stagnating the economy with the Zero Covid Policy, expanding his colonial initiatives into Africa, and exterminating the Uygher people. All of these policies will slowly unravel in his lifetime or after and leave behind a country struggling to find its identity. 

All of these reasons show why Xi Jinping will become the last dominant leader of China. Along with the stagnant economy and birth rate, China will have to fight to stay stable. The bans on freedom of speech will slowly unravel. I think that the people of China, both old and young, will unite to guide the future of China.