So, we’re going to talk about Xi Jinping, the A-lister of China, who came to power in 2012. Before we get into the details, let’s talk about China. China, the country with the largest population in the world, is known for its beautiful temples, scrumptious food, and fast-growing manufacturing industries. But that’s not all; China is known for much more than that. From old times to currently, China has maintained its dominance in the world economy. Now coming back to Xi Jinping, who is he? Xi is the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, President of the People’s Republic of China, and Chairman of the Central Military Commission. In other words, he is the guy pulling the strings in China. After coming to power, he shook the country with his aggressive policies, especially the anti-corruption campaign, which shook the entire country. This campaign was aimed at eliminating high-level corruption, and it worked, but at what cost? Xi Jinping’s ambition was not limited to China, as he introduced the Belt and Road Initiative, with the aim of connecting Asia to Europe and Africa through modern transport infrastructure. His policies and power have made a significant impact on both China and the world. But with great power, comes great responsibility, and this is where it becomes questionable. Jinping’s power has allowed the Chinese regime to clamp down on free speech, suppress dissent, and on the treatment of ethnic minorities. Now that we have a brief introduction, it’s time to dive deeper into Xi Jinping’s impact on China and the world.
Domestic policies and reforms
Xi Jinping’s domestic policies and reforms have been a crucial part of his impact on China. His anti-corruption campaign has shaken up the government and corporate sector, with high-ranking officials and business leaders being jailed. While this campaign has been praised by many, some have criticized it as being used as a political tool to eliminate opposition. In terms of economic policies, Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has been a major project aimed at boosting infrastructure and trade across Asia, Europe, and Africa. Despite its potential benefits, critics have raised concerns about the project’s financial risks and the impact on recipient countries’ sovereignty. Xi Jinping has also implemented a series of social and cultural reforms. One of the most notable ones is the ending of the one-child policy, which had been in place for over 35 years. This move has been seen as an attempt to address the country’s aging population and boost the economy. However, in the push for social and cultural reforms, concerns about personal freedoms and human rights have been raised. The government’s increased control over the media and the suppression of free speech have been a particular cause for concern. Overall, Xi Jinping’s domestic policies and reforms have been a mixed bag of successes and criticisms. His anti-corruption campaign has been praised, but questions have been raised about its true motives. The BRI has the potential to benefit multiple countries, but financial risks and concerns about sovereignty must be addressed. Social and cultural reforms have been implemented, but human rights concerns remain. Two Line Breaks Xi Jinping’s impact on China and the world extends beyond his domestic policies and reforms. In the next section, we’ll take a look at his foreign policy and response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Foreign Policy: It’s no secret that Chinese President Xi Jinping has greatly expanded his country’s influence around the world. However, this expansion has not come without its challenges, particularly in reference to relations with the US. While China’s relationship with the US has always been complicated, it has become increasingly tumultuous since Xi Jinping took office. In response to China’s growing influence, the US has implemented a trade war and imposed various tariffs. This tension not only affects the two countries, but it also has a significant impact on the rest of the world. China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a massive infrastructure project aimed at connecting Asia with Europe and Africa, has the potential to sway international trade in China’s favour. However, China’s expanding influence also raises concerns about the country’s desire to reshape international institutions and global governance. Critics argue that China’s Belt and Road Initiative could give the country a disproportionate amount of control over global trade and potentially enhancing its authoritarian streak. Overall, Xi Jinping’s foreign policy has been viewed as both ambitious and controversial. His vision of China as a global superpower could cause potential shifts in the current world order. Nevertheless, it remains unclear how, in the future, China will handle the tensions arising from these shifts.
Response to COVID-19
China’s initial response to COVID-19 was faced with criticism and skepticism from the global community. However, Xi Jinping’s leadership during the pandemic has been praised for effectively controlling and containing the virus domestically. With strict measures such as mandatory lockdowns and mass testing, China managed to bring down the number of new cases. As a result, China’s economy began to recover faster than other major economies. With strict travel restrictions and contact tracing, they managed to contain and suppress the virus. Though there may be debates on numbers released by China, clear actions were taken. However, the pandemic’s impact on China’s society has not been entirely positive. The lockdowns and restrictions have had social and mental health effects on the population. With limited foreign trade, factories and industries suffered losses, leading to job losses and a dent in the economy. But China is trying to revive the economy by investing in other countries as a part of its Belt and Road Initiative. China also played a crucial role in the global response to the pandemic through its distribution of medical supplies and expertise to harder-hit countries. However, tensions rose between China and the global community, especially the US, accusing China of not being transparent about the virus’s origins. In a nutshell, China’s strict measures may have been effective in controlling the spread of the virus but have not been without negative impacts. Though the country may have regained stability, the controversy surrounding China’s role in the pandemic has brought about diplomatic strain.
Human rights concerns
Oh, human rights, the phrase that’s such a great catch-all term for the myriad ways that people can be treated poorly. And oh boy, does China have some catching up to do. Xi Jinping’s government is notoriously famous for suppressing any dissent or free speech that goes against their messaging. They are big on propaganda, not so much on freedom of thought. It’s no surprise that this is happening in China, but it’s definitely still a depressing state of affairs. And then there’s the treatment of ethnic minorities, specifically the Uyghur Muslims, who have been placed in concentration camps. Yeah, that’s right, concentration camps, in the year 2021. While some might argue that it’s for “re-education”, I think we can all agree that that’s a pretty jarring term for what sounds like a roundabout justification for human rights abuses. The impact on Hong Kong and Taiwan is also worth noting – the former’s autonomy is being eroded day by day, while the latter’s delicate balance is constantly threatened. It’s hard to predict what will happen with these two places, but what’s clear is that China’s influence is only growing. Overall, while Xi Jinping and his government have done a decent job of advancing China’s economy and global influence, they’ve done so at the cost of trampling on basic human rights. It’s hard to feel good about praising any leader or government that does that.
Xi Jinping’s impact on China and the world is undeniable. With his anti-corruption campaign and economic reforms, China has seen significant growth and development. However, his authoritarian domestic policies and human rights concerns, such as the suppression of dissent and treatment of ethnic minorities, have been criticized by many. In terms of foreign policy, China’s expanding influence in Asia and impact on global governance cannot be ignored. Additionally, China’s initial handling of the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent global response led to further scrutiny. Moving forward, it will be interesting to see the future implications of Xi’s policies and whether they lead to sustained economic growth or increased international tension. Overall, Xi Jinping has solidified China’s position as a global superpower, but at what cost? Only time will tell.