China’s pretend parliament made Xi Jinping Dictator for Life and then gave themselves a big clap
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China’s docile ruling Communist Party has finally sorted Xi Jinping through the tedious formalities and the already-President is now officially the President, again. Only this time, more so.
The first session of the 14th National People’s Congress at The Great Hall of People got underway on Sunday, March 5 in Beijing.
China’s annual political gathering known locally as the Two Sessions gets all the various goons and leaders and lawmakers and powerbrokers and puts them in the Great Hall to obediently rubber-stamp whatever bits of Xi’s economic, social and other agenda he has figured out so far.
On Friday, we got what we really deserve, as (at last) Xi got his obligatorily unanimous nod of slavish approval to do what he wants, when he wants from every single one of the 1000’s of delegates at the the now historic 14th meet.
Xi’s reappointment as President and at the Head of the PLA (People’s Liberation Army, as well as the rest of China’s sprawling military) for yet another 5 years was an elegant if totally rigged formality.
This week China’s rubber-stamp parliament did their duty after the 69 year-old Cultural Revolution survivor was given a similarly certain nod as General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) at the party congress back in October.
That was really when China’s ruling party and its various satellites gave away the keys to the Middle Kingdom.
10 years a slave
On Friday, however, China’s NPC managed to cap off a decade of high-quality servility and surrender with something very special.
The same loopy congress of well-dressed lemmings had previously been as unanimous in volunteering to dissolve the 2 x term limits which remained one of the last hindrances to a Chinese leader’s total grip on power, which they did without much cajoling or encouragement some 5 years earlier under Xi’s baleful second term watch.
The man who has cloaked his years-long purge under the guise of a people-serving corruption cleanse is now free of any opposition or official obstacle to his ultimate goal of being Emperor for Life, or Until Bored and Annoyed.
Where China will be once Xi has totally eclipsed the Sun and Moon of China’s Founding Father Mao Zedong and it’s Mother of Modernity Deng Xiaoping, is anyone’s guess. Even Deng who kept a tight hand as China’s shadow ruler until his death in 1997, was careful to cultivate the illusion of political change and the party’s ideological inheritance.
Xi – one senses – is looking forward to ridding himself of these ornaments. Of shrugging off the shackles and revelling in the wonderful undeniable truth of his ascension.
One also senses and not without regret, that if this cowed and culpable self-mutilating NPC – all 2,952 of them – had read a little 莎士比亚 (Shakespeare) then they might not have done themselves and the people they’re supposed to represent the incredible disservice which came full circle on Friday.
Because if they thought Xi was a little scary when restrained by formality and political etiquette, what can they expect now that he’s been freed from all fear of opposition or moderation?
As Brutus says of the yet-to-be Julius Caesar:
He would be crowned —
How that might change his nature, there’s the question.
It is the bright day that brings forth the adder,
And that craves wary walking.
And then, I grant, we put a sting in him
That at his will he may do danger with.
All 2,952 delegates cast their ballots confirming the new state of things for Xi, clearing the way to making his every word law.
Next, in a wonderfully unselfconscious only-in-totalitarian-hell moment, the MC bopped over to the mic, and after struggling with the envelope like they’ve been taught to d at the oscars this weekend, Xi Jinping was declared victorious, romping it in by securing every single one of the 2,952 votes.
This was not a total surprise. He was after all the only nominee.
In imitation of that other paragon of western narrative art (The Star Wars prequels), Beijing’s packed Great Hall of the People burst into fevered applause, jumping as one to their footsies in a painfully sustained standing ovation when the decision was announced:
So. He’s the Top Dog now (again), the Big Cheese, Numero Uno Honcho.
Breaking all the rules with his “unprecedented” and “historic” 3rd term, Xi can now feel comfy getting a mention alongside the Great Helmsman, Mao Zedong, but less glib about being the overseer of China’s worst economic slowdown in a generation.
I’d say he’s still undecided about the quite awful souring of relations with the West. Might’ve showed his hand there a little too soon.
Delegates also voted to install Vice Premier Han Zheng as China’s vice president, a largely ceremonial position, but an excitingly lofty perch to fall from soon as someone eternally presidential needs a handy fall guy within arms reach.
Oh. And during a busy week of doing what it’s told, the NPC also got out there and rubber-stamped, probably without reading – a bunch of new ways to centralise authority which people are idly calling a ‘ sweeping set of reforms.’ These included the plan to create an unnamed but certain-to-kick-ass new financial regulator as well as a new, less likely to spill the truth national data reporting body.
One brings the wayward moneybags cashcow of China’s finances (previously under the state council) directly into Xi’s new all-encompassing orbit.
The other’s got to be some new and dastardly way for Xi to track all of China’s new and important numbers, while at the same time delighting and befuddling everyone else by reporting a constant flood of the right numbers.
Both ideas were approved without anyone knowing what either of the two new acronyms will be.