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The Chinese are Coming

November 6, 2017
Plain English Version

Xi Jinping and Mao Zedong.

Xi Jinping is the head of China. He runs the government, the armed forces, and the Communist Party.  Mr. Xi became strong by fighting corruption in China. This allowed him to get rid of enemies. The Chinese Party Congress reelected him. The world had no choice but to congratulate Mr. Xi on his election. Mr. Xi is starting his second five-year term.

What is new? Observers say Mr. Xi is the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong. In China, the name and ideas of the leader can become part of the Chinese constitution. President Xi’s ideas are now set out to the Chinese public as “Xi Jinping Thought.” It will be a guide to future policies.

Xi Jinping has a simple goal. He wants China to become the most important country in the world.

Xi Jinping’s place in history rests on the shoulders of two leaders who governed before him. The first is Mao Zedong who took power in 1949. Mao is the ‘founding father’ of modern China. His ‘cultural revolution’ killed millions, but set China on its future path. The second is Deng Xiaoping who took power in 1978. Deng focused on developing the economy.

Mr. Xi reported to the Chinese Party Congress. He said that Mao made China independent and Deng made it prosperous. Mr. Xi said he would make China strong again. He said he would propel the country into its “new era.”

Tiananmen Square, 1989.

The values of the West are about freedoms. One of the most important freedoms is the right to disagree with the government. Another important freedom is a press free to express disagreement. Freedom also requires the right to become part of the opposition. In 1989, young Chinese tried to bring Western freedom to China. The result was the massacre at Tiananmen Square.

The Internet provides another chance to bring ideas of freedom into China. But the government is blocking many Internet sites.

The United States is the leading power in the world. President Donald Trump took the U.S. out of a trade pact that would compete with China. He is pulling the U.S. out of the Paris accord on climate change. Critics say Trump is allowing China get ahead of the U.S.

President Trump is on his way to China. He needs China to help the world stop North Korea from having a nuclear weapon. China and North Korea have their interests. It is not clear what Trump can do to stop North Korea.

Presidents Trump and Xi agree on one thing. The people must respect their national anthems. People in Shanghai and Hong Kong are protesting during the anthem. China has a new law that could send people to jail for that kind of behavior. That sounds a lot like what President Trump would like to do in America. 

Source: The New York Times October 24, 2017

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