And what this conveys to Pakistan
President Xi Jinping has emerged as the most formidable national leader in the post-Mao era with his contribution to Chinese socialist theory having been written into the Communist party’s constitution. Until Xi’s presidency, China had followed Deng’s diktat of keeping a low profile internationally and biding time while focusing on economic growth. Under Xi China has come to project its soft power abroad on the one hand by denouncing Donald Trump’s isolationism and on the other investing hundreds of billions of dollars in the Road and Belt programme. Xi envisages China’s army would complete mechanization by 2020, modernization by 2035 and evolve into “a world-class army by 2050.” With a stronger Xi in the driving seat China will act more assertively both regionally and globally. As Xi declared, China “is resolved to never give up its own legitimate rights and interests” and would never “swallow the bitter fruit of damage to its own interests.” The centralization of authority will allow Xi to push through difficult but much needed economic reforms to arrest the gradual slow down of the economy.
The Chinese political system works differently from Western democracy. The process of bringing in the seven Standing Committee officials is secretive, the Communist Party rules the roost and the media faces restrictions. To many used to Western democracy all this looks reprehensible. The fact is that in China’s particular case the system has worked fairly efficiently. The economy has performed well, the country is stable and 1990s onwards there have been no fights for succession
With much more authority and a greater ability to implement his policies, Xi will push through the Road and Belt Initiative (BRI), with CPEC as its flagship, despite opposition from the US and India. With the possibility of a nuclear conflagration on China’s doorstep, Beijing will work hard to defuse the prevailing tension between Pakistan and India. After sending an important signal through the BRICS resolution China is likely to lean on Pakistan to get rid of India specific networks like JuD and JeM.