Chinese President Xi Jinping is leading a Maoist Long March to achieve his dream of global power. Instead of retreating from Chiang Kai-shek’s forces, as Mao Zedong did, Xi is instead retreating from the Chinese people’s hopes for democratic reform, freedom of expression, protection of human rights, and economic liberalization. Xi is exporting his brand of colonialism with Chinese characteristics through soft power means, on a road toward achieving his hard power ends.
This was clear in Xi’s recent address at the National People’s Congress. “We are resolved to fight the bloody battle against our enemies,” he declared on March 20, “… with a strong determination to take our place in the world.” And as he embarks on a march toward lifelong dictatorship of the world’s most populous country, his strategic window of opportunity may seem boundless.
The United States must shut that window.