On May 18, 2020, in Beijing, a security guard (right) and a policeman (left) were on guard at the entrance to Zhongnanhai, the leadership organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP via Getty Images)
[The Epoch Times, November 05, 2023](Written by English Epoch Times columnist Stu Cvrk/Compiled by Xinyu) In recent years, natural disasters and social group incidents have occurred frequently under the rule of the Chinese Communist Party, with extreme droughts and floods in many places, and devastating hurricanes, and the severe damage caused by the new coronavirus epidemic to people’s lives and the national economy. China observers have long speculated whether China is rising, reaching its peak, or declining.
In fact, a country with a population of 1.4 billion is huge, and its socio-political and economic trends are difficult to estimate. A key indicator is whether the CCP has fulfilled its promises to the people. Part of the existing social contract between the CCP regime and the Chinese people is that the CCP regime will provide economic opportunities and improve living standards; in contrast, the people will hand over their political rights and freedoms to the CCP in exchange for never-ending economic prosperity. If either party violates the agreement, the result is social unrest and internal chaos.
Previous experience has shown that the Chinese people can tolerate a regime’s authoritarian measures as long as the regime appears to be bringing relative prosperity to ordinary Chinese people. However, during the epidemic, this contract is on the verge of evaporating as Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping attempts to stop the spread of the virus through a zero-in-one policy; this is unscientific and has resulted in hundreds of millions of Chinese being forcibly detained in their homes and makeshift hospitals. It was in the fall of 2022 that large-scale riots and unrest were triggered. The CCP cannot withstand long-term and widespread public dissatisfaction, which exposes the lies in its social contract. Xi Jinping and the CCP have completely abolished its signature virus clearance policy under domestic and foreign pressure.
Although the Chinese Communist Party’s media and state propaganda machines have created and promoted the saying that “the years are quiet and good, trust the Party in everything”, there are still signs that various serious social problems are still plaguing the country.
According to the introduction in the Bible, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse represent the four major problems faced by mankind: the knight on the white horse represents plague, the knight on the red horse represents war, the knight on the black horse represents famine, and the knight on the gray horse (some say green horse) Knight) represents death. The current Chinese Communist regime is plagued by at least three of these problems: food insecurity, plague, and war. On the food issue, the shadow of famine has always hung over the CCP, and China is the world’s largest food importer; on the plague issue, the new coronavirus is of course the most harmful epidemic among them, but there have been other deadly diseases originating from the CCP over the years. virus; in terms of threats of war, the Chinese Communist military continues to compete for international transit rights in the Taiwan Strait, and conflicts continue along the disputed Line of Actual Control between China and India.
Whenever a tyrant encounters problems at home, “overseas adventure” is often a master key and is often used to divert the attention of a disgruntled domestic population. Xi Jinping is not to be outdone in this regard. He has fully mobilized the CCP’s diplomatic corps and state propaganda machine to create a narrative that caters to the CCP’s nationalism. Many Chinese people believe that China is the center of the world and the natural leader. He pointed his finger at the main obstacle to the CCP’s ambitions: the United States and its allies.
In Xi Jinping’s fanatical pursuit of power, he often directs party media to imply or directly state in headlines that the United States must hand over the international world order based on free enterprise to the “authoritarian capitalism” pursued by the Chinese Communist regime. ) and ruthless mercantilism, replaced by the so-called “New World Order” advocated and led by the CCP.
For details of similar news reports, see “CCP Committed to Undermining World Order Amid Communications Blackout, Austin Says, published on June 1, 2023,” by The Epoch Times in English. The Week’s “China and the terrifying rise of authoritarian capitalism” (October 2019) and The Diplomat’s “The World Through the Eyes of the Communist Party of China” ” (The World According to China, published on October 3, 2023), as well as countless related articles in the Chinese Communist Party’s official media.
As the Jamestown Foundation, a well-known think tank headquartered in Washington, DC, pointed out, Xi Jinping promulgated a little-known diplomatic law called the “Foreign Relations Law of the People’s Republic of China”, which came into effect on July 1 this year , the law “aims to strengthen China’s global status and challenge the Western-dominated world order.”
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal titled “China’s Message to America: We’re an Equal Now, published on April 12, 2021”, Xi Jinping had already In 2021, it was claimed that China and the United States are “equal and equal.” Taiwan tops his list of “people to watch.” Xi Jinping and his subordinates have asked the United States (and the world) on various occasions to accommodate the Chinese Communist Party in order to prevent the outbreak of war over Taiwan. From the perspective of the Chinese Communist Party, the military unification of Taiwan is an exciting topic for many Chinese people, both for supporters and opponents. In fact, any attention to Taiwan will divert attention at home and abroad from the CCP’s economic and social problems.
However, even if the CCP increases military and diplomatic pressure on Taiwan, it cannot conceal the serious problems exacerbated by the CCP’s long-term mismanagement.
Cracks appear in social contract
If the CCP can live up to its unwritten social contract with the Chinese people, prosperity and living standards will continue to rise. People will be satisfied with their livelihood and prefer to spend money instead of saving money for a rainy day. Unemployment rates will be low across all demographic groups. People will have children, which is a direct reflection of their hopes for the future.
Regarding the current population problems faced by the CCP, this can be traced back to the “one-child policy” (limiting each couple to only have one child) implemented by the CCP from the late 1970s to the 1980s to limit China’s population growth. The entire country is facing major population problem. Although the Chinese Communist regime has been forced to change this policy in recent years and strives to encourage childbirth, the number of births in 2022 is only 9.56 million, a 10% decrease from 2021. This is the first time since the National Health Commission of China first reported birth statistics in 1949 lowest record.
In addition, the “one-child policy” has also had serious secondary effects. Over time, China’s overall sex ratio has skewed toward men, partly due to traditional values that favor sons over daughters, but it is also linked to traditional responsibilities for property inheritance and caring for aging parents.
The combined result of these policies and traditional concepts is an aging population, declining birth rates and gender imbalance. There are about 30 million more men looking for marriage partners than women. China’s birth rate per 1,000 people has dropped from 46 in 1950 to 10.64 in 2023.
As the Chinese people live longer, the Chinese Communist regime has to shift more economic resources to social support programs for retirees. In 2020, the median age of China’s population has increased to nearly 38 years old, and is expected to reach 49 years old by 2065.
In recent years, China’s increasingly severe demographic trends have caused serious problems for the Chinese Communist regime. The explosive growth of the past two generations has led to continuous improvement in China’s living standards, which is also the CCP’s domestic legitimacy appeal. However, as the workforce ages and replacement labor dwindles, the problems of ensuring rising living standards for ordinary Chinese people seriously threaten this growth.
Taken together, the dissatisfaction of the Chinese domestic public is reflected in the decline in domestic demand and consumption capacity, as well as general pessimism about the future. As the London-based “Guardian” published an article, “The rise of ‘bai lan’: why China’s frustrated youth are ready to ‘ let it rot’, published on May 25, 2022) pointed out that Xi Jinping’s strong crackdown on private industries including education, real estate and technology industries in the past three years has led to youth unemployment reaching record highs. Young people like The slogan “Show it off” also emerged.
In addition, an article “Social Contracts in Modern China” (Social Contracts in Modern China, published on July 4, 2015) published in a magazine called “Medium” also pointed out: “Between the rich and the poor, urban and rural, workers and peasants, old and young, “Many disillusions have been disillusioned by growing inequality across the board, both on the coast and inland” and the social contract has further broken down. Add to this a culture of crude materialism fueled by atheistic communists, ongoing internet censorship, and endemic corruption among party bureaucracies, and the result is pessimism and discontent spreading across the land.
The social contract is a delicate balancing act and challenge for the “authoritarian capitalism” model implemented by the Chinese Communist Party. Some claim that “communist economics” is an oxymoron based on past performance, and that the economic growth bubble that the CCP boasted burst because it created a series of problems, such as the risk of large-scale defaults and over-development of real estate. , rising corporate debt as a share of GDP, looming debt crisis, opaque financial reporting, and so on.
There are various signs that communism has quietly come to an end in China.
About the Author:
Stu Cvrk has served in the U.S. Navy for 30 years, serving in various active and reserve positions. He has extensive combat experience in the Middle East and the Western Pacific. He was a captain before retiring. He graduated from the US Naval Academy in Maryland and received a classical liberal education, with education and experience as an oceanographer and systems analyst, which laid an important foundation for his subsequent political commentary.
Original text: Hastening Communist China’s End was published in the English Epoch Times.
This article only represents the author’s views and does not necessarily reflect the position of The Epoch Times.
Editor in charge: Gao Jing#