NOT GOOD: China turns to strongman rule

Just like Turkey earlier this year, China has rewritten its constitution to make their president a one-man ruler:

NBC NEWS – When Chinese President Xi Jinping strode into the room crammed with cameras and reporters on Wednesday, there seemed to be more curiosity about the six men who followed behind him.

They were the new Communist Party Politburo Standing Committee, the most powerful decision-making council of China’s government. All handpicked Xi loyalists, they will implement his agenda for the next five years.

Collectively they sent the clearest signal yet that China may be entering an era of strongman rule.

More…

NY TIMES – China’s Communist Party on Tuesday elevated President Xi Jinping to the same exalted status as the nation’s founding father, Mao Zedong, by writing his name and ideas into the party constitution.

The historic decision, at the end of a weeklong party congress, sent a clear signal to officials throughout China that questioning Mr. Xi and his policies would be ideological heresy.

The decision solidified Mr. Xi’s position as China’s most powerful leader in decades after only five years of leading the country, making it harder for rivals to challenge him and his policies.

While there may be no “Little Red Book” of quotations for mass consumption like in the bygone Mao era, Mr. Xi’s thinking will now infuse every aspect of party ideology in schools, the media and government agencies.

In the near future, Chinese people are likely to refer to Mr. Xi’s doctrines as simply “Xi Jinping Thought,” a flattering echo of “Mao Zedong Thought.”

“This is a way of trying to project his historic stature,” said Wu Qiang, a political analyst in Beijing who formerly taught at Tsinghua University. “The congress report and the party constitution revisions both show that Xi wants to be a kind of peer with the past leaders. That doesn’t mean he sees himself as rivaling Mao in importance, but I think it’s intended to give him an ideological status that can’t be challenged, like Mao in that sense.”

Restoring China to greatness is a central message of Mr. Xi’s philosophy. That goal already has guided Mr. Xi’s policies of building up the military, strengthening domestic controls and raising China’s profile in global affairs.

Just what China needs, another Mao Zedong-like figure. Not good.

China was already authoritarian in the sense that they were a communist government. While that hasn’t changed, going down the path of strongman rule is never a good sign of things to come. I just pray for the Christians there that the government will not begin increasing persecutions against them…

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