As the Russian invasion of Ukraine enters its second year and the path to ending the war remains uncertain, China is increasingly feeling constrained by and conflicted with its national interests and strategic goals, the exaggerated limitless partnership with Russia, and its overdependence on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) and G-7 countries for its economic and technological rise.
The Taliban has promised not to allow terrorist attacks on others from Afghan soil, but it is unable to keep its word. Last month’s attack on Chinese nationals at a hotel in Kabul has rattled Beijing. For it had hoped to overcome the “graveyard of empires” and reap the benefits of its resources as well as fill the geopolitical vacuum in Afghanistan.
Xi’s revenge ‘you are on your own now’ policy came following nationwide protests in late November against Xi’s oppressive ‘Zero Covid’ policies.
The protests have spread to over 25 cities and over 80 universities, totaling over 50 since the last week of November when nearly a dozen residents were charred to death at Urumqi in Xinjiang in a locked-down high-rise building that caught fire. China witnessed “mass incidents” periodically after the Tiananmen Square incident in 1989. According to official estimates, over 5500 such incidents were reported in 1991, rising continuously to over 87,000 in 2005 and to 1,80,000 in 2010. However, China’s Premier has discontinued providing such statistics anymore.
China witnessed unprecedented protests last month, a first since the massive protests at Tiananmen Square in 1989. The current upsurge — against the excessive intrusion of the party-state in the lives of hundreds of millions of people who are subjected to arbitrary lockdowns, strict border controls, food shortages, unemployment, debilitating quarantine procedures, intensive surveillance, misuse of authority, and enormous hardships — is spontaneous, rapid and inclusive. Stringent Covid policies benefited certain business interests of the pharmaceutical and health industry at the cost of the social sector.
The 20th Communist Party Congress in China signaled a total centralization of powers in the person of Xi Jinping