Skip to content

Hong Kong Political Commentator: Xi Jinping and the CCP are Inseparable

{Editor’s Notes: Yan Chunguo, also known as NGAN, Shun-kau (颜纯钩), is a Hong Kong-based writer who grew up in China and participated in the Culture Revolution. He recently wrote an article expressing his view that Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) are inseparable. According to the article, Xi is the “covering face” while the CCP is the “inside”; previous CCP leaders, from Deng Xiaoping to Jiang Zemin to Hu Jintao, were all representing the CCP during their own times.

The author acknowledges that Xi’s policy decisions have departed from those of his predecessors, saying that policy differences are just a reflection of the CCP’s changing strategy during different phases. Deng Xiaoping’s “hide one’s strength, bide one’s time” (韬光养晦) approach – conducting economic reform domestically and taking a low profile in global affairs – enabled the CCP to buy time and build up its power. The author expresses the view that, once the CCP feels that its time has come and that it has become strong enough, it will change course to rival the West. Xi just misjudged the time for the CCP and started its next-phase global aggression strategy prematurely.

The following is a translation of the article. {1}}

Mr. Wang Jian, an overseas independent Internet commentator on current affairs, recently published a program titled “Is China’s situation today caused by Xi Jinping or by the CCP itself?” I am interested in this topic and would like to respond to it here.

First of all, the CCP and Xi Jinping are inseparable. Without the CCP, how can there be Xi Jinping? Second, according to the CCP culture, Xi Jinping could not have risen to the highest position had he not maximized the CCP’s own interests. Lastly, had the CCP not approved Xi’s ruling, the CCP would not have let him form his own team and given him supreme power.

Therefore, the CCP is Xi Jinping, and Xi Jinping is the CCP. Everything Xi Jinping does is endorsed by the entire CCP organization. The CCP has an unshirkable responsibility for any mess Xi creates.

What was the original purpose of Deng Xiaoping’s reform and opening up? Was it to truly implement a fundamental turn in the country’s development path, or was it a stopgap measure to save the CCP itself? Was the reform and opening up a complete change of life (for China), or was it just a lifebuoy (for the CCP)?

It was extremely apt and evocative that Deng used the Chinese idiom “hide one’s strength, bide one’s time” (韬光养晦) to summarize his program of reform and opening up. The strategy was to pretend to be a dead dog, turning back from a dead end and kowtowing to the chasers to ask for mercy. Those chasers included the U.S., Great Britain, and other Western democracies, as well as the cold and starving Chinese at home.

Deng was a typical opportunist, with three rounds of ups and downs in his political career. Each time he was knocked down, he conceded defeat, wrote a profound self-criticism, and promised that he would never seek to appeal his case. But when the opportunity came, he would fight back frantically until he grasped power. His excellent job playing dead fooled even Mao Zedong.

After the downfall of the Gang of Four (a CCP faction who tried to continue Mao’s policy after Mao’s death), China was on the verge of collapse. Deng Xiaoping, again out of his opportunism, asked the United States for help. To save himself and save the CCP from death, he introduced China to market economics, foreign investment, and foreign businesses. That is why Deng said “Reform and opening up will sustain (the CCP) for a hundred years.” That is, he foresaw that it would take a hundred years for China to be on par with the West.

Deng also promised Li Ka-shing, a Hong Kong business tycoon, that the CCP would maintain the same (reform) policy unchanged for 50 years, and that after 50 years (China) would have grown strong enough and thus would not need to change the policy afterwards. That was simply a blank check to buy the hearts of Hong Kong’s people.

Deng never intended to give up the CCP’s dictatorship at all. He only used the trick of laying down to get mercy and help from the people at home and abroad, to save the CCP from dying. This survival tactic became the Party’s consensus and was passed down as the Party’s political heritage to its successive top leaders.

That [Deng never intended to give up the CCP’s dictatorship] was why, when the reforms of Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang led to the public protest and democracy appeals in 1989, Deng Xiaoping dared to use tanks to crack down on it. Since then, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao all carefully followed this CCP strategy. However, at the end of the Hu Jintao era, the CCP started turning left in its political direction. The idea of “advancing state-owned enterprises and suppressing privately-owned businesses” was a big change of course, but it was done with small actions and without making a big fuss.

According to Deng Xiaoping’s long-term plan and the experience of other CCP leaders, the CCP should wait until it accumulates more power to start its fight with the Western democracies. Unfortunately, Xi Jinping could not wait any longer. He has big dreams and large ambitions. During his term of office, he wants to realize the CCP’s ambition of global expansion, dismantle the Western democracies, and spread the communist camp widely all over the world. This would make him a great leader who spread communism to the world, forever remembered in history.

The problem with Xi is that he is too ambitious, too incompetent, and too limited in his personal knowledge. Therefore, facing the complex world, he misjudges everything. This results in taking aggressive approaches, in bumping into walls, and then in getting hurt. Thus the future (both for him and for China) is worrisome. In the end, Xi knows that things are not going well, and he plans to fight a war to save himself.

Xi’s reversal on the CCP’s policies is not his own idea. Rather, it is the consensus of all top CCP leaders. It’s only that Xi and his predecessors read the timing differently (Xi thought the time for global aggression had come and thus reversed the CCP’s course to confront the West prematurely). From Deng Xiaoping to Jiang Zemin to Hu Jintao, they all believed that the CCP would not be able to build up enough power to fight the U.S. within a short period of time; they believed the CCP would need more time to reach the dominant position in the world’s economy and surpass the West’s military power, and that only then should the CCP land a heavy blow with confidence that it would be victorious.

Xi’s mania must have been recognized and accepted within the CCP, otherwise he would not have been able to advance so far during his first two terms with his policy of external expansion and internal regression (on economy, especially against the private sector). Despite repeated miscalculations and crashes, he had the throne and had the time to try. As a result, Xi not only tried out his retrogressive policies, but also tried out changing the political culture within the CCP, step by step to steer the party from collective leadership towards individual dictatorship.

By the time Xi took enough actions and held the real power and authority, the party’s veteran leaders were at their wits’ end. When Xi publicly forced Hu Jintao to leave the 20th CCP National Congress meeting, the political veterans on stage had no response but to sit there pale-faced. The CCP has been completely kidnapped by Xi.

The CCP has a tradition of one-man dictatorship. Mao Zedong did it, Deng Xiaoping did it, and Xi Jinping also used ten years to build up his own dynasty. By now the party has become Xi’s personal tool.

Everything is fate. China’s past is fate, its present is fate, and its future is also, even more so, fate. It is fate that the CCP is on its last legs, it is fate that Xi Jinping is going to take the CCP to its end, and it is fate that the Chinese people will have to prepare to face an unprecedented, chaotic time.


{1} Aboluo, “Xi Is the Face and the CCP Is the Inside,” August 6, 2023.