Name? Xi Jinping
Westphalian identity? Chinese
Why is he in the news? On the 100 year celebration of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Xi made very bold statements such as claiming to have eradicated poverty and the following: “We have never bullied, oppressed, or subjugated the people of any other country, and we never will. By the same token, we will never allow anyone to bully, oppress, or subjugate [China].”
Why do we care? As Xi highlights in his speech (multiple times), the CCP has truly transformed China in the last 100 years, for better or for worse is up to the reader. What is undeniable, however, is Xi’s (and the CCP’s) absolute control, in the past and future, over China and its military, economy, diplomacy and with this their impact on the world of global affairs.
Why should you care? Ahead of the CCP’s anniversary, the massive Baihetan hydropower plant on China’s Yangtze river began generating electricity for the first time on Monday. Despite criticism from some environmentalists on the ecosystem destruction that dams can cause, Chinese leaders are eager to build more dams and reduce reliance on coal. You should care 6/10 that the CCP seem to be following through on environmental targets.
Who else cares? President Vladimir Putin. Speaking of anniversaries, Putin and Xi marked the upcoming 20th anniversary of their countries’ 2001 Treaty of Friendship on Monday. After attending the bilateral summit with Biden and choosing to schedule a meeting with Xi over EU leaders, President Putin seems to have identified for himself and the rest of the world who is strategically relevant for Russia.
Any further comments? The CCP has managed to elevate 800 million people out of poverty and turned China into a global power. Their handling of the pandemic has been more efficient if we believe the numbers published, which makes more and more people wonder … is China ahead in the battle of the systems?