China between “leadership” and “partnership” in the global system and a “superpower” in 2050: an aspiration or a reality that will be achieved?

China between “leadership” and “partnership” in the global system and a “superpower” in 2050: an aspiration or a reality that will be achieved?
China between “leadership” and “partnership” in the global system and a “superpower” in 2050: an aspiration or a reality that will be achieved?

Chinese President Xi Jinping finished arranging his internal papers by strengthening his grip on the ruling Chinese Communist Party, which led him to a third era at the helm of the party at the end of its 20th General Conference in October 2022 and enshrined him in an amendment to the party charter as a “core leader”, establishing “his ideas as guiding principles for development.” The future of China” and confirming his “pivotal position and role” within the party and its central committee, which also secured him on the tenth of March a third term as president of the country with the unanimous vote of Parliament in the absence of any competition.

The Chinese Communist Party, after Mao Zedong, adopted a vision for the development of China. The path of modernization and openness began with Deng Xiaoping, who led China between 1978 and 1992 and moved the country from a directed economy to a market economy. His successor, Jiang Zemin, between 1993 and 2003 contributed to the acceleration of openness and the transformation of the “Yellow Dragon” into a global power. He assumed the reins of power in 2003 between resetting the rhythm of Ximen’s dash and losing the ten years of his rule, which was followed by the rise of “Xi” in 2012, carrying what he describes as the “Chinese dream.” During Xi’s time, the constitution was amended to remove the two-term presidential term restriction, opening the way for its renewal. During the twentieth congress of the “party”, the former president – who was sitting on the podium next to the “leader” – was removed in an insulting manner without batting an eyelid, which was considered a message before the eyes of the cameras inside and outside.
The “dream” for Xi Jinping is to make China the first economic power in the world, overtaking the United States and the West in this position. His vision identifies two stages to achieve this, the first by 2035, when it joins the ranks of medium-developed countries, and the second, by 2050, when it becomes a superpower. America ascended to the throne of world leadership in a unipolar system after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The end of the Cold War opened the door to a strategic partnership between America and China, but Beijing’s ambitions to dedicate the “great country” with the centenary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 prompted Washington to Developing a strategy to confront the “China dream” and blocking its transformation into a lever or a leader for modification in the existing international system.
China ranks second with a of $14,000 billion, while the US’s GDP is about $22,000 billion. Although Beijing has a financial surplus that provides it with an investment and employment capacity abroad, unlike Washington, its economy, which is described as the “factory of the world,” is based on non-local capital, which links its productive capabilities to Western financing and investment, especially the American, European, and Asian (Japan and South Korea), which makes it lose The factor of independence and makes it within the circle of pressure. China also lacks energy resources, as it imports about 85 percent of its needs from abroad, specifically from Asia (Saudi Arabia and Iran), and now increasingly from Russia, and from Central Asia (Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan), and it relies in its economic foundations on foreign markets, the largest of which are the two American markets. And the European, compared to other markets, although it launched the “Belt and Road” project in order to accelerate the delivery of its products to global markets through a network of land and sea routes covering 66 countries in the continents of Asia, Europe and Africa.
These factors, according to an informed reading, make it difficult for China to bypass America as a competitor to it, in addition to the fact that it relies in several products, whether military or civilian, on electronic chips that it imports from abroad, and Taiwan produces about 85 percent of them according to an American “code”. These insiders say that Washington’s dependence on Taiwan as a factory for electronic sheets in terms of raw materials, technologies, and cheap labor in addition to the American code, is one of its main motives behind not allowing China to control Taiwan in order to avoid its seizure of those electronic capabilities of that island that is part of China. While Beijing realizes that the launch towards global leadership requires the restoration of Taiwan. The importance of the Taiwanese issue appeared through the inclusion in the party charter of a clause stating the necessity of “fighting and curbing all separatist attempts calling for Taiwan independence.” Emphasizing the principle of “peaceful reunification” and “one country, two systems” as the best approach to reunification between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits, Xi Jinping, in his report to the party congress, said he “will not undertake to give up resorting to force and reserve to take all necessary measures in this regard.” ».
And in Xi’s vision, a permanent approach to the new era, and the goal of achieving a “great and modern socialist country in a comprehensive manner,” which the ruling leader says is a strategic requirement for building it to strengthen the army to become a first-class army and to raise the strategic ability to defend the state’s sovereignty, security, and development interests. And he sets a date for the readiness of the army in the 2027th, with the centenary of its founding.
What observers point out is that the Chinese interior will follow at least a third presidential term, and perhaps more, on the ideas and orientations of the “first leader” in the party and the state, after surrounding himself with a leadership loyal to his strategic plan to enhance the growing Chinese influence, and to protect China’s role and position that it deserves in the global system. , beyond the economic role to what is political and military. His opponents held different views on economic development, which emerged strongly with the lockdown policy and the damage, recession, and cost that the “zero Covid” policy produced, at a time when some considered that the “zero Covid” policy was part of Xi’s plan to weaken what is known as “. A group” or “Shanghai clique” that drew its influence from former President Ximin, who led the economic reform process and opened the way for attracting Western investments to China and making it a production base and a “factory for the world” without aspiring to play any political role in line with the historical culture of China. .
Yun Sun, director of the China Program at the American Stimson Center for Research, attributed Xi’s avoidance of any initiatives in his foreign policy in 2022 before the completion of the party congress to his desire not to involve China in a conflict that might weaken his position in domestic political battles. And I expected – after being assured of his political future – that he would seek to re-establish Chinese power in areas of strategic priority for his country, and conflicts in the western Pacific would top the list, where tensions between China and South Korea, China and Japan, and China and America over Taiwan, and where Washington is strengthening Its alliances and partnerships to confront the role of Beijing. Sun suggested that the entire region would become more tense in light of China’s reluctance in negotiations with Southeast Asian countries to announce a document on the rules of movement in the South China Sea, which would establish rules for maritime activity, and find a mechanism to settle disputes over it.
However, the first initiatives of the Chinese president, on the day of his election as president on the tenth of March, were towards the Middle East with the announcement of a Chinese-Iranian-Saudi agreement to restore diplomatic relations within two months between Riyadh and Tehran, which he presents as a guarantor of the agreement that would, if restricted to him. Success is to reduce the tensions in the region since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.
There are those who consider that “going west” is a Chinese policy to confront the “going east” adopted by the United States in its strategy to contain the “yellow dragon.” The signing of the strategic partnership agreement with Iran in March 2021, which extends over a period of 25 years, with investments amounting to $450 billion, constituted an advanced step in the face of the strongly present American influence in the region, on the path of strategic competition between them in this part of the world. The Chinese president’s visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the three summits he held (Saudi, Gulf and Arab) in December 2022 were considered “the largest and highest-level Chinese diplomatic step with the Arab world since the founding of the People’s Republic of China” and opened more doors for economic cooperation, especially since Saudi Arabia is part of the “Belt and Road” project.
The three parties (Beijing – Riyadh – Tehran) have benefited from the ongoing transformations as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the American-Western involvement in it. China’s success in curbing Iran will enhance its position in the Arab world and the region. But although for years it has been the first trading partner of the Kingdom, which is its largest supplier of oil, the United States remains for a long time the first strategic ally of Riyadh and the Gulf and the largest military force in the Middle East.
The second step taken by the Chinese president is his visit, on the twentieth of this month, to Moscow for talks, which the Kremlin said was to develop the comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction between them on the international arena. Xi goes to Moscow, and was preceded by a Chinese proposal to end the war in Ukraine, and an assurance from the Chinese Foreign Ministry that Beijing will adhere to an objective and fair stance on that war. There are no indications that the Chinese proposal has real chances. The prevailing belief among observers is that Xi will urge Putin to end the war after Russia was exposed in its military capabilities, which removed it from the club of great powers, just as Europe joined more closely with America. Despite the announcement by the Russian and Chinese presidents of unlimited cooperation during Putin’s visit to China at the opening of the Winter Olympics before the invasion, Beijing – even if it showed its strategic alignment with Moscow – refrained from providing it with arms and support for fear of US sanctions. Today, Xi considers that he has the upper hand in any issue related to both sides. The Russian invasion of Ukraine strengthened China’s position over that of Russia, which fought its war to create new realities confirming its status as a superpower and thus restoring its partnership in the global system. Today, the chances of achieving a multipolar world may become less, in the interest of a US-Chinese “bipolarity”. However, many observers assert that the crystallization of the features of the global system will be determined in light of the results that the war in Ukraine will lead to.
China, with its current leadership, is counting on new strategic opportunities in light of the profound change in the international balance of power, the acceleration of the pace of major changes that the world has not seen in a century, and the development of the new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial change in depth, according to Xi, who charted the course of his country. To be a superpower after a quarter of a century. A country that may not be ahead of America in its capabilities, but it will build the structure of its partnership in the global system.