Xi´s South China tour, Covid and war preparations
During the Covid crisis and amidst rising Sino-American tensions, Xi Jinping makes a tour to South China. This is also a highly symbolic visit as after the Tiananmen massacre in 1989, many Western observers feared that China might turn inward and stop reforms. Therefore Deng Xiaoping in 1992 made his South China tour to signal the Chinese people and the world that the CP China would continue its reform and opening policy. Deng also made Shenzhen, a former fisher village as a new special zone and symbol of this policy, and Xi now also wants Shenzhen to transform into a digital economy hub and role model for future China.
Beijing has released a plan to turn Shenzhen, the hi-tech hub neighboring Hong Kong, into a “core engine” of reform that it hopes will power growth and innovation in the Greater Bay Area.It comes just before President Xi Jinping is expected to deliver an “important address” during his visit to the city on Wednesday marking 40 years since it was set up as a special economic zone. Beyond the economic plans for Shenzhen and the Greater Bay area as a core engine and role model for the Chinese economy in the digitalized 21st century, Xi issued warnings against the USA and Taiwan and praised the Overseas Chinese and their contribution to China´s hoped-for “national rejuvenation”:
„Xi Jinping tells marines to focus on ‘preparing to go to war’ in military base visit during southern China tour
- China’s president says they have ‘important responsibility’ to safeguard the country’s territory, sovereignty and maritime interests
- He also went to Shantou, where he praised overseas Chinese for their contributions to the nation’s reforms
„The president will take part in celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary of the Shenzhen special economic zone on Wednesday.
At the military base near Shantou in the east of the province, Xi told marines they should aim to be a “multifunctional, rapid response, all-weather and region” fighting force.“[You should] focus your minds and energy on preparing to go to war, and stay highly vigilant,” Xi said, according to state broadcaster CCTV.
Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian on Tuesday said Beijing would retaliate
in response to reports that the US Congress was reviewing three deals to supply Taiwan with advanced weaponry.
“The United States should immediately cancel the planned weapon sales to Taiwan, stop any arms deals and cut off their military ties,” Zhao said.
The concrete background was:
„Donald Trump ‘plans more US arms sales to Taiwan including MQ-9 drones’
- White House notifies Congress of intention to sell weapons also including anti-ship and precision strike missiles, and a rocket system, reports say
- Chinese foreign ministry demands Washington cancel planned sales and cut military ties
US President Donald Trump has submitted to Congress several proposals for the sale of advanced weaponry to Taiwan, according to reports by Reuters and Defense News, moves likely to anger the Chinese government following other initiatives by Washington to strengthen ties with the self-governing island“.
After this warning, Xi visited Shantou, where he said China would achieve its goal of “national rejuvenation” despite the challenges it faced.In video footage posted by social media users, Xi is seen in Shantou saying that he will emphasise in Shenzhen that China will “unswervingly follow the path of reform and opening up, and continue to build a prosperous and modern Chinese nation”.
„Shantou is one of the four special economic zones set up by Beijing in its early days of reform but it has lagged behind Shenzhen, which went on to become China’s hi-tech hub.
However, speaking to residents on Tuesday, Xi praised overseas Chinese for their contributions to the country’s reforms. Many well-known tycoons were born in Shantou and nearby Chaozhou – which Xi visited on Monday– including billionaires like Li Ka-shing, Tencent founder Pony Ma Huateng and Gome founder Huang Guangyu.
In Shenzhen, Xi is expected to meet officials from cities in the Greater Bay Area
development zone. He will also meet Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and her Macau counterpart Ho Iat-seng.
The president’s Guangdong tour comes just two weeks before an important Communist Party plenum during which the next five-year economic and social development plan is expected to be approved“
China is also readjusting its 14th 5-year plan and wants to make the Chinese economy an economy designed for a protracted war with the USA. Wang Xiangwei alreadey reported in the SCMP on August 13, 2020:
„Under US pressure, China is planning an economy that can survive a protracted war
- The prospect of all-round confrontation with America has invoked a Mao-era fighting spirit that is the driving force behind China’s 14th five-year plan
- Beijing’s vision of a ‘dual circulation’ economy is likely to emphasise technological self-reliance and growth targets based on quality, not quantity (…)
With officials drawing up the 14th five-year plan, which will run from 2021 to 2025, it has taken on a special importance.The United States may not be mentioned but the prospects of rising all-round confrontation between the two countries have become a powerful driving force behind the formulation of the new plan.Because of this, there have been rising concerns and confusion over whether the Chinese government will strengthen state controls over the economy at the expense of reforms and opening up in the next five years as President Xi Jinping has now urged the country to prepare for “a protracted war” in anticipation of a more hostile international environment in the post-pandemic world.“
The CP China after the brutal and hermetic lockdown in Wuhan in the beginning of the Covid crisis, has now declared that the Covid crisis in China would be finished and over. The CP China declared that there were no new infections and deaths, if there were, then due to foreigners who imported it, but thanks to testing not anymore- The virus was defeated and the CP China abolished all Covid protection measures, allowed mass gatherings without masks and social distancing and encouraged the Chinese people to enjoy the coming Golden week, a national holiday which produces a steady tourist and traveller flow of 600 million Chinese in China. the largest people´s migration in the world together with India. However, this sort of official propaganda ist now counteracted with news about the possibility of a new Corona outbreak:
“Qingdao coronavirus outbreak ‘won’t derail’ China’s economic recovery
- Fears of an outbreak were triggered when two workers at the city’s port were confirmed as being asymptomatic cases at the end of September
- Millions of tourists also visited the city during the recent ‘golden week’ holiday, with 4,000 flights arriving or departing the city during the eight-day holiday
A coronavirus outbreak in the eastern city of Qingdao, home to one of the world’s busiest ports, “won’t derail” China’s economic recovery but does represent a stern reminder of the dangers that still lie ahead.
The Qingdao government said on Tuesday afternoon that it had six confirmed cases as well as another six asymptomatic cases after testing 4.2 million people in three days after fears of an outbreak had been sparked over the weekend.
“[The outbreak in Qingdao] should be contained very quickly. It won’t derail China’s economic recovery,” said Tang Jianwei, a senior researcher with the Bank of Communications, China’s fifth largest lender.
As a slogan of the Communist says: The party is always right