The top headline on the front page of The Yomiuri Shimbun’s March 6 edition read, “Xi Jinping Establishes Unipolar Structure.” On the same day, the Sankei Shimbun ran an article entitled, “Xi Reforms Constitution for Long-term Power Base” on the third page. It contained detailed information about the new structure that President Xi is aiming for. It also focused on the promotion of Wang Qishan, Xi’s close friend who was institutionally removed last year from his position in the party at the age of retirement (68), to important offices such as vice president. Wang worked to purge members of the Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao factions, and it is thought that he will serve as a “shield” to guard against resentment directed at Xi, who is concentrating his political authority in a unipolar way. However, I believe Xi will inspire further bitterness, and that the potential will grow of him being assassinated and China experiencing domestic conflict and division. On the same day, The Yomiuri Shimbun reported that China’s national defense budget for this year is 8.1% higher than the previous year’s. I imagine all of this news is making the United State feel nervous.
Also on March 6, Yukan Fuji newspaper published an article about the National People’s Congress (NPC) entitled, “American Restraints on Xi, Showing Increasing Signs of Dictatorship.” It gave details about the American response:
On March 3, Trump held a private lunch at Mar-a-Lago, his luxury villa in Florida, where he joked that Xi has become president for life, called him a “great gentleman,” and suggested the U.S. should try the same. American news outlet CNN obtained and publicized a recording of his statements.
The U.S. is displaying a sense of caution in the military realm as well.
On March 5 (the first day of the NPC), the USS Carl Vinson, the most powerful nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in the U.S. Navy, was anchored off the coast of Danang in central Vietnam. This port call to Vietnam is the first by an American aircraft carrier since the Vietnam War ended in 1975. It is highly possible that this is a way of restraining China, which is building military bases in the South China Sea.
International political scientist Genki Fujii said, “By abolishing the presidential term limit, China is giving stronger signs of being a dictatorship, and it is making its neighboring countries into imperialistic vassal states. Cambodia and Laos are steadily becoming Chinese vassals. There is also the South China Sea issue, and the danger that Vietnam will lose its independence. Trump is naturally feeling warier. I think the U.S. is trying to build an encirclement against China with Japan and Vietnam.
Since Xi became president in 2013, I have mentioned him occasionally in my Essays on Today’s Japan, Wine Tasting and Discussion About Japan articles, and Big Talk. I will share some excerpts from these past articles to look at how Xi’s ambitions have changed.
I first brought up Xi in my December 2012 essay (written on October 19 of that year):
In the March 2013 Wine Tasting and Discussion About Japan (event held on January 8, 2013), I analyzed the Xi structure from the viewpoint of conflict between the Crown Prince Party (“Princelings”) and Communist Youth League:
The Senkaku Islands became a major issue between Japan and China from the latter days of the Yoshihiko Noda administration in 2012.
Big Talk in the May 2013 issue (dialogue took place on February 6, 2013):
Wine Tasting and Discussion About Japan in the December 2013 issue (event held on August 28, 2013):
Big Talk in the June 2014 issue (dialogue took place on April 4, 2014):
(Masanori Mizuma) Two attempted assassinations have already been carried out against Xi, and he is certainly frightened. Surprisingly, the U.S. doesn’t understand that China is attempting to move into the Pacific Ocean. Chinese people believe the U.S. will belong to them 200 years in the future.
Moreover, Xi has begun controlling the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
Wine Tasting and Discussion About Japan in the July 2014 issue (event held on May 14, 2014):
Xi has not yet gained control of the military authorities, and a power struggle is underway between the CPC and PLA. In particular, China is recently talking about “shadow banking” regulations, and the PLA is behind these shadow banks. Going forward, the timing of China’s collapse will be decided by whether Xi can eradicate the Jiang faction and control the military. Japan must be wary of this and maintain a close watch.
Xi initially espoused extreme anti-Japanese sentiments, but his stance against Japan has changed as he gained more authority.
Wine Tasting and Discussion About Japan in the September 2014 issue (event held on July 9, 2014):
Big Talk in the August 2015 issue (dialogue took place on May 11, 2015):
Xi finally gained control of the PLA through his 2015 anti-corruption struggle, and he triumphantly put on a military parade in September.
From Big Talk in the November 2015 issue (dialogue took place on September 4, 2015):
Wine Tasting and Discussion About Japan in the November 2015 issue (event held on September 9, 2015):
Big Talk in the January 2016 issue (dialogue took place on November 6, 2015):
In 2016, Xi’s ambition to concentrate his political power became even more striking.
August 2016 essay (written on June 16, 2016):
November 2016 essay (written on September 9, 2016):
The Chinese president’s term of office is five years, with a maximum of two terms (10 years). This has been maintained by both Jiang and Hu, who were chosen with the endorsement of Deng. However, Xi, who has no direct connection to Deng, is taking charge of the army and working to purge the Hu and Jiang factions in a power struggle he calls a “fight against corruption.” Even if he steps down as president after two terms (10 years) in 2022, it is highly probable that he will rule from behind the scenes without giving up his position as party chairman or Central Military Commission chairman, aiming to create the “Empire of Xi.” However, dissatisfaction is rampant due to Xi’s arrest and punishment of more than 250,000 CPC members in the name of “anti-corruption,” and it seems likely that maintaining the actual country of China until that point may be difficult.
February 2017 essay (written on December 5, 2016):
At the 18th Central Committee’s 6th Plenary Session in October 2016, Xi was named the “core” leader of the party. Only two people have been given this title up until now: Mao and Deng. I think Xi aims to emulate these two men to seize strong authority and maintain his political power for a long period. Up until now there has been a new Chinese president every 10 years, including Jiang and Hu, but I wonder if Xi intends to build his own empire without giving up his position as chairman of the party and Central Military Commission, even if he does step down as president. Some national leaders attach absolutely no importance to human rights, including of course North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un and more recently Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte.
In 2017, a new type of imperialism suddenly rose to power across the world. Along with the North Korea crisis, China is conspicuously setting forth a doctrine of hegemonism.
Big Talk in the May 2017 issue (dialogue took place on March 2, 2017):
February 2018 essay (written on December 11, 2017):
The Korean Federation would eventually become a Chinese vassal state and serve as the advance guard to keep putting pressure on Japan. Japan would likely become an autonomous region of China like Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang Uygur, and Tibet. This would fulfill the ulterior purpose of Xi – the arrogant proposal made to the U.S. about dividing and ruling the Pacific Ocean, with China controlling the area west of Hawaii and the U.S. the area east of Hawaii. The North Korea crisis is a life-and-death emergency for Japan, and it must sufficiently demonstrate to other countries that it has the will to resolve its own problems.
The U.S. prepares for all-out war even when carrying out limited military action
As I have predicted in Apple Town over the past five years, Xi – who did not become president with the approval of Deng, unlike Jiang and Hu – is steadily building a foothold for his empire by weakening the powers that are hostile to him through his fight against corruption. At the NPC, Xi is attempting to abolish the past presidential term limit (two terms, totaling 10 years) and retain political power for a long period of time. We can describe this international situation as the advent of a new era of imperialism, and tension is only growing in East Asia.
The U.S. Armed Forces prepare for all-out war even when carrying out limited military action, which takes from seven to eight months. Some have thought that the U.S. would immediately take military action against North Korea, but that would be impossible.
North Korea’s nuclear program is a means of self-defense against a Chinese invasion, and it has already succeeded. Right now, the potential is growing that South Korea will surrender to North Korea, creating the “Korean Federation” that possesses nuclear weapons. If North Korea is going to launch a nuclear attack against a country that cannot retaliate with nuclear weapons, its target will be Japan, not its compatriot of South Korea. Japan has been hit with two atomic bombs, and I think it is highly possible that it will be hit by nuclear weapons once again. I think that China (as the Empire of Xi) would eventually use the Korean Federation to threaten Japan and incorporate it into Greater China as a way to build a nation that can surpass the U.S. Now is the time for Japan to revise its constitution to recognize the JSDF as an army, enter into a nuclear sharing arrangement with the U.S., and maintain a nuclear balance. National Diet members, including many local assembly members, should unite to carry out a great national movement. They should propose constitutional reform in the Diet, hold a national referendum, and powerfully forge ahead with constitutional change.
March 9 (Friday), 6:00 p.m.