First the speech itself. The first part dwells on the undoubted trials and tribulations suffered by the Chinese, through foreign invasions and interference. That part is true enough. So is the fact that thereafter, the country went through a transformation under the auspices of the CPC. What is obviously left out is the trials and tribulations that were inflicted on the people themselves during that process.
Few have forgotten, for instance, the horror of the so called “Cultural Revolution” which went on for a decade, and killed an estimated 2 million apart from nearly destroying the economy. That was about fifty four years ago; half way home and worth remembering. Great leaders make great mistakes.
Thereafter, Xi can undoubtedly boast of the shift from a centralised planned economy to “a socialist economy” that helped achieve “the historic leap” to become the world’s second largest economy, with “moderate prosperity”. That’s true, too. Certainly, it was a historic shift and a learning curve for the CPC. But surely it also relied on the inherent industry of the Chinese people.
Today, China has the highest suicide rate in the world, and that’s according to China’s own sources, which cites pressure to perform and find employment as leading causes. With estimations of one person committing suicide every three minutes, this scenario is not an indication of prosperity. Its shows something is badly wrong.
But setting that aside, there’s not a doubt that under the CPC guidance, the country has made great strides of reform in the last few years. The problem arises when Xi sees China’s national rejuvenation as “ a historical inevitability”. That’s a sure mark of trouble ahead. Dictators since Fredrick the Great have used this phrase to mask their own intentions of a march to power.