World faces tension with China under Xi Jinping’s third term

Oct 23, 2022, 6:15 AM | Updated: Oct 24, 2022, 2:00 am
FILE - New members of the Politburo Standing Committee, front to back, President Xi Jinping, Li Qia...

FILE - New members of the Politburo Standing Committee, front to back, President Xi Jinping, Li Qiang, Zhao Leji, Wang Huning, Cai Qi, Ding Xuexiang, and Li Xi arrive at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Oct. 23, 2022. The world faces the prospect of more tension with China over trade, security and human rights after Xi Jinping awarded himself a third five-year term on Oct. 23, 2022 as leader of the ruling Communist Party. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

              FILE - In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, a worker sort coals at Qianyingzi coal mine in Suzhou, east China's Anhui Province on Oct. 20, 2021. Chinese President Xi Jinping promised a "proactive and steady" approach to reducing climate-changing carbon emissions, but at the same time the ruling party is increasing coal production to avert a repeat of last year's power shortages and blackouts. (Han Xu/Xinhua via AP, File)
            
              FILE - Medical workers in protective gears carry bags of COVID test samples taken from the people who work at a shopping mall following several COVID-19 cases detected in the area in Beijing on Oct. 17, 2022. In the recent 20th Party Congress, Chinese President Xi Jinping gave no indication China's severe "Zero COVID" strategy might ease despite public frustration with its costs. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)
            
              FILE - Military attendees leave after the opening ceremony of the 20th National Congress of China's ruling Communist Party at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Oct. 16, 2022. In a speech that used the word security 26 times, Chinese leader Xi Jinping said Beijing will "work faster" to modernize the party's military wing, the People's Liberation Army, and "enhance the military's strategic capabilities." (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)
            
              FILE - Commuters wearing face masks walk along a street in the central business district in Beijing on July 29, 2022. By 2035, the Communist Party wants economic output per person to match a "medium-level developed country," Chinese President Xi said in a report to the 20th National Party Congress. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)
            
              In this Handout provided by Matthew Leung, Hong Kong protester Bob Chan scuffles with people who are trying to drag him into the Chinese consulate in Manchester, England, Sunday Oct. 16, 2022. Bob Chan said he and others were holding a peaceful antigovernment protest outside the consulate on Sunday when masked men came out, tore down the protesters’ banners and dragged him inside the buildings gates. (Matthew Leung/The Chaser News via AP)
            
              FILE - A man wearing a mask passes by propaganda for the upcoming 20th Party Congress with the words "Forever follow the Party, Jointly Build the China Dream" in Beijing on Oct. 10, 2022. Chinese President Xi Jinping calls for the China Dream "great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation" based on reviving the ruling party's role as an economic, social and cultural leader in a throwback to what he sees as a golden age after the 1949 revolution. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)
            
              FILE - A man walks past the words "China Dream" on a street in Beijing on March 5, 2015. Chinese President Xi Jinping calls for the China Dream "great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation" based on reviving the ruling party's role as an economic, social and cultural leader in a throwback to what he sees as a golden age after the 1949 revolution. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)
            
              FILE - New members of the Politburo Standing Committee, from left, Li Xi, Cai Qi, Zhao Leji, President Xi Jinping, Li Qiang, Wang Huning, and Ding Xuexiang are introduced at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Oct. 23, 2022. The world faces the prospect of more tension with China over trade, security and human rights after Xi Jinping awarded himself a third five-year term on Oct. 23, 2022 as leader of the ruling Communist Party. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)
            
              FILE - Chinese President Xi Jinping gestures as he leaves an event to introduce new members of the Politburo Standing Committee at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Oct. 23, 2022. The world faces the prospect of more tension with China over trade, security and human rights after Xi Jinping awarded himself a third five-year term on Oct. 23, 2022 as leader of the ruling Communist Party. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)
            
              FILE - New members of the Politburo Standing Committee, front to back, President Xi Jinping, Li Qiang, Zhao Leji, Wang Huning, Cai Qi, Ding Xuexiang, and Li Xi arrive at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Oct. 23, 2022. The world faces the prospect of more tension with China over trade, security and human rights after Xi Jinping awarded himself a third five-year term on Oct. 23, 2022 as leader of the ruling Communist Party. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)
            FILE - An exhibitor wearing a face mask looks on near a Changan 510 chip developed by the Beijing Academy of Blockchain and Edge Computing displayed at the China Beijing International High-Tech Expo in Beijing, China, on Sept. 26, 2021. Chinese President Xi Jinping promised during the recent Party Congress to "build China's self-reliance and strength in science and technology." (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

BEIJING (AP) — The world faces the prospect of more tension with China over trade, security and human rights after Xi Jinping, the country’s most powerful leader in decades, awarded himself another term as leader of the ruling Communist Party.

Xi has tightened control at home and is trying to use China’s economic heft to increase its influence abroad. Washington accused Beijing this month of trying to undermine U.S. alliances, global security and economic rules. Activists say Xi’s government wants to deflect criticism of abuses by changing the U.N.’s definition of human rights.

Xi says “the world system is broken and China has answers,” said William Callahan of the London School of Economics. “More and more, Xi Jinping is talking about the Chinese style as a universal model of the world order, which goes back to a Cold War kind of conflict.”

At a Communist Party congress that wrapped up Saturday, Xi gave no sign of plans to change the severe “zero-COVID” strategy that has frustrated China’s public and disrupted business and trade. He called for more self-reliance in technology, faster military development and protection of Beijing’s “core interests” abroad. He announced no changes in policies that have strained relations with Washington and Asian neighbors.

On Sunday, Xi was awarded a third five-year term as party leader in a break with tradition that called for him to step down after 10 years. The party named a seven-member ruling Standing Committee of Xi and his allies, which gives him a free hand to carry out his plans.

POLITICS: Xi calls for the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” based on reviving the Communist Party’s role as the economic, social and cultural leader in a throwback to what he sees as a golden age after the 1949 revolution. “Xi’s embrace of Marxist-Leninist orthodoxy should put to rest any wishful thinking that Xi’s China might peacefully liberalize its politics and economy,” Kevin Rudd, president of the Asia Society and a former Australian prime minister, wrote in Foreign Affairs. Xi’s government has jailed dissidents, stepped up internet censorship and crushed a pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. Its “social credit” initiative tracks the public and punishes infractions from fraud to littering. “Zero COVID,” which tracks individuals using smartphone apps and has confined tens of millions to their homes, “is indicative of how Xi Jinping wants Chinese society to work,” said Callahan. “It is to be under constant surveillance and control,” he said. “It has become much more authoritarian and at times totalitarian.”

ECONOMY: By 2035, the Communist Party wants economic output per person to match a “medium-level developed country,” Xi said in a report to the congress. That suggests doubling output from 2020 levels, according to Larry Hu and Yuxiao Zhang of Macquarie, an Australian financial services group. Meanwhile, however, the ruling party is building up subsidy-devouring state industry and tightening control over entrepreneurs who generate wealth and jobs. That prompts warnings that economic growth that sank to 2.2% over a year earlier in the first half of 2022 will suffer. The economy faces challenges from tension with Washington, curbs on China’s access to Western technology, an aging population and a slump in its vast real estate industry. “If top leaders take the target seriously, they might have to adopt a more pro-growth policy stance,” Hu and Zhang said in a report. Analysts are watching for details after the party’s Central Economic Work Conference in early December.

TECHNOLOGY: Xi promised to “build China’s self-reliance and strength in science and technology.” He gave no details, but earlier efforts to reduce reliance on the West and Japan by creating Chinese sources of renewable energy, electric vehicle, computer and other technologies have prompted complaints that Beijing violates its free-trade commitments by shielding its companies from competition. American officials worry Chinese competition might erode U.S. industrial leadership. China faces growing limits on access to Western technology, especially from the United States, which warns it might be used to make weapons. China is building its own chip industry, but analysts say it is generations behind global leaders. Beijing doesn’t appear to be trying to isolate China but wants to reduce strategic unease by catching up with other countries, said Alicia Garcia Herrero of Natixis, a French investment bank. She said that will involve increased state-led investment. “That is going to create some tension,” she said.

SECURITY: Xi says “external and internal security” are the “bedrock of national rejuvenation.” In a speech that used the word security 26 times, he said Beijing will “work faster” to modernize the party’s military wing, the People’s Liberation Army, and “enhance the military’s strategic capabilities.” China already has the world’s second-highest military spending after the United States and is trying to extend its reach by developing ballistic missiles, submarines and other technologies. Xi refused to renounce the use of force to unite Taiwan with the mainland. Xi also called for improved security for supplies of energy, food and industrial goods. The party also sees “ideological security” as a priority, which is leading to more internet censorship.

FOREIGN RELATIONS: Beijing increasingly uses its economic muscle as the biggest trading partner for all of its neighbors as leverage in politics and security. China blocked imports of Australian wine, meat and other goods after its government called for an investigation into the origins of COVID-19. Beijing tried unsuccessfully to persuade 10 Pacific island governments to sign a security pact this year, but is making inroads with some. Police officers from the Solomon Islands are being trained in China. Beijing wants a “China-centered security system,” said Callahan. “Beijing wants to be a world leader, and part of that, according to Beijing, is to be a leader in the hard politics of global security.” Chinese diplomats, in a trend dubbed “wolf warrior diplomacy,” are more confrontational and sometimes violent. This month, Chinese diplomats in Manchester, England, beat a protester after dragging him onto the grounds of their consulate. Diplomats have “carried forward the fighting spirit,” said a deputy foreign minister, Ma Zhaoxu. He said the diplomatic corps will “improve its fighting skills and always stand at the forefront of safeguarding national interests and national dignity.”

COVID-19: Xi gave no indication China’s “zero-COVID” strategy might ease despite public frustration with its costs. While other countries have eased travel curbs, China is sticking to a strategy that has kept infection rates low but shut down major cities. The party newspaper People’s Daily tried to dispel expectations of a relaxation once the congress ended. The strategy “must be sustained,” it argued. Public health experts say more of the elderly need to be vaccinated before the ruling party can relax the COVID-19 restrictions. That might take months. Forecasters say that means it might be the end of 2023 before controls might ease.

CLIMATE: Xi promised a “proactive and steady” approach to reducing climate-changing carbon emissions, but at the same time the ruling party is increasing coal production to avert a repeat of last year’s power shortages and blackouts. A Cabinet official said coal output will rise to 4.6 billion tons in 2025. That would be 12% more than 2021. Xi said in a 2020 speech to the United Nations that China’s emissions should peak in 2030 but didn’t say at what level. China already emits more carbon than the United States and other developed economies combined, according to Rhodium Group. China is building more coal-fired power plants, which activists warn might cause higher emissions. Meanwhile, Beijing suspended a climate dialogue with Washington in August in retaliation for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to rival Taiwan.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Big tobacco tries to stop California flavored tobacco ban

SAN DIEGO (AP) — R.J. Reynolds and other tobacco companies filed a request Tuesday asking the U.S. Supreme Court to impose an emergency order to stop California from enforcing a ban on flavored tobacco products that was overwhelmingly approved by voters earlier this month. The ban was first passed by the state legislature two years […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Key allegations, witnesses as Trump Org. trial winds down

NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump’s inaugural address clocked in at just 16 minutes. Closing arguments are slated for Thursday in his company’s criminal tax fraud case? Prosecutors and defense lawyers say those could take seven hours or more. Those projections speak to the complexity of the case, which stems from longtime Trump […]
17 hours ago
FILE - In this aerial file photo provided by the National Park Service is the Junction Butte wolf p...
Associated Press

Montana judge restores state wolf hunting regulations

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana judge on Tuesday lifted a temporary restraining order that limited wolf hunting and trapping, saying there is nothing to suggest rules now in place will make wolf populations unsustainable in the short term. District Judge Christopher Abbott also rejected concerns raised by environmentalists that harvesting up to six wolves […]
17 hours ago
FILE - Residents who are fed up with the army's strategy of simply separating the Jalisco and the M...
Associated Press

Mexico high court upholds keeping military on police duties

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s Supreme Court upheld on Tuesday a constitutional change that allows the military to continue in law enforcement duties until 2028. The court ruled against appeals that argued law enforcement should be left to civilian police forces. Critics warned President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is militarizing the country, and ignoring the […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Texas woman pleads guilty to role in Vanessa Guillen’s death

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The only suspect arrested in connection with the killing of Vanessa Guillén at a Texas military base in 2020 pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges that included helping dispose of the soldier’s body near Fort Hood. Cecily Aguilar, 24, pleaded guilty in a federal court in Waco, Texas, to one count of […]
17 hours ago
FILE - Kanye West, left, and Kim Kardashian attend the WSJ. Magazine Innovator Awards on Nov. 6, 20...
Associated Press

Kim Kardashian and Ye settle divorce, averting custody trial

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kim Kardashian and Ye have reached a settlement in their divorce, averting a trial that had been set for next month, court documents filed Tuesday showed. The former couple and their attorneys filed documents asking for a judge’s approval of terms they have agreed on, including $200,000 per month child support […]
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
World faces tension with China under Xi Jinping’s third term