India vs China: Is Xi Jinping counted alongside PM Narendra Modi as a global leader? All facts here

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Published: October 16, 2017 4:51:33 AM

Having purged the Communist Party of China of potential challengers to his authority—many “princelings” have been imprisoned in Xi’s crusade against corruption—the president is looking to consolidate his hold on the party by leading the party’s consolidation of its hold on everyday life in China.

Thanks to the Trump presidency in the US turning out to be a dull ache that won’t go away and no one really knowing the mind of president Putin of Russia, Xi is definitely counted alongside the likes of Germany’a Angela Merkel and India’s Narendra Modi as a potential global leader. (AP)

President Xi Jinping of China may not have the world eating out of his palm yet. But his ambitious Belt and Road Initiative and the commitment to Paris accord’s climate goals have made many countries less uncomfortable with the fact he heads the world’s largest authoritarian government. Thanks to the Trump presidency in the US turning out to be a dull ache that won’t go away and no one really knowing the mind of president Putin of Russia, Xi is definitely counted alongside the likes of Germany’a Angela Merkel and India’s Narendra Modi as a potential global leader. Xi’s charm offensive—gloss over, for a moment, his tacit backing of the North Korea’s Kim Jong-un—has made it difficult for most to see that he may be China’s most authoritarian head of state after Mao Tse-tung.

Having purged the Communist Party of China of potential challengers to his authority—many “princelings” have been imprisoned in Xi’s crusade against corruption—the president is looking to consolidate his hold on the party by leading the party’s consolidation of its hold on everyday life in China. People’s Daily, the party’s mouthpiece, recently warned party officials not to “pray to God” or engage in “feudalistic superstitious activities”. Curiously, many senior officials of the party who fell in the anti-corruption drive were known to have participated in religious/quasi-religious activities. Former security chief Zhou Yongkang, for instance, was jailed for life for, among other things, passing on state secrets to a fortune teller whom he consulted frequently. The crackdown by China’s atheist-state is not on religion per se, but on its potential as a tool for organising people. What’s worse, the government is now seeking a more active role in managing business. It is wary of the increasing sway of private businesses, most of which are tech/social media companies, on the average Chinese. Under its “special management shares” initiative, the government is in discussion with a roster of companies that includes Tencent, Weibo and Alibaba to acquire 1-2% stake and have government officials sit in company boards, the Wall Street Journal reports. Meanhwile, Alibaba’s Jack Ma is happy to play second fiddle, setting up a multi-corporate-funded foundation to create opportunities for the poor, a cause Xi has espoused, while Tencent’s reticent Pony Ma has called for a greater integration of China with Hong Kong where there have been pro-democracy protests recently.

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