The Center of Gravity of a World Aflame: The Chinese Regime Is the ‘Focus of Evil in the Modern World’

CommentaryA world aflame compels a reflection on strategic priorities. The wars in Europe and the Middle East are brutal struggles and humanitarian disasters that are certain to become even worse.Each war is pregnant with the possibility of escalation to higher levels of conflict and involving more states. At this time when U.S. resources are stressed, and there is a possibility of greater conflict, it is important to keep the U.S. focus on the enemy’s center of gravity.Related Stories10/27/202310/26/2023The head of the snake is the Chinese regime. If that could be eliminated, Iran and its allies would be far lesser threats, and Russia under Vladimir Putin would be as well. To borrow from President Ronald Reagan’s March 8, 1983 “Evil Empire” address to the National Association of Evangelicals in Orlando, where he termed the Soviet Union the “focus of evil in the modern world,” so, too, today is the Chinese regime the focus of evil in the modern world. The center of gravity of these wars is found in the ideology and ambition of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).A path to its defeat is through offensive political warfare—undermining its chokehold on the Chinese people so that they can overthrow this odious regime and so it can no longer generate and support conflict the world over.Xi Jinping has a sense of inferiority as he constantly informs the Chinese people that they are great under the CCP and yet have always been taken advantage of by Europeans, Manchus, Mongols, Japanese, and Americans.That reveals a great insecurity in Mr. Xi’s and the CCP’s conception of China. Certainly powerful, but not powerful enough, and indeed, not good enough to supplant the West. The Party’s genesis was Lenin; it was nurtured by Stalin and the Comintern, and later supported by the West—first as a balancer to Soviet power and then as a source of manufacturing and investment.Nor does one suspect if Mr. Xi and the CCP truly want China to supplant the West. Were they to do so, it would cause the loss of the prime mover of Hegelian History, the source of technological innovation, scientific advancement, and social dynamism. It would result in the loss of the standards by which to exercise political power, to judge successes, and to provide legitimacy and a teleology for the CCP. It wants the power and legitimacy of the West. But to gain the West’s power and legitimacy, it would have to forfeit communism. Chinese leader Xi Jinping attends the opening of the first session of the 14th National People's Congress at The Great Hall of People in Beijing on March 5, 2023. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)Hence, Mr. Xi and the CCP face a logical contradiction. The intellectual tension it creates is clear in Mr. Xi’s and the Party’s utterances. The CCP is communist, and were it to supplant the West, what would occur is one Western ideology supplanting another Western ideology. For China to triumph over the West, it would be necessary for a Han polity anchored on China’s traditional ideology to best the West. That can never happen under the CCP as the Party would not permit another form of government to rule China.Mr. Xi implicitly argues that China under the CCP will always be inferior to the West. Only by abandoning the CCP’s ideology could China, that is, Han civilization, demonstrate superiority over the West. In sum, the Chinese are schizophrenic regarding the West. For 150 years, the Chinese elite were proud of Western ideas, “Mr. Science,” “Mr. Democracy,” earning degrees at Western universities. The Chinese elite want to be Westernized.Mr. Xi cannot square this circle. China under the CCP will not have sufficient confidence to overthrow the West unless the West loses its position through its own actions. To accept communism in China—an amalgam of Marxist, Leninist, Stalinist, and Maoist thought—requires the rejection of China’s political principles of unity, monarchism, avoidance of chaos, and respect for the people as a foundation for China’s polity. A Chinese polity requires the acceptance of the traditional Han polity, imperial rule, and the rejection of imported ideologies and polities based on them. The fact that Mr. Xi as the leader and the Party as a whole embrace both means, they are simultaneously incoherent and profoundly insecure regarding their legitimacy.Mr. Xi’s rule in China has proven that the CCP has no solution to creating a modern and just polity. Grafting a Western import to define and govern China was certain to generate ideological and political incoherence for the Han people. Moreover, the fatal flaw of the Western socialist economy is its inability to mobilize individuals. This flaw cannot be eliminated by adding market mechanisms. Likewise, ideological incoherence and a politically stifling environment are unlikely to produce innovation on a sustainable basis.The generation of chaos due to political malpractice and loss of economic growth also hurts. Of course, as debates about TikTok demonstrate, however belatedly

The Center of Gravity of a World Aflame: The Chinese Regime Is the ‘Focus of Evil in the Modern World’

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Commentary

A world aflame compels a reflection on strategic priorities. The wars in Europe and the Middle East are brutal struggles and humanitarian disasters that are certain to become even worse.

Each war is pregnant with the possibility of escalation to higher levels of conflict and involving more states. At this time when U.S. resources are stressed, and there is a possibility of greater conflict, it is important to keep the U.S. focus on the enemy’s center of gravity.

The head of the snake is the Chinese regime. If that could be eliminated, Iran and its allies would be far lesser threats, and Russia under Vladimir Putin would be as well. To borrow from President Ronald Reagan’s March 8, 1983 “Evil Empire” address to the National Association of Evangelicals in Orlando, where he termed the Soviet Union the “focus of evil in the modern world,” so, too, today is the Chinese regime the focus of evil in the modern world. The center of gravity of these wars is found in the ideology and ambition of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

A path to its defeat is through offensive political warfare—undermining its chokehold on the Chinese people so that they can overthrow this odious regime and so it can no longer generate and support conflict the world over.

Xi Jinping has a sense of inferiority as he constantly informs the Chinese people that they are great under the CCP and yet have always been taken advantage of by Europeans, Manchus, Mongols, Japanese, and Americans.

That reveals a great insecurity in Mr. Xi’s and the CCP’s conception of China. Certainly powerful, but not powerful enough, and indeed, not good enough to supplant the West. The Party’s genesis was Lenin; it was nurtured by Stalin and the Comintern, and later supported by the West—first as a balancer to Soviet power and then as a source of manufacturing and investment.

Nor does one suspect if Mr. Xi and the CCP truly want China to supplant the West. Were they to do so, it would cause the loss of the prime mover of Hegelian History, the source of technological innovation, scientific advancement, and social dynamism. It would result in the loss of the standards by which to exercise political power, to judge successes, and to provide legitimacy and a teleology for the CCP. It wants the power and legitimacy of the West. But to gain the West’s power and legitimacy, it would have to forfeit communism.

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 Chinese leader Xi Jinping attends the opening of the first session of the 14th National People's Congress at The Great Hall of People in Beijing on March 5, 2023. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
Chinese leader Xi Jinping attends the opening of the first session of the 14th National People's Congress at The Great Hall of People in Beijing on March 5, 2023. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

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Hence, Mr. Xi and the CCP face a logical contradiction. The intellectual tension it creates is clear in Mr. Xi’s and the Party’s utterances. The CCP is communist, and were it to supplant the West, what would occur is one Western ideology supplanting another Western ideology. For China to triumph over the West, it would be necessary for a Han polity anchored on China’s traditional ideology to best the West. That can never happen under the CCP as the Party would not permit another form of government to rule China.

Mr. Xi implicitly argues that China under the CCP will always be inferior to the West. Only by abandoning the CCP’s ideology could China, that is, Han civilization, demonstrate superiority over the West. In sum, the Chinese are schizophrenic regarding the West. For 150 years, the Chinese elite were proud of Western ideas, “Mr. Science,” “Mr. Democracy,” earning degrees at Western universities. The Chinese elite want to be Westernized.

Mr. Xi cannot square this circle. China under the CCP will not have sufficient confidence to overthrow the West unless the West loses its position through its own actions. To accept communism in China—an amalgam of Marxist, Leninist, Stalinist, and Maoist thought—requires the rejection of China’s political principles of unity, monarchism, avoidance of chaos, and respect for the people as a foundation for China’s polity. A Chinese polity requires the acceptance of the traditional Han polity, imperial rule, and the rejection of imported ideologies and polities based on them. The fact that Mr. Xi as the leader and the Party as a whole embrace both means, they are simultaneously incoherent and profoundly insecure regarding their legitimacy.

Mr. Xi’s rule in China has proven that the CCP has no solution to creating a modern and just polity. Grafting a Western import to define and govern China was certain to generate ideological and political incoherence for the Han people. Moreover, the fatal flaw of the Western socialist economy is its inability to mobilize individuals. This flaw cannot be eliminated by adding market mechanisms. Likewise, ideological incoherence and a politically stifling environment are unlikely to produce innovation on a sustainable basis.

The generation of chaos due to political malpractice and loss of economic growth also hurts. Of course, as debates about TikTok demonstrate, however belatedly, Western countries are beginning to recognize the political and economic motivations of the CCP’s efforts to seize the “commanding heights” of technology by implementing some countermeasures, such as restricting Huawei and restricting technology transfers to China.

As the disconnect between the CCP’s ideology and China’s traditional ideology continues to grow, the products of alienation will continue to come to the fore. In this, like the Shah of Iran’s separation between the Western modernity he advanced and the Islamic religious beliefs of the Iranian people, the ideological crisis that exists will worsen. Unlike the Shah, Mr. Xi as an individual ruler or the CCP as a ruling class will not depart. Marxism will never be abandoned, and so the ideological division will continue to weaken China’s effort to claim hegemony.

As this ideological crisis continues and deepens, the CCP will restore an ever-increasing force to remain in power. Only with the CCP’s overthrow will there be change. Its ideological crisis will never be resolved by the Party; it can only be resolved by its overthrow by the security state—members of the People’s Liberation Army, People’s Armed Policy, Ministry for State Security—by the people or by the diaspora working with the people. The alienation of the population will continue to grow as the CCP’s malpractice and mendacity are unlikely to end with the pressure of a major internal movement akin to the Taiping Civil War coupled with external pressure, like the Second Opium War.

Now is the time to move against the CCP as it faces profound economic, trade, and social difficulties. It is the focus of evil in the modern world through its own actions and the actions of its proxies emboldened by its support. Its tyranny must be ended for the good of the Chinese people and the stability of world politics.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.