The momentous event of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China takes place at a time when the Chinese people moved on from the first centenary goal of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation to the second one. The key tasks of the assembly are to examine world trends in conjunction with the development of China, comprehensively summarize the country’s new experiences in advancing reform and opening-up as part of its modernization drive over the past decade, and chart a blueprint for national development in the coming years.
The past five years since the 19th Party Congress, held in October 2017, though only fleeting moments in human history, have witnessed the vicissitudes of major events.
At the end of 2017, that is, less than three months after the conclusion of the 19th Party Congress, the then-Trump administration of the United States recalibrated America’s global strategy, designating Russia and China as its key strategic rivals. Ever since, both the Trump administration and the Biden administration have indulged in a “new Cold War” against China to obstruct its development.
After 2022 set in, the world became more turbulent, with the “profound changes unseen in a century” further rolled out while the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic entered its third year.
Chaos is a key feature of the global political landscape nowadays. A full-blown war is raging between Russia and Ukraine. And equally unsettling is the possibility of another “civil war” breaking out in the US, with the midterm elections in November acting as a trigger.
Washington has been playing its “Taiwan card” and “Hong Kong card” in tandem in its ever-escalating geopolitical game against China; the game of brinkmanship is likely to continue
There was a further shift in the global geopolitical landscape this September, when Iran was admitted into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which is believed to continue to expand its lineup in the future. Indeed, the regional group has kicked off its ambitious plan to strengthen the connectivity of the Eurasian continent by bringing Central Asia, South Asia and the Middle East into the fold.
In a tumultuous global political landscape, China is the only country that can sustain stability and prosperity. Looking ahead, the SCO is expected to play an increasingly important role in driving changes in improving global governance for the benefit of humanity. The 20th Party Congress is expected to map out major strategies to stave off intensifying global turbulence while promoting the optimization of international governance.
Sino-US relations have taken a turn for the worse in 2022. On Sept 14, the day that President Xi Jinping was visiting Kazakhstan, the US Senate Foreign Affairs Committee deliberated and endorsed the Taiwan Policy Act of 2022, which affirms military and economic support for the island. The act is essentially a bill that euphemistically expresses its support for “Taiwan independence”, reneging on the one-China principle and the three joint communiques issued by the United States and China in 1972, 1979 and 1982. Once it is passed by the US Congress and signed by President Joe Biden into law, it will cripple the diplomatic foundation on which Sino-US relations are built.
Washington has been playing its “Taiwan card” and “Hong Kong card” in tandem in its ever-escalating geopolitical game against China; the game of brinkmanship is likely to continue. Conceivably, the 20th Party Congress will formulate strategies to accelerate the process of national reunification as well as the optimization of the implementation mechanisms of “one country, two systems”. Hong Kong must closely monitor the accelerated shift in the global political landscape, lest the city’s vulnerability to external shocks takes a costly toll on it.
The Sept 3 issue of The Economist published an article titled The Disunited States of America, which foresees a ghastly domestic political landscape after its midterm elections in November, predicting more toxic bipartisan rivalry and social divisions in the US. If the predictions floated by that article, featured on the cover of The Economist, become reality, the Biden administration will in all likelihood escalate its crusade against China and other countries that Washington considers as the US’ rivals so as to divert public attention from the internal conflicts.
The author is a senior research fellow of China Everbright Holdings.
The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.