As its title ‘Xi Jinping: China’s Third New Era’ suggests, the book covers the period mid-June 2017 till the end of 2020—a period when, Xi Jinping’s acolytes claim, China had already embarked on a third thirty-year era under his leadership, like those of Mao and Deng before him.
This period also saw an outpouring of criticism against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Chinese President not witnessed since the Tiananmen Square events in 1989. The resentment was sparked by Xi Jinping abolishing tenure limits that govern the cadres’ terms in office as well as the mishandling of the initial stages of the Covid pandemic. It is also the period when Xi Jinping began using the country’s security apparatus to further consolidate his position and impose progressively restrictive controls on society. He followed through on his slogan: “party, government, military, civilian and academic; east, west, south, north and centre, the Party leads everything”!
The essays explore the modernisation of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA); Xi Jinping tightening his grip on members of the Politburo and the higher echelons of the Party; China’s policy on Tibet and Beijing’s efforts to negate the Dalai Lama’s influence inside China as well as abroad.
China’s attitude and posture towards India, which have undergone definite change since Xi Jinping adopted an aggressive foreign policy to achieve the “rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”, have been covered at length. This includes the ongoing incursions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh since May 2020.
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