China’s Wolf Warrior Diplomacy | UPSC

IASbhai Daily Editorial Hunt | 3rd Dec 2020

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Henry S. Haskins

Dear Aspirants
IASbhai Editorial Hunt is an initiative to dilute major Editorials of leading Newspapers in India which are most relevant to UPSC preparation –‘THE HINDU, LIVEMINT , INDIAN EXPRESS’ and help millions of readers who find difficulty in answer writing and making notes everyday. Here we choose two editorials on daily basis and analyse them with respect to UPSC MAINS 2020-21.

EDITORIAL HUNT #274 :“China’s Wolf Warrior Diplomacy | UPSC

China’s Wolf Warrior Diplomacy | UPSC

Shikha Aggarwal
China’s Wolf Warrior Diplomacy | UPSC

Shikha Aggarwal is a Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Taiwan Fellow at the National Chengchi University

      HEADLINES:

Behind China’s wolf warrior diplomacy

      CENTRAL THEME:

Xi Jinping is deepening a ‘Chinese Communist Party-state’ brand of nationalism for a domestic and global audience

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : IR

      MAINS QUESTION:

Aggressive Chinese nationalism has been propagated by Chinese side. Who continue with the march to further entrench the Chinese Communist Party’s within Chinese society. Elucidate -(GS 2)

      LEARNING: 

  • Global politica
  • Personification and Chinese Nationalism
  • Threats and Chinese Perceptions
  • Agenda of Indoctrination
  • Way Forward

      WORD MEANING: 

Euphemism : Alternative | Dogma : Belief | Nationalism : identification with one’s own nation and support for its interests, exclude the interests of other nations |  Piety : devotion | Hedonistic : Pleasure-Loving | Harbinger : Sign,Indicator | Epithet : Nickname | Theoretician : A person who works studies the theoretical framework of a subject | Acquiescence : Consent | 

      INTRODUCTION: 

  • GLOBAL THEME OF POLITICS : In the last few years, ‘nationalism’ has returned as a governing theme of global politics and relations among major world actors.
  • PERSONIFICATION AND NATIONALISM : A peculiarly abrasive brand of nationalism has come to be associated with China, and more importantly with the persona of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
  • CHAUVINISM : While Beijing’s recourse to nationalistic aggression as a foreign policy stratagem has gained the euphemism of ‘wolf warrior diplomacy’.

China has been a work-in-progress for much longer and involves a state-sponsored and systemic indoctrination campaign.

  • CENTRAL THEME OF CHINESE NATIONALISM : Under Mr. Xi, this process has become even more intense and has acquired the dynamics of ‘Chinese nationalism with Xi Jinping at [the] Core’.

      BODY: 

ITS BASIS

  • BACKGROUND :  The Chinese Communist Party initially embraced nationalism as a co-option strategy in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square massacre.
  • CONSOLIDATION OF CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY : Consequently, nationalism was turned into a state dogma to embed the Chinese Communist Party in the political subconsciousness of the country, and secure the filial piety of its populace.

While this process marked the Chinese Communist Party’s transition from a revolutionary to a national party, it forever transformed the Chinese nation-state into a Party-state.

  • PATRIOTIC SENTIMENTS : It is this ‘Party-state’ brand of nationalism that the international community is being confronted with.
  • FAMOUS INSPIRATION : Today, this nationalism derives its inspiration from the idiom of ‘Great Rejuvenation’ and its obsession with re-achieving the glories of an imaginary past.
  • PERSONAL ASPIRATIONS : Mr. Xi has turned this old Chinese Communist Party jargon into a hallmark of the Party’s success and a tool to advance his personal ambitions.

Therefore, Chinese nationalism presents a hedonistic combination of the Chinese Communist Party’s raison d’être to remain as China’s political master

  • MADE IN CHINA DREAMS : Mr. Xi’s relentless quest to cast the Party into his own image, and a popular sentiment fed on the rubric of the ‘China Dream’.
  • ETHNO NATIONALISM : Hence, this version of nationalism is as much domestically oriented as it is directed at an international audience.

LINKED TO A THREAT PERCEPTION

  • THE FIRST ATTEMPT : The first concerted attempt by the Chinese Communist Party to shape Chinese nationalism came with the launch of the ‘Patriotic Education Campaign’ in the 1990s.

Consequently, a narrative of ‘Century of humiliation’ was invented and etched in public memory as a historical fact. 

  • GRAND DESIGN TO PROJECT : At the core of this campaign was the grand design to project the Chinese Communist Party as the harbinger and sole guarantor of the peace, prosperity and sovereignty of the eternally ‘victimised’ Chinese nation.
  • THREATS AND FOE : As such, the very legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party within Chinese politics is based upon an imaginary enemy or a threat perception.
  • REBUILDING THE CONTOURS : As Mr. Xi tries to rewrite the rules of the Party, and indeed the contours of the existing world order, he needs his own enemies.
  • SOVEREIGN NATIONHOOD : Therefore, nationalist mobilisation based on an aggressive posturing and display of strength in international affairs is an important currency in this larger scheme of things.
  • PERSONHOOD : At the domestic level, this nationalist fervour has been secured through patriotic indoctrination campaigns, promotion of a leadership personality cult etc.

Contrary to most international analysis, the drive has become a key component of nationalist sentiment in China.

  • KEY DOMESTIC ISSUES : This is so because corruption has for long been recognised by the Chinese Communist Party as the single biggest challenge to its existence .

In fact, the campaign has earned Mr. Xi the epithet of ‘fandui fubai’, or the one who is opposed to corruption among the Chinese public. 

AGENDA OF INDOCTRINATION

  • DEDICATED SCHEMES : The Chinese Communist Party’s patriotic indoctrination efforts consist of dedicated programmes for both the Party members, and the general public.
  • PATRIOTIC EDUCATION : The new ‘Patriotic Education’ guidelines were introduced in 2019, along with the ‘2019-2023 National Work Program for the Education and Cultivation of Party Members’.

Though largely similar in content with their previous avatars, they present a much hard-line version of Communist ideology.
 

  • IDEOLOGICAL GUIDANCE : It aims for a wider dissemination of ideological indoctrination throughout Chinese society.

In addition to dictating the academic curriculum, these guidelines promote extra-curricular activities such as ‘Red Education’ history tours .

  • These include visits to Chinese Communist Party museums
  • martyrdom commemoration sites
  • Study Lei Feng Volunteer Service’ programmes, etc.

The stated aim of such programmes is to achieve Mr. Xi’s mission to cultivate future generations of Chinese youth with ‘Red DNA’.

PERSONALITY CULT AT ITS CORE

  • MARGINAL APPROACH : The Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda machinery also designs customised programmes that target specific sections of society as per the Party’s perceived challenges.
  • CHINESE MEDIA : Similarly, Chinese media outlets have been asked to follow the dictum of “telling China’s stories well” to shape domestic and international opinion as per the Party’s diktats.

Top-down measures might elicit non-compliance or criticism from a public increasingly exposed to western ideas. [/tds_warning] 
 

  • CALL TO MASSES : The Party-state secures through the promotion of a personality cult around the core leadership, whereby all his actions become a rallying call for the masses.
  • PERCOLATION OF PERSONALITY CULT : Though Mr. Xi’s personality cult has percolated into practically all aspects of Chinese society, academic establishments have emerged as its primary targets.

This follows his clarion call, back in 2016, to turn China’s universities into “strongholds of Party Leadership”.

  • STATE RUN COURSES : Today, several elite institutions in China have either established research centres or introduced mandatory courses in ‘Xi Jinping Thought’.
  • THEORETICAL CONSTRUCTION : Interestingly, even the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently inaugurated a ‘Xi Jinping Thoughtstudy centre to guide the “theoretical construction” of China’s foreign policy.

      IASbhai Windup: 

THE PLANS AHEAD

  • GLOBAL LEADERS BY 2035 : The Xi Jinping cult of personality is set to gain further momentum after the recently approved a plan for China to become a global leader in technology by 2035.
  • 15-YEAR PLAN : Mr. Xi has further declared his intentions to remain at the helm of China’s affairs long after his due retirement date as General Secretary of the Party in 2022.
  • A DECADE LATER : While the decks of China’s politics will only become clear with the 20th Party Congress, the international community is poised to face an increasingly aggressive Chinese nationalism.
       SOURCES:   THE HINDU EDITORIAL HUNT | China’s wolf warrior diplomacy | UPSC

 

TRENDING NOW : Important The Hindu Editorials 

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