Cai Xia: Xi Jinping is afraid, so repression is intensifying

Outside resistance is challenging the president’s power, says the former professor at the Chinese Communist Party School. A member of the "second red generation", which includes dissident tycoon Ren Zhiqiang, she wants to see the country democratise. Cooperation between progressive forces at home and foreign countries can help regime change. If China remains totalitarian, it will seek global domination by 2049.

Beijing (AsiaNews) – Outside resistance, which has multiplied after the pandemic outbreak, has frightened Xi Jinping, who has responded by intensifying the repression against his opponents inside and outside the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Fearing loss of power, the Chinese president and party secretary, has also begun to distance himself from an early ally such as Wang Qishan, considered by many in the CCP as the most capable figure of the regime.

This is what Cai Xia, a retired professor at the Central Party School, said in an interview published yesterday by Radio Free Asia.

After she attacked Xi in public, Cai was expelled from the CCP last August and lost her pension rights. She said that the Chinese leader wants to turn 90 million Party members into "political zombies".

Cai is a “hereditary [second generation] red,” i.e. descendants of the revolutionaries who founded Communist China, which is also Xi's power base.

She argues that many members of this age cohort, including dissident tycoon Ren Zhiqiang, now under arrest for attacking the president, want to change the country’s system of government system along more democratic lines.

However, the "reformers" have to deal with the "silent majority" in the Party, opposed to the excessive concentration of power in Xi's hands, but afraid that they might personally suffer reprisals.

According to Cai, who now lives in the United States, external forces, like Washington, can play an important role in fostering China’s democratic transition. To change the country, the scholar thinks that foreign and domestic actors could work together, especially the progressive forces in the CCP.

She believes that the crisis in Hong Kong will not be the straw that broke the camel's back, sparking an uprising that will overthrow the Party's power.

Change is more likely to come from an internal rebellion: an attempted invasion of Taiwan or military action in the South China Sea that backfires against the leadership and triggers a coup.

In dealing with China, Cai suggests the United States should distinguish between Xi and his acolytes and the CCP as a whole, thereby depriving the president of his power to hold 90 million members hostage.

With Xi in power, she points out, relations with Washington will only get worse. She notes that with the COVID-19 crisis, the United States and other Western countries have begun to understand the gangster nature of the CCP.

Cai warns that if China does not abandon totalitarianism, achieving political transformation through reforms, it will not enjoy a peaceful rise; instead, the regime will seek global domination by 2049, the centenary of the birth of the People's Republic of China.