The National People’s Congress was held in March. China reported an ominous amendment of the constitution. The article outlining the presidential terms limitation of two 5-year terms was deleted. This means that the current president Xi Jinping, who is already in his second term, could remain in office for life. Only Mao Zedong was likewise privileged. It now seems that Xi Jinping holds absolute power within the Chinese communist party and probably also in the army. Another amendment of the constitution added a new ideology, aptly named Xi Jinping Thought. While the mass media are focusing on the attempted rapprochement between North and South Korea and the possibility of a North Korea-USA meeting, China seems to set a course for a dictatorship that even eclipses Mao Zedong’s.
China’s economic growth is slowing down, and the gap between the rich and poor people is widening. Keeping the society under full control is the most essential concern of the Chinese communist party. To this end, the Chinese government came up with a slogan to fight poverty which would be erased by 2020 according to Xi Jinping. To achieve strong economic and military powers, efforts have been made to modernize the industry and the armed forces. Under Xi Jinping, these developments undoubtedly could be accelerated because the decision-making process may definitely be faster than today due to the political power concentration on one man. The second aircraft carrier which is still under construction may use an aircraft catapult system. By 2030, four aircraft carriers should be operative according to plan. The Chinese military expenditure is increasing year after year, and the technological developments are also distinguished. It might be possible to catch up with the US military might faster than predicted.
The current issues on the Korean Peninsula might have a low priority for Xi Jinping because both Koreas seem to move to unification. This could foreshadow the withdrawal of the US troops from the Korean peninsula. Should the present status quo hold, North Korea is no threat for China. The longer North Korea is drawing attention, the more convenient is the situation for China. While the US has to divert a part of its military power to the peninsula, Xi Jinping can concentrate on expansion and domestic politics. The expansion policies in the South China Sea and also in the Indian Ocean are going well. For example, a Sri Lankan port has been leased for the next 99 years to China due to the pile of debts accumulated by Sri Lanka. The Maldives currently undergo a similar development. The Taiwan issue also might heat up again since the expansion projects in the South China Sea near completion.
A China governed by one dictatorial party only, not to say one person is able to plan long-term strategies. As long as profits and demands of both the most and least industrialized and developed countries match with China’s interests, China’s expansion policy might not be checked.