Chinese President Xi Jinping is demanding new assurances of loyalty from Beijing in a move to strengthen his grip over the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime, South China Morning Post reported.
Xi issued orders over the weekend to China’s law enforcement and political agencies to bolster efforts to protect the country’s national security and “defuse” economic and social risks to the CCP regime, according to the Post. Xi’s new demands come alongside a faltering Chinese economy that sent foreign investors away in droves in 2023, as well as heightened international political and militaristic tensions.
Xi’s orders also came with the demand that these agencies “uphold the absolute leadership” of the CCP regime and that their efforts should be pointed toward the “advancement” of China’s presence on the international stage, according to the Post. Xi noted in his instructions that the agencies need to “prevent and resolve major security risks,” calling on them to “resolutely maintain social stability” and “correctly handle internal conflicts among the people.”
On the economy, Xi told the agencies it is essential to maintain a socialist market structure and punish those who violate its laws, listing fraud or intellectual property theft as examples, according to the Post.
Foreign investment left China at record rates as the country’s economy struggled to gain traction throughout 2023, and multiple industry sectors, most chiefly real estate, failed to meet performance goals for the year. China’s top stock portfolio indexes also suffered the worst performance of any global index in 2023.
BREAKING 🚨: Chinese Stocks
CSI China 300 Index fell by 1.3% to start the new year, its biggest opening day loss since 2019 pic.twitter.com/TSdObF4AyD
— Barchart (@Barchart) January 3, 2024
China faced difficult relations with the Western world in 2023, having spent a sizable amount of the year on rocky political ground with the United States. Xi’s meeting with President Joe Biden in November was seen as a major step in the right direction as the two found compromise on several issues, but Beijing’s preference for a Biden-run administration may be upended depending on the results of the 2024 U.S. presidential election.
China is risking further Western political support over its defense of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to the Wilson Center. European leaders told Xi in December that his support for Russian President Vladimir Putin is setting the standard for EU-China relations, but Xi has made no apparent change in his stance.
China also faced heightened criticism in 2023 for its military actions, including increasing its aggression against the island of Taiwan, which China views as its sole property and not as independent from the mainland. Taiwan’s anti-CCP candidate Lai Ching-te won in the island’s 2024 presidential elections on Saturday, and military aggression against the island is expected to increase as a result, according to Axios.
Beijing’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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