The Big Ideas

by Malcolm Riddell

Nikkei Asia

Nikkei Asia

Nikkei Asia

'I will aim for Mao's Status.'
'I will aim for Mao's Status.'
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July 18, 2021
BIG IDEA| ‘There on the gate was Xi Jinping, Chinese president and party general secretary, in a gray Mao suit. Just below his feet was the portrait of Mao Zedong, also dressed in a gray Mao suit.’
‘To the 70,000 people in Tiananmen Square watching the Xi-Mao juxtaposition, Xi was sending a message: I will aim for Mao's status.’

For the 70,000 people gathered in Tiananmen Square on July 1 to celebrate the Chinese Communist Party's 100th anniversary, a highly symbolic scene took place in front of their eyes.’

  • ‘There on the gate was Xi Jinping, Chinese president and party general secretary, in a gray Mao suit.’
  • ‘Just below his feet was the portrait of Mao Zedong, also dressed in a gray Mao suit.’
  • ‘When Xi raised his right hand at the end of the ceremony, the gesture was an exact replica of Mao statues standing across the country.’

‘The visual effects projected an allusion in the eyes of the people there:’

  • That sometime in the future Xi was going to rise to a status on par with Mao, the founding father of the People's Republic of China.’

‘Interestingly, while the crowd witnessed the Xi-Mao juxtaposition, folks at home watching TV did not.’

  • ‘Cleverly, state-run China Central Television used the sea of small five-star red flags waved by the cheering crowd to cover Mao's portrait beneath Xi.’

‘The Xi-Mao overlap was likely a trial balloon floated in front of a limited audience to gauge public opinion.’’

  • ‘The question at hand is simple: Is the country ready for a more powerful Xi?’

‘It is unusual for Xi to choose a gray Mao suit.’

  • ‘At military parades at home and banquets overseas, Xi has always worn a blackish Mao suit.’

‘This time, the fade to gray made Xi clearly stand out.’

  • ‘Premier Li Keqiang and former President Hu Jintao, who stood on either side of Xi, wore ordinary dark suits and red ties during the ceremony. It looked like a highly choreographed one-man show.’

‘To the 70,000 people in Tiananmen Square watching the Xi-Mao juxtaposition, Xi was sending a message:’

  • ‘I will aim for Mao's status.’

Bloomberg

CHINADebate

The Big Ideas

'China Plans to Exempt H.K. IPOs From Cybersecurity Reviews'

‘China plans to exempt companies going public in Hong Kong from first seeking the approval of the country’s cybersecurity regulator, removing one hurdle for businesses that list in the Asian financial hub instead of the U.S.’
7/18/2021

The Wall Street Journal

CHINADebate

The Big Ideas

The Editorial Board | The Wall Street Journal

'Biden’s Warning on Hong Kong'

‘The pretense of Chinese and Hong Kong authorities is that their crackdown on the rule of law and dissent will have no effect on Hong Kong’s viability as an international center for trade and finance.’
The Editorial Board | The Wall Street Journal
7/18/2021

CHINADebate

CHINADebate

The Big Ideas

Why the U.S. Lacks Leverage over China

During the celebration of the Chinese Communist Party’s Centennial celebration, Mr. Xi stood in the same place on the balcony facing Tiananmen Square where Mao Zedong stood when he announced the founding of the PRC; Mr. Xi wore a gray Mao suit, among a sea of blue western suits; and he centered himself right above the portrait of Mao, who is similarly attired.
Malcolm Riddell
Founder of CHINADebate
7/18/2021

Foreign Affairs

CHINADebate

The Big Ideas

Kurt Tong | Asia Group

Hong Kong and the Limits of Decoupling

‘The United States’ inability to make China regret—much less reverse—its transgressions in Hong Kong suggests that financial separation, sanctions, and economic barriers are less reliable tools than many in Washington believe.’
Kurt Tong | Asia Group
7/18/2021

Financial Times

CHINADebate

The Big Ideas

'US warns companies of risk of doing business in Hong Kong'

“In the face of Beijing’s decisions over the past year that have stifled the democratic aspirations of people in Hong Kong, we are taking action,” said Antony Blinken, US secretary of state. “Today we send a clear message that the US resolutely stands with Hong Kongers.”
7/18/2021

CHINADebate

CHINADebate

The Big Ideas

The Chinese Point of View

Here are a few of my thoughts on the importance of Wang Jisi’s ‘The Plot Against China.’ Yuen Yuen Ang’s ‘The Evolution of Chinese Corruption’ speaks for itself - but note especially how Mr. Xi's anti-corruption campaign could hurt China's economy. I have now lived long enough that when a friend complains about his or her spouse, I say to myself, ‘There are no doubt two sides to this story.’
Malcolm Riddell
Founder of CHINADebate
7/4/2021

Foreign Affairs

CHINADebate

The Big Ideas

Wang Jisi | President of the Institute of International and Strategic Studies at Peking University

'How Beijing Sees U.S.-China Relations'

‘In Chinese eyes, the most significant threat to China’s sovereignty and national security has long been U.S. interference in its internal affairs aimed at changing the country’s political system and undermining the CCP.’
Wang Jisi | President of the Institute of International and Strategic Studies at Peking University
7/4/2021

Foreign Affairs

CHINADebate

The Big Ideas

Yuen Yuen Ang | University of Michigan

'How Corruption Powers China's Economy'

‘China has managed to sustain four decades of economic growth despite levels of corruption that even Xi has described as “grave” and “shocking.” Why does it seem to have bucked the trend?’
Yuen Yuen Ang | University of Michigan
7/4/2021
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