Sunday was Coronation Day in the People's Republic of China – and Chinese President and General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Xi Jinping, secured a third five-year term at the 20th Party Congress.
Speaking in Beijing, Xi pledged to build a "modern socialist" China by 2049: "We must follow a path of socialist rule with Chinese characteristics, develop a Chinese system of socialist rule of law, and establish China as a socialist country under the rule of law," he stated – according to a press release from a newspaper group owned by the Chinese Communist Party.
He also stated China will "strive for unification" with Taiwan, warning the country "will never promise to renounce the use of force and we reserve the option of taking all measures necessary."
AFN reported late last month on remarks from Dede Laugesen, executive secretary for the Committee on Present Danger China, who warned that within weeks after the CCP's National Congress: "Xi may very well move on Taiwan, because it's an opportune moment for him."
Bob Maginnis is senior fellow for national security at the Family Research Council. He explains Xi has prepared by consolidating power.
"And he has done that through essentially a purge of the 96-million-member Communist Party in China," Maginnis tells AFN. "He's expelled 63 generals, he's prosecuted members of the exclusive Politburo, and [he's] gone after hundreds of thousands of others."
Xi, says Maginnis, is considered to be much like Mao Zedong. "He [Xi] is a true ideologue Marxist/Leninist who will do what is necessary – and he'll install in his next government mostly sycophants, people who will do his bidding," he offers.
But Maginnis points out that doesn't mean Xi doesn't have issues with which he must deal.
"Of course, he has economic strife in his country which he's trying to come to grips with," he explains, "but clearly [I think] the world is going to see … a rising President Xi in terms of his 'wolf warrior' diplomacy across the world, really pressing his agenda not only throughout his 1.4 billion people but across the entire world."
Maginnis is not alone in his concern. In an open letter dated October 17, 2022, Flag Officers 4 America cites China as America's "greatest foreign threat" – and argues that the Biden administration's "debacle" in Afghanistan has emboldened foreign threats because they see it as "weakness and [they] no longer fear the consequences (deterrence factor) coming from the United States in response to their aggression."