Chang skeptical Western leaders will stand up to Xi's intimidating style

Chang skeptical Western leaders will stand up to Xi's intimidating style

While President Xi Jinping (right) sat and watched, former Chinese President Hu Jintao (standing) was physically removed from the Communist Chinese Party Congress over the weekend.

Chang skeptical Western leaders will stand up to Xi's intimidating style

An expert on China says President Xi Jinping – while clearly using his power to humiliate others – is also threatening worldwide stability through the alarming potential for nuclear warfare.

Xi increased his dominance on Sunday when, to no one's surprise, he was awarded a third five-year term as general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party. AP reports that Xi, 69, is expected by some to try to stay in power for life. That expectation may have been reinforced the day before, when his predecessor – former President Hu Jintao – was physically removed from the party's congress (see image above) and, according to the New York Post, his name was scrubbed from the country's internet.

Gordon Chang, China analyst and author, tells American News that Xi was well aware he would secure a historic third term as China's leader. What's more, Chang says, Xi has created a new ruling elite packed with loyalist officials, ensuring there are no dissenting voices at the top of the Chinese political system.

Chang contends Xi's powerful hold on the Beijing regime gave him quite an opportunity to "humiliate" the former Chinese president.

"Xi certainly undermined any sort of norms that were left in the Communist Party," Chang notes – adding that while he considers Hu's removal "extremely disrespectful of elders" and "offensive to the Chinese people," Xi's "style" concerns Chang even more so.

Chang, Gordon (author, commentator) Chang

"[He] fully intended to humiliate Hu in a completely unnecessary manner," the analyst states. "This could have been done in a closed-door session, but Xi chose to do this in front of several journalists. His style is to intimidate everybody."

According to Chang, Xi also intended to send a message – "not only to his Communist Party cadres, but also to the Chinese people and the rest of the world. Unfortunately, there are leaders in the West who are afraid of Xi Jinping."

Truth be told

Chang contends the Chinese regime is very unstable, and Xi's dismissal of Hu adds to his assessment. "Xi perceives himself to be all powerful … [but he] is also very insecure because he is the author of domestic policies which are obviously failing – and he has nobody else to blame [but himself]," he tells AFN.

"[Xi] can see down the road," Chang continues, "where he will need to force fellow senior leaders into complying with his demands [because] what little stability that does exist today is not going to last."

And that presents a problem for the U.S., he explains. "China is preparing for war [and is] ready to fight at a moment's notice – and there is an unfortunate, and perhaps fatal lack of urgency in Washington," notes Chang.

And he admits being particularly concerned about the "risk of thermonuclear war" –something he says the Biden administration should be talking about with the American people. Not only is there a need to mobilize the U.S. military, but he says "we also need to prepare civilians for war."