Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Xi Jinping said at the recently concluded 20th Party Congress that China will open up economically to the world. But experts have warned that this would amount to obliterating international rules in favor of the regime at the expense of the free world.

“We will be determined to deepen reform and open up at all levels,” Xi said when meeting with the press at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Oct. 23, according to Xinhua, the regime’s official news agency. . The day Xi won an unprecedented third term as head of the CCP.

But Grant Newsham, senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy, warned that such remarks are a smokescreen.

“I don’t think it means what Westerners think it means,” Newsham told The Epoch Times in an email.

“There was nothing compromising in the speeches,” Newsham said, adding that he has followed the Chinese regime for nearly 40 years and that economic “openness” has been a constant talking point of the CCP all along. time.

The CCP regime wants to welcome Western businesses and financial firms to China so that they can provide finance, investment and technology to bolster the country’s economy and its military, the People’s Liberation Army, he said.

“When this goal is achieved to the satisfaction of the CCP, foreigners will be ordered to leave China,” Newsham said.

Disastrous economic policies

Frank Lehberger, a Europe-based sinologist and CCP policy expert, drew attention to Xi’s emphasis on promoting “institutional openness.”

“We will gradually expand institutional openness in rules, regulations, management and standards,” Xi said at the opening of the Party Congress on Oct. 16.

Yet such language is again code for the Chinese regime to reshape the global economic landscape in its own image.

“China wants to subvert accepted international trade rules and replace them with new, arbitrary, dictatorial socialist rules that ALWAYS favor China and no other trading partner,” Lehberger told The Epoch Times in an email.

He cited the regime’s $1 trillion global infrastructure investment project, the Belt and Road Initiative, as an example. The initiative has drawn growing criticism from Western officials who describe it as a form of “debt trap diplomacy” that opens the door for Beijing to grab critical infrastructure in developing countries. development.

Lehberger called the Chinese regime’s trade practices “predatory” that violate World Trade Organization rules, and noted that Xi’s handling of the pandemic through draconian “zero-COVID” has crippled the country’s economy.

Meanwhile, the regime has also faced considerable international backlash on a range of issues from human rights abuses to technology theft, and countered Beijing’s aggression with biting sanctions and trade embargoes.

As a result, China is also losing its status as the “workshop of the world”, he said, and this year China’s economy has further declined with dismal gross domestic product figures.

Despite these misfortunes, Xi will not end his “destructive” policies, according to Lehberger.

As the supreme leader of the communist regime, Xi “can never be wrong, no matter what he says or does, so his policy, no matter how wrong, must be maintained forever, whatever the economic cost.” , said Lehberger.

“Even a few years ago it doubled down and started its own decoupling from the West,” he added, referring to Xi’s promotion of “internal circulation,” a self-reliance agenda that seeks to steer the country away from its export-driven economy. to domestic demand and consumption.

Foreign dependency

The West, however, remains the vital supplier to the Chinese economy despite the regime’s attempts to overthrow the rules-based international order. This means that Beijing will continue to rely on other nations for financial support.

Lawyer Jonathan Bench, a regular contributor to the China Law Blog and chairman of Harris Bricken’s corporate practice group, told The Epoch Times that in talking about China’s openness to the world, Xi is signaling that the PRC does not cannot exist without engaging with the rest. of the world although it is trying to boost its domestic consumption.

“As far as the United States and its allies are concerned, that means facing direct competition and making limited concessions, as China did by finally agreeing that PCAOB inspectors public company accounting) audit the books of Chinese state-owned companies listed on US stock exchanges,” Bench said, referring to the US insistence on requiring US-listed Chinese companies to comply with regulatory requirements. American audit, from which companies were previously exempt.

The Chinese regime will continue to “bargain and bully” while it deals with its allied countries or those between the United States and China – this will guarantee its internal security, which largely means energy security at this point, according to Bench.

Lehberger said Xi needed the West for more foreign capital that could provide support for the country’s faltering economy.

However, Xi’s socialist planned economy model is a “huge step backwards”, he said, and will therefore fail as it will not be accepted or recognized by the international community, especially developed countries. . “Except maybe autocracies like Putin’s Russia, Belarus, Iran, North Korea, or Afghanistan, Pakistan, Myanmar and some African countries that almost failed,” he said. -he declares.

Lehberger also doubted Xi’s economic expertise, adding that his choice for the next prime minister is equally clueless.

Chinese leaders like outgoing Premier Li Keqiang and outgoing Vice Premier Liu He, who had expertise in economics and international trade, are now all retired and removed from power, he said.

“So the economic catastrophe in China filled with all the social ills is practically pre-programmed for the immediate future,” Lehberger said.

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Venus Upadhayaya reports on a wide range of issues. His area of ​​expertise is Indian and South Asian geopolitics. She has reported on the volatile India-Pakistan border and contributed to mainstream print media in India for about a decade. Community media, sustainability and leadership remain her main areas of interest.

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