China’s blind pursuit of ‘absolute nationwide safety’ could result in Soviet-style collapse, warns advisor –

Beijing: The blind pursuit of “absolute national security” combined with excessive defense spending may lead to a Soviet-style collapse, China’s top foreign policy adviser has warned the ruling Communist Party led by President Xi Jinping.

The pursuit of “absolute national security” can come at a high price, said Jia Qingguo, a member of China’s top political advisory body Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and cited the collapse of the Soviet Union as evidence of the pitfalls of prioritizing military expansion over long-term security.

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The collapse of the Soviet Union, officially known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or USSR and ruled by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, has become an important lesson taught in the top Chinese Communist Party (CCP) schools across the country , to avert decisions that lead to his downfall.

Many Chinese leaders have frequently referred to the former USSR and asked the CCP to learn from its historical experiences.

Months after taking power in 2012, President Xi himself said that the collapse of party discipline led to the demise of the 20-million-strong Communist Party of the former USSR.

“If party members did and said what they wanted, the party would turn into a mob,” Xi said.

Jia, who was also a former dean of the School of International Relations at Peking University, says the unrestrained pursuit of security will drastically increase costs and drastically decrease benefits until the costs outweigh the benefits, according to Hong Kong based in southern China, the Morning Post reported on Sunday.

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“Ignore and blindly pursue the comparative nature of security [it] absolutely make the country less secure because of prohibitive costs and failing to achieve absolute security,” writes Jia, who sits on the CPPCC Standing Committee, in the latest issue of the bimonthly Journal of International Security Studies.

His 22-page article is full of thinly veiled criticism of hawkish prospects, the Post reported.

Too much emphasis on defense spending could trigger an arms race, making all countries involved less secure, writes Jia, himself a US affairs specialist.

He cites decades of massive defense spending by the Soviet Union as a prime example of the downside of ignoring long-term security that led to the final collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

“The result was that the Soviet Union lagged behind in economic development and was unable to sustain its massive defense spending. People’s lives have not improved for a long time and this has led to a loss of political support, he notes.

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“Actions like these sacrifice long-term interests for short-term gains and have greatly accelerated development [Soviet] Riot and collapse, he writes.

Since Xi took power, internal and external security has become central to CCP politics.

China’s military budget shot up to over $200 billion last year and is expected to increase further when the new budget proposals are announced in March this year.

However, Chinese analysts argue that unlike the Soviet Union, China paid the same attention to economic development that propelled the country to become the world’s second largest economy.

China’s economy grew 8.1 percent to $18 trillion in 2021, according to the latest official data.

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Xi also conducted the largest anti-graft purge in CPC history. Over the past decade, the CCP’s Central Commission for Disciplinary Inspection (CCDI) has conducted investigations and punished more than four million cadres, including nearly 500 high-ranking officials. More than 900,000 have been expelled from the party, about 1 percent of its 95 million members, according to another article in the Post.

Analysts say Xi’s emphasis on security and his anti-graft campaign in the name of strengthening the country and the CCP have boosted his popularity and helped him consolidate power in the party.

The 68-year-old Xi, who will complete a decade in power this year, is expected to continue for life as the once-every-five-year CPC Congress is expected to approve an unprecedented third five-year congress later this year. tenure for him, unlike all of his predecessors who retired after two terms.

The Party elevated him to the status of CCP founder Mao Zedong, which set him apart from other leaders.

His elevation was defended on the grounds that the party and the country needed strong leadership to face the tough challenges posed by the US, EU and other Western countries.

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Jia also warns in his article against an overemphasis on absolute security when it comes to supply chains.

“It is only by completely cutting off foreign trade and achieving economic independence that you can make it really impossible for other countries to exert pressure,” he writes.

But that would only reduce efficiency and let the country fall further behind, making the nation less secure, he warns.

“People concerned with security usually think of national security as the only value a country aspires to, as if once it is safe the country has achieved all its goals and its people are content,” he writes. “But that is not the case.”

The sole aim of maintaining security would also discourage companies from innovating and opening up to foreign companies, which would harm the overall efficiency of the economy, Jia adds.

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