This paper examines how subsequent Chinese leaders, through China’s Communist Party (CCP) have helped the country reclaim its lost glory. In essence, former leaders such as Deng Xiaoping advocated for decentralized and non-personalistic leadership as the only way through which China could prosper. However, Xi Jinping, the current State President, and Party leader seems to be deviating from this ideology and is leading China to a darker period than that witnessed in the Mao era.
Prior to the 1800s, China was experiencing an economic boom as a result of silver inflow into the country in exchange for Chinese exports. However, according to Naughton the British felt threatened by the Chinese and started importing excess amounts of opium into China1. The attempt by China to stop the influx of opium led to the opium war during which China suffered degrading defeat and severe economic meltdown Naughton2. Consequently, Chinese leaders started formulating ideologies that were geared towards regaining national pride. However, as Naughton writes, most of these strategies continued concentrating on centralized and personalistic leadership especially during the Maoist era3. These are the same strategies that Xi Jinping is continuing to advance on China, thus leading China on a dark retrogressive path.
Deng Xiaoping is one of the most celebrated Chinese leaders credited for bringing about reforms aimed at controlling the abuse of power by the Party’s general secretaries. As a supreme leader, Deng was able to ensure the decentralization of power within the government, going as far as removing secretary generals whose policies were in conflict with national interest. For example, according to Lawrence and Martin, before his death in 1997, Deng had removed Jiang Zemin and Zhao Ziyang from the Party secretariat for leading the Tiananmen massacre4.However, China today has no such supreme leader with such powers. As such, when an opportunistic leader such as Xi Jinping comes into the office an