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Report Identifies Chinese Communist Party as the “Greatest Existential Threat” to the US

‘Xi is now pulling out all the stops to put together a so-called axis of autocratic states,’ an expert said

Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping has amassed many enemies within China due to his continued efforts to consolidate personal power, according to a new report.

The success of Xi’s “dictatorial” concentration of authority has likewise relied on his ability to remove his opposition from power, according to the China Transparency Report, published by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

“There is no disputing the fact that [Xi] is a master in factional intrigue, building up cliques and elbowing aside, if not taking out, enemies from other factions,” the report says

“Apart from arrogating major decision-making authority to himself and the high-level councils that he controls, Xi has redesigned regulations and working procedures within the party to suit his own interests.”

The Cult of Xi

Xi’s power rests with his ability to rely on cadres of military personnel known personally to him since his younger days, whom he has systematically installed in positions of power and used to target his political rivals, the report found.

He has also worked tirelessly since 2012 to consolidate direct policy-making power to central party authorities like the Central Military Commission, which he heads. Conversely, he has relegated China’s State Council to a rubber stamp body, existing for little other purpose than to recommend his policies.

Willy Wo-Lap Lam, a senior fellow at the Jamestown Foundation think tank and co-author of the China Transparency Report, said that Xi’s internal enemies had failed to unite a coherent opposition to the authoritarian leader.

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“Despite the fact that Xi Jinping has accumulated more enemies [than his predecessors] … his enemies have not been able to put together a common threat, they have not coalesced their powers against Xi Jinping,” Mr. Lam said during a Jan. 25 talk at the Heritage Foundation.

That unimpeded power would present problems for the United States, he said, as Xi seeks to build a “rival international order, separate from that headed by the U.S.”

“He is now pulling out all the stops to put together a so-called axis of autocratic states together with Russia, North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, and so forth,” Mr. Lam said.

US and China in ‘New Cold War’

That effort, the report found, has placed the United States and communist China squarely in an adversarial relationship, amounting to a “New Cold War.”

To prevent that war from turning hot, the report said, legislators will need to acknowledge how bad things have become and act accordingly.

“American citizens and policymakers need to acknowledge reality: The United States and China are in a New Cold War,” the report said.

“The American people take the threat from China deadly seriously; it’s time for our leadership to do the same.”

To that end, the report said that the CCP is “the greatest existential threat” to the United States.

Heritage Foundation president Kevin Roberts underscored that threat, but said that it was not too late for U.S. leadership to aggressively respond and fix the situation.

“In some circles, it’s not politically correct to speak so plainly about the Chinese Communist Party being an adversary,” Mr. Roberts said.

“The bad news is we have a lot to fix. The good news is this is America and we’re going to fix it.”

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