Today is the day when another leader with unlimited powers is born. No, I am not talking about some invincible superman like a comic hero but a man of flesh and blood and that is the Chinese President Xi Jinping. Today the Chinese Communist Party’s decision to give a life mandate to Xi Jinping is more dangerous for the world than it looks.
This recent extension of power, the scrapping of time limits which would have forced Xi to step down on 2023 in the rather imposing Great Hall of People leaves some disturbing marks. This adds on to the already plenty evidence that the world which once believed liberal democracy to be an ideal is compromising his thoughts. Chinese President Xi Jinping is joining the march for strong men with absolute powers.
With Vladimir Putin in Russia, Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the Philippines' Rodrigo Duterte, the number of men with powers to keep for life is forming a long list creating a very terrible example for the common people and their ideas of democracies. All these men came to power using people’s mandate but since then, they have turned more towards autocracy than democracy.
There was Egypt's Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, who had taken part in a coup against democratically elected Islamist government. No doubt he was a nationalist, an aggressive one if I must mention, but this brand of nationalism is the guiding force for the governments of Hungary and Poland too.
One may argue that what is America doing when a bandwagon for ‘managed democracies’ is raising its poisonous head, America must comment or take some action at least. After all from the Cold War period, America served as the defender of true liberal democracy.
Unfortunately, times have changed and America’s present President Trump’s ‘America First’ mantra is just another version of aggressive nationalism. His attacks on institutions like Judiciary, FBI is not helping the situation instead it is further upsetting the checks and balances of democracy. The US is not in a comfortable position, throwing stones at others while living in a glass house is a dull idea.
"It is certain that the club of managed (or guided) democracies is growing," were the words of Caroline Galacteros, director of the Planting strategic intelligence consultancy in France. She along with many other critics and analyzers are puzzled by this rise which they consider inappropriate. Kenneth Roth, director of Human Rights Watch, said "It is important for democratic leaders both to highlight the emptiness of the autocrats' political programs and to stress the danger of enabling leaders who claim to speak for the majority,"
But with the US joining the same coveted club, very few countries are left who could criticise in the international arena. Perhaps this is a chance of India to be heard and speak of a new world order, but with the recent trade links and cosmopolitanism of India, it would be difficult to survive without any of the big powers on our side, this could also be the opportunity for India to join hands with Europe and create a strong front.
Earlier critics had expected that the Chinese would be forced to change their ways with the globalization affecting their order but now it seems that quite opposite is happening with others bending towards the Chinese style.
In order to conclude we may say that with the changing global politics there are plenty chances of countries to act out and show their faces in the frontline for the world to see.