Again and again there was speculation that there could be power struggles within the Chinese leadership because the date of the CP party congress was not announced. But now it is certain that it will take place on October 16th. He will underpin the power of the dictator Xi.

Now the date has finally been set: October 16th is supposed to be the XX. Chinese Communist Party Congress begins. Only every five years does the nomenklatura come together in Beijing for this spectacle. The announcement of the date was awaited with particular excitement this year, because everyone involved knows that this congress will be different from all those that have taken place since Mao.

After Mao, who ruled the people’s republic as sole ruler from 1949 until his death in 1976, all presidents of the people’s republic had to bow to a limitation of their term of office to two terms of five years each.

Red Alert: How China’s aggressive foreign policy in the Pacific is leading to a global war

In 2018, Xi reversed this precaution taken by the Communist Party after the horrors of Mao’s rule. For a third term, he had the constitution amended. A tried and tested tool used by dictators around the world to extend their reign until their death. Russia’s ruler Vladimir Putin, for example, a close ally of Xi, recently had his rule until 2036 approved.

In recent weeks there has been speculation that the failure to announce the start date of the party congress was due to behind-the-scenes power struggles. This assumption was fueled by the many crises into which Xi Jinping has maneuvered his country: The corona pandemic has not yet been overcome, the real estate bubble has burst, causing tens of thousands of Chinese to lose the savings they had invested in apartments. At 20 percent, youth unemployment is higher than it has been for a long time and economic growth has collapsed.

Now, however, it seems that speculation about Xi’s future has been premature, as October 16 is not an exceptional date. Previous conventions also started around this day. Observers take this as a sign that Xi has cemented his power and will also be given the opportunity to implement whatever he wants.

However, he will not be enthroned until March 2023, when the National People’s Congress will convene. This congress is not a parliament in the democratic sense, but an assembly of people who have rendered services to the Chinese Communist Party. No last-minute headwinds are to be expected from there.

There is some hope, however, that other top positions – including the appointment of a new prime minister – will be filled with less rigorous figures, allowing Beijing to keep channels open and moderate disagreements over these officials if necessary. However, this will not be known with certainty until October 16th.

For the USA and its allies, including Germany, this means that there will be no change in policy in Beijing for the time being. The strife between the free world and the dictatorial world, embodied in the alliance of China and Russia, will not flatten out in the years to come, but rather increase. There are enough points of contention: In the case of Taiwan, which is a close economic partner and democratic friend of Germany and the USA, it was pointless. A military escalation between the two superpowers was averted this time.

A serious showdown could happen as early as 2024. Then the president will be elected again in the USA. Donald Trump has kept open a renewed candidacy. In 2016-2020, when Xi and Trump presided over the superpowers, relations between the two countries cooled to their worst in decades.

Alexander Görlach is Honorary Professor of Ethics at Leuphana University in Lüneburg and Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs in New York. The PhD linguist and theologian is currently working on a project on “digital cosmopolitanism” at the Internet Institute of the University of Oxford and the Faculty of Philosophy at New York University.

Alexander Görlach was a Fellow and Visiting Scholar at Harvard University in the USA and Cambridge University in England. After stints in Taiwan and Hong Kong, he has focused on the rise of China and what it means for East Asian democracies in particular. He has recently published the following titles: “Red Alert: Why China’s Aggressive Foreign Policy in the Western Pacific Is Leading to a Global War” (Hoffmann

From 2009 to 2015, Alexander Görlach was also the publisher and editor-in-chief of the debate magazine The European, which he founded. Today he is a columnist and author for various media such as the Neue Zürcher Zeitung and the New York Times. He lives in New York and Berlin.

China wants to rewrite the rules of the world order. With a four-stage plan, Xi Jinping wants to become the one superpower around which everyone else revolves. It is far from certain whether it will really work out in the end.

Water is becoming scarce in China: after years of overconsumption, the groundwater reservoir has been exhausted. Xi Jinping must now act quickly, otherwise there is a risk of famine. China’s president could then no longer count on the support of the population.

According to Jeremy Fleming, British intelligence helped protect critical infrastructure during Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine. But the impact of Russian disinformation should not be underestimated, writes the head of British intelligence in a guest post.