China's President Xi Jinping right to warn of new Cold War. But he's the one causing the chill – Scotsman comment

Chinese President Xi Jinping is right to warn against rising tensions in the Asia-Pacific region leading to a new Cold War.

Visitors walk in front of a screen showing China's President Xi Jinping at the Museum of the Communist Party of China in Beijing (Picture: Noel Celis/AFP via Getty Images)
Visitors walk in front of a screen showing China's President Xi Jinping at the Museum of the Communist Party of China in Beijing (Picture: Noel Celis/AFP via Getty Images)

However, the problem with the increasingly dictatorial dictator’s remarks is that the tensions are largely caused by his own regime.

Under his rule, democracy in Hong Kong has been crushed; China has continued to press vast territorial claims in the South China Sea, where it is building fortified artificial islands; and warplanes have been sent to fly close to Taiwan, which China insists is part of its territory and not an independent state.

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Xi’s power appears to be growing with Communist Party leaders publishing a political history that puts him on a par with Chairman Mao Zedong and proclaiming his ideology to be the “essence of Chinese culture”.

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That sounds rather grand until you remember it is a view held by a relatively small number of people and not necessarily shared by a majority of China’s 1.4 billion people, who have no say in who their ruler is.

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Given Xi has usurped the power that should be in the hands of China’s people, it is a regrettable fact that the more powerful China becomes, the more serious a threat he poses.

The Aukus pact between Australia, the UK and US is an obvious attempt by three democracies to stand up to Xi’s tyranny, but more steps may be required.

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Both Taiwan and China have applied to join a major Pacific Rim trade pact, with the latter saying presumptuously that it will block Taiwan’s bid. Perhaps it’s time to cold shoulder the sabre-rattling Xi and extend a warm welcome to democratic, peaceful Taiwan.

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