I know it is none of my damned business to comment on what is going on in the United States of America, I have kept my thoughts to myself and have been careful not to share them with former classmates who have made their lives there and contributed to the progress of the most powerful country in the world. Since the lockdown, we have started a weekly zoom session, among other things, we compare notes on what Presidents Trump and Duterte are doing to combat the Covid 19 pandemic.
At this writing, I just heard ( on You Tube) US Secretary of State M. Pompeo emphatically declare that they ( the USA) will no longer address Xi Jinping as President of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) but as Secretary-General of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), because that is what he is in reality. According to Secretary Pompeo, Xi Jinping was never elected in democratic elections like what they have in the United States of America.
But of course! Elections! President Donald Trump is running for a second term and it seems like he is lagging behind his rival, former Vice-president J. Biden. Mr. Pompeo’s lightning bolt is the ultimate strategy that will probably make President Trump win a second term. Americans now have a visible and palpable enemy- China, who does not even have a president! China has stolen American jobs, American technology and to think it does not even have a president! POTUS will save the Chinese people from totalitarian oppression in that leaderless country. So, any American who does not say nor think despicable things about China is a traitor. That has the indelible fingerprints of Mr. Steve Banon, the former White House strategist.
Fortunately for the PRC, it is not Panama, nor Venezuela, nor Iran and even if it is half submerged in the most Biblical deluge, threatened by the monstrous Three Gorges Dam, the USA will need more than a Bay of Pigs and Rolling Thunder Operations to bring the PRC to its knees. That is my humble opinion.
So, does the PRC have a president? Of course, it does, whether or not the USA says so. I think there was a position called president in the 1950’s , shortly after Chairman Mao Zedong declared the establishment of the People’s Republic of China , but through the decades changes occurred due to infighting in the CCP and other imperatives. There was a time when Head of Government and Head of State were two different positions, but today it is one and the same, that is why Xi Jinping is both Secretary General of the CCP and President of the People’s Republic of China; I think he is also the Chairman of the Central Military. Commission. Secretary Pompeo might yet change his mind and call Pres. Xi a mere chairman or commissioner. Popular elections are held at the local assembly level, but the top officers are elected by the National Assembly. I do not know if the US Electoral College has an equivalent in the Chinese system.
What are the implications of this “demotion”? Will the Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada follow suit? Will the Presidents of France of other countries? Will President Duterte call his best friend Sec-Gen Xi and not President when he orders Covid19 vaccines? I shall wait with bated breath.
Needless to say, Secretary Pompeo uttered those demeaning words upon orders of his boss, the POTUS, who has the right to de-recognize a Head of State and Government. He may not need congressional approval to do that, it is not a declaration of war. Also, upon orders of President Trump, the USA ordered the closure of a Chinese consular office in Texas and as expected, the PRC reciprocated. I wonder if the USA will go as far as to completely sever diplomatic relations with the PRC. In that case, I wonder if President Trump will have to ask for congressional approval.
I hope we do not get caught in the crossfire as we were when a nascent USA went to war with the Spanish empire, and half a century later with imperial Japan. Something wicked this way comes; it might be worse than all the quarantines combined. Like a furious monarch, President Trump is pointing at China–Off with her head!