At Instapundit, Stephen Green posts a lengthy excerpt from a Foreign Policy article (behind paywall) by former diplomat Craig Singleton. Singleton makes some interesting points about Xi Jinping.
Hunkering down in Beijing for more than 700 days, Xi was a no-show at last year’s United Nations General Assembly, the G-20 summit in Rome, and the U.N. climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland. Xi’s disappearing act is occurring at the same time he and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) face serious domestic headwinds, including rampant energy shortages, rising unemployment, and a real estate market teetering on the edge of collapse.
The pandemic alone cannot explain Xi’s refusal to leave his seat of power—or to shelve, however temporarily, his grand international ambitions. Instead, if Xi’s latest pronouncements are any indication, there is something else keeping him awake at night: growing fears about resistance to his rule from factions inside the CCP.
The simple explanation for Xi’s refusal to leave China and his recent, over-the-top loyalty push is that Xi recognizes he is increasingly vulnerable.
To which, Green adds this sage postscript.
"One-man rule” also means there’s only one man to blame when things go wrong — something every would-be one-man ruler seems to forget along their quest for total power.
His observed behavior suggests Xi finally remembered. Being an autocrat is like riding a tiger — exciting, but the dismount is often fatal.