China recently saw Xi becoming CPC’s lifelong leader. He was also announced as the supreme leader of the country. By this recent development, it is clear that the CPC has not only endorsed Xi’s ambitious plan to make China the world’s No.1 military and economic power by 2049, far surpassing the United States of America, but also ensured that the program does not get disturbed by the earlier practice of 10-yearly leadership change. Undoubtedly, the CPC has never been stronger before since Mao Zedong, the founder of the communist rule in China in 1949 and now under Xi Jinping. Interestingly, 2049 will also be the centenary year of communist rule in China. The latest military-economic ambition of China is fully attainable if one considers China’s phenomenal growth under the communist regime in the last 71 years. The country’s GDP rose from near the global bottom-end in 1949 to the world’s second-largest at over US$13.4 trillion, reports the World Population Review (WPR) 2021.
There was a time when China was even well behind India in industrial production around the 1950s. The WPR ranked India’s GDP in seventh place at only $2.72 trillion. In the early 1950s, China’s annual import and export trade together valued at only a few hundred million US dollars. However, by 1998, China’s foreign trade figure rose by over 300 times to nearly $324 billion making it the world’s 11th largest trade power. Today, China is the largest international trade power and ranks third as the global military power after only the US and Russia. The country’s communist rulers have ensured that its military and economic powers are bunched together shoulder to shoulder. The historical evolution of China’s economic and military growth justifies the CPC’s ambitious global power target by 2049. History has proved that CPC as a political organization is much stronger than Vladimir Lenin-founded Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). An official assessment by the US government of CPC’s latest policy declaration and actions taken by Xi Jinping, in a way, serves as a warning to countries such as India, which often exaggerate its capability of taking on China.
Importantly, the latest US Secretary of Defence presentation before the US Congress on “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China” did not forget to mention that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China thought it appropriate to indulge in border clashes with India. The PLA accelerated its training and fielding of equipment in 2020. Earlier this month, General Bipin Rawat, India’s Chief of Defence Staff, said China poses the biggest security threat to India. Rawat also said India is well prepared to deal with “any miss-adventure” by China on the “land borders or the high seas.” China’s ambitious plan to become the world’s No.1 military and economic power by 2049 is a challenge for the entire democratic world known for periodical political and leadership changes and open debates on any policy matters, including strategic and diplomatic, that often weaken their key decision-making processes. Although the USA is China’s top target towards achieving its global economic and military supremacy, it should be a much bigger concern for India, sharing a long-disputed land border with its frequently clashing powerful neighbour in the north.