Recently, Virgil, in his immortal fashion, traveled to Beijing and got this download from Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, President of the People’s Republic of China, and Chairman of the Central Military Commission. Here’s Virgil’s version of what’s inside Xi’s mind:
My geopolitical strategy is working out just fine. The West is divided, and the East is united—under China’s dominion.
Yes, the Middle Kingdom is once again in the middle of it all. The normal harmony of the world has been restored. After all, for most of the 5000 years of recorded history, China was on top. Then, beginning in the 15th century, during the Ming Dynasty, China made a series of mistakes, and so began a long civilizational decline, stretching over centuries. That 500-year descent into division and weakness—finally ended by the victory of Chairman Mao’s Red Army in 1949—is an increasingly distant memory, never to be repeated. Today, China, once again boasting the largest economy in the world, is back to where it should always have been. And there’s more to come; history should tell anyone never to bet against my country.
In the meantime, to my delight, I see that my rivals are making my task easier. Now it’s the West’s turn to make civilization-crushing mistakes. So could the West suffer the same long decay as China suffered under the Mings? I sure hope so!
The basic question confronting any people, east or west, is this: Can the civilization effectively respond to the challenges it faces, or not? If so, then you win. If not, then you lose. As leaders, the Mings were ineffective, and so they lost. And so did my country.
Okay, that was then. Now to today. The great challenge facing the the West is the transnational flow of refugees. Ah yes, refugees: There are millions of them now, and there are millions—maybe billions—more to come. And they are coming, of course, to the West. In fact, as they throng westward, they pose a great test of the West’s willingness and ability to defend itself against mortal challenges. So far, I am happy to say, the West is mostly flunking that great test.
Think about it: There are a billion-and-a-half Muslims in the world. That’s hundreds of millions more than the combined population of the West—Europe, Russia, and North America. How many of them would move to the West if they could? Moreover, there are far more than a billion Africans, including many Muslims; how many of them would rather live in the West? And then there’s Latin America, another half-billion or so people.
Yet the biggest single issue, of course, is the restive Arab Muslim population of the Middle East and North Africa—that’s 300 million people. The whole region has been wracked by war and civil war for decades; I would think that this history of violence would be an ample warning sign to any country that might wish to take them in. That is, do you really want to turn their problems into your problems?
Amazingly, the answer seems to be, “Yes, that’s exactly what we want.” As the German government under Chancellor Angela Merkel likes to say, Wilkommen. Well, okay, since you offered them state-supported hospitality, here they come!
It’s hard for me to see how this will end well for Germany. Indeed, the cultural dissonance, the economic dependence, and the actual violence—all are already endemic in German society. None of that, heh-heh, is my problem. More like, my opportunity.
Still, it was hilarious to see, just the other day, Merkel lecturing President Donald Trump on the telephone about the obligations supposedly imposed on countries that have signed the Geneva Convention on Refugees. It was because of that treaty, Merkel intoned, that Germany has taken in more than a million refugees, and that’s why, she continued, the US must continue to take in, at least, tens of thousands.
And then, having assumed this high pose of morality, the Germans immediately pulled a low political trick: They leaked the phone call to the news media. Here’s one report, appearing in the January 29 edition of The Guardian, that left-wing rag that we would never permit to be published here: “Merkel ‘explains’ refugee convention to Trump in phone call.” Yes, I’m sure Trump enjoyed being condescended to by Merkel in that way—just as he must’ve enjoyed reading one-sided news accounts of the conversation later.
I think I’ll read the good parts of that Guardian story again, just because I can always use a good laugh at the expense of my rivals. According to a German government spokesman providing a read-out of the phone call:
[The] refugee convention requires the international community to take in war refugees on humanitarian grounds. All signatory states are obligated to do so. The German government explained this policy in their call yesterday.
Yeah, that’s pretty funny. What you would never know is that the Geneva treaty imposes no such obligation to take in refugees by the truckload and boatload.
How do I know this? Because China is a signatory to the same Geneva agreement, and guess how many refugees we have taken in? The answer, of course, is that we’ve taken in precisely zero. We’re not dumb.
Yet here’s the really funny thing: Here in China, we haven’t heard a word of criticism from around the world. Instead, the criticism is all aimed at the West! Yes, aimed at the West, which has taken in many millions of refugees. And yet the critics, mostly themselves Westerners, ignore China as they relentlessly insist that the West must take even more.
Of course, the more refugees that the West takes, the more it’s divided and demoralized. The issue of refugees and immigration has already torn up Europe, and now, it’s tearing up America. And that’s what makes me so happy. I’m always pleased when rivals—maybe, who knows, future enemies—are feuding amongst themselves.
To me, it’s obvious: If the West is divided and China is united, China wins by default. And as has been said, the best battles are the ones that you win without having actually to fight.
I might add that other Asian countries—including Japan, Singapore, and South Korea—have also taken in zero refugees. We in Asia, the followers of Confucius, aren’t stupid. Twenty-five hundred years ago, the Master taught us that order and duty are the supreme social virtues, and we’re not about to throw that wisdom away, trading it, instead, for chaos and crisis. (Of course, just because those neighboring countries here in Asia think in the Chinese manner, that doesn’t mean they won’t soon have to kow-tow to Beijing, if they aren’t already performing the kow-tow. But that’s another story for another time.)
Interestingly, here in China, we already have some 21 million Muslims. About half of these have been patriotically assimilated, and so they’re no problem—although, of course, we watch them closely, just as we watch everyone closely.
As for the other half of the Muslim population—the so-called Uighurs, a Turkic tribe in the distant Xinjiang province—they are trouble. In fact, because of them, we have a pretty significant domestic-terrorism problem. In March 2014, I recall, knife- and hatchet-wielding Uighurs killed 29 and injured another 100 or so at the train station in Kunming. And just in December, they staged another attack in Xinjiang, killing two innocent Chinese citizens. Of course, we’re working on solving the problem, if you know what I mean.
To be sure, I get attacked by Westerners on the human-rights issue from time to time; here’s the 2017 report from Human Rights Watch: “China’s Xi Jinping, like Putin, has pursued the toughest crackdown on critical voices in two decades.” To which I can answer in three words: Like I care.
So now, when I look at the West, turning itself inside out over refugees and immigrants, I just laugh. Good luck, guys!
I can add: China is not a democracy, and I’m glad about that, and I trust that it never will be. In fact, since last year, I’m now to be officially described as the Core of the Communist Party, which is to say, I’m the Core of China. That’s about as close to royalty as I can make myself—so far. Yet even now, with my quasi-divine status, if I were to throw open my country’s borders to its enemies, I would expect to be removed from power, the hard way. As in, maybe my head would displayed on a pike at the gate of the Forbidden City.
Okay, so the Western publics are nicer than that to disfavored leaders—although I would say, “softer.” In the West, they don’t kill failed leaders, they just boot them out of office. (I would say that’s a mistake, because if they’re still alive, they can come back and fail yet again—but that’s just my opinion.)
Yet either way, hard or soft, Western countries have been ridding themselves of failed leaders. In Britain, David Cameron, an open-borders guy, was removed last summer. And in America, Donald Trump, who wants to build a Great Wall of his own, was elected in November. Even in Germany, I see that two-thirds of Germans don’t want Merkel, the queen of open borders, to win a fourth term in the Berlin chancellory.
So yes, the publics in the Western countries are doing their best to signal that they don’t like the current open-borders policy. And yet the elites, including the media elite, have the opposite view. Part of the reason, I suppose, is that the elites and the masses almost always see things differently. And so if the masses see an issue one way, the elites, contemptuous as they are of the masses, will choose to see it the other way. Okay, that’s just the politics of class, and of class conflict; we communists are good at understanding that.
And yet my advisers tell me there’s something even deeper going on. For the Western elites, multiculturalism, and thus open borders-ism, are forming the basis of a kind of religion. That is, the elites feel that they will be spiritually redeemed if they can create enough “diversity.” Yes, Diversity is their new God. If so, it’s a strange kind of religion, since, in reality, it’s a formula for national decline, even for national suicide.
But if that’s what the Western elites wish to believe, fine with me. I can see the future now: A united and undivided China, systematically cleansed of any foolish multicultural beliefs, will soon enough take its proper hegemonic place on the world stage. Only this time, the Middle Kingdom won’t sit strongly in the middle of Asia; it will stand powerfully in the middle of the world.