Billionaire Michael Bloomberg recently claimed in an interview with PBS’s Firing Line host Margaret Hoover that Chinese Communist Party chairman Xi Jinping is “not a dictator” and argued the country’s so-called environmental policies demonstrate the communist leader answers to a “constituency.”
Contrary to Bloomberg’s assertation, Xi is indeed a dictator. The Chinese ruler was installed as president and “paramount leader” by the roughly 3,000 members of the undemocratically-elected National People’s Congress in 2012.
Xi has 12 separate titles, including General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Chairman of the Central Military Commission, Leader of the Central Leading Group for Foreign Affairs, and is formally known as the Communist Party’s party’s “core,” a title which he received in October 2016.
In March 2018, China approved the removal of the two-term limit on the presidency, effectively paving the way for Xi to remain in power for life.
.@MikeBloomberg tells @FiringLineShow that China's leader is addressing pollution to satisfy constituents & secure his political future.
"The Communist Party wants to stay in power in China and they listen to the public," he says. pic.twitter.com/B9SoAXJwrM
— Firing Line with Margaret Hoover (@FiringLineShow) September 27, 2019
A partial transcript is as follows:
MARGARET HOOVER: The United States currently accounts for 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. China accounts for 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. How do we, even if we get to zero, how do you get India, China, and the other countries to be good partners.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: China is doing a lot. Yes, they’re still building a bunch of coal-fired power plants
HOOVER: And they’re still burning coal.
BLOOMBERG: Yes they are. But, they are now moving plants away from the cities. The Communist Party wants to stay in power in China and they listen to the public. When the public says ‘I can’t breathe the air,’ Xi Jinping is not a dictator. He has to satisfy his constituents, or he’s not going to survive.
HOOVER: He’s not a dictator?
BLOOMBERG: No, he has a constituency to answer to.
HOOVER: He doesn’t have a vote, he doesn’t have a democracy. He’s not held accountable by voters. Is the check on him just a revolution?
BLOOMBERG: You’re not going to have a revolution. No government survives without the will of the majority of its people. He has to deliver services. The Chinese Communist Party looks at Russia and they look for where the communist party is and they don’t find it anymore and they don’t want that to happen.