Making China Modern

Klaus Mühlhahn

This 2019 book is the latest substantial history of modern China. It’s by a German scholar. It’s an excellent history well told.

Rereading it to get some perspective of President Xi Jinping, I am impressed by the scholarship and prognosis in the last chapter.

Klaus has summarised well the main changes implemented by Xi since he took power in 2012. He removed the two 5-year terms for top leaders put in place by Deng Xiao Ping. (See p 502 hardcopy, Ed). That means he will not retire the next year 2022.

He cracked down on corruption by ” tigers and flies “. He started a major campaign to eradicate hard-core poverty. He promoted the China Dream / Zhongguo meng (see p 560 to 614).

Xi’s speech at the CCP ‘s 100th anniversary on 1 July 2021, at the podium in front of the historic Tiananmen Square and on top of the huge portrait of Mao Tse Tung, shows that he retains much vigor and clarity of thought.

He vowed to crush those who tried to bully China. He restated the ultimate objective of reunification with Taiwan under the motherland. He will go for a 3rd term.

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