Cyberspace is the new battleground for identity – but can anybody rule it? China says: yes, we can!
Was anyone surprised on 25th February, when China’s constitutional amendment package revealed that President Xi Jinping can now potentially keep his power for a limitless amount of time? Xinhua News Agency announced the amendment that simply proposed removing the line, ‘China’s President and Vice President shall serve no more than two consecutive terms.’ Referred to as the ‘core’ of the party leadership and increasingly simply as the ‘leader,’ a title only dedicated to Mao in the past, Xi Jinping can now stay for a third term beyond 2023, or even pursue a life-long rule.
Ever since its exciting entrance in the global economy, China has undergone the scrutiny of many. Specifically, that of the Western world, trying to comprehend and justify its unpredictably successful communist authoritarian regime. In fact, since the economic boom initiated by Deng Xiaoping in the 1990s, China has been growing at stunningly fast rates that the West can, as of today, only dream of.
Taiwan throughout history had been given the status of terra nullius, until the Kangxi Emperor of the Qing dynasty was able to see the strategic value of the island. He eventually brought Taiwan onto the map, and ever since Taiwan has been considered as part of China. However, the First Sino-Japanese War changed the history of Taiwan, sparking a first identity struggle on the island. Suddenly, Taiwan was no longer part of the Han civilization but under the colonial control of the Japanese, where it remained for 50 years.
The Taiwan issue is concerned with the political status of Taiwan: whether it should reunify with Mainland China, declare independence as Republic of Taiwan, or maintain the status quo of being de facto independent but de jure remaining within the ‘One China’ framework.
The Rohingya have for centuries been denied Burmese citizenship on the basis that they are not originally from Myanmar. Their Muslim identity has made them ‘un-Burmese’ in a country heavily influenced by Buddhism.