The Mysterious Tweet: “The Momentum of Democratization in China Will Not Stop!”

(caption) People advocating for authentic democracy gathered in Hong Kong’s Victoria Park last year (samuelwong/


Japan Must Play the Same Role As It Did in the Xinhai Revolution in China

Key points in this article

  • A message was posted in the Chinese version of Twitter that said “The momentum of democratization in China will not stop!”
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping is likely to democratize China in a limited fashion.
  • Japan, which once supported the Xinhai Revolution, must support a transition to democracy in China.

“The system in which the leadership is elected by the Congress will not continue anymore. The momentum of democratization in China will not stop!”

This message was posted on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, on August 29th, the Epoch Times in Japan reported on September 2nd.

According to the article, this message was allegedly posted by “学習小組,” a PR team led by Xi Mingze, the daughter of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Having studied in the U.S., Xi Mingze is taking the side of democracy.

It is questionable whether Xi Mingze herself posted this message, but it is a meaningful message.


Xi Jingpin Is Aiming for Longtime Rule by Realizing Limited Democratization

The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China will begin on October 18th this year. It is the most significant congress and is held every five years. The Congress will elect the new leadership of the Politburo Standing Committee (the top decision-making body) and decide on the party’s basic political course.

At the congress, Xi is aiming to further concentrate his power by filling the top party posts with his loyal allies and incorporating the so-called “Xi Jingping thoughts” into the party’s constitution. Whether he revives the position of party chairman, the powerful post that existed during the period when Mao Zedong was in power, is the subject of much speculation.

Some point out that what Xi wants most is not to choose a successor. The reason is that if a figure who is considered to be a potential successor to Xi is chosen to join the Politburo Standing Committee, this will be taken as an expression of Xi’s intention to step down in March of 2023 as scheduled.


Is It True That the Momentum of Democratization in China Will not Stop?

While there is increasing speculation that Xi will enhance his power base by promoting his close aides to the Politburo Standing Committee and reviving the position of party chairman, there is also a view that democratization is one of the ways to allow him to stay in power. It is likely that Xi will set out to democratize the country in a limited fashion so that he can stay in control even after he finishes his second term.

Mr. Yang Jianli, a leader of “Citizen Power for China,” an NGO in the U.S. that supports the pro-democracy movement in China, said as follows:

“If Xi is a ‘popularly elected president’, his power is validated in principle. However, if Xi, who has a strong intention to strengthen his dictatorship, decides to adopt an electoral system, it will be a pseudo-democracy established through a rigged election. If cleverly done, the pseudo-democracy may eventually become a real democracy, but it is much more likely that Xi will go down the same path as Milosevic, the former president of Yugoslavia.” (the 2017, April 5th issue of Nikkei Business Online)

The former president of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic, won an election and became president. He promoted his loyal aides to the higher posts of the government, cracked down on the opposition, isolated the country from the international communityand invited economic sanctions, which resulted in his people living in dire poverty. He was arrested for genocide in the Croatian War, the Bosnian War, and the Kosovo War, and was found dead in a courthouse jail located in the Hague in the Netherlands.

If Xi leads the way in democratizing China, it is pretty doubtful that a real democracy will be born in China.


Japan Once Succeeded in Achieving a Democratic Revolution in China

Is it really possible for China to become democratic?

About a hundred years ago in China, Sun Yat-sen and other pro-democracy leaders started the Xinhai Revolution (the Chinese Revolution of 1911) with the slogan of the Three Principles of the People. Most of the members who participated in the revolution had experience studying in Japan. They based their activities in Japan, and successfully achieved the revolution with the support of their fellow Japanese.

In the Xinhai revolution, the idea that was a driving force for the Meiji Restoration played an important role. It is said that the Meiji Restoration was the only democratic revolution in the world that was achieved peacefully. Sun Yat-sen and other leaders used the Meiji Restoration as a model to change their country’s political system.

In reality, the support provided by the international community to bring democracy to China is not anywhere near enough. It is essential that we, the descendants of the Japanese who supported the Xinhai Revolution, concern ourselves with the democratization of China and help pro-democracy activists in China. We must not turn a blind eye to a situation where 1.3 billion people are being deprived of freedom of religion and freedom of speech.

The Mysterious Tweet: “The Momentum of Democratization in China Will Not Stop!”
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