Another anomaly is that in Chinese, the term is never used to refer to Xi. In simplified Mandarin, the word used to describe Xi is 习主席, which can be translated as Chairman Xi.
His official role within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is General Secretary, and if there is any other CCP leader he has modeled himself on it is Mao Zedong (毛泽东), who is always referred to in English as Chairman Mao.
Why does it matter whether we call him Chairman Xi or President Xi, you might wonder? Well, actually terminology like this is extremely important.
The term “president” confers upon Xi a legitimacy and authority that he simply doesn’t have. It suggests that he represents the people of China on the world stage. He doesn’t. He represents the Chinese Communist Party, which is a very different thing.
When the West attacks the CCP over its human rights abuses in East Turkestan (Xinjiang), Tibet, and Hong Kong, or its treatment of Taiwan, the standard CCP line is that this is an attack on China and the Chinese people.
It isn’t. It is an attack on the Chinese Communist Party and its brutal regime, and this distinction needs to be made clear. Communist China is not China in the same way that Nazi Germany was not the real Germany.
China is a country under the oppression of a brutal totalitarian regime, and this distinction must be made clear both for readers in the West and in China itself.
No one in the Western world wants China to fail. A vibrant, democratic, economically successful China would be a huge asset to the world. The only people who think otherwise are the Communist Party leaders, who are determined to maintain their grip on power at all costs.
For this reason, the term “China” should be used in reference to the country historically and to its ordinary people. The current regime and all it stands for should be called Communist China as it is a very different beast.
Here at Taiwan News, we want to take a lead on this in the hope that other media outlets will follow. So, from this point on, you will no longer see Xi Jinping being referred to as “president of China” in our articles.
He will instead be referred to as chairman or general secretary of the CCP to make it clear that this dictator is not the legitimate ruler of the Chinese people.
Read the full article here