THE BEIJING MEMORANDUM
September 27, 2011
Office of President Hu Xin of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing
Unlike his two former predecessors and despite the limitations established in the constitution, Hu Xin was no ceremonial president of the People’s Republic of China. No. History demanded much more of him. Having secured the additional appointments of the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, he was the paramount leader of China.
Even his appearance was different. Standing two inches short of six feet, he could search over the crowds of subordinates for the one who was trying to avoid his disapproving gaze. With beefy legs and arms from years of wrestling and mountain climbing, his presence demanded notice. His barrel chest produced a hardy laugh when it served him. Dark piercing eyes, almost without color, made his distractors uncomfortable. Thin lips, seldom opened into a smile, hid his emotional state of mind.
“Intimidating,” the delegates to the National People’s Congress called him. Hu had demanded they elect him president. No one dared oppose him. Equally so, no one dared smoke or drink liquor in his presence. Tobacco smoke made him noxious and liquor was an affront to China’s gift to the world, tea.
“Terrifying,” his enemies call him. More than once, their colleagues had kicked and screamed when the secret police pulled them from their beds. Next morning, farmers pulled their bodies from a rice paddy. Shot in the back of the head was the preferred method of execution.
To the world, he was the face of China. To the heads of state throughout the world, he was a fearsome opponent. He demanded concessions and usually walked away with more than he had given. His fist clenched an army of millions and he commanded missiles that crossed oceans and spanned continents. In the second year of his presidency, no one knew he would summarily sweep aside the constitutional five-year two-term limit in office. He was president for life. Greater than all before him. Even Genghis Khan and Mao Tse-tung paled in comparison.
Unlike others, he also remained chained to a dream that would not leave him. The builder of the Great Wall and once an undisputed naval power, China’s ancient civilization had given the world silk, paper, gunpowder and movable-type printing. But all the innovation and greatness that once was, had slipped away. He was determined to lead his nation in a rebirth of the proud Chinese race and restore its rightful place in the world. He would not allow denial of his dream.
Where to begin? What was first?
Europe was tired and America was fading. The Middle East was an explosion of violence and nationalism and chaos swept Africa. There had to be a first step into the water. A little step that wouldn’t be noticed by the enemies of the People’s Republic. Once a toe was wet, it would take little effort to slip silently under the water and attack the underbelly of the bloated enemy.
It wasn’t lost on him that noted historians would undoubtedly agree that the start of the 21st century saw a fundamental shift in geopolitics. Undisputed leader of the free world since the end of World War II, the United States was irreversibly losing its sphere of influence throughout the world. The rising tide of Islam was sweeping across Europe, as was the Hispanic/Latino influence in the United States.
Hu was well aware that soon the institutions and foundations that had established Europe and America would become unrecognizable to the generation that had seen Neil Armstrong walk on the moon.
So what was China’s role in the new world? Questions that bred more questions.
Born in the Middle East, Islam would sweep across the world from the western borders of China to the tower of London. Blocked by the Atlantic Ocean, its only path of expansion would be Russia and Africa. Russia was an unknown entity who would one day engage in a horrific civil war between the Islamic and western cultures. Whatever happened, the country would forever remain outside the influence of China.
That left Africa, the first of two new battlegrounds for China. Islam had reached out from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea through Western and Eastern Africa toward the prize of Cape Town. China could ill afford to lose the economic wealth of Southern Africa. Hu would need to increase China’s influence in the region. Mutual trade and defense agreements together with economic trade and development projects should close the door to Islam.
Now for the second battleground. The key for any hope that he had to restore his dream of Chinese dominance in the world.
The United States of America.
It was not an impossible dream. In fact, it would be easier than most would imagine.
America was the 21st century model of the ancient Roman Empire. Awash in drugs and gang violence in the inner cities, there was little promise of restoring the once proud nation to its former glory of saving the world from the ravages of Hitler and Imperial Japan.
Inertia strangled Congress while half of the population demanded more for doing nothing. American cage fighters had replaced the ancient gladiators of Rome, and the Hollywood standard for entertainment was sexual excess. War had become a political exercise and America’s once unparalleled military machine had been unable to garner a victory since WW II. With more people in prison than any other country, inmates outnumbered kids in high school. Even the Slovak Republic did a better job educating its students.
No, the soft underbelly was naked and President Hu had the perfect plan to exploit America’s failed experiment in democracy.
But enough of dreams. Time for reality.
Sighing deeply from a restless night, he combed his thick black hair with his hands. He continued to linger at the massive floor to ceiling office window overlooking a small lake called the Middle Sea. Built in the early years of the thirteenth century, the Zhongnanhai Compound was a former private imperial garden and now headquarters for the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party and the State Council of the People’s Republic of China.
The tranquility of the compound gave him a sense of peace as his eyes wandered. In the foreground, he studied again the Fairy Isles and Welcoming Fragrance Pavilions honoring the Six Dynasties period and a host of long dead emperors. Further, away, the top of the Water Tower Pavilion rose up over the Pavilion of Fragrant Chrysanthemum. To his left, out of view, was the former home and now museum of Chairman Mao Tse-tung.
Also close by, overlooking the smaller lake called the South Sea, was his personal residence. It pleased him the pavilions blocked the house from view. Seeing the house would remind him, she was there. Living in a separate wing within the modern home was his wife, Ming. Rarely seen in public, Hu only permitted her to attend selected diplomatic functions and foreign travel. He hadn’t permitted her to step inside his capacious office.
His office. It was home. It was where he always wanted to be. It was where he decided war and peace. Who should live and who should die. And now, it was where he would achieve his greatest victory. The People’s Republic of China would become the master that crafted the future of the world.
Resplendent decisions required a majestic office. One that would match the ostentatiousness of the imperial gardens. His rationale for the décor was simple. He was after all, the president of more than one billion people.
A massive eight-foot polished mahogany desk, anchored at the far end of the room, faced the entry door into the room. Family photographs and volume sets of books, together with photographs of the numerous mountains he had climbed as a young man, were in bookcases on either side of the desk. Sprinkled throughout the bookcases were national wrestling awards he had won while attending Zhejiang University. An ancient Silk Road map, guarded by a People’s Republic of China flag, separated the two bookcases.
Sharing the wall with the window was a corner fireplace with a Ming era Ta couch, two Qing Dynasty chairs and a pair of Demilune console tables. Facing the window on the far wall were the doors to three rooms. The first two were large and small conference rooms with original artwork from the Qing, Ming and Yuan Dynasties displayed on the mahogany walls. From the Palace Museum in Beijing, was the original painting from the Northern Song Dynasty, A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains. The president ordered the treasured painting removed from the museum and hung in the small conference room.
The third door opened into a private residence with a state-of-the-art kitchen and small dining room. A bedroom with an ensuite bathroom was beyond the dining room.
Another sigh. Time to work. Time to change history.
His desk was clean, save a cup of sharpened pencils, two phones and the one page Beijing Memorandum centered in front of his chair. The ultimate symbol for entering into the inner circle of Chinese leaders was the possession of a red phone for secure and encrypted communications. Hu had two red phones.
Following a light knock on the office door, Yoo Liling, a young beautiful secretary stepped inside onto the thick blue silk Peking carpet. Her long black hair shined in the recessed ceiling lights. With a gentle smile and a slight nod, she announced the visitors had arrived. In return, President Hu offered a warm smile and a suggestion of a nod as he requested the visitors enter into his office. He admired the secretary’s beauty and willowy figure. He wanted her to admire him.
Three middle-aged men, slight in stature and powerful in position, entered the room in single file in accordance to their position in the government. First was Feng Tao, the Premier of the State Council and responsible for running the government of the People’s Republic of China. As required by the constitution and often called the prime minister, President Hu had selected him. He was second only to the president on many government matters. Wearing thick glasses, he walked with a pronounced limp. He had spent months in a hospital recovering from the February 1992 East Turkestan Islamic Party terrorist attack in Urumqi, Xinjiang. His body was broken but his mind was sharp. His succinct, strong, authoritative voice made him easy to find in a room filled with people.
Next were Jiang Feng, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the youngest of the three men. Often called a chameleon by his enemies, he was next in line, behind the president and the minister of state security, as the most feared man in the People’s Republic. The diplomatic world saw the minister as a little thin man with a shaved head who spoke softly and smiled often. His courtly manners disarmed the intensity of his opponents’ arguments and charmed local officials and reporters on his world travels. In his office, he was a viper, harshly issuing demands and expectations, destroying careers on a whim. He gave President Hu Xin the last remnants of his domestic smile. It was thin without any warmth.
Bringing up the rear was the Chinese Ambassador to the United States, Pan Jian. Impeccably dressed with silver hair and a broad warm smile, he was the Hollywood model of a diplomat. Behind the smile was the mind of a tiger stalking its prey. He, more than any other ambassador in Washington, was the most feared by President Lee Harper. Blessed with a gregarious personality, he easily ensnared a host of politicians and news anchors.
President Harper struggled to anticipate the ambassador’s reaction on many world issues. Equally so, Pan often made an end run around the president to present the People’s Republic’s position to lawmakers and news personalities. It was his report on the current state of affairs in the United States that prompted President Hu to order the drafting of the memorandum.
Their task was not to approve or offer amendments to the memorandum. Rather, it was to expound on the president’s wise leadership and learn their roles in implementing the conquest of Mexico.
Having completed the necessary protocols about one’s health and family, Jiang summarized the group’s praise of the plan saying, “It is a bold plan, President Hu. It shall carry our ship of state safely through the turbulent waters of the twenty-first century.”
“You speak well, Premier Jiang. The people benefit from the wisdom you have always afforded to me.”
“Thank you for your generous words. And thank you for your brilliant initiatives to cut out the heart of the scandalous corruption that has plagued our people.”
Changing his focus, the president said, “Ambassador Pan. The Beijing Memorandum will not fail. The timing to implement the plan must be perfect. In two years, the U.S. will elect a new president. The winner will determine when we begin our plan for the renaissance of the Chinese people into their rightful place in the world.”
“A brilliant observation,” responded the ambassador.
“Tell me, who are the leading presidential candidates?”
“There are only three viable candidates for the office. All three are democrats. The Republican Party has become a permanent minority party. They will not regain the office of president. Democratic presidents are most often a blessing to our people. Their representations to the world on foreign policy are weak and centered on appeasement. We will easily counter their thrusts.”
Smiling at the tenor of the remarks, the president said, “Excellent observation, Pan. Your remarks concur with my opinion.”
“The first candidate is Senator Kay Billingsworth, chairperson of the Senate Appropriations Committee. She is sixty, younger than many senators who are old fat men that waddle. She moves much faster than her colleagues do. She is tough and very ambitious. I have received reports that she could become the first woman president but needs more experience and seasoning.
“She is a key to our success with the memorandum. I have spent many hours in private thoughtful dialogue with her during these past two years. With my encouragement, she spearheaded the Senate’s efforts to support the Peking Peace Initiative Summit with the United States, The Philippines, Vietnam and Australia.