Towards a less-restrained China
China is now poised for a period of strong authoritarian leadership at home and assertive and aggressive behaviour abroad
The recent 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party concluded with an apotheosis of President Xi Jinping. He now occupies a position in the party’s pantheon next only to Mao Zedong. In a bid to burnish his credentials for such an elevated position, Xi spoke for no fewer than three-and-a-half hours—outlining his doctrine of “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era". There was nothing particularly revealing in the speech: the centrality of the Communist Party, “law based governance", furthering of economic reforms, and the drive towards a “moderately prosperous society". Xi’s calls for a “new type of international relations" were also continuous with his approach to foreign policy and his desire to gain recognition for China as a great power in the same league as the US.