Summary of The Problem With Xi’s China Model

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As Chinese President Xi Jinping kicks off his second term in office, the first cracks in his seemingly successful efforts to expand his power at home and abroad are starting to appear. In Foreign Affairs, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Asia Studies director Elizabeth Economy describes Xi’s accomplishments and shortcomings to date, warning that Xi may not be able to hold on to his successes if he fails to correct some of his policy mistakes. Her analysis provides a balanced overview of China’s future challenges in realizing its aspiration of becoming a leading player on the international scene.

About the Author

Elizabeth C. Economy is C.V. Starr Senior Fellow and Director for Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

 

Summary

During his first five years in office, Chinese President Xi Jinping has been tightening his grip on power. He eliminated the presidential two-term limit, potentially extending his presidency beyond 2027. He also cracked down on corruption – resulting in the punishment of over half a million officials – and on crime and social unrest by installing millions of surveillance cameras. On the economic front, Xi passed new laws to protect domestic firms and key industries, and has started to invest heavily in developing Chinese artificial intelligence capabilities. Xi has also increased Chinese assertiveness abroad by bolstering China’s foothold in the South China Sea with...


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