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The Third Revolution

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The Third Revolution

Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State

Oxford UP,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Under Xi Jinping, Chinese politics have changed dramatically – and not for the better.

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  • Eye Opening
  • Overview


China grows more powerful and more interconnected with the rest of the world by the day. And yet, since Chinese president Xi Jinping’s ascent to power, the nation has become less like the liberal world order it aims to lead. In this even-handed study, China expert Elizabeth C. Economy dissects Xi’s approach to power. The new China, Economy reports, is less democratic, less open and less free, but also more ambitious and eager to assert itself on the global stage. She describes both China’s dizzying economic growth and its myriad challenges, including horrid pollution, an aging population and an inefficient government that insists on exerting control over every corner of the economy and society. Economy also details Xi’s iron-fisted approach to dissent. Unlike authors of more alarmist accounts of China under Xi, Economy writes in a neutral tone. Because of its understated style, the information relayed might leave a more lasting impression on readers. getAbstract recommends this book to anyone interested in China’s political structure and growing influence on the global economy.


Under Xi, China Charts a New Path

When Xi Jinping became China’s president in 2013, he called for a revival of the “Chinese Dream.” This vision included continued economic growth, newfound military might and a closer focus on the social welfare of the Chinese people. By the time he attained the presidency, Xi had lived through a number of dramatic evolutions in the Chinese economy and government. Xi’s father was a leading figure under Mao Zedong. In the early 1960s, however, he was labeled a traitor and imprisoned; his 15-year-old son, Xi, was sent to a rural town for several years of farm labor. Instead of rejecting those who had jailed his father, Xi applied for Party membership and proceeded to work his way up the ranks. Now that he has taken control of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi’s “Third Revolution” is reshaping the nation.

Xi’s revolution comprises four main strategies:

  • Centralized authority – Under Xi’s predecessors Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin, decision making was a collective enterprise. Xi has consolidated control: seizing power for himself, requiring loyalty...

About the Author

Elizabeth C. Economy is director for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. She is an award-winning author and an internationally recognized authority on Chinese domestic and foreign policy.

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