Global Outlook 2017: Prospects for Xi Jinping

Chinese President Xi Jinping
President Xi Jinping is the most influential Chinese leader in a generation. His power will be tested later this year at the Communist Party’s National Congress (source: dpa)
  • Xi Jinping has successfully consolidated his power
  • He may attempt to maintain his grip on power past a second term
  • If he is successful, he will prioritize ideology over economics
  • If he has to compromise, he will turn to the military and Maoist rhetoric

President Xi Jinping is both China’s strongest leader in a generation and its most vulnerable. After consolidating power during his first five-year term, which ends this autumn, he may now attempt to change the rules to allow himself to remain in office for a third term. But Mr. Xi must be careful to avoid the accusation of building a personality cult, which could prove fatal to his leadership – particularly if it comes at a time of economic weakness. In late 2017, the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China will meet. The most important task of this assembly will be to set the country’s course for the next five years, in terms of both personnel and policy.

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