The Xi Era Is Just Getting Started in China

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The outcome of the 20th Party Congress in China did not produce any major surprises; nonetheless, it will be highly consequential for the future of the world’s second-largest economy and the wider stability of the Indo-Pacific region.

President Xi broke with the post-Mao norm by pursuing a third term in power, as widely expected in the lead-up to the Congress. He also purged the Standing Committee of any vestiges of competing power blocs, notably the Communist Youth League faction tied to former president Hu Jintao. Gone is Premier Li Keqiang, who was often held up as the last for meaningful reform of China’s state-heavy and supply-side-weighted economic model. And so too is former vice premier Hu Chunhua, who was long speculated to become China’s next premier, albeit a weak one, so as to mitigate the optics of Xi Jinping’s total control of the highest levels of the Party leadership.

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