TWQ: Reassessing China: Awaiting Xi Jinping - Spring 2012
March 19, 2012
In the Hu Jintao era (2002–2012) China’s politics, economics, and national security policies have changed almost beyond recognition. The ongoing transformation has been largely obscured by images that dominate many Western minds: Manichean democrats see a jasmine revolution waiting to happen; hedge fund managers see a gigantic bubble waiting to burst; national security executives see China as having perfected an enduring, dynamic state capitalism with Leninist political management that threatens to overwhelm us. These contradictory images share one thing: lacking roots in Chinese reality, they project the hopes and fears of their respective believers. Two decades ago, when writing The Rise of China, I could confidently predict Chinese success based on Deng Xiaoping’s emulation of similar policies in South Korea and Taiwan. After three decades of that success, China’s future is far less certain today.