Xi's Real Test: Delivering on Reform and Maintaining Stability in 2014

Emerging signs of economic difficulties have greatly compounded the challenges facing Xi Jinping in 2014. After rolling out a surprisingly ambitious reform blueprint last year, China’s leader now finds his agenda complicated. The Asia Policy Brief assesses Chinese reform policy.

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Foto Anika Sina Laudien
Anika Sina Laudien
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The secretary general of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) now finds his agenda complicated by the urgent need to stabilize the financial sector while implementing enough of the promised reforms to gain credibility.

In the new issue of the Asia Policy Brief, renowned China scholar Minxin Pei, the Tom and Margot Pritzker '72 Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College (USA), discusses the economic and political challenges the Chinese leadership should address at the ongoing National People's Congress. He argues that the Xi government has embarked on an ambitious but high-risk strategy full of internal contradictions. "At the heart of these contradictions is the conflict between the imperative to maintain the long-term survival of the CCP and the very reforms needed to revive Chinese economic growth and public confidence that are likely to endanger the party's hold on power", Pei points out.

He is convinced that Xi's economic reform strategy is crucial to rebalancing the Chinese economy. For the plan to be successfully implemented, however, the power of the Chinese state has to be significantly reduced and Chinese civil society has to be empowered. This could undermine the foundations of a one-party state. Against this backdrop, Pei argues that Xi’s long-term political prospects critically depend on his ability to manage the internal contradictions of his strategy.

In the Asia Policy Briefs renowned experts and authors from the Bertelsmann Stiftung analyze important developments in Asia and their consequences for Germany and Europe. The short briefing papers focus on current events as well as underlying trends in important Asian countries. All Asia Policy Brief editions can be downloaded here. The new issue can be downloaded below.