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How Xi Jinping Is Remaking China

At the Chinese Communist Party’s Twentieth National Congress last week, Xi Jinping secured a third term as Party secretary. But the most important development wasn’t Xi extending his rule or the Party’s elevation of new leaders. Rather, Xi made clear that the era of Chinese economic growth above all else was over. Now the Party’s top priority is the “struggle for security.”

This marks a turning point for China: Xi has effectively transformed the “post-Mao oligarchic dictatorship into a neo-totalitarian tyranny,” writes Guoguang Wu in a Journal of Democracy online exclusive. What does this new era mean for the Chinese economy, China’s relations with the United States, and Taiwan’s independence?

The Journal of Democracy has also made a selection of post-Party Congress analysis from the past three decades available for a limited time.

A Play for Global Leadership (2018)
Beijing is seeking to reshape the world order with itself at the center, putting an end to the dream of China one day integrating into the liberal world order.
Minxin Pei

The Return to Personalistic Rule (2018)
Deng Xiaoping’s post-Mao efforts to institutionalize collective leadership did not stop Xi Jinping from grasping all the levers of power.
Susan L. Shirk

Foreseeing the Unforeseeable (2013)
The resilience of the Chinese authoritarian regime may be approaching its limits. A breakthrough moment could be triggered by several kinds of events.
Andrew J. Nathan

The Rising Cost of Stability (2013)
The CCP’s strategies for coping with challenges from society are costly, tend to generate illegitimate state force, and encourage ordinary people to engage in unruly behavior.
Xi Chen

Contradictory Trends and Confusing Signals (2003)
Political renewal is contending with a process of political decay that has yet to reach an end.
Minxin Pei

Authoritarian Resilience (2003)
Successful institutionalization will help China’s regime survive the pressures of advanced modernization and integration with the global economy.
Andrew J. Nathan

Will China Democratize? Confronting a Classic Dilemma (1998)
Jiang Zemin predicted that China would be “prosperous, strong, [and] democratic” by the mid-twenty-first century, but post-Mao trends point more toward the rise of a corrupt “soft” authoritarianism.
Michel Oksenberg

China’s Path from Communism (1993)
If political change were to happen, it likely would take the form of an apertura—a political opening controlled by the reformist elite, with democratizing reforms carried out from the top down.
Andrew J. Nathan

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