China Power

Hu Done, Jinping Next

Hu’s state visit to Washington went as well as could have been expected. So now what about Xi Jinping?

I was a guest on CCTV last night, with Fudan University’s Prof. Shen Dingli and Prof. Robert Ross at Boston College, to talk about Hu Jintao’s trip to Washington and Sino-US relations more generally. There was pretty broad agreement that the US and China have no choice but to get along and try to accommodate each other, with Ross suggesting how important stability and dialogue have been in providing the necessary backdrop for China’s extraordinary growth over the past 30 years.

The Hudson Institute’s Richard Weitz has a useful roundup up of the summit today, and notes that it went about as smoothly as could be hoped—and certainly better than Hu’s previous trip, back in 2006. He also points out that this will likely have been Hu’s last state trip to Washington. With this in mind, The New York Times has a very useful little look at his expected successor Xi Jinping, currently China’s vice president.

Take away quotes:

‘(H)is rise has been built on a combination of political acumen, family connections and ideological dexterity. Like the country he will run, he has nimbly maintained the primacy of the Communist Party, while making economic growth the party’s main business.’

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‘(H)e may have broader support within the party than Mr. Hu, which could give him more leeway to experiment with new ideas. At the same time, there is uncertainty about how he may wield authority in a system where power has grown increasingly diffuse. Mr. Xi also has deeper military ties than his two predecessors, Mr. Hu and Jiang Zemin, had when they took the helm.

You can read the rest here.