Op-Ed: In China, Xi Jinping is getting an unprecedented third term. What should the world expect?
For the past decade, Chinese President Xi Jinping has been on the run. He led a hard-line, ruthless, and often authoritarian approach to governance in China. Yet he was never able to implement many of his key plans. His policies alienated much of the Chinese people. They were also not conducive to attracting investment.
Last November, however, that situation finally changed. After years of economic growth, China’s Communist Party congress approved Xi’s ascension to the party’s nine-year cycle leadership as the paramount leader of the party, the country, and the world.
The consensus in China is that Xi’s third and final term as president will mark the transition from a political system based on a system of party-state dualism to a multiparty electoral system where a strong leader is able to serve for longer, rather than shorter, periods of time and is free to promote the interests of the party and the people as well as to push through major reforms.
This shift, as well as Xi’s ability to implement his reforms, should be a source of optimism for the world. Many in the United States have been concerned for some time at what they regard as the risk of an authoritarian leader like Xi. What does this new era of Xi Jinping mean for China and the world?
How is Xi’s third term comparable to that of other party-state tyrants and to the third terms of President Clinton in the U.S. and of President George H.W. Bush in the U.S.?
China’s leaders have been able to implement a large number of reforms.
The key difference between Xi and President Bush’s third term as heads of the U.S. and China is that Xi was elected in 2012. That means he has served his time as president and can pursue other ambitions.