The Rise of Xi Jinping and
China as a Global Power
Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
June 26, 2018
Elizabeth Economy is the C. V. Starr senior fellow and director for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. She is an acclaimed author and expert on Chinese domestic and foreign policy, writing on topics ranging from China’s environmental challenges to its resource quest. She has published articles in foreign policy and scholarly journals including Foreign Affairs, Harvard Business Review, Foreign Policy, New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. She is the author of “By All Means Necessary: How China’s Resource Quest is Changing the World,” the award wining “The River Runs Black: The Environmental Challenge to China’s Future,” and her forthcoming book, “The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State,” which analyzes the contradictory nature of reform under President Xi Jinping.
Jeffrey Wasserstrom is Chancellor’s Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine.His most recent book, coauthored with Maura Elizabeth Economy EconomyCunningham, is the third edition of “China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know,” published by Oxford in March. His other books include, as author, “Eight Juxtapositions: China through Imperfect Analogies from Mark Twain to Manchukuo,” and, as editor, “The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern China.” An Associate Fellow of the Asia Society, he has served on the Board of Directors of the National Committee on United States-China Relations, is Editor of The Journal of Asian Studies, Advising Editor for Asia for The Los Angeles Review of Books, and a member of Dissent magazine’s Editorial Board. His commentaries and reviews have appeared in many general interest periodicals, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, Internazionale, Time, Slate, The American Scholar, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Nation, and The Times Literary Supplement.
Jonathan Movroydis (moderator), director of research at the Richard Nixon Foundation.
After being inaugurated as president of the People’s Republic of China five years ago, no single leader in modern Chinese history since Mao Zedong has assumed more power, or sizably projected his personal influence both domestically and internationally, than Xi Jinping.
Calling for a national rejuvenation, President Xi has pledged to expand the middle class, and make more reforms for increased foreign investment. In foreign policy, Xi’s China has become more assertive. China has deployed its military overseas for the first time since 1950, and made claims to territory in the East and South China Seas. It’s also committed to billions of dollars in foreign aide for developing nations.
In October 2017, the Chinese Communist Party abolished five year term limits, paving the way for Xi to rule beyond 2022.
What does his leadership mean for the political and economic future of China, and superpower relations with the United States?