Sat, Nov 11, 2017 - Page 8 News List

Media get Xi Jinping’s goals wrong

By Keyu Jin 金刻羽

China needs institutionalized mechanisms for enforcing the rule of law — one aspect of Western political systems that Xi admires — among CCP officials, although the idea that the judiciary could be independent of the party remains far-fetched.

However, even the best-designed system cannot work if there is a dearth of competent personnel to run it — a limitation highlighted by Xi’s push for economic reforms in his first term as Chinese president.

That is why Xi is placing a strong emphasis on cultivating a new generation of highly educated, loyal and, most importantly, incorruptible party leaders.

A key challenge here lies in stemming the migration of China’s top talent to the private sector.

The third component of Xi’s legacy is also the most important — and already effectively secured.

At the congress, CCP delegates agreed to add “Xi Jinping Thought” to the party’s constitution, alongside “Mao Zedong (毛澤東) Thought” and “Deng Xiaoping Theory.” Now that Xi’s eponymous political ideology, which proposes an alternative to liberal democracy, is part of the school of thought around which the CCP coalesces, challenging Xi is tantamount to challenging the party’s very belief system.

Xi has made himself virtually unassailable — his rare political skill elevating him to the status of secular deity.

As a leader, Xi has a lot going for him. He is well-educated and experienced in international affairs. He has weathered serious challenges and experienced firsthand the consequences of political and economic policies gone awry.

He has a vast political network, thanks not only to his own deftness, but also to his family: He is the son of a comrade of Mao.

He now stands alongside Mao and Deng in modern China’s political pantheon.

However, Xi is not Mao, and he will not govern China as Mao did.

Instead, he will learn from Mao’s mistakes, so that he can lead China effectively into the next phase of its history — and secure the legacy that he so prizes.

Keyu Jin is a professor of economics at the London School of Economics, a World Economic Forum young global leader and a member of the Richemont Group Advisory Board.

Copyright: Project Syndicate

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