Fri, Feb 14, 2020 - Page 9 News List

COVID-19 and the worldview of Xi Jinping

No matter how bad the viral outbreak gets, the crisis is not going to change how Xi governs China

By Kevin Rudd

Not everyone in the CCP’s senior echelon shares Xi’s worldview. There is much internal dissension and debate about whether China is overextending itself in departing from Deng Xiaoping’s (鄧小平) longstanding strategy of “hide your strength, bide your time, never take the lead.”

Time will tell how these debates shake out, particularly in the run-up to the party’s 20th National Congress in 2022, which is to make the crucial decision about whether to extend Xi’s leadership term beyond previous term limits — through the 2020s and possibly beyond.

In this context, Xi’s management of the coronavirus crisis at home, and of politically totemic projects such as 5G expansion abroad, assumes a critical new significance.

Kevin Rudd, a former prime minister of Australia, is president of the Asia Society Policy Institute in New York.

Copyright: Project Syndicate

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