Xi Jinping was elected general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party and chairman of the Central Military Commission at the 18th Party Congress in 2012. He succeeded Hu Jintao as leader of the Comm

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Inevitable war? China, America and their next battlegrounds
When thousands of China’s elites flock to Beijing for the delayed national legislative session starting on Friday, they will face a renewed debate about relations with the US. Specifically, can armed conflict between the two economic superpowers be avoided?  The question has taken a new urgency as acrimony escalates between Washington and Beijing amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The question is also known as the Thucydides trap: an ancient Greek analogy that Harvard professor Graham Allison has popularized. In his 2017 book, Allison argued that wars were often unavoidable when a rising power challenges a ruling power. While observers mostly agree that an all-out war between the nuclear-armed nati
China’s aggressive diplomacy may be backfiring
China’s diplomats are fighting an uphill battle to fend off intensifying criticism from Beijing’s critics of the country’s initial mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic. In recent weeks, some of the country’s most seasoned ambassadors have found themselves engaged in a war of words with their host countries.  But rather than adopting the traditional approach of managing tensions through diplomatic protocols, many of them have risen to the call of Chinese President Xi Jinping and displayed their “fighting spirit” – often at the expense of China’s global image, pundits say. Last week alone, at least seven Chinese ambassadors – to France, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and the Afri
Two in three Americans think poorly of China, survey says
Americans’ views on China have fallen to their lowest level since an annual poll started asking the question in 2005, according to survey results released Tuesday. The poll last month by the Washington think tank Pew Research Center found 66% of respondents held an unfavorable view of China, up from 47% in 2017 when President Donald Trump took office. And a large majority of the 1,000 Americans polled said they lacked confidence in President Xi Jinping to do the right thing when it came to global affairs, a steep increase since last year. The results come as the relationship between the two economic giants has deteriorated rapidly during the coronavirus outbreak. The two countries are engage
People deserve the truth about China's coronavirus outbreak response
As the spread of the deadly coronavirus sharply slowed across China since early this month, expectations rose that President Xi Jinping would soon visit Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei province, where the epidemic first started. So Xi’s arrival last Tuesday should have come as no surprise, as it was meant as a clear message that China is winning the “People’s War” against the disease that has infected more than 80,000 people in the country since December, killing more than 3,000. He claimed China’s draconian measures – including locking down the entire province, which has a population of 60 million people – had achieved initial success in “stabilizing the situation and turning the tide.” X
A Chinese tycoon criticized coronavirus response. Now he is missing
Friends of Ren Zhiqiang, the Chinese former property tycoon and outspoken critic of the country’s ruling Communist Party, are concerned about his whereabouts after losing contact with him for several days. The 69-year-old has been out of touch since an article he wrote criticizing the way in which Chinese authorities responded to the coronavirus outbreak was widely circulated online, they said. “I haven’t been able to reach Ren Zhiqiang since Thursday night … it’s been over 72 hours already,” Wang Ying, an entrepreneur and friend, said. Zhang Ming, a history professor at Renmin University in Beijing, said he too had been unable to contact Ren. “A citizen can’t just disappear, we need to know
China’s economy could shrink for the first time since Mao died
The odds are rising that China will report a sharp deceleration in growth – or even a contraction in the first quarter as a result of the coronavirus epidemic. The outbreak has paralyzed the country’s manufacturing and service sectors, putting Beijing in the difficult position of either forgoing its economic growth goal for 2020 or returning to its old playbook of massive debt-fuelled economic stimulus to support growth. The first available economic indicators showing the extent of the economic damage done by the epidemic have prompted economists to slash their Chinese growth forecasts. Several are even expecting the once-unthinkable scenario in which China’s economy posts a zero growth rate
The system that allows China to build hospitals in days is also letting it down
Beijing has long said that the Chinese system of one-party rule and top-down decision-making has brought hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and is the most effective form of governance for the world’s most populous country. That same system acted in ways unheard of under democratic forms of government when faced with the brewing public health crisis brought on by the Covid-19 epidemic in the central Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019.  They included the shutdown of a city of 11 million people, almost three times the population of Los Angeles, spread over an area five times the size of London. And that was just for starters. It does not take much imagination to speculate tha
Xi’s China faces ‘crisis of Chernobyl proportions’
Long before it became synonymous with a viral outbreak, the central Chinese city of Wuhan had been at the heart of some key political events in the country’s modern history. It was where an armed uprising began in 1911 that ended thousands of years of imperial rule. It was where Mao swam across the Yangtze River in 1966, at the age of 72, in a publicity stunt that helped rally support for his Cultural Revolution. This winter, it was the starting point for an outbreak of a new coronavirus – which causes the disease now officially known as Covid-19 – that has rapidly spread across the country and beyond, killing more than 1,380 people and paralyzing cities. The crisis has been referred to as C
How the world can benefit from US-China tech war
The phase one trade deal between China and the US, signed on January 15, signaled a truce in the trade war. This is a welcome development, not only for the two countries but also for the rest of the world. It is expected to usher in a period of relative calm and reduced uncertainty, which should increase both investment and consumption globally.  However, it is not a net win for either country, even though they are both better off with the truce. They have both suffered economic losses from the mutual tariffs. In fact, China’s estimated loss in gross domestic product is higher than that of the United States, in both absolute and relative terms. Unfortunately, the conclusion of the phase one
Economic break-up with US ‘unrealistic,’ China’s top trade negotiator says
China and the United States reached an agreement that would help fend off talk of a decoupling between the world’s two largest economies, a top Chinese official said. The countries signed an initial trade deal on Wednesday to put the brakes on their 18-month war of tariffs that roiled global markets and shook up supply chains. Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He, speaking to reporters after a signing ceremony with US President Donald Trump, said the deal indicated that the two countries are deeply interconnected. “I think it is very unrealistic. A few people without economic backgrounds are talking about decoupling between China and the US, but in reality it is impossible,” Liu was quoted as saying