The great stall of China

Xi Jinping will need to manage expectations as economic growth falters, argues Kerry Brown

The World Today
3 minute READ

Professor Kerry Brown

Former Associate Fellow, Asia-Pacific Programme

Like anywhere else, the politics of the People’s Republic runs along two tracks. There are the issues that policy is meant to address and do something about. Then there is the presentation of these policies. Policy and presentation go hand in hand. Strong policies but poor presentation lead to governments underselling their work and getting no credit. Good presentation and poor policies are even more calamitous, leading to the deadly criticism that an administration is all talk and no action.

Both policy and presentation must address the fundamental issues that a country faces. For China, however vast the differences between the styles of Xi Jinping, in power since 2012, and his predecessor Hu Jintao might seem, the blunt fact remains that they are facing the same challenges. These have not changed. So while their presentation is clearly different, is this also true in their general policy orientation?

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