China is seeking to define the future. At home, the Chinese Communist Party, or CCP, intends to instil ‘socialist values’ that underpin an ever-expanding ‘China dream’. Overseas, its nexus of economic, political and military influence is framed by the idea of a ‘community of common destiny’. The past 40 years, since the ascendancy of Deng Xiaoping in 1978, have been marked by astonishing economic growth, a greater global role and strongly authoritarian politics at home.
This year, the CCP marks 70 years since the foundation of the People’s Republic of China. Plans are already afoot for the centenary of the party’s founding in 2021. But how realistic is it to assume that China will maintain its momentum over the next three decades until the People’s Republic marks its centenary?