Op-Ed: In China, Xi Jinping is getting an unprecedented third term. What should the world expect?
Xi Jinping has been in charge of China for 10 years. China’s economy is the world’s second largest but, with its current growth rate of around 6%, it is projected to grow to become the world’s largest by 2030.
For decades, the Chinese have kept a low profile. Their role is mostly symbolic, to present and project a certain image of China. Yet, China, with its 6.7 billion citizens, has huge potential to become a superpower.
Xi Jinping, during the Xi Jinping’s 2013 address to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, in Beijing China. REUTERS/Jason Lee
Xi Jinping has stepped forward to take on the mantle of China’s ‘president’ in an unprecedented way. Since being elected twice in 2012, he has gone to the people four times in 13 weeks. Unlike the two leaders before him, Xi is not the head of a government. He is China’s president.
Xi Jinping is not some figurehead with no real power. The people’s congress that elects his successor is the biggest and most important parliamentary assembly in world history. It is a direct result of a series of protests against corruption in the party and government that shook then-president Hu Jintao and his colleagues in 2011.
Xi Jinping is not someone who stands for the people
Xi Jinping’s second term has been marked by many changes. His main reform to the Chinese parliament was cutting the size of the legislative council by half. Then, in 2012, he used it as a place for him to go to discuss and debate the biggest problems in the country – especially the wealth gaps between the rich and the poor.
In 2011, China’s economy expanded by 9.5%. Then, in the first half of 2013, it grew 5.6%, showing how much had been lost during the country’s growth in the previous two years. The official figure is the lowest since 1989.
Xi Jinping, during the Xi Jinping’s 2013 address to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China,