China and Xi – More Powerful by the Day

China's chairman of everything: President Xi Jinping stands apart from all; he visited a navy destroyer shortly after assuming the party chairmanship in 2012

The end of term limits for China’s presidency marks the end of influence by its revolutionary founders like Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. As president, Xi Jinping launched long-term projects linked to the China Dream and the nation’s revival, including the Asia Infrastructure and Investment Bank and the Belt and Road Initiative. Strong authoritarian leaders can act swiftly, making instant decisions, though trouble emerges when they silence rivals, especially those with valid criticism. “On the negative side, the personality cult around Xi may result in arrogance that clouds his judgment,” notes journalist and author Frank Ching. “Ironically, the party constitution is clear: ‘The Party forbids all forms of personality cult.’” Xi makes no secret of China’s goals including a modernized military, control of the South China Sea, reunification with Taiwan and broad influence over global affairs. The United States is distracted by debt, corruption investigations and messy transitions including the abrupt resignation of Rex Tillerson, and neighboring Asian states struggle to stand up for their interests. – YaleGlobal