Special Forum

What comes after Xi Jinping? The question itself seems premature to ask, given the near-certainty that Xi will assume a norm-breaking 3rd five-year term as general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) at the 20th Party Congress, to be held late next year. Indeed, from Beijing to Berlin to Washington DC, a consensus has emerged that Xi will steer China for at least the next decade, possibly even until 2035, the year Beijing has set for achieving status as a “modern socialist nation.”1 Some analysts are so confident of Xi’s enduring centrality for the country that they argue “[a]ll US political and policy responses to China…should be focused through the principal lens of Xi himself.”2 

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