Xi Jinping

Centralized Power Key to Realizing Xi’s “China Dream”

By Willy Lam

Immediately after Xi Jinping was elected state president at the just-ended First Session of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC), he revisited his idea about fulfilling the “China dream.” Xi, who is also general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and commander-in-chief, cited three prerequisites for bringing about the “renaissance of the Chinese race:” following the “Chinese road,” “developing the China spirit” and “concentrating and crystallizing China’s strength” (Xinhua, March 17). The last imperative about the concentration of powers has been reflected by the fact that a number of key party and state organs have been strengthened considerably. As Xi has reiterated since the 18th Party Congress last November, a crucial challenge of the new leadership is that it must “ensure that [Beijing’s] policies and directives are smoothly followed” by the entire nation (CNTV.cn, February 6; China.com.cn, January 8).

What Direction for Legal Reform under Xi Jinping

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By Carl Minzner

Hopes for reform in China have risen in recent weeks. Xi Jinping’s decision to make Shenzhen the site of his first formal inspection tour as party general secretary spurred predictions that he will seek to assume Deng Xiaoping’s mantle as an economic reformer (“Xi Jinping’s ‘Southern Tour’ Reignites Promises of Reform,” China Brief, December 14, 2012). Similarly, Xi’s speech regarding China’s need for the rule of law—given on the 30th anniversary of the 1982 constitution—gave rise to press speculation that he may pursue legal and political reform (South China Morning Post, December 13, 2012; AFP, December 4, 2012).