Xi will be walking the tightrope for a solid decade. He needs to reform - but he's a princeling. He needs to keep the country growing - but he needs to tame its many excesses (especially industry's rampant abuse of the environment). And all the while he needs to assert China as a true global power - without taking on any unnecessary or risky fights.
If Xi Jinping isn't China's Teddy Roosevelt, that nation is going to end up wishing he was.
[And if you think I mischaracterize TR in any way, you need to read up on your Edmund Morris, for TR started no wars and actually was the first sitting POTUS to win a Nobel Peace Prize.]
Good sign (first cite below) is his early edict that Chinese officials need to cut down on all the pagentry and red carpets and flower arrangements and "empty talk" and spend more time touring the less fortunate parts of their mini-kingdoms. You know, see how the other half lives now and then.
Bad sign (second cite) is China cutting exploration cable of Vietnam's national oil company as it tries to explore what it considers to be its chunk of the South China Sea bed.
A bit bully, to coin a phrase, but also a bit TR, who was famous for not taking crap off the powers-that-have-been.
We will want to see only the good stuff, and will cringe at the assertiveness, but the two must go hand in hand. Only Nixon could go to China, as they say. You want Xi to fix things at home? Well, then he'll need to prove things abroad. There is a yin-yang balance to national shame and national pride. Both work to drive a population and its leaders toward "positive" change.
China won't go meekly into its necessary future - nobody does.
The man has his work cut out for him - as towering as task as TR regrading the economic landscape of this country and centering our politics on the middle class. Third cite notes that "China's murky shadow banking system could amount to nearly 50 percent of GDP and debate is raging about the effectiveness of how it is regulated."
Let's hope Xi is a suitable "traitor to his class."
After all, we lucked out and got two Roo-se-velts [thank you Netherlands!].
And became the greatest power the world has ever known.
The more China replicates that journey, the better off this world is.
And that's the God's honest truth.
Speaking this morning at Walt Disney World at a political post-election gathering of sorts. I am preaching the progressive gospel to all who will listen. Hallelujah brother! Give me a high-four Mickey!