China’s reform agenda may not take off easily – Wenran jiang

From The CBC News Viewpoint program: There has been extensive reporting by the overseas media outlets on “elite” politics, speculating much about an ongoing power struggle and personnel changes during the plenary session.

Their overemphasis on the top leadership is at the expense of a comprehensive analysis of Chinese politics, or the country’s economy and social changes at this very important stage of the nation’s development.

Many have failed to realize that, whatever their differences or personal power-sharing concerns, Chinese leaders know very well the challenges they face as a collective entity: if they mishandle many of the burning issues of the day, ranging from income inequality to unemployment to energy crisis to environment degradation, the survival of the regime as a whole will be at risk.

Thus, there are fundamental unifying forces at work for party elites to put aside their personal rivalry, and to try to achieve common goals.

Wenran Jiang Dr. Wenran Jiang is associate professor of political science and special advisor to the Dean of Arts on international affairs at the University of Alberta. He is twice a Japan Foundation Fellow and an academic member of Foreign Affairs Canada’s Strategic Working Group on China. His research and teaching interests include East Asian international relations, poverty, energy security and Canada’s relations with the Asia-Pacific region. He is the editor of the forthcoming book, Fuelling the Dragon: China’s Energy Demand and the Implications for Canada .

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