How Hu Can Break Free From Political Gridlock РMinxin Pei (裴敏欣)

From Financial Times:

As the top brass of the Chinese Communist party gathers in Beijing for its 17th congress, ‚ÄâPresident Hu Jintao may feel justifiably proud of his accomplishments in the past five years. Under his watch, the Chinese economy has scored double-digit growth and become the fourth largest in the world. Politically, Mr Hu has consolidated power, promoted allies into key provincial leadership positions and adopted an “I-feel-your-pain” rhetoric that has resonated well with the Chinese public.

To some extent, Mr Hu and his team have had exceptionally good luck: China’s political and business cycles were in sync. When he rose to the top in November 2002, the Chinese economy was about to climb out of the stagnant deflationary phase brought on by the 1997 east Asian financial crisis and China’s painful industrial restructuring. Since then, an investment-powered economic upswing has enabled Mr Hu to pursue a policy shift, at least in rhetoric, from growth to social equity. [Full Text]

Minxin Pei (裴敏欣) is a senior associate and director of the China Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

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