Xi Jinping, China's president, is the world's most powerful man | The Economist

Is Xi Jinping the worlds most powerful man? The world's balance of power is shifting. For the past five years president Xi Jinping, China's leader, has ruled with an iron fist and has been pursing a new model of great power relations.

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Xi Jinping rules the most populous country, home to 1.4 billion people. Mr Xi is the most powerful Chinese leader since chairman Mao. He has purged the communist party and much of the army, rooting out corruption, replacing potential rivals with allies, and chocking any sign of dissent.

China is the world's second largest economy and an engine of global growth. It is the biggest trade partner of many other countries and the second biggest of both America and the EU.

China is building powerful armed forces constructing artificial islands in the South China Sea that look like military bases. Its ships have conducted military drills in the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas, and china has opened its first overseas naval base in Djibouti.

America still has the bigger economy and more military muscle but president Donald Trump is struggling at home and he scorns the values and alliances that strengthen America abroad.

As a result, Mr Xi can project himself as the champion of world order, taking the lead on globalisation and climate change. But Mr Xi also faces problems. Economic growth is slowing and inequality is rising. China's middle class wants better housing, education and health care, and more freedom.

For now Mr Xi may now have more clout than Mr Trump but his power relies on repression and this kind of power is fragile. one man-rule may be dangerous and unstable.

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Posted by Yore in Science & Technology on March 08 at 06:49 PM  ·  Public

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