Oct 23 (Reuters) – China Xi Jinping won an unprecedented third term in office on Sunday and introduced a new Politburo standing committee made up of loyalists, cementing his place as the country’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong.
Here are the first reactions from analysts and experts:
ALVIN TAN, HEAD OF ASIA FX STRATEGY, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS, SINGAPORE”
“It seems to be dominated by Xi’s allies.”
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“In terms of policy-making, that means there will likely be more respect for Xi Jinping’s own views on how to move the country and the economy forward…I can imagine the zero- COVID is probably more entrenched and there is more push on this issue of common prosperity and such.
DREW THOMPSON, SENIOR VISITING SCHOLAR AT THE LEE KUAN YEW SCHOOL OF PUBLIC POLICY AT THE NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE:
“This is leadership that will focus on achieving Xi’s political goals, rather than pursuing his own agendas for what he thinks is best for the country. only one right way to rule, and that is Xi’s way.
“Foreign investors and businesses have been desperately looking for signs that liberals or ‘reformers’ will play a role in shaping the economy or restoring an old economic order that prioritized foreign investment and liberalization. economy. It is clear from the results of the 20th Party Congress that national security and party political security will take precedence over economic growth.”
RICHARD McGREGOR, SENIOR FELLOW FOR EAST ASIA, LOWY INSTITUTE, SYDNEY:
“The result was a resounding victory for Xi, more decisive than many experienced observers expected. All of his rivals, potential and actual, were ousted from the Politburo Standing Committee and Xi loyalists took their place. The new Politburo is a statement of Xi’s dominance over the party.
“I think the congress has drawn a line between the past and the future in a profound way, both for China’s domestic politics and how its influence spreads to the rest of the world.
“Xi got rid of the old factional system as it was. He shattered expectations that he would harbor a successor. He ignored informal age limits for officials in high-level positions. .”
CHRIS MILLER, PROFESSOR AT TUFTS UNIVERSITY, MASSACHUSETTS:
“The party congress reaffirmed Xi’s decisive role in leading the Communist Party, marking a continued shift from collective leadership of party elites to personalized dictatorship. It also seems to have confirmed the downgrading of economic growth as a key party objective, compared to other agenda items such as zero-COVID and political and ideological control of the party. In technology, the key theme was self-sufficiency in science and technology, which is to be expected given the increasing decoupling of the US and Chinese technology sectors.
YANG ZHANG, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF INTERNATIONAL SERVICE, WASHINGTON:
“This (Politburo Standing Committee) does not mean that Xi will become an omnipotent supreme leader and can do anything. Above all, his unlimited power will be limited by his limited capacity and decreasing energy as he ages. Remember Mao or Emperor Qian Long.?
“Furthermore, Xi’s total control means that his team will be fully responsible for any political mistakes. His autocracy could provoke a stronger international reaction from Western countries led by the United States. All of these scenarios will make his third and probably fourth terms less easy than expected.”
GARY NG, SENIOR ECONOMIST, ASIA PACIFIC, NATIXIS, HONG KONG:
“The new inner circle will expand and strengthen the current political position, and generally it seems that most of the newly appointed officials seem to be Xi’s main allies. So I guess it’s also a power-building move, or maybe in the future, of course performance is important, but also loyalty is increasingly a key concern when selecting officials .
JA IAN CHONG, POLITICAL SCIENTIST, NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE:
“It certainly seems like a consolidation of Xi’s position. This means politics will be more directly tied to Xi for better or worse. The PRC (People’s Republic of China) is looking to export. It is therefore probably a more direct orientation of the economy towards the State Party. The investment will likely seek to achieve the above objectives, especially if it can provide technology. So, while there may be opportunities for investors, they need to take more account of both market forces and political preferences, so more of what we’ve already seen.
“Probably no lifting of the COVID-zero policy in the near future, and more assertiveness in foreign affairs and security. Even more broadly, friction between the United States and the PRC will continue to grow.”
DYLAN LOH, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY:
“It is abundantly clear that the Politburo has been stacked with Xi loyalists and that would mean he has a much freer freedom and mandate in pursuing his domestic and foreign policies because collective leadership and taking Decision-making has been less of a focus than merging around Xi and implementing his decisions, and it appears he hasn’t named a potential successor yet, giving him flexibility for a fourth term. On investment, I don’t think China’s policies are going to change abruptly because of this line, I think overall Xi’s priorities haven’t changed.”
“Wang Huning’s presence also tells me that the ideological inclination of the party and Xi will continue and even deepen.”
PEIQIAN LIU, CHINA ECONOMIST, NATWEST MARKETS, SINGAPORE:
“It’s a bit online and a surprise. What has been in line with expectations is really (that) President Xi is consolidating his power… And what is surprising is that there have been four people who have kind of retired from the Standing – that’s more than our initial expectation of two.
“It seems Xi has more say in the Politburo standing committee, and also with his ideology enshrined in the party charter, it’s a symbolization of his strategic importance in the political committee.”
REDMOND WONG, GREATER CHINA MARKET STRATEGIST, SAXO MARKETS, HONG KONG:
“General Secretary Xi has assembled a team of Politburo Standing Committee members who closely share his vision for China’s future and the blueprint of the governance model and development strategies that Xi has established over the past few years. ..
“In the process of transforming from the labor-intensive, energy-intensive and export-oriented development model of the past to General Secretary Xi’s new development model, the long-term trend growth will be probably slower than the double-digit growth rate over the past few decades. This is inevitable because transformation is necessary.
“Nevertheless, we are optimistic about China’s growth prospects in 2023… We expect China’s economy to recover significantly within six to nine months. This will be good news for others. Asian economies, Chinese stock markets and global commodity markets.
TAKASHI KAWAKAMI, PROFESSOR, TAKUSHOKU UNIVERSITY, TOKYO:
“Xi had to keep talking about the goal of Taiwan unification in order to strengthen his own power, and now that a new, entrenched regime has been established, the possibility of him trying to take Taiwan by force is growing. is probably far away.
“For Xi Jinping, who aims to overtake the United States by the middle of the century, his priority for the next five years is to rebuild the national economy. I assume that he will gradually unify Taiwan not not by military force but by enhancing hybrid warfare. the same goes for Japan’s Senkaku Islands (claimed by China as Diaoyu)…Japan, as a neighboring country to China, will be obliged to carry out its own diplomacy towards China.”
YUAN YUWEI, FUND MANAGER, WATER WISDOM ASSET MANAGEMENT, HANGZHOU, CHINA:
“The Party Congress said China will stick to reforms, open up and support the private sector. I think it would be good for the economy to match words with deeds in this direction. The short-term negative factor remains China’s extremely tough COVID policies, which have shaken foreign investors’ confidence in China.
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Reporting by Rae Wee and Xinghui Kok in Singapore, Xie Yu and Selena Li in Hong Kong, Sam McKeith in Sydney, Martin Pollard in Beijing, Nobuhiro Kubo in Tokyo and Samuel Shen in Shanghai; Editing by William Mallard
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