In 2017 China’s paramount leader Xi Jinping said famously: “Government, the military, society and schools, north, south, east and west – the party leads them all”. In 2021, however, as it celebrates its centenary the CCP is doubling down on its efforts to reach into all aspects of Chinese life. It’s crackdowns on technology and tutoring companies, restrictions on youth online game time, and moves to cleanse the airwaves of “sissy boys” and unwanted foreign influence, are but a few examples. More are sure to follow, as the CCP takes aim at its goal of “common prosperity” for the Chinese people. What are the underlying issues China’s leadership is addressing, how far will they go to achieve them, and what are their prospects for success? Where are the new fault lines in the perennial struggle between central and local power, and between control (shou) and relaxation (fang)? How will China fare in its quest to be more innovative? And how will its economy adjust to the overhang of a long addiction to real estate and negative demographics? And finally, what are the implications for China’s neighbors and for the United States?
John Holden, Senior Director, McClarty Associates, leads McClarty’s China practice. He has decades of experience doing business in China. He has previously served as president of the National Committee on US-China Relations in New York and has served as Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China in Beijing. John is currently a Senior Associate (Non-Resident) with the Trustee Chair for Chinese Business and Economics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.