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China Experts Weigh in on New Xi Jinping Era at the Bush School’s Scowcroft Institute

September 25, 2018

The Scowcroft Institute at the Bush School of Government and Public Service hosted renowned China scholars and resident China expert, Dr. William Norris, to discuss President Xi Jinping’s domestic and foreign policies for a new era and how his vision is a challenge for the United States as the two large powers engage in a trade war.

Dr. Carl Minzner, professor of law at Fordham University, stressed that the new leader of the second largest economy in the world is implementing top-down reforms that are increasingly infringing on human rights. Modern China is becoming more of a surveillance state and turning against the West. Jinping has also turned his attention to eliminating corruption in China, according to Dr. Elizabeth Economy, CV Starr senior fellow and director for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Economy said China is exporting its political model and ramping up its economy. Economy highlighted China’s “Made in China 2025” campaign. The goal of the campaign is to increase China’s domestic materials 70 percent by 2025.

Jinping recently summarized his vision when he said, “China has stood up, grown rich, and become strong. It will move toward center stage and make greater contributions for mankind.” These comments demonstrate that China is a competitor to the United States.

On the other hand, Dr. David M. Lampton, Hyman Professor and Director of SAIS-China and China Studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, said there should be cooperation between the two countries when there is an opportunity for it. Lampton said the current trade war will remain for a long time, and the competition is about values. China continues to control its population through surveillance, and this is opposed to a cherished American value of resisting social control. Nevertheless, Lampton remains optimistic about the situation and said, “You’ve got to get to a better day.” He called on Bush School students to tackle critical issues like this one. 

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