Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Xi will be around at least till 2037: Former Aus PM

Ahead of China’s 20th Party Congress, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Wednesday said President Xi Jinping will remain in power at least for the next 10-15 years and there was a need to understand his worldview.
“It is inevitable that Xi Jinping will be reappointed … there is no evidence about an alternate candidate,” Rudd said in a lecture at the Manohar Parrikar Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) here.
“Xi Jinping will be with us … till at least 2037. He is 69 years old and by 2037, he will be 84 years old.. We need to get used to the fact that Xi Jinping and Xi Jinping’s China for a very long time,” said Rudd, who is considered a China expert.
He said the future performance of the Chinese economy could prove to be a weak spot in Xi’s strategic vision, particularly the country’s reining in of the absolute freedom of operation enjoyed by the private sector through a series of measures.
Rudd said the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party will be closely watched for its selection of the economic team which will be tasked with re-engineering the economy for the next 10-15 years. The former labour party leader noted that China had witnessed spectacular economic growth since it ushered in reforms in the 1980s with the private sector controlling 61 per cent of the country’s GDP.
To rein in the private sector, he said, China has unveiled a series of measures such as insertion of party committees in private firms, equity by state-owned enterprises in private firms, and rebirth of state-owned enterprises.
Rudd said Australia sensed the changes in China’s worldview around 2007 and proposed the idea of Quad, comprising Australia, Japan, India, and the US to counter China.
However, he said, the grouping never took off due to unfavourable response from the other three countries. Rudd said the idea of Quad took root again in 2017 as a reaction to China’s actions on the Indian border, the South China Sea, and Japan. Rudd’s book ‘The Avoidable War: The Dangers of a Catastrophic Conflict between the US and Xi Jinping’s China’ was also launched on the occasion.