China has been on my mind a lot recently. The recent devaluation of the yuan and the subsequent political/economic turmoil is particularly interesting. Some reports have stated that Chinese Premier Li Keqiang may be on his way out – an earthquake in the highly controlled Chinese political world.
This whole issue has made me think about Xi Jingling – China’s enigmatic President/supreme ruler. His rule has appeared to me – a very distant observer of Asian affairs – as a paradox. On one hand, he seems to have undertaken a series of reforms to move the economy forward. Yet these “liberal” reforms seem to have been tempered by his authoritarian streak and tendency to consolidate power around himself.
This article does a great job of explaining how Xi became Xi. A past ridden with a turmoil between his privileged upbringing and an upswing of anti-institution sentiment at the top of the CCP seems to have guided his action. Overall, this is a fascinating piece that is certainly worth a read!