PrintPrint CiteCite
Style: MLAAPAChicago Close


China’s Leadership Transition: Three Things to Know

Speaker: Elizabeth C. Economy, C.V. Starr Senior Fellow and Director for Asia Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
November 16, 2012

The Chinese Communist Party's unveiling of the new Politburo Standing Committee represents a critical transition in the country's leadership at a time when China is economically and militarily more powerful than ever before. Elizabeth C. Economy, CFR's C.V. Starr senior fellow and director for Asia Studies, highlights three challenges the new leaders face:

  • Taking On Corruption – The new leadership will have to grapple with ongoing social discontent over corruption, Economy says. "If the next leadership fails to address this issue, it could lead to the downfall of the Chinese Communist Party as well as the state," she says.
  • Economic Reform – The leadership will also need to undertake a set of structural reforms to spur the country's transition from a manufacturing to an innovation economy, reduce the role of vested interest, and refocus on domestic consumption, Economy says.
  • Choosing a Foreign Policy – The new leadership faces a "stark choice" between focusing more on domestic issues and less on foreign affairs and the "more assertive foreign policy" that had begun under President Hu Jintao over the past two or three years, says Economy.

Terms of Use: I understand that I may access this audio and/or video file solely for my personal use. Any other use of the file and its content, including display, distribution, reproduction, or alteration in any form for any purpose, whether commercial, noncommercial, educational, or promotional, is expressly prohibited without the written permission of the copyright owner, the Council on Foreign Relations. For more information, write

More on This Topic


The President's Inbox: China

In this episode of The President's Inbox, CFR's James M. Lindsay, Robert McMahon, and Elizabeth Economy examine President-Elect Donald...