China Analysis: Eighteenth Congress – Expectations on hold

ECFR Alumni · Director, Asia and China Programme
Senior Policy Fellow

In November, the Chinese Communist party installed a new leadership – but did the 18th party congress also endorse a new reform agenda for China?  

The new Standing Committee of seven members is older than its predecessor five years ago and only Li Keqiang can be considered a reformer. Interestingly, some of the new leaders also have family ties to the PRC’s first generation of leaders. So what can we really expect from the new Chinese leadership in terms of political reform?

The latest issue of China Analysis ('Eighteenth Congress: Expectations on hold’), published by ECFR and Asia Centre, lays out the key debates that are likely to dominate the new leadership’s five year mandate:

  • How to reform China’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs)?China’s SOEs are at the nexus of the party-state and the economy, but they are neither its leading exporters nor its most profitable sector.
  • How to reform China’s energy sector?China’s energy sector has absorbed huge resources, but it still relies on coal and imported oil. Can China move towards a more sustainable energy mix?
  • How to build a Chinese welfare state? China’s growth requires a safety net but the  question how to create a Chinese welfare state remains a contentious issue among Chinese intellectuals.

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