Title

After Xi: Future Scenarios for Leadership Succession in a Post-Xi Jinping Era

Date of Publication

2021 12:00 AM

Security Theme

Political Stability

Keywords

Communism, political parties, institutions, China, Authoritarianism, Presidentialism

Description

This paper assesses China’s possible leadership succession scenarios in the coming years and decades. Is Xi akin to Stalin after the purges of the 1930s—a leader who has so thoroughly eliminated rivals and cowered the system that he will remain in power until he can no longer perform the duties of office, leaving a succession battle in his wake? Or will the system produce a Newtonian reaction against his all-encompassing power, either forcing him out of office prematurely or at least pushing him to set a timetable for his departure? Alternatively, what are Xi’s options for a middle path between these scenarios, an orderly succession in the next 5 to 10 years?

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Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

After Xi: Future Scenarios for Leadership Succession in a Post-Xi Jinping Era

This paper assesses China’s possible leadership succession scenarios in the coming years and decades. Is Xi akin to Stalin after the purges of the 1930s—a leader who has so thoroughly eliminated rivals and cowered the system that he will remain in power until he can no longer perform the duties of office, leaving a succession battle in his wake? Or will the system produce a Newtonian reaction against his all-encompassing power, either forcing him out of office prematurely or at least pushing him to set a timetable for his departure? Alternatively, what are Xi’s options for a middle path between these scenarios, an orderly succession in the next 5 to 10 years?