The Washington Post has a great piece on comments former secretary of state Henry Kissinger made while on a panel at the Woodrow Wilson centre.
During the panel Kissinger discussed his views on all the Chinese leaders from Mao to China’s expected next president Xi Jinping.
He provided keen insight, and many would be wise to take heed. Walter Pincus at The Washington Post, breaks down Kissinger’s comments well and you should check out his article to see it all.
But we found the part on Xi Jinping the most interesting:
Kissinger said he had spoken to Xi Jinping, the expected next Chinese president, and believes he will seek such enormous internal changes that “it’s unlikely that in 10 years the next generation will come into office with exactly the same institutions that exist today.
“This is one reason why I do not believe that great foreign adventures or confrontations with the United States can be on their agenda,” Kissinger said. But because Xi faces the need to make difficult domestic changes, he may be more assertive in responding to foreign critics, he added.
Considering the increasing social unrest in China and the rising power of the Internet to shed light on government malfeasance and corruption it stands to reason that internal reform is crucial. There may even be big signs of reform already.
And Kissinger’s point about the need for a stable international order and therefore a strong, but peaceful Chinese position makes sense. As does his warning on the possibilities of Xi’s need for assertiveness. But at least it looks like China won’t be starting World War 3 any time soon. And that’s always a relief.
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