With China's highly-anticipated power transition now installed, some skeptics might wonder if the country has somehow fulfilled the "bad guy" role that was referenced several times during our recent presidential debates. Xi Jinping as new general secretary is easily an overall net-win for the Communist Party's conservative bloc, as observers expect him to favor traditional social control in lieu of any short-term progressive political or economic reforms.
Unsurprisingly, the link between the conservative faction and dominant state-owned enterprises--a growing issue in China--is not terribly divergent from our own big-party politics in the US.
But the powerful conservatives in China seem to have a greater awareness of their socio-political context than America's GOP, expecting that the liberalization of the Chinese system is "inevitable."
If I had been told 10 years ago that China's conservative faction would have a more open-minded perspective about the changing world than the Republican party, I'm not sure if I would have believed you. But after seeing rural white America react with such vitriol the last few years to its own diverse people and beliefs...I not only believe it--I know it.
[Top photo: leaders in Beijing agreeing. Bottom photo: white power advocates.]