Financial TimesFinancial Times

Xi Jinping’s third term is a tragic error

By Martin Wolf

04 Oct 2022 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

In this opinion piece, we hear why the author believes that Xi remaining in power indefinitely will have a disastrous both on China and on the rest of the world. Dive in to find out why.

Xi Jinping will shortly be confirmed for a third term as general secretary of the Communist party and head of the military. So, is his achievement of such unchallengeable power good for China or for the world? No. It is dangerous for both. It would be dangerous even if he had proven himself a ruler of matchless competence. But he has not done so. As it is, the risks are those of ossification at home and increasing friction abroad.

Ten years is always enough. Even a first-rate leader decays after that long in office. One with unchallengeable power tends to decay more quickly. Surrounded by people he has chosen and protective of the legacy he has created, the despot will become increasingly isolated and defensive, even paranoid.

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