While some China experts believe the regime will be able to maintain a “centralized and disciplined party and security state (the Xi Jinping system),” one analyst is less sure, arguing that the risks are greater than people realize, The New York Times reports.
“I’m not sure that the party can achieve everything it’s set out to do. It’s tried to keep a lid on all changes in society, but I doubt this can work over time. There are different lifestyles and forces in society. I’m not sure they can be unified. I’m very skeptical,” says Sebastian Heilmann, the founding president of Berlin’s Mercator Institute of Chinese Studies:
Also, we shouldn’t forget that hierarchical systems are susceptible to shocks. If Xi Jinping became seriously ill, what would happen to the political system? The system has been tailored to him. Or, if there are military skirmishes, how will the nationalistic forces in society react?
This system is built for expansion, especially economic expansion, and setbacks are very hard to justify. It’s easier in Western systems because you can change the government. But in China you can’t. So the potential for disruption is greater than people imagine.
China’s Party–Media–Think-Tank–Corporate Complex
“The Western notion of think-tanks as a government’s ‘external brains’ has not taken root in China. […] The party wants its brains to be internal organs,” The Economist has observed.
In an op-ed at Hong Kong’s Oriental Daily News, translated at China Media Project, journalism professor Qiao Mu wrote that a combination of political and commercial pressures have banished the country’s news media from any meaningful role in society…..At South China Morning Post, meanwhile, former editor-in-chief Wang Xiangwei described how “the emperor’s grain” and the stifling of more independent organizations have thwarted efforts to elevate China’s think tanks to the top global ranks…Commenting at The New York Times in the wake of China’s recent failure to win formal recognition as a market economy, Yi-Zheng Lian described the extent to which Party control pervades even private sector business…