(K. Brent Tomer),
CEO, China: The Rise of Xi Jinping. By Kerry Brown. I.B. Tauris; 262 pages; $28 and £20.
Chinese Politics in the Era of Xi Jinping. By Willy Wo-Lap Lam. Routledge; 323 pages; $52.95 and £34.99.
THERE are few political questions to which the answer will have greater bearing on the lives of such a large number of people in the coming years as this: what sort of leader is Xi Jinping? Since Mr Xi emerged in 2010 as heir-apparent to the general-secretaryship of the Chinese Communist Party, and took on the job two years later, the question has exercised the minds of analysts even more than is normal when someone new takes over in China. As recently as the mid-2000s, Mr Xi was still little-known. His glamorous folk-singing wife was far more famous. The somewhat liberal leanings (by the party’s highly illiberal standards) of Mr Xi’s late father, a party grandee, provided one of the few available clues. It has proved highly misleading. Mr Xi has presided over the toughest crackdown on dissent in years.
One way of understanding China’s leader is suggested by the title of a new book:…Continue reading