ST Global Forum: China's leadership will not turn back on reforms, says expert Li Mingjiang

SINGAPORE - China's new leadership is different from those of past administrations and has embarked on a "new normal" that will not be reversed.

Unlike previous Chinese leaders, President Xi Jinping sees himself as "the owner of the house", not a "manager of the house", said Dr Li Mingjiang, coordinator of the China programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.

This is very different from the last two leadership regimes in China, said Dr Li, who was offering perspectives on China at The Straits Times Global Outlook forum on Friday.

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He pointed out that China's current leaderhip is also more united, amibitious and reform-minded than those of earlier administrations, which has led to the government unveiling a raft of reforms since it took over and establishing a "new normal".

"In 2015, China will work very hard to consolidate this new normal," he said.

In fact, China's leaders have signalled strongly to the Chinese society not to expect any reversal in the effecting of these policies.

One major change, for instance, is that China will now tolerate lower economic growth to allow for economic restructuring.

"This will lay a solid foundation for more healthy economic growth and more balanced development in the years to come," Dr Li said. 

"It'll be beneficial for states in the neighbourhood as well."

chengwee@sph.com.sg