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Is China's window of strategic opportunity closing?

The Chinese leadership asserts the window is still open but it will be a struggle amid strained ties with US

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In 2002, the report to the 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) notably concluded that the first two decades of the 21st century represent "a period of important strategic opportunities (zhanlue jiyuqi), which China must seize tightly and which offers bright prospects".

This year marks 20 years since that prognosis. Has the window closed then, given how the closing years of this projected 20-year window for China to maximise its development opportunities have coincided with the present era of "intense competition" with the United States and a more testy relationship with the West.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 15, 2022, with the headline Is China's window of strategic opportunity closing?. Subscribe