China's rise: Role of two defining generations

The Long March generation is widely acknowledged as the founding heroes of modern China. But there is another generation - the Cultural Revolution survivors - whose experience during that tumultuous period shaped them in a similar way and who are now leading the country.

China's rise to superpower status is being accompanied by President Xi Jinping's growing strength as undisputed leader now that he is no longer constrained by a term limit on his presidency. As many have noted, he can now rule China indefinitely.

You will find as many who believe China's future looks even more promising with political stability now assured as those concerned about the dangers of over concentrating power in the hands of one man for an extended period. Look at what happened to chairman Mao Zedong, the doomsayers might point out.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 30, 2018, with the headline 'China's rise: Role of two defining generations'. Print Edition | Subscribe