Speaking Of Asia

Xi Jinping could use a fall guy in 2023

Having amassed so much power, China’s top leader would need a lightning rod or two to deflect the full force of the troubles that await him

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s decade in power has tested him on multiple fronts – foreign policy, economy, defence and health. PHOTO: AFP
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These are testing times for Mr Xi Jinping, with Covid-19 ripping through the country. Dubbed the “Chairman of Everything” by Western analysts in a nod to his expansive influence over how China is run, the President could perhaps pick some cues from the predecessor who spotted him as a future leader – Mr Jiang Zemin.

Mr Jiang, who died in November, was China’s president for a decade starting in 1993. It was well known that as president, Mr Jiang had an often-testy relationship with then Premier Zhu Rongji, acclaimed as the “economic czar” of his nation.

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