By George Friedman
Most observers take Xi Jinping’s ascension from president to dictator as a sign of China’s national strength. But I see things differently – to the chagrin of even some members of my staff. Dictatorships are not imposed on healthy systems – especially in China. Historically, as China rises, it loses stability. When it loses stability, it installs a dictator. The dictator may take the form of an emperor or party chairman, but he is a dictator nonetheless. It is in this context that I have begun to form a tentative theory: that Xi Jinping’s strength is a facade.
One of the hallmarks of the Xi administration is his anti-corruption campaign. In truth, it is a good old-fashioned political purge, meant to remove those adversely affected by Xi’s efforts to settle the financial system and those who remain committed to the policies of Deng Xiaoping. In other words, moderate liberals and internationalists. These factions see Chinese integration into the inter