Summary of “With Xi’s Power Grab, China Joins New Era of Strongmen”

Almost no one would have described China as genuinely democratic before the latest move, which was announced without fanfare on Sunday; the country remains a one-party state with extensive control over political, social and economic life.
Mr. Xi’s gambit ended a period of collective and term-limited leadership begun by Jiang Zemin, who held the same post as Mr. Xi from 1993 to 2003, that many had hoped was leading China toward greater rule of law and openness.
Whatever the chaos of Boris N. Yeltsin’s era in 1990s, democracy was taking root when Mr. Putin came to power – in a relatively free and fair election, no less.
President Trump’s critics say that while he may not yet have eroded democracy in the United States, his populist appeals and nativist policies, his palpable aversion to the media and traditional checks on power, and his stated admiration for some of the strongest of strongmen are cut from the same cloth.
Mr. Putin has long cited such flaws to shore up his power at home; the campaign to interfere in the 2016 presidential election in the United States seemed intended, in the first place, to discredit American democracy still more.
The “Contagion” of 1989, which saw popular protesters bring down Communist governments in Central and Eastern Europe, infected China, too.
Mr. Xi, as a result, believes that only stability can ensure his vision of China’s revival and emergence as the world’s power.
In last fall’s Communist Party congress, Mr. Xi even presented China as a new model for the developing world – a thinly veiled argument that the United States and Europe were no longer as attractive as they once were.

The orginal article.