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Understanding China's Fourth Generation: The Impact of Leadership on China's Future

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Research paper

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Chinas status is the international community is a question being addressed by many political and economic theorists around the world. Viewed by many as a potential belligerent adversary and by others as a future economic ally, the current Chinese leadership is trying to weigh its options in its dealings abroad. This paper examines the factors that have allowed the communist government to stay in power and the possibility for more fundamental reforms in the future. Specifically, it analyzes the historical impact of the Chinese leadership, the changes expected with the Chinese Communist Party CCP election of Hu Jintao as president, and the effects of his policies on the ongoing economic and political reforms in China. The current leadership of the Chinese Communist Party is the most important factor in determining the future of the country. These leaders recognize the need to reform because they see that reform is the only way to increase Chinas influence in the international community. They are also well aware of the precarious state of the CCP, as reform creates a fundamental incompatibility between communist doctrine and economic growth. Increased democratic participation will not likely occur until the government is confident that the groundwork has been laid that will ensure their survival during political reform. The Chinese leadership has proved its staying power is far greater than most powerful regimes before it. The international community needs to engage this leadership, improve relations and ultimately prevent it from turning inward or aggressive. The United States should not fear Chinas economic success or its ascension to great power status, but instead it should look to China as an ally that can help stabilize a troubled region and encourage cooperation between historically adversarial countries.

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  • Administration and Management
  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Government and Political Science

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