This report is based on the views expressed during, and short papers contributed by speakers at, a workshop organised by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service as part of its academic outreach program. Offered as a means to support ongoing discussion, the report does not constitute an analytical document, nor does it represent any formal position of the organisations involved. The workshop was conducted under the Chatham House rule; therefore no attributions are made and the identity of speakers and participants is not disclosed.
President Xi Jinping is driving a multi-dimensional strategy to lift China to global dominance. This strategy integrates aggressive diplomacy, asymmetrical economic agreements, technological innovation, as well as escalating military expenditures. Much of the architecture for Chinese ascendency is already in place; other elements are emerging. China’s rise reinforces the domestic rule of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and in the country’s leaders’ eyes restores China to its historic status as the Middle Kingdom.
Under former leader Deng Xiaoping, China developed an authoritarian capitalist economic model which generated a sustained level of high GDP growth. The economy was dynamic, but also marred by flawed credit institutions, suboptimal state-owned enterprises, and a high vulnerability to corruption. These internal weaknesses are the subject of continuing reform efforts. The anti-corruption campaign has been a special focus for Xi Jinping and an element of his increased personal control of the CCP.