Biden faces ‘unpredictable’ era with China’s empowered Xi Jinping
The political landscape in the U.S. and China are set to change — dramatically — and it’s up to former Vice President Joe Biden to help shape the future of the world’s two largest economies.
One of the biggest differences between today’s U.S. and China is that China has a leader in Xi Jinping that is both a great innovator and a great leader, meaning a new “Xi Jinping effect” is taking place in China as the country transitions out of the “era of reform” that has been the foundation of its growth.
While the U.S. is still in the period of “catch-up” in innovation and technology, Beijing has more than doubled its GDP growth since 2000, while America is still struggling with stagnant growth and massive budget deficits.
The U.S. has the luxury of being able to look to history to improve its position, while China has to build upon its own innovation efforts and find new ways to build trust with domestic consumers.
“For the U.S., the catch up period will last as long as the next 20 years,” says Michael S. Schwartz, a professor in the department of economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “But China is going to have the unique opportunity to be at least 10 [to 20] years ahead of the U.S. in terms of innovation.”
In a speech last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, President Xi Jinping laid out his priorities for China in the coming years.
“It’s time to step up reform, the reform of the core institutions of power,” he said. “Reform starts with institutional reform.”
China’s Xi, who became president in 2013, is expected to remain on the national leadership council for the next two years, a move that reflects his desire to remain as close to the top of the Chinese leadership as possible. He has also been pushing state-owned enterprises to improve their efficiency and cut their costs by increasing automation and outsourcing.
Some of China’s leaders believe Xi will ultimately replace President Hu Jintao as China’s leader