Xi’s new team: Understanding elite politics in China’s leadership

März 17, 2023 09:00 - 10:30
Members only


In March, China’s so-called “Two Sessions” will complete the transition to a new leadership team. It started in October at the 20th Party Congress, when Xi Jinping secured an unprecedented third term as General Secretary and installed a Politburo consisting of loyal party men. Now the National People's Congress (NPC) will officially elect a successor to the outgoing Premier Li Keqiang and confirm other formal state positions. The new leadership line-up will shape the direction China will take in the coming years.

Our two distinguished guests Cheng Li and Vijay Gokhale discussed these developments and their implications for China’s foreign policy:

Cheng Li is the director of the John L. Thornton China Center and a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. He is also a director of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. Li focuses on the transformation of political leaders, generational change, the Chinese middle class, and technological development in China.

Vijay Gokhale was the Foreign Secretary of India from 2018 until 2020. He served, among others, as the Ambassador of India to China and to Germany, as the Director General of the India-Taipei Association in Taiwan and as India’s High Commissioner to Malaysia. Currently he is a MERICS Senior Fellow, a non-resident Fellow at Carnegie India and a distinguished professor at the Symbiosis International University in Pune.


Katja Drinhausen, Head of Program “Politics and Society”, MERICS


Bernhard Bartsch, Director External Relations, MERICS

We discussed these and other issues with Cheng Li and Vijay Gokhale in a trusted circle of MERICS Members and key stakeholders.

The event was in person. To ensure confidential discussions, online participation was not possible.

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