October 24, 2017        Reading Time: 2 minutes

Your weekly digest of foreign policy commentary:

Reading Time: 2 min read

Kevin Rudd outlines China’s strategy for becoming a global leader by the mid-21st century. Image credit – kingqjl/ depositphotos



Xi Jinping Offers a Long-Term View of China’s Ambition by Kevin Rudd, President of the Asia Society Policy Institute and former Prime Minister of Australia

Party congresses are essentially about three things: first, leadership, personnel and power; second, ideology; third, political vision.’

  • Kevin Rudd analyses the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party and argues that President Xi Jinping is China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, eclipsing even Deng Xiaoping.
    • President Xi will continue to be China’s leader beyond the next five years, and possibly for the next fifteen years.
    • President Xi’s vision for China is to have a modern economy and society by 2035 and to become a great power by 2050.
    • The world can expect a new phase of ‘international policy activism’ by China, which is realised by more assertive diplomacy and an international system that is underpinned by rules shaped by China.



Africa, China, and the Future of Manufacturing by Irene Yuan Sun, McKinsey & Company

“African markets are the next wave of big global markets people want to get into.”

  • Irene Yuan Sun explains that China has reached an inflection point in manufacturing where it is no longer competitive, and Africa could be the world’s next manufacturing centre.
    • A key factor in pushing manufacturing to Africa is the growing supply of Chinese entrepreneurs with the technical expertise, capital and desire to expand their international impact.
      • There are now more than 10,000 Chinese firms in Africa, and one-third are in manufacturing.
    • Africa imports goods that could be manufactured in Africa at a lower cost than in places like China that have higher labour and energy costs.
    • Africa’s demographics are also best suited for the next wave of manufacturing.
      • Africa’s population is expected to increase from 1 billion to 2 billion by 2050.

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