Xi Jinping’s ‘Proregress’: Recent Political and Economic Policy Moves

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Friday, November 29th, 2019

Friday, November 29, 20194:30PM - 6:00PMThe Vivian and David Campbell Conference Facility, 1 Devonshire Place, Toronto, ON, M5S 3K7
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Xi Jinping’s leadership has been marked by ambiguity and unpredictability. Since becoming China’s top leader in 2012, he has pursued fragile balances: portraying himself as inheritor of the legacies of both Mao and Deng; consolidating power based on both his communist “red nobility” and his understanding of “ordinary people”; promoting market reform in some ways while asserting greater state control in others; and offering contradictory clues as to whether China seeks to be a revisionist power or to preserve the status quo in the post-Cold War international order. It is hardly surprising that public judgments of Xi within China and overseas are so strikingly different.

Cheng Li’s talk focuses on Xi’s two most recent parallel domestic policy moves: launching an ambitious program for poverty elimination and promoting the country’s largest metropolis clusters for economic growth. Given Xi’s role at the epicenter of these major developments, a discussion of China’s future trajectory requires a comprehensive and balanced assessment of this goal-oriented leader.

Dr. Cheng Li is Director and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution’s John L. Thornton China Center and a Distinguished Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy. Dr. Li has advised a wide range of US government, education, research, business and not-for-profit organizations on work in China and has frequently been called upon to share his unique perspective and insights on China, appearing on BBC, CCTV, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, ABC World News, NPR, PBS and more. Li grew up in Shanghai during the Cultural Revolution. In 1985, he came to the United States and later received an M.A. in Asian Studies from the University of California and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Princeton University.

Janice Gross Stein is the Belzberg Professor of Conflict Management in the Department of Political Science and was the Founding Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy at the University of Toronto (serving from 1998 to the end of 2014). She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a member of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario. She was awarded the Molson Prize by the Canada Council for an outstanding contribution by a social scientist to public debate. She is an Honorary Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has been awarded Honorary Doctorate of Laws by the University of Alberta, the University of Cape Breton, McMaster University, and Hebrew University.


Cheng Li
Director and Senior Fellow, the John L. Thornton China Center, Brookings Institution; Distinguished Fellow, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy

Janice Stein
Founding Director, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy

Main Sponsor

Asian Institute


Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy

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