The Brutal Politics of China's Economic Overhaul

What Xi Can Learn from FDR

Published in: The Washington Quarterly, Volume 40, Number 2 (Summer 2017), pages 79-93. doi: 10.1080/0163660X.2017.1328925

Posted on RAND.org on October 11, 2017

by Timothy R. Heath

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The turn to the coercive, divisive politics of Xi Jinping represents not an abrupt, eager embrace of neo-Maoist tendencies, but a desperate and reluctant turn to a last resort after preferred options had been exhausted during the Hu Jintao era. Nor is this trajectory unique. Intriguing parallels can be found in the experience of another country that carried out a similar drastic economic transformation — the United States in the 1930s.

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