Friday, September 30, 2011

IRCPPS in the Links: The Chinese Leadership Transition's Implication for Chinese Foreign Policy

Dan Drezner responds to a National Interest piece by Bruce Gilley:
[Gilley writes,] "It may be time to concede that China’s leader-in-waiting, Xi Jinping, is not the moderate that many have assumed. Indeed, evidence from his past suggests that Xi is going to steer China in a more aggressive direction, both domestically and internationally..."

...Gilley's hypothesis is certainly plausible, but can I suggest an alternative?  China is in the middle of a leadership transition -- and when politicians are trying to move on up but ain't there yet, they often have the freedom to make all kinds of crazy, out-there, irresponsible foreign policy statements secure in the knowledge that foreign policy statements are not all that binding once politicians assume power