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President Xi’s Second Term: Prospects for Japan-China Relations

In March 2018 Chinese President Xi Jinping started his second five-year term. Xi has established an unusually strong hold on power as China’s supreme leader, and the previous two-term limit on the presidency has been eliminated, meaning that he is eligible to stay at the helm even beyond 2023. In this series we consider the outlook for China’s international behavior and for Japan’s relations with its giant and increasingly assertive neighbor under Xi’s ongoing command.

China’s New “Xi Jinping Constitution”: The Road to TotalitarianismSuzuki Ken

President Xi Jinping’s bid for unchecked power got a critical boost last spring, with the enactment of a constitutional amendment that repeals term limits and other important safeguards adopted in 1982, in the wake of the Cultural Revolution. Suzuki Ken, an expert in Chinese law, analyzes this historic shift from the “Deng Xiaoping Constitution” of 1982 to the “Xi Jinping Constitution” of 2018.

The Drive to Clear Beijing’s Slums: Will the Authorities’ Strong-Arm Tactics Work?Ako Tomoko

The drive by President Xi Jinping’s administration to implement its ambitious plans for new urban development has resulted in evictions and other mistreatment of migrant workers from rural areas. Public welfare benefits for low-income people are scant, and internal economic disparities are continuing to widen. One key piece of this picture is the system of hukou, official family registers that have been used to control internal migration.

Chinese Technological Innovation Transforming Sino-Japanese Economic RelationsKajitani Kai

Even as the Chinese government uses its authority to curtail freedom of speech, it is pointing to the success of private-sector companies in the country that are driving a new wave of innovation to legitimize its policies. With the relationship between politics and the economy in contemporary China at a turning point, countries like Japan can no longer take past assumptions for granted.

The Belt and Road Initiative: Responding to Beijing’s Ambitious EndeavorKawashima Shin

China’s Belt and Road Initiative aims to promote infrastructure development over a broad area encompassing Eurasia and parts of Africa and the Pacific. It is a major element of President Xi Jinping’s drive to increase China’s international influence. How should Japan and the rest of the international community respond to this ambitious undertaking?

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