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If Xi’S Gotta Have It, Xi’ll Get It

If Xi’S Gotta Have It, Xi’ll Get It

China’s communist party has moved to eliminate presidential term limits, in a shock move that opens the way for President Xi Jinping to dominate Chinese politics for the next decade or more.


Since taking office five years ago, Mr. Xi has already amassed more power than any Chinese leader since Mao, and at last year’s party congress he pointedly broke with tradition by declining to anoint a successor. To be fair, it’s still not a lock that he’ll choose to stay in power after his current term ends in 2023. But why might he want to leave the door open to that possibility?

Consider: over the next ten years, we will learn the answer to two critical questions about China. On the international front, can China really become a superpower to rival the United States as Xi has pledged it will? And domestically, as China’s middle class grows, can the government continue to pull off the trick of wedding authoritarian politics to a market economy?

Xi may decide that the moment is too pivotal to leave it to anyone else, and perhaps he’s right. But if he sticks around, the challenge is this: the flipside of total power is total responsibility. If things get choppy in economic or geopolitical terms, both the public and the Party will have one man to blame, and the consequences of an internal rupture in China would be felt globally, and fast.

It’s a gamble. In film buff terms, call it the Godfather principle: once you go beyond two installments, the chance of things going horribly wrong increases exponentially.

Meet Alessandra Cominetti, a recipient of MIT Technology Review Magazine's Innovators Under 35 award. As a lab technician at Eni's Research Centre for Renewable Energy in Novara, Alessandra has devoted her career to finding new solutions and materials to optimize solar energy. Much like the serendipitous encounter that resulted in her employment, her eagerness and willingness to try new things allowed her to stumble upon a material for the creation of portable solar panels.

Watch her remarkable story on the latest episode of Faces of Eni.

"If [the election] is very close and it ends up in the courts, that kind of protracted situation I think will lead many Americans to believe that it was an unfair election." Rick Hasen, election law expert and author of Election Meltdown, lays out some of the worst-case scenarios for Election Day, ranging from unprecedented voter suppression to dirty tricks by foreign actors. The conversation was part of the latest episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer. The episode begins airing nationally in the US on public television this Friday, October 30. Check local listings.

"No election is conducted perfectly, and elections have all kinds of problems.We're going to have more problems because we're running an election during a pandemic." Election law expert Rick Hasen cautions that both campaigns could misconstrue honest mistakes in the administration of this week's national election as nefarious acts. The integrity of the election, he warns, could be compromised by human error and the unprecedented challenges posed by a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. Hasen's especially concerned about key states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. His conversation with Ian Bremmer is part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on Europe In 60 Seconds:

With COVID increasing in France, Germany, Spain, and elsewhere, has Europe lost control of the pandemic?

Well, I wouldn't say lost control, but clearly it is a very worrying situation. With COVID increasing virtually everywhere, we see a new wave of semi-lockdowns... it's not as bad as it was in the spring... with the hope of being able to contain the surge during the month of November. Let's wait and see.

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An extended conversation with Anne-Marie Slaughter, a former top State Department official under President Obama and the CEO of the think tank New America. Slaughter spoke with Ian Bremmer about how a "President Biden" could reshape US foreign policy.

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