Vice President Xi Jinping is expected to be named China’s next President and Communist Party General Secretary at this fall’s party congress. Here are the top ten challenges he will face:
1. Coping with financial risks related to bad debts of local government and potential fallout from the European debt crisis.
2. Striking the right balance between asserting China’s interests in region while still reassuring neighboring countries that China’s rise is no threat.
3. Managing growing economic tensions with the United States related to exchange rates, trade imbalances, intellectual property rights and Chinese export subsidies.
4. Dealing with political unrest, especially in rural areas where disputes over land rights, pollution and corruption have generated proliferating protests.
5. Rebalancing China’s economy away from high savings, infrastructure investment and export manufacturing toward domestic consumption, a stronger service sector and a broader social safety net.
6. Calibrating China’s response to America’s “pivot” back to strengthening U.S. alliances and military presence in East Asia as wars in the Middle East and Central Asia wind down.
7. Managing growing expectations among China’s youth for greater openness, free expression and democracy.
8. Fighting widespread corruption among Communist Party and government officials and restoring popular trust.
9. Addressing China’s huge and growing environmental challenges.
10. Bridging the gap between conflicting factions within the Communist Party, especially between market liberals and populists.