V. Mikheev, Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation (email@example.com)
S. Lukonin, Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Acknowledgements. The article was prepared within the Russian Humanitarian Science Foundation grant (project no. 15-27-21002 «East Europe and Russia Factor in Implementation of China’s Economic Belt Mega Strategy “The Silk Road”») in Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO).
Abstract. In this article, the most significant factors of 2015 – early 2016 are identified and analyzed, which define new trends in the political and economic development of China. Firstly, it is the domestic political situation evolvement, including military reform and new ideological answers of Xi Jinping to the criticism against his course on the part of the Conservative party elite. Secondly, – the economic results of the past year, indicating the continued slowdown, and the new strategy for the Chinese economy development. Thirdly, it is the change in the demographic situation in China after the end of the "one-child policy". And fourthly, – the continuation of a new China's foreign policy formation, active in content, with a focus on the European Union, Eastern Europe, the SCO, the Middle East and Africa. In conclusion, the main challenges that China will face in 2016 are identified. The primary challenge is the strengthening of opposition to Xi’s anti-corruption campaign amongst the part of the Party and military elite, which have suffered from this campaign. In response, Xi Jinping will go for reinforcement of the party discipline and for establishment of strict control over intra- and, especially, non-systemic dissidents. Another challenge is the entry of China's economy into a new stage of development, characterized by increased uncertainty. The consequence of this will be Beijing’s greater need for new control mechanisms that the government is not quite ready for. One more challenge is the transition to a new active foreign policy toward the "Silk Road", in regional conflicts, particularly in the Middle East, and proactive participation in global governance. In that sphere, the main problem will be lack of preparedness among the Chinese foreign policy authorities (in terms of conceptual and practical politics) to work in the spirit of "activity" and promotion of constructive, understandable ideas acceptable to world leaders. The consequence of such "lack of preparedness" could be a slowdown in development and implementation of the Chinese leaders’ foreign policy initiatives. China is still not fully ready for the world leader role.
Keywords: world economy, China, foreign policy, Silk Road Economic Belt, “One Belt, One Road” concept
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