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October 17, 2017

The 19th Congress of the Communist Party kicks off in Beijing this week with the focus mainly on elite politics and personnel decisions in the top leadership. But the gathering of some 2300 delegates is also an opportunity to take stock of five years of Xi Jinping rule. Internationally, China plays a much more active and assertive role on the international stage.  “Xi Jinping has benefitted tremendously from the world leadership vacuum left by US President Donald Trump”, says Willy Lam of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. But, he warns, China’s power projection won’t go very far unless Beijing addresses its “soft power deficit” and starts to respect international rules and laws.