Fresh off his meth high and shooting spree (note: not really), Nicholas Kristof is really, really optimistic about China. Considering the type of China stories we usually encounter, let’s call this a breath of fresh air.
Writing in the New York Times:
Here is my prediction about China: The new paramount leader, Xi Jinping, will spearhead a resurgence of economic reform, and probably some political easing as well. Mao’s body will be hauled out of Tiananmen Square on his watch, and Liu Xiaobo, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning writer, will be released from prison.
These won’t happen immediately — Xi won’t even be named president until March — and I may be wrong entirely. But my hunch on this return to China, my old home, is that change is coming.
For those who haven’t been following the story of Xi’s rise, Kristof briefly profiles the man and lays out his reformer credentials.
Another good sign: I hear that Wang Yang, a reformist who has been the party chief in Guangdong Province and is perhaps the single most capable leader in China today, will be named a vice premier in March.
Readers of this blog should know how much we like Xi Jinping around these parts. There’s no reason to feel anything but optimism, guarded or otherwise — at least until we’re given a reason not to.
Looking for a Jump-Start in China (NY Times)