China faces 'enormous problems' as it changes leaders

SAIS professor David Lampton discusses what transition will mean for China and the world

As Chinese President Hu Jintao passes off leadership to a successor, Xi Jinping, China faces a slight economic slowdown after a decade of explosive economic growth, a growing middle class with shifting expectations, and recent charges of political corruption. Margaret Warner of PBS NewsHour spoke with David Lampton, director of the China studies program at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, about the leadership change in China and what it will mean for the world.

Lampton said that China faces "enormous problems."

From Lampton's interview:

You don't want to be a Chinese leader. They have got a rapidly aging society. They have to rebalance their economy away from exports. They have to win the confidence and legitimacy of their people that is somewhat shaky. They have to reassure their neighbors now who are worried about their growing power, military and economic.

And if China is going to deal with this , they are going to have to effectively create a stronger leadership that inspires confidence. And the story of post-Deng has been weaker leaders, more fragmented society, more fragmented bureaucracy, and empowered groups of people. And so we have a weaker group dealing with a stronger and more divided society.

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