China’s challenge


This year’s session of China’s legislature ended recently with the affirmation of Xi Jinping as the country’s new president. The policy priorities of Chinese leaders emerged during the session.

A key priority is tackling the growing income gap between China’s wealthy elite and its poor. The country’s economy grew by an estimated 7.8 percent last year. But while the rich prosper, the poor aren’t benefiting as much.

China’s legislature has 31 billionaires (the U.S. Congress has none). Chinese expressions of betrayal are growing louder, noting the Communist Party credo of raising poor people’s standard of living.

Chinese leaders know that the promise of a higher standard of living lies at the core of their claim to political legitimacy. The issue is too big to ignore.