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Outside the Box: George Friedman: China’s president may be weaker than he appears

Most observers take Xi Jinping’s ascension from China’s president to dictator as a sign of China’s national strength. But I see things differently — to the chagrin of even some members of my staff.

Dictatorships are not imposed on healthy systems — especially in China. Historically, as China rises, it loses stability. When it loses stability, it installs a dictator. The dictator may take the form of an emperor or party chairman, but he is a dictator nonetheless. It is in this context that I have begun to form a tentative theory: that Xi Jinping’s strength is a facade.

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