In recent years, China has increasingly confronted new challenges in economic policy, including rising labor costs, low household consumption, rapid urbanization and inefficient domestic investment. While it is now widely acknowledged in Beijing that major structural adjustments are needed to address these issues, implementing serious reforms pose major challenges for the newly installed leadership.
On April 16, the John L. Thornton China Center at Brookings and China’s Caixin Media Group hosted a conference to examine the daunting challenges confronting China’s new leaders. The morning panels featured a discussion of the financial sector as well as the relationship between the domestic agenda for financial reform and China’s evolving strategy for outbound investment. The afternoon panels took a close look at the political obstacles to implementing major economic reform in areas such as tax policy, the household registration system and land transfers, as well as explore the impact of environmental and natural resource constraints on China’s economic growth.
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With the downward trajectory in [U.S.-China] relations, the incoming ambassador ideally will need to have a visible connection to the president and his senior advisers, familiarity with the range of issues that comprise the relationship, and a future in American politics. The more the ambassador is seen as likely to wield influence in the future on issues affecting China, the higher the cost and risk for Beijing to mistreat him/her.