Editor’s note: China officially installed Xi Jinping, already the Communist Party leader, as president for the next 10 years. In an interview with PBS’s Judy Woodruff, Kenneth Lieberthal discusses contentious issues of trade, defense, and cybersecurity for China and the U.S. Read an excerpt below.
Judy Woodruff: And let me start with you, Ken Lieberthal. What do we need to know about Xi Jinping? Tell us something about him.
Kenneth Lieberthal: The most important thing we need to know is that he’s going to govern China for the next decade.
And the next decade is going to be enormously important for U.S. interests, for China, for Asia and globally. He’s worked his way up through every level of the Chinese political system, so he’s a very experienced politician and administrator.
He’s come in on a program of saying he’s going to clean up corruption, he’s going to revitalize the Communist Party and keep it in power and use his capabilities to reform the Chinese economic system while maintaining and building military strength.
The French might have been presumptuous, or a bit too clever, in seeing Trump only as an opportunity. It comes with a cost. The cost being the division of Europe... [Trump's] clear favoritism [for nationalist-led countries like Poland, Hungary, and Italy can exacerbate divisions within Europe]... Macron wants to be a strong leader that Trump disagrees with but respects for being strong.