SINGAPORE (Mar 5): The announcement in the Chinese media that President Xi Jinping would seek to extend the tenure of his leadership beyond the customary two terms has unsettled many people. The proposal to abolish a two-term limit for the presidential and vice-presidential roles means Xi can remain in power beyond 2023. State media supports this because it provides consistency for China’s economic reform process. Others are more cautious or concerned.

Is it time to reassess China risk? It is not a question with an immediate answer, but it is a question with long-term consequences for those doing business with and inside China.

Much of the commentary is on the negative side with fears that China will move to a more authoritarian government mode. People point darkly to the chaos of the Cultural Revolution as a consequence of one-man rule. There is little evidence, however, that Xi favours a wholesale rewriting of the economy and economic progress.

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