BEIJING — President Xi Jinping has an ambitious goal for China: to achieve “national rejuvenation” as a strong and prosperous nation by 2049, which would be the 100th anniversary of Communist Party rule. One problem: Donald Trump wants to make the United States great again too.
The emerging clash between a rising power and the world’s dominant one is front and center in a new set of challenges that the Chinese Communist Party faces as it celebrates 70 years in power on Tuesday.
The party is all but sure to rule longer than its Soviet Union counterpart, which governed for 74 years until its collapse in 1991 under the weight of economic stagnation. Conversely, China’s Communist Party engineered a remarkable policy shift that has lifted millions out of poverty and transformed the country into a global economic force, all while cracking down on dissent.
But this formula, which served the party well through years of double-digit growth, is in need of reinvention as the economy moderates, the population ages and Xi’s ambitions, both economic and military, collide with America’s interests. In retrospect, as challenging as they may have seemed at the time, the easy years are over.