On October 16th, the Communist Party of China will kick-off its 20th National Congress. The Party Congress is expected to be a watershed one, anointing President and General Secretary Xi Jinping to an unprecedented third term in office. The membership line-ups of the Politburo and Politburo Standing Committee merit watching just as carefully too, to understand the political and policy environment through 2027 and beyond. Many of its key members (Li Keqiang, Liu He, Yang Jiechi) are termed-out or expected to retire. On the other hand, questions abound regarding their successors, given that the 19th Party Congress in 2017 had failed to elevate a next-generation leadership cohort group. Three weeks later, the U.S. midterm elections will be held that will serve as an early barometer of public sentiment leading into the 2024 presidential election. Both, President Biden and ex-President Trump’s political appeal will effectively be on the ballot.
At a time when U.S.-China relations continue to tread water, what do these important domestic political events on either side of the Pacific presage for bilateral ties? How does President Xi’s elevation impact the timeline of a potential Taiwan Strait conflict? Who will fill Liu He’s shoes as the empowered interlocutor on U.S.-China economic matters? Will the White House and the Democrats take a harder line or a softer line on China if they fail to hold Congress? What is the Republican Party’s line of attack on China (and the White House) expected to be if they win back Congress or a share of power in Congress? Will China finally relax its Covid 19-related curbs significantly once the Party Congress is in the rear-view mirror? To listen to these and other answers to pressing U.S.-China questions, tune in to the event on September 20th.