China this week celebrated 70 years of the rule of the communist party. The Chinese Communist Party reached a moment the U.S.S.R. did not: 70 years in power — one more than the Soviet Union lasted.
China is richer and stronger than ever before. Now the world’s second-largest economy and could overtake the United States for top spot as soon as next year. Its gross domestic product per capita has risen from about $200 at the republic’s founding in 1949 to more than $10,000 per head now. Also, the party claims it has lifted 750 million people out of poverty.
What’s not working?
In more recent times, China’s economy appears to be slowing down from the economic drag of the trade war with the United States. It is also fending off condemnation of the government’s mass detentions of Muslims in Xinjiang; battling an epidemic of African swine fever that has driven up prices for that Chinese staple, pork; and trying to contain months of protests in Hong Kong that have surged into an open defiance of Beijing’s rule.
Bottom line: At the mark of the anniversary, the party is doing its best to make sure the 1.4 billion people of China feel proud and remain loyal. However, it’s uncertain if what it’s doing is enough.
Dig Deeper: Read China and the World in The World New Era: A 49-page white paper detailing the achievements of the communist party.