At this joint RUSI Under 35's Forum/Young China Watcher's Event, Carrie Gracie, China Editor, BBC News, will be discussing the 19th Party Congress, what this means for China and address reporting on China in the ‘Xi era’.
At the 19th Party Congress, President Xi Jinping both broke convention by failing to nominate a successor – therein ending a 25-year tradition, while simultaneously adhering to Party rules by retiring anti-graft chief Wang Qishan from the Politburo Standing Committee. President Xi had his name eponymously added to China’s constitution – becoming the only leader since Mao to his “thought” included, and appointed numerous allies to the Politburo and Politburo Standing Committee.
Xi’s report at the 19th Party Congress went way beyond the next 5, even 10 years; his vision went as far as 2050. To get to 2050, China achievements will happen in two parts - first becoming a top innovative nation by 2035, and then a nation with global influence by 2050. Xi also stated the “principal contradiction” facing China’s socialism has advanced. It used to be “the ever-growing material and cultural needs of the people and backward social production” but now it is between “unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life.”
During his ‘acceptance speech’ at the end of the Congress, Xi ushered in a new era – the ‘Xi era’ – the third era in the history of the People’s Republic of China after the Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping eras. What can we expect from the ‘Xi era’? What will the impact be on reporting in China during this era?
Carrie Gracie’s first China experience was as a teacher at Chongqing University and Yantai University between 1985 and 1986. She joined the BBC World Service in 1987 as a trainee producer and joined Current Affairs in 1989. She was the BBC World Service Beijing reporter in the early 1990s and China correspondent and Beijing bureau chief from 1997 until 1999. She then returned to the UK to focus on presenting. For several years she anchored the morning slot on the BBC News Channel and also hosted the weekly BBC World Service programme The Interview. During these years, she returned to China regularly on reporting assignments. Carrie has a BA in Chinese and speaks Mandarin. In April 2014, she took up a newly created post as BBC China Editor and has since covered many news stories in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. She has also made documentaries for TV and radio and won several prizes for broadcast journalism including a Peabody and an Emmy.
The Young China Watchers
YCW runs an open membership policy, keen to attract all China-engaged, knowledgeable and policy-interested individuals. Our purpose is to nurture a new community of people focused on and alert toChina’s growing importance in international affairs.