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Growth will help war on poverty

By WANG MINGJIE | China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-25 08:00

Growth will help war on poverty

Nigel Inkster, special adviser to the International Institute for Strategic Studies [Photo/China Daily]

President Xi Jinping has the ability to deliver effective leadership, according to an expert with a top think tank based in London.

"His delivery style is confident, and he speaks effectively with conviction. You actually find yourself listening to what he has to say," said Nigel Inkster, special adviser to the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

He said Xi "comes across as an extrovert, a big confident outgoing kind of person, very much a leader in terms of his personal demeanor".

He conceded he has little insight into the day-to-day mechanics of how Xi works, but has seen him exercise effective strategic leadership. One such example was the 2015 agreement with the United States on combating industrial cyberespionage, a deal Inkster-a former director of operations and intelligence for Britain's Secret Intelligence Service-said to a large degree has been adhered to.

What he also found intriguing was Xi's recent conversation with Narendra Modi, the Indian prime minister, to resolve the standoff between China and India that was taking place in China's Donglang area.

Inkster said one of the most significant achievements in China over the past few years has been the advance in the application of modern information and communication technologies, to the point where the country is now a pioneer in those fields. He noted some of the latest developments, including the use of facial recognition technology and mobile payments.

He said he is positive about China and its people, saying: "If you look at the business environment in China today, it gives the impression of great dynamism, confidence and optimism. A considerable number of younger Chinese and urban dwellers feel good about their lives, confident about their futures, and have expectations of better things to come."

Speaking ahead of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, he said the immediate task for the congress was to reinforce Xi's leadership.

However, he predicted the meeting would probably not have a major impact on Sino-British relations. "I suspect the broad outlines of relations are pretty much set, and what happens at the congress is unlikely to significantly alter those."

Meanwhile, China faces a series of challenges such as how to maintain economic growth at a rate fast enough to continue lifting people out of poverty and how to deal with a rapidly aging population. "But my sense is that all of these can, and almost certainly will, be dealt with to some degree."

Inkster said he thinks China will continue to use its substantial economic leverage to increase its standing in the world, and try to develop and promote its soft power.

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