China’s Leadership Transition at the 18th Party Congress



“Many Chinese feel that they have not participated in the economic benefits of an economy that has been growing very rapidly,” says Michael Evans, a vice chairman of the Goldman Sachs Group and head of growth markets for the Wall Street investment bank. Nowadays, many Chinese even believe that they are “entitled to a broader participation in all aspects of the economy, but also in greater representation.”

Facing these changing expectations from China’s citizenry, Evans says, is among the prime challenges to the incoming batch of leaders about to ascend to the Standing Committee of the Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party—the party, in power since 1949, that wishes to hold power into the future.

Further challenging the new CCP leaders is the need to put forward a practical reform plan to smooth a planned structural shift in China’s economy—away from state-owned enterprises focused on manufacturing and toward support of small- and medium-sized businesses and small private corporations engaged in selling goods and services to China’s new consumer class.

Where U.S.-China relations are concerned, Evans says the leaders of the largest and second-largest economies in the world have more to be gained through cooperation than through economic combat.