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Letter to China's new leader, Xi Jinping (+ video)

Dear Xi Jinping: Congratulations on your elevation to the top post in China. Many expect you to be the most powerful head of state in the world. But you face global citizens who are saying, 'enough is enough' when it comes to trade, human rights, and nationalism. Be forewarned.

Commentary: Harvard Kennedy School Professor Anthony Saich explores the future of US-Chinese relations.
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Dear General Secretary Xi:

Congratulations on your elevation to the top post in China. If economic and strategic trends continue, you will lead China to an unprecedented peak in power and influence in the world.

Indeed, if your tenure extends two terms, until 2023, your country is expected to produce a gross domestic product of $40 trillion, 60 percent larger than the United States. Your middle class is expected to swell to a billion people, more than the combined populations of the US, Japan, Canada, and the leading European economic powers. Your country will probably even dominate in technologies ranging from biotechnology to renewable energy to lasers. Many expect you will be the most powerful head of state in the world.

But you face citizens around the globe who are saying, “Enough is enough.” First among them are the citizens of China. They’ve had enough corruption, income inequality, land expropriation, environmental ruin, human rights violations, and third-world-quality education and health care.

Second are the citizens of Western countries. They’ve had enough unfair trade, intellectual property theft, cyber espionage, bullying of foreign businesses in China, threats against the sovereignty of neighbors, lost jobs, declining benefits, and more.

Some people say you are going to have your hands full with your own citizens’ demands. But dealing with people in Western democracies will also determine your success in office.

These citizens have tolerated years of free riding by China – in the form of pirating technology, expanding exports by holding your currency down, and building companies with subsidies and trade barriers that bankrupt their firms.

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