China 2017: searching for internal and international consent

Congiu, Francesca;Rossi, Christian


The article argues that the Chinese party-state’s most pressing question in 2017 continued to be its quest for legitimacy. In the period under review the party-state’s main strategic answer to the legitimacy crisis was its effort to strengthen Chinese nationalism and build an ideology based on Chinese exceptionalism. This was accompanied by concrete political economic measures directed at radically transforming the Chinese economic development model from an export-driven one to an innovation-driven one in an attempt to rebuild the waning social consensus. In order to proceed with this complex transition, China needed not only to deepen its already profound integration with the global economic and political system but also to regulate it according to its national interests. The Belt and Road Initiative, launched in 2013, was effectively meant to serve this purpose. At the same time, it was promoted world-wide as an opportunity for the improvement of the social, economic and political conditions of all countries involved, in particular developing countries. In a specular way, China projected itself as a political and economic responsible stakeholder, while, at the same time, trying to demonstrate that its ability to behave as a responsible state in the international arena was due to its adherence to its own system of peculiarly Chinese social and political values.
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Congiu, Francesca; Rossi, Christian
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