Assessing the Political Accomplishments of
China’s “Third Generation” of Leaders
This essay addresses questions related to how to evaluate China’s “3rd Generation” of leaders, followed by making reference to various standards so as to carry out an evaluation. The author argues that the political accomplishments of China’s 3rd Generation of leaders outweigh their failures. While Jiang et al seem to be midgets compared to Mao and Deng, compared to contemporary leaders of other states, China’s 3rd Generation of leadership looks quite competent and successful. They did not move China in fundamentally new directions, or decisively resolve any fundamental conundrum. But they appear to have increasingly locked China into modernization, reform, and global integration. The 3rd Generation should be seen as the true transitional generation of leadership. It is for the 4th Generation to try to define what real post-revolutionary leadership means for China.
Keywords: generational transition, social carrying capacity, localism,