Beyond Succession—China's Internal Security Challenges

Dr. Chris Ogden is Lecturer in Asian Security at the School of International Relations, University of St Andrews, UK.
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  • March 2013

    China is undergoing a transitional period of rapid economic and social development. The way in which this period is managed will hold significant implications for the Chinese state concerning both its internal and external security. While fundamentally resting upon progressing from a developing to a developed economy, this transition highlights deep issues and tensions affecting China—ranging from rising societal inequalities to various separatism threats to mounting individualism. Regardless of internal succession struggles within the Communist Party of China (CCP), it is critical to focus upon this multitude of (mounting) social and economic issues—particularly outside of the political realm—that China's new leaders will have to face. Here, we highlight three themes central to this transition—a search for internal stability; China's multiple, interlocking internal issues; and the longevity, resilience and adaptability of the CCP—in order to assess their potential impact on China's domestic and, critically, external politics.