However, what has stirred even greater debate is the paper’s singular focus on China’s leader and his behavior, who since his rise to power in 2013 has made the country more assertive externally and more repressive internally, most recently stepping up restrictions on private businesses and strengthening the role of state enterprises.
“The single most important challenge facing the United States in the twenty-first century is the rise of an increasingly authoritarian China under President and General Secretary Xi Jinping,” the anonymous author writes. “U.S. policy strategy must remain laser-focused on Xi, his inner circle, and the Chinese political context in which they rule. Changing their decision-making will require understanding, operating within, and changing their political and strategic paradigm. All US policy aimed at altering China’s behavior should revolve around this fact, or it is likely to prove ineffectual.”