Video: Xi Jinping is 'Utterly Comfortable' as a Strong Leader, Says Kevin Rudd

In "The Xi Factor," BBC China Editor Carrie Gracie retraces Xi's extraordinary journey to absolute power. (28 min., 48 sec.)

President Xi Jinping of China visited the United Kingdom this week for a state visit in which he spoke of a “bright future” for the China-U.K. relationship and rolled out some $62 billion worth of investments in the country, including a major stake in a power plant. Ahead of the visit, the BBC documentary series Panorama explored Xi’s rise to power and his leadership style as head of the Communist Party in a program that aired on Monday.

Kevin Rudd, President of the Asia Society Policy Institute, appeared in the documentary with other China experts to discuss Xi Jinping.

Rudd observes that Xi Jinping is a “strong leader” who has “consolidated political power around himself.”

“He is utterly comfortable with the exercise of power from Day One,” Rudd says.

In a segment on Xi’s “China Dream,” Rudd also notes, “Xi Jinping has no particular interest in transforming China into a democracy. Let’s be very clear about that.” Watch clip below.

On the anti-corruption campaign championed by Xi, Rudd predicts that it is likely to continue since corruption persists to a greater extent than Xi would like.

“Corruption had reached industrial scales. Now I think it’s probably running at wholesale scales. He’d rather reduce it to retail scales,” Rudd says.

About the Author

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Joshua Rosenfield is Director of Content Strategy with the Asia Society Policy Institute. He is based in New York.