Xi's China is ambitious and on the way to becoming the new superpower

National flags and lanterns on a Chinese street

National flags and lanterns on a Chinese street

  |  Reuters/Thomas Peter

The Chinese leader will arrive in Lisbon on November 4, straight from the G20 summit, to discuss the 'One Belt, One Road' initiative. "Portugal is important," says President Xi Jinping.

Only a few kilometers separate Huawei's sophisticated laboratory in Beijing from the Qing Dynasty Summer Palace, but there is no better contrast between what Xi Jinping wants China to be -- a modern superpower -- and what the country became in the 19th century -- a decadent empire symbolized by the marble ship that absorbed the money which was supposed to modernize the Imperial Navy.

The establishment of the republic in 1912 under Sun Yat-sen was a necessary change, but the turning point, according to Chinese leaders, was the triumph of Mao Zedong's revolution in 1949 -- at least that's what Wang Xiaohui, deputy minister of the Communist Party's Communication Department, argued at a meeting in which he discussed 'TheGovernanceof China', the two-volume book containing Xi Jinping's political thought.

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