Mr. Richard McGregor speaking about the current dynamics of China’s Political System.

Mr. Richard McGregor, Senior Fellow for East Asia at the Lowy Institute, held a briefing on “Xi Jinping’s Third Term and China’s Foreign Policy” under the Mabini Dialogue Series on 31 January 2023 at the Carlos P. Garcia Conference Room, DFA.  He discussed significant developments in Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) leadership dynamics and their implications for the Asia-Pacific region. Mr. McGregor emphasized how the CCP’s Party Congress in October 2022 marked an important transition in China’s party politics. In particular, the party congress introduced Xi Jinping’s reforms such as removal of factions and retirement age caps, to ensure party members do not accumulate too much individual power and stay too long. Notably, Xi loyalists were retained as members of the Communist Party’s Politburo.

On the economic side, Mr. McGregor underscored how China’s international trade has consistently increased over the years with many experts claiming that in the coming years, China would be able to match the size of the US economy. Citing past occasions, he assessed how China uses trade to gain leverage over other countries.

Mr. Edwin Estrada, Head of CIRSS, presenting the Certificate of Appreciation to Mr. Richard McGregor.

Mr. McGregor emphasized that countries such as Australia and the Philippines are entering a seemingly dangerous period given the political changes that are happening in China. With the existing geopolitical issues of China with several countries in the Asia-Pacific region it will remain challenging for Beijing to manage its relations with these countries. On the other hand, the demand for the US to play a role as a balancer in the Asia Pacific is greater than ever.

Participants in the dialogue were officers from the DFA, Foreign Service Institute and the Australian Embassy. 

This event was held in partnership with the DFA’s Office of Asian and Pacific Affairs and the Embassy of Australia.