It was a monumental year for Chinese President Xi Jinping, who cemented his grip on power. And managed for now at least, to fend off major trade frictions with the United States and President Donald Trump. I'm Tony Monroe, Reuters Greater China bureau chief based in Beijing. This year saw the capital roll out the red carpet for the five yearly communist party congress, the most significant event on the Chinese political calendar.
All eyes were on President Xi Jinping. As expected, Xi consolidated his power by not identifying a successor. He also used a marathon, three and half hour speech to lay out a vision of a more prosperous confident China with the communist party and Xi Jinping firmly in control. He also sought to redefine China's economic path from pure growth to improved quality of life for the Chinese people.
China was nervous heading into the Moro Largo summit earlier in the year. But President Xi and President Trump emerge from that first encounter calling themselves friends and they have maintained cordial relations ever since. The question is, how long will that bromance last with growing pressure in Washington for tougher trade action against Beijing?
Globally, we can expect to see a more assertive China through diplomacy and its Belt and Road infrastructure initiative and also militarily. In general, we can expect to see China feeling increasingly in itself and of its place in the world.