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Absolute power a double-edged sword

The risk of the 'bad emperor' syndrome still lurks, but Xi has the clout to reform China for good. Occupy Central in Hong Kong is his litmus test. By Mark Beeson

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ALL THAT POWER IN ONE MAN: Barack Obama may routinely be dubbed "the most powerful man in the world", but he faces many more checks and balances on his executive powers than does Xi Jinping (above), who is China's president, head of state and general secretary of the pivotally-important Communist Party of China. He also controls the military.

XI Jinping is China's most powerful leader since Deng Xiaoping. The centralisation of power that has occurred during Xi's still-relatively-recent ascendancy is remarkable. Not only is he the president and head of state, he is also general secretary of the pivotally-important Communist Party of

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