Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn Susan Shirk is a former U.S. government official and one of America's leading scholars of modern Chinese politics. She is a research professor in the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California, San Diego, where she chairs the 21st Century China Center. She first traveled to China in 1971, with the Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars. From 1997 to 2000, she served as a U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs. Her books include China: Fragile Superpower, The Political Logic of Economic Reform in China, and Changing Media, Changing China. What follows is a lightly edited Q&A. Q: You have written extensively about Xi Jinping’s turn to a “personalistic rule.” What do you mean by that term and how do you think that shift is impacting Chinese domestic politics? A: Xi has concentrated authority in his own hands. He has become the leader of most of the “Leading Small Groups,” which make decisionSubscribe or login to read the rest. Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.