Despite the ongoing official propaganda blitz aimed to persuade the Chinese public that Xi Jinping's lofty goal is within reach, success is by no means guaranteed. Among other things, Xi will need to radically restructure China's state-capitalist economy, reduce the country's soaring socioeconomic inequality, cope with deteriorating demographics, and overcome the dreaded middle-income trap (a feat no dictatorship has managed in history except in oil-rich petrostates).
His most daunting challenge, however, is political, not economic. The concentration of power in the hands of one leader, as demonstrated by China's tragic experience under Mao Zedong, could be a recipe for disastrous policy mistakes. If Xi wants to succeed, he will have to learn the painful lessons from Mao's one-man rule.