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François Hollande’s poll ratings are at an all-time low and the far right is rising. Can anyone lead the country out of its malaise?
With the official verdict being that Mao was “70 per cent good, 30 per cent bad”, his legacy is never far from the mind of today's politicians.
China’s aggressive claims to sovereignty in the South China Sea have angered its Asian neighbours and raised fears of a showdown with the US.
China's admirers like to compare its Communist leadership to a meritocratic mandarin caste whose governance skills outstrip anything on offer in the west. But with £2trn wiped off the mainland exchanges in July, the picture is more complicated.
In the two years since he took China's most important job, Xi Jinping has strengthened his grip on the state.