LETTER TO SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST
Niall Ferguson is right to cast doubts on the west's fawning encomiums of Xi Jinping ("Western praise for Xi Jinping seemingly knows no bounds", October 31).
More telling are the views of China's Asia-Pacific neighbours towards President Xi and to China's rise.
A recent Pew poll (reveals that only 34% expect Xi to "do the right thing" regarding world affairs.
Nine in ten believe China's increased military spending is a "bad thing" and 47% believe that China's rise is a "major threat" to their country.
Despite Xi's authoritarian tendencies, the rise of social media means he has to take more notice of the Chinese people. So he vows to "develop consultative democracy ".
Let us hope that he will also take notice of the people in our region and develop "consultative democracy" with them as well.
LATER: Published in SCMP on 6 November 2017