The leadership's policies came under attack from left and right, but they consolidated power at the Sixth Plenum, a meeting remarkable for its attention to social development. The leadership tried to deal with the twin problems of corruption and social inequality. Relations with Japan and North Korea underwent surprising evolution.
China's new development strategy seeks to combine populist authoritarianism in the political realm with a shift in economic policy that focuses more on the sustainability and quality of economic growth rather than its speed. Rising social tensions have fed into tightening party control over state and society.