Unlike in democracies, where politicians vying for office first introduce themselves to their constituents, China's leaders take a rather different approach. Only after the Chinese Communist Party has chosen its top leader in secret does he begin the process of "introducing" himself to the people. The newly enthroned general secretary Xi Jinping has been busy firing corrupt officials, visiting factories and military leaders, boarding a battleship to dine with sailors. And in the process he has been defining his mission, which he calls "the great revival of the Chinese nation". To the world outside the goal of national revival looks more like an irredentist mission that challenges the resolve of its neighbours.