China Leadership Monitor

China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fall 2014: Issue 45

Foreign Policy
Foreign Policy

Xi Jinping’s Trip to Latin America

by Michael D. Swainevia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Xi Jinping’s 10-day trip to Latin America in July 2014 constitutes an important milestone in the development of China-Latin America relations, marking the first major visit to this increasingly important region for a top Chinese leader since the extensive trip taken by Hu Jintao in 2004.  

China-Taiwan-United States
China-Taiwan-United States

Cross-Strait Relations: Portrayals of Consistency: Calm on the Surface, Paddling Like Hell Underneath

by Alan D. Rombergvia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

While in reality adjusting to an evolving situation both on Taiwan and in cross-Strait relations over the past few months, all parties have sought to portray their approaches as consistent and undisturbed by “some situations” that could have thrown things off course.

Military Affairs
Beijing, China
Military Affairs

Lawyers, Guns and Money: The Coming Show Trial of General Xu Caihou

by James Mulvenonvia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

On 30 June 2014, the Chinese Communist Party expelled former Politburo member and Central Military Commission vice-chair Xu Caihou for corruption following a three-month investigation. 

Economic Policy
Economic Policy

It’s All in the Execution: Struggling with the Reform Agenda

by Barry Naughtonvia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

China’s authoritative leadership small groups have met and struggled to define priorities within China’s broad reform agenda.  

Party Affairs
Great Wall of China
Party Affairs

What They Did on Their Summer Vacation

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

As some members of the Xi Jinping leadership retreated to the seaside summer resort at Beidaihe, several events and trends converged in anticipation of a Central Committee plenum later this fall.  

The Provinces
The Provinces

Xi Jinping’s Inner Circle—Part 3: Political Protégés from the Provinces

by Cheng Livia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Throughout the reform area, top Chinese leaders have usually risen to their positions after gaining substantial experience as provincial-level leaders. 

E.g., 11 / 27 / 2014
E.g., 11 / 27 / 2014
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fall 2014: Issue 45

Foreign Policy

by Michael D. Swaine Tuesday, October 21, 2014
article

China-Taiwan-United States

by Alan D. Romberg Tuesday, October 21, 2014
article

Military Affairs

by James Mulvenon Tuesday, October 21, 2014
article

Economic Policy

by Barry Naughton Tuesday, October 21, 2014
article

Party Affairs

by Alice L. Miller Tuesday, October 21, 2014
article

The Provinces

by Cheng Li Tuesday, October 21, 2014
article
Friday, March 14, 2014

Spring 2014: Issue 43

Foreign Policy

by Michael D. Swaine Friday, March 14, 2014
article

China-Taiwan-United States

by Alan D. Romberg Friday, March 14, 2014
article

Military Affairs

by James Mulvenon Friday, March 14, 2014
article

Economic Policy

by Barry Naughton Friday, March 14, 2014
article

Political Reform

by Joseph Fewsmith Friday, March 14, 2014
article

Party Affairs

by Alice L. Miller Thursday, March 13, 2014
article

The Provinces

by Cheng Li Friday, March 14, 2014
article
Monday, October 7, 2013

Fall 2013: Issue 42

Foreign Policy

by Michael D. Swaine Monday, October 7, 2013
article

China-Taiwan-United States

by Alan D. Romberg Monday, October 7, 2013
article

Military Affairs

by James Mulvenon Monday, October 7, 2013
article

Economic Policy

by Barry Naughton Monday, October 7, 2013
article

Political Reform

by Joseph Fewsmith Monday, October 7, 2013
article

Party Affairs

by Alice L. Miller Monday, October 7, 2013
article

The Provinces

by Cheng Li Monday, October 7, 2013
article

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The Provinces

Xi Jinping’s Inner Circle—Part 3: Political Protégés from the Provinces

by Cheng Livia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Throughout the reform area, top Chinese leaders have usually risen to their positions after gaining substantial experience as provincial-level leaders. 

Great Wall of China
Party Affairs

What They Did on Their Summer Vacation

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

As some members of the Xi Jinping leadership retreated to the seaside summer resort at Beidaihe, several events and trends converged in anticipation of a Central Committee plenum later this fall.  

Economic Policy

It’s All in the Execution: Struggling with the Reform Agenda

by Barry Naughtonvia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

China’s authoritative leadership small groups have met and struggled to define priorities within China’s broad reform agenda.  

Beijing, China
Military Affairs

Lawyers, Guns and Money: The Coming Show Trial of General Xu Caihou

by James Mulvenonvia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

On 30 June 2014, the Chinese Communist Party expelled former Politburo member and Central Military Commission vice-chair Xu Caihou for corruption following a three-month investigation. 

China-Taiwan-United States

Cross-Strait Relations: Portrayals of Consistency: Calm on the Surface, Paddling Like Hell Underneath

by Alan D. Rombergvia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

While in reality adjusting to an evolving situation both on Taiwan and in cross-Strait relations over the past few months, all parties have sought to portray their approaches as consistent and undisturbed by “some situations” that could have thrown things off course.

Foreign Policy

Xi Jinping’s Trip to Latin America

by Michael D. Swainevia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Xi Jinping’s 10-day trip to Latin America in July 2014 constitutes an important milestone in the development of China-Latin America relations, marking the first major visit to this increasingly important region for a top Chinese leader since the extensive trip taken by Hu Jintao in 2004.  

The Provinces

Xi Jinping’s Inner Circle (Part 2: Friends from Xi’s Formative Years)

by Cheng Livia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, July 28, 2014

The dominance of Jiang Zemin’s political allies in the current Politburo Standing Committee has enabled Xi Jinping, who is a protégé of Jiang, to pursue an ambitious reform agenda during his first term. The effectiveness of Xi’s policies and the political legacy of his leadership, however, will depend significantly on the political positioning of Xi’s own protégés, both now and during his second term.  This second article in a series examines Xi’s longtime friends—the political confidants Xi met during his formative years and with whom he has remained close over the past several decades.

Party Affairs

More Already on the Central Committee’s Leading Small Groups

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, July 28, 2014

The Xi Jinping leadership has substantially revised the array of top-level leading small groups that prevailed under the Hu Jintao leadership.  In doing so the Xi leadership has unveiled aspects of the groups’ role in the policymaking and policy implementation, their leadership, and their varieties in the broader political order.  Although much about these informal groups remains obscure, the steps toward transparency shed new light on the leadership’s policy processes.

Wuhan, China
Economic Policy

‘Deepening Reform’: The Organization and the Emerging Strategy

by Barry Naughtonvia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, July 28, 2014

The Chinese leadership has set up an elaborate top-level apparatus to advance the reforms announced at last year’s Third Plenum.  This apparatus extends down to local governments and strongly incentivizes local governments to push forward with local reforms as well.  However, these reforms are still not well defined, and specific guidance from the top level has lagged behind the creation of “reform leading groups.”  The resulting pattern is one of broad movement but relatively slow delivery of actual reform measures.  As proposals percolate up from below and “top-level designs” are further fleshed out, we can anticipate an additional protracted stage of bargaining, conflict, and slow consensus-building.  Important reforms will emerge over the next few years, but there are also risks that irreconcilable conflicts may emerge or that botched reforms may incite a backlash.

Military Affairs

Groupthink? PLA Leading Small Groups and the Prospect for Real Reform and Change in the Chinese Military

by James Mulvenonvia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, July 28, 2014

As a result of the 18th Party Congress and its subsequent plenums, especially the Third Plenum in the fall of 2013, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army has embarked on a broad set of institutional reforms, tackling training, political work, command and control, and corruption among others. These reform efforts fall under the purview of newly established “leading groups,” led by senior officials in the relevant offices. This article examines the personnel and institutional makeup of these new groups, outlines their declared and undeclared missions, and assesses the probability of their success.

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The China Leadership Monitor seeks to inform the American foreign policy community about current trends in China's leadership politics and in its foreign and domestic policies. The Monitor proceeds on the premise that as China's importance in international affairs grows, American policy-makers and the broader policy-interested public increasingly need analysis of politics among China's leadership that is accurate, comprehensive, systematic, current, and relevant to major areas of interest to the United States.

China Leadership Monitor analysis rests heavily on traditional China-watching methods of interpreting information in China's state-controlled media. Use of these methods was once universal among specialists in contemporary Chinese affairs. Although the use of these methods has declined as opportunities to study China using other approaches have opened up in recent decades, their value in following politics among China's top leadership has not. Monitor analysis also brings to bear some of the new avenues of information and insight that have opened up since the normalization of U.S.-China relations and China's policy "opening to the outside world" in the late 1970s.

The China Leadership Monitor website is updated with new analyses quarterly.

The China Leadership Monitor is sponsored by the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University. Its general editor is Hoover Institution research fellow Alice Miller.