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Monday, September 11, 2017

Fall 2017 Issue 54

Foreign Policy
Foreign Policy

Chinese Attitudes Toward The U.S. Withdrawal From The Paris Climate Accords

by Michael D. Swainevia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, September 11, 2017

China’s leaders strongly oppose President Donald J. Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accords.

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

Cross-Strait Relations: Skepticism Abounds

by Alan D. Rombergvia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, September 11, 2017

Whether the issue is internal splits within Taiwan’s two major political parties or Beijing’s view of the parties and their leaders, the predominating mood today is skepticism. 

Military Affairs
Military Affairs

Oh Fang, Where Art Thou? Xi Jinping and the PLA’s 90th Anniversary

by James Mulvenonvia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, September 11, 2017

As the Chinese Communist Party heads into the 19th Party Congress in October, Xi Jinping’s speech commemorating the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army was notable both for what he said and what he did not say.

Economic Policy
Economic Policy

The General Secretary’s Extended Reach: Xi Jinping Combines Economics and Politics

by Barry Naughtonvia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, September 11, 2017

Xi Jinping has seized the initiative in economic policy, making himself the dominant actor in financial regulation and environmental policy, among other areas. 

Political Reform and Governance
Political Reform and Governance

A Cadre by Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet? Domestic Policy Trajectory after the 19th Party Congress

by Jessica Batkevia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, September 11, 2017

In advance of the leadership reshuffle this fall, with five of seven Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC) members expected to vacate their seats, observers’ focus is trained on the top candidates for advancement and the intense competition between them.

Party Affairs
Party Affairs

Xi Jinping And The Party’s “Guiding Ideology”

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, September 11, 2017

As the 19th Party Congress approaches, there is widespread speculation that the party constitution will be revised to incorporate concepts associated with party General Secretary Xi Jinping as part of the party’s authoritative “guiding ideology.”

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The Provinces

The "Shanghai Gang": Force for Stability or Cause for Conflict?

by Cheng Livia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Of all the issues enmeshed in China's on-going political succession, one of the most intriguing concerns the prospects of the so-called "Shanghai gang" associated with party leader Jiang Zemin. The future of the "Shanghai gang" will determine whether Jiang will continue to play a behind-the-scenes role as China's paramount leader after retiring as party general secretary at the Sixteenth Party Congress in the fall of 2002. More importantly, contention over the future of the "Shanghai gang" constitutes a critical test of whether China can manage a smooth political succession, resulting in a more collective and power-sharing top leadership.

Economic Policy

Selling Down the State Share: Contested Policy, New Rules

by Barry Naughtonvia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Since the middle of 2001, the issue of reducing the government ownership stake in corporations listed on the Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges has been high profile and highly contentious. This issue touches on many fundamental problems relating to the future of China's economic reforms, including the public ownership system, the development of capital markets, and the long-term social security of China's aging population. The twists and turns in Beijing's approach to this issue in recent months illuminates evolving decision-making processes and sheds light on the continuing role of Premier Zhu Rongji.

Party Affairs

The Succession of Hu Jintao

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, April 30, 2002

The anticipated succession of Hu Jintao to be China's top-ranking leader at the upcoming Sixteenth Party Congress will cap the outcome of a ten-year effort to groom him for the position. If Hu does in fact replace Jiang Zemin, the transition in leaders will mark an important new step in the effort, launched by Deng Xiaoping two decades ago, to institutionalize orderly processes in PRC politics. As the Party's top leader, Hu will likely play to the party's center to maintain his own power, while cautiously but steadily extending the liberalizing policies of Jiang Zemin in much the same manner that Jiang did those of his predecessor Deng Xiaoping.

Foreign Policy

Terrorism, Taiwan Elections, and Tattered Treaties: PRC Security Politics From September 11 Through Year's End

by Thomas Christensenvia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, April 30, 2002

This essay addresses three important issues in Beijing's security policy since early September. First, and most obvious, is the September 11 attack on America and the newfound spirit of U.S.-China cooperation that arose from that atrocious event. Second are trends in the mainland's relations with Taiwan in the weeks surrounding the December 2001 Legislative Yuan elections, in which President Chen Shui-bian's Party, the DPP, did surprisingly well despite the economic recession on Taiwan. Third are arms control issues surrounding President Bush's announcement of Washington's impending unilateral withdrawal from the ABM Treaty.

Military Affairs

Chi Haotian: A Political Biography

by James Mulvenonvia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Chi Haotian has a unique profile among the current military leadership, combining combat experience and military professional skills with a long career in political work. As a result, he embodies the PLA's seemingly contradictory goals of politicization and professionalization.

Military Affairs

PLA Divestiture and Civil-Military Relations: Implications for the Sixteenth Party Congress Leadership

by James Mulvenonvia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, April 30, 2002

More than three years have passed since the December 1998 announcement that the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) had formally divested itself from commercial operations. The intervening period has witnessed the expected "mop-up" campaigns on the part of the central leadership and significant resistance and foot-dragging on the part of local military officials, repeating the pattern of rectifications in the system since the late 1980s. Given Hu Jintao's role as official head of the central leading group overseeing divestiture and his widely expected ascension to the central leadership core at the Sixteenth Party Congress, the time seems ripe for a re-examination of the civil-military features of divestiture and their implications for the future party-army relationship.

Foreign Policy

Tracking China's Security Relations: Causes for Optimism and Pessimism

by Thomas Christensenvia China Leadership Monitor
Wednesday, January 30, 2002

This essay offers an analytical framework and a set of assumptions for assessing China's security policies and reviews important trends in China's security relations. The analytical approach should help us know what to look for when observing key events ahead. These include: Taiwan's 2001 Legislative Yuan elections; economic developments in cross-Straits relations; arms acquisitions and military exercises on the mainland and in Taiwan; Chinese and American diplomatic overtures in Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia; and the 2002 Chinese Communist Party congress.

The Provinces

After Hu, Who?—China's Provincial Leaders Await Promotion

by Cheng Livia China Leadership Monitor
Wednesday, January 30, 2002

China's provincial leadership is both a training ground for national leadership and a battleground among various political forces. Provincial chiefs currently carry much more weight than ever before in the history of the PRC. This is largely because the criteria for national leadership have shifted from revolutionary credentials such as participation in the Long March to administrative skills such as coalition-building. In addition, provincial governments now have more autonomy in advancing their own regional interests. Nonetheless, nepotism and considerations of factional politics are still evident in the recruitment of provincial leaders. Emerging top-level national leaders—including Hu Jintao, Zeng Qinghong, and Wen Jiabao—have all drawn on the pool of provincial leaders in building their factions, hoping to occupy more seats on the upcoming Sixteenth Central Committee and the Politburo. At the same time, new institutional mechanisms have been adopted to curtail various forms of nepotism. The unfolding of these contradictory trends will not only determine who will rule China after 2002, but even more importantly, how this most populous country in the world will be governed.

Economic Policy

Zhu Rongji: The Twilight of a Brilliant Career

by Barry Naughtonvia China Leadership Monitor
Wednesday, January 30, 2002

Beijing is displaying signs of Zhu Rongji fatigue. Due both to his impending retirement, and to the particularities of his vision of the economic reform process, Zhu's economic policy prescriptions are not as vital or indispensable as before. However, Zhu's legacy of accomplishment is secure. More immediately, Zhu has been preparing the ground for his all-but-designated successor, Wen Jiabao. A smooth transfer of power to Wen will add to Zhu's already formidable reputation as one of the architects of post-Deng China.

Military Affairs

Civil-Military Relations and the EP-3 Crisis: A Content Analysis

by James Mulvenonvia China Leadership Monitor
Wednesday, January 30, 2002

The conduct of the Chinese government during the recent EP-3 crisis raised important questions about the state of civil-military relations in China. Observers at the time were divided as to whether the comments of senior military leaders and editorials in military newspapers were different in content than their civilian counterparts. They were also divided over whether these differences reflected only variations in propaganda or actual institutional divergence. In addition, most analysts seemed convinced that the military monopolized critical information flows to the leadership, especially data about the causes of the collision and the lack of mayday calls by the EP-3, thus tying the hands of Foreign Ministry negotiators and perhaps even unnecessarily drawing out the crisis. Using interviews, some secondary sources, and detailed content analysis of civilian and military media during the crisis, this essay explores these themes.

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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.

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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.