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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Spring 2017 Issue 53

Foreign Policy
US-China Relations
Foreign Policy

Chinese Views on the Trump Administration’s Asia Policy

by Michael D. Swainevia China Leadership Monitor
Thursday, May 25, 2017

Chinese commentary on the Trump administration’s foreign policy has avoided making hostile responses to what Beijing may regard as notable U.S. provocations. 

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

Cross-Strait Relations: Marking Time

by Alan D. Rombergvia China Leadership Monitor
Thursday, May 25, 2017

There have been no dramatic developments in cross-Strait relations of late. Instead, Beijing continues its steady pressure on the Taiwan authorities while courting private interests. 

Military Affairs
Military Affairs

“Safeguarding the Core and Following Commands”: Party-Army Relations Before the 19th Party Congress

by James Mulvenonvia China Leadership Monitor
Thursday, May 25, 2017

In the run-up to the 19th Party Congress, scheduled for the fall of 2017, an important phrase appeared in Chinese military propaganda, exhorting the rank and file to “safeguard the core and follow commands.”

Economic Policy
Economic Policy

The Regulatory Storm: A Surprising Turn in Financial Policy

by Barry Naughtonvia China Leadership Monitor
Thursday, May 25, 2017

A surprisingly strong and concerted regulatory effort is shaking up the Chinese financial sector. 

Political Reform and Governance
Political Reform and Governance

The National People’s Congress in 2017: Security, Ideology, and Experimentation

by Jessica Batkevia China Leadership Monitor
Thursday, May 25, 2017

A review of the work performed over the past few years by the National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee—the body that “turns the party’s propositions into the will of the state”—can provide a clear synopsis of the Chinese Communist Party’s governance priorities. 

Party Affairs
Party Affairs

How to Read Xi Jinping’s 19th Party Congress Political Report

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Thursday, May 25, 2017

Following longstanding procedures, General Secretary Xi Jinping will deliver a long political report at the Chinese Communist Party’s 19th National Congress next fall. 

E.g., 8 / 22 / 2017
E.g., 8 / 22 / 2017
Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer 2010: Issue 33

Foreign Policy

by Michael D. Swaine Monday, June 28, 2010
article

China-Taiwan-United States

by Alan D. Romberg Monday, June 28, 2010
article

Military Affairs

by James Mulvenon Monday, June 28, 2010
article

Political Reform

by Joseph Fewsmith Monday, June 28, 2010
article

Economic Policy

by Barry Naughton Monday, June 28, 2010
article

Party Affairs

by Alice L. Miller Monday, June 28, 2010
article

The Provinces

by Cheng Li Monday, June 28, 2010
article
Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Spring 2010: Issue 32

Foreign Policy

by Michael D. Swaine Tuesday, May 11, 2010
article

China-Taiwan-United States

by Alan D. Romberg Tuesday, May 11, 2010
article

Military Affairs

by James Mulvenon Tuesday, May 11, 2010
article

Political Reform

by Joseph Fewsmith Tuesday, May 11, 2010
article

Economic Policy

by Barry Naughton Tuesday, May 11, 2010
article

Party Affairs

by Alice L. Miller Tuesday, May 11, 2010
article

The Provinces

by Cheng Li Tuesday, May 11, 2010
article
Monday, February 15, 2010

Winter 2010: Issue 31

Foreign Policy

by Michael D. Swaine Monday, February 15, 2010
article

PRC-Tawain-United States

by Alan D. Romberg Monday, February 15, 2010
article

Military Affairs

by James Mulvenon Monday, February 15, 2010
article

Political Reform

by Joseph Fewsmith Monday, February 15, 2010
article

Economic Policy

by Barry Naughton Monday, February 15, 2010
article

Party Affairs

by Alice L. Miller Monday, February 15, 2010
article

The Provinces

by Cheng Li Monday, February 15, 2010
article
Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fall 2009: Issue 30

Special Topic: The Fourth Plenum (Military Affairs)

by James Mulvenon Thursday, November 19, 2009
article

Special Topic: The Fourth Plenum (Party Affairs)

by Alice L. Miller Thursday, November 19, 2009
article

Special Topic: The Fourth Plenum (Provinces)

by Cheng Li Thursday, November 19, 2009
article

Foreign Policy

by Michael D. Swaine Thursday, November 19, 2009
article

PRC-Tawain-United States

by Alan D. Romberg Thursday, November 19, 2009
article

Political Reform

by Joseph Fewsmith Thursday, November 19, 2009
article

Economic Policy

by Barry Naughton Thursday, November 19, 2009
article

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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.

Nuclear Weapons
China-Taiwan-United States

Sunshine Heats Up Taiwan Politics, Affects PRC Tactics

by Alan D. Rombergvia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, July 28, 2014

In Taiwan this spring, the “Sunflower” student-led occupation of the Legislative Yuan, continuing interparty stalemate over the cross-Strait trade in services agreement and Legislative Yuan supervision of cross-Strait negotiations, revision of the referendum law, and the fate of the 4th Nuclear Power Plant sparked bitter political conflict.  At the same time, both major parties have begun the process of choosing new leaders.  All of those developments are sure to have an impact not only on domestic politics but also on cross-Strait relations.  On the PRC side, Xi Jinping’s policy toward Taiwan continued to attract attention, with the unification-related messaging of late 2013 giving way to a more pragmatic approach. 

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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.