China Leadership Monitor

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Winter 2017 Issue 52

Foreign Policy
Foreign Policy

Chinese Views on South Korea’s Deployment of THAAD

by Michael D. Swainevia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Chinese leadership and the overwhelming majority of expert Chinese observers and commentators are strongly opposed to the U.S.-ROK decision to deploy the THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea.

China-Taiwan-United States
Map of Taiwan
China-Taiwan-United States

The Bull in the China Shop

by Alan D. Rombergvia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

As Tsai Ing-wen continued to struggle with implementation of her ambitious reform programs—losing public support in the process—Beijing maintained pressure to accept the “1992 Consensus” or some other expression of “one China.”

Military Affairs
Military Affairs

“Scraping Poison Off the Bone”: An Examination of the Campaign to “Eliminate the Baneful Influence of Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou”

by James Mulvenonvia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

In July 2016, Chinese state media began using a new formulation about “eliminating the baneful [pernicious] influence of Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou” from the military. 

Economic Policy
Economic Policy

Xi Jinping’s Economic Policy in the Run-up to the 19th Party Congress: The Gift from Donald Trump

by Barry Naughtonvia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

In the run-up to the 19th Party Congress in the fall of 2017, Xi Jinping has a strong interest in sustaining three narratives: the Chinese economy is growing stably, economic reform is moving forward, and a rising China is playing a more important role on the global scene.

Political Reform and Governance
Political Reform and Governance

PRC Religious Policy: Serving the Gods of the CCP

by Jessica Batkevia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Beijing’s update of national-level religious regulations is part and parcel of a larger governance effort.

Party Affairs
Party Affairs

What Would Deng Do?

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Xi Jinping’s ideological proclivities have been variously described as drawing from Mao Zedong, Confucius, and Deng Xiaoping.

E.g., 3 / 28 / 2017
E.g., 3 / 28 / 2017
Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Winter 2007: Issue 20

PRC-Tawain-United States

by Alan D. Romberg Wednesday, February 28, 2007
article

Military Affairs

by James Mulvenon Wednesday, February 28, 2007
article

Political Reform

by Joseph Fewsmith Wednesday, February 28, 2007
article

Economic Policy

by Barry Naughton Wednesday, February 28, 2007
article

Party Affairs

by Alice L. Miller Wednesday, February 28, 2007
article

The Provinces

by Cheng Li Wednesday, February 28, 2007
article
Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Fall 2006: Issue 19

PRC-Tawain-United States

by Alan D. Romberg Tuesday, October 24, 2006
article

Military Affairs

by James Mulvenon Tuesday, October 24, 2006
article

Political Reform

by Joseph Fewsmith Tuesday, October 24, 2006
article

Economic Policy

by Barry Naughton Tuesday, October 24, 2006
article

Party Affairs

by Alice L. Miller Tuesday, October 24, 2006
article

The Provinces

by Cheng Li Tuesday, October 24, 2006
article
Friday, July 7, 2006

Spring 2006: Issue 18

PRC-Tawain-United States

by Alan D. Romberg Friday, July 7, 2006
article

Military Affairs

by James Mulvenon Friday, July 7, 2006
article

Political Reform

by Joseph Fewsmith Friday, July 7, 2006
article

Economic Policy

by Barry Naughton Friday, July 7, 2006
article

Party Affairs

by Alice L. Miller Friday, July 7, 2006
article

The Provinces

by Cheng Li Friday, July 7, 2006
article

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China-Taiwan-United States

Following the 18th Party Congress: Moving Forward Step-by-Step

by Alan D. Rombergvia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, January 14, 2013

The 18th Party Congress laid out a “steady on course” approach to cross-Strait relations, continuing to emphasize economic, cultural, and educational exchanges in the near term while seeking to lay a foundation of political trust for future political and security dialogues, including a peace accord. In a Taipei conference with both Kuomintang and Democratic Progressive Party representatives in mid-December, People’s Republic of China officials reiterated this patient approach while also calling for step-by-step progress. DPP participants, however, challenged the sincerity of PRC assertions of patience, charging that Beijing was shifting the agenda toward political issues to step up the pace and narrow the options to one: unification.

Foreign Policy

The 18th Party Congress and Foreign Policy: The Dog that Did Not Bark?

by Michael D. Swainevia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, January 14, 2013

Foreign policy issues have never played a major role in party congresses, at least during the reform era, for understandable reasons. A party congress is mainly about domestic political power and domestic policies, and even then is primarily an exercise in tedious sloganeering, pumping up the party faithful, and presenting the new leadership lineup. Nonetheless, congresses can be important as indicators of future policy direction and power structure, including in the foreign policy arena. This essay examines the foreign policy aspects of both the congress work report delivered by then Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Hu Jintao and the official membership roster of the new CCP Central Committee, Politburo, and Politburo Standing Committee.

The Provinces

China’s Top Future Leaders to Watch: Biographical Sketches of Possible Members of the Post-2012 Politburo (Part 4)

by Cheng Livia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, October 29, 2012

The composition of the new Politburo, including generational attributes and individual idiosyncratic characteristics, group dynamics, and the factional balance of power, will have profound implications for China’s economic priorities, social stability, political trajectory, and foreign relations. This final entry in a four-part series provides concise profiles of possible members of the next Politburo, focusing on the following three aspects: personal and professional background, family and patron-client ties, and political prospects and policy preferences.

The Provinces

China’s Top Future Leaders to Watch: Biographical Sketches of Possible Members of the Post-2012 Politburo (Part 3)

by Cheng Livia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, October 1, 2012

The composition of the new Politburo, including generational attributes and individual idiosyncratic characteristics, group dynamics, and the factional balance of power, will have profound implications for China’s economic priorities, social stability, political trajectory, and foreign relations. This third entry in a four-part series provides concise profiles of possible members of the next Politburo, focusing on the following three aspects: personal and professional background, family and patron-client ties, and political prospects and policy preferences.

Party Affairs

A Pre-Congress Miscellany

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, October 1, 2012

Beijing has begun setting the stage for the 18th Party Congress, which is expected to see the largest turnover in the top leadership since the sweeping generational transition a decade ago. This article offers several observations on leadership politics and processes heading into the congress. Taken separately, the meaning of these observations is not clear. But taken together, they intimate a troubled and likely contention-ridden push to convene the party congress.

Political Reform

De Tocqueville in Beijing

by Joseph Fewsmithvia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, October 1, 2012

Even as public attention has been focused on the ouster of Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai and the trial of his wife, Gu Kailai, as well as the upcoming 18th Party Congress, there has been a quiet but interesting discussion going on in Beijing about Alexis de Tocqueville’s classic work, Ancien Regime and the French Revolution, first published in 1856. Although seemingly far from the concerns of the day, the interest in the work in fact captures widespread concern in intellectual circles about the Chinese polity and where it might go from here.

Economic Policy

The Political Consequences of Economic Challenges

by Barry Naughtonvia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, October 1, 2012

China faces a growth slowdown with broad policy implications that are intertwined with the pending leadership succession. Central leaders are resigned to a growth slowdown, but do not have a clear strategy to deal with it. This provides an opening to reformers who argue that only substantial new market-oriented reforms can address the problems. There is a strong sense that Wen Jiabao’s era as an economic policy-maker is over and that he has left many difficult problems in his wake. Resolving those problems would require both determination on the part of the new leaders—who are as yet an unknown factor—and a new structure of representation of economic decision-makers on the Politburo Standing Committee.

Military Affairs

Say Hello to the New Guys

by James Mulvenonvia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, October 1, 2012

In late July 2012, six officers, two from the People’s Armed Police and four from the People’s Liberation Army, were promoted to the rank of full general, the highest possible rank in the service. The order was conferred by the presumably outgoing Central Military Commission Chairman, Hu Jintao, but was announced by his likely successor, Xi Jinping. This article examines the backgrounds of these six individuals, assessing whether they might represent new trends under Xi’s leadership.

China-Taiwan-United States

Shaping the Future, Part II: Cross-Strait Relations

by Alan D. Rombergvia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, October 1, 2012

Beijing breathed a sigh of relief after Ma Ying-jeou’s reelection victory in January, and reaffirmed Hu Jintao’s December 31, 2008, vision for peaceful development of cross-Strait ties. While it might have preferred a more forward-leaning position from Taipei on the issue of political dialogue and a more unambiguous embrace of “one China,” it appeared to accept the results as “good enough” and to settle in for the long haul.

Foreign Policy

Chinese Views of the Syrian Conflict

by Michael D. Swainevia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, October 1, 2012

In contrast to its traditional stance regarding foreign intervention in the internal affairs of nation-states, Beijing has recently shown signs of accepting, or at least acquiescing in, internationally endorsed interventions in other countries, in some cases for reasons associated with the protection of human rights. This article takes a closer look at Chinese views toward the ongoing Syrian turmoil and the larger context created by the earlier Libyan experience in order to identify the elements of Beijing’s current stance on foreign intervention in human rights–related political conflict occurring within sovereign states, as well as possible differences in viewpoint and approach among Chinese observers.

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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.