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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., 4 / 29 / 2017
E.g., 4 / 29 / 2017
Friday, May 8, 2009

Spring 2009: Issue 28

PRC-Tawain-United States

by Alan D. Romberg Friday, May 8, 2009
article

Military Affairs

by James Mulvenon Friday, May 8, 2009
article

Political Reform

by Joseph Fewsmith Friday, May 8, 2009
article

Economic Policy

by Barry Naughton Friday, May 8, 2009
article

Party Affairs

by Alice L. Miller Friday, May 8, 2009
article

The Provinces

by Cheng Li Friday, May 8, 2009
article
Friday, January 9, 2009

Winter 2009: Issue 27

Special Topic: The Third Plenum's Rural Reforms

by Joseph Fewsmith Friday, January 9, 2009
article
by Cheng Li Friday, January 9, 2009
article

PRC-Tawain-United States

by Alan D. Romberg Friday, January 9, 2009
article

Military Affairs

by James Mulvenon Friday, January 9, 2009
article

Economic Policy

by Barry Naughton Friday, January 9, 2009
article

Party Affairs

by Alice L. Miller Friday, January 9, 2009
article
Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Fall 2008: Issue 26

PRC-Tawain-United States

by Alan D. Romberg Tuesday, September 2, 2008
article

Military Affairs

by James Mulvenon Tuesday, September 2, 2008
article

Political Reform

by Joseph Fewsmith Tuesday, September 2, 2008
article

Economic Policy

by Barry Naughton Tuesday, September 2, 2008
article

Party Affairs

by Alice L. Miller Tuesday, September 2, 2008
article

The Provinces

by Cheng Li Tuesday, September 2, 2008
article
Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Summer 2008: Issue 25

PRC-Tawain-United States

by Alan D. Romberg Tuesday, June 17, 2008
article

Military Affairs

by James Mulvenon Tuesday, June 17, 2008
article

Political Reform

by Joseph Fewsmith Tuesday, June 17, 2008
article

Economic Policy

by Barry Naughton Tuesday, June 17, 2008
article

Party Affairs

by Alice L. Miller Tuesday, June 17, 2008
article

The Provinces

by Cheng Li Tuesday, June 17, 2008
article

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Foreign Policy

Chinese Views and Commentary on the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone

by Michael D. Swainevia China Leadership Monitor
Friday, March 14, 2014

China’s establishment of the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone has incited strong criticisms and increased regional tensions. Both authoritative and non-authoritative sources argue consistently and often emphatically that the zone is intended to improve safety and stability and is not directed at any particular country or target. Yet the vague language used to describe the zone, as well as the extensive and often hostile rhetoric toward Japan, suggests that such assertions are incorrect and disingenuous at best. While China has every right to set up an ADIZ, its failure to reassure other nations or clearly define the enforcement and intended impact of the zone has undermined any purported stabilizing intentions and damaged China’s larger strategic interests.

Party Affairs

How Strong Is Xi Jinping?

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Thursday, March 13, 2014

Assessments of the political strength of Xi Jinping have varied widely over the year since he became China’s new top leader. This article addresses the question of Xi’s power in light of the results of the 18th Central Committee’s Third Plenum in November 2014 and of other recent trends.

The Provinces

The Rise of the Legal Profession in the Chinese Leadership

by Cheng Livia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, October 7, 2013

Crucial to any analysis of China’s political trajectory is an understanding of the kind of leadership that is governing the country. This is even more important now, given the emergence of new political elites with distinct educational and professional credentials who will be running the country for the next decade and beyond. Throughout PRC history, changes in the composition of the political elite have often reflected—and sometimes heralded—broad social, economic, political, and ideological changes in the country at large. This essay examines the rapid rise of lawyers and legal professionals in both Chinese higher courts and the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, and it links the trend of professionalization of the court judges and the emergence of legal professionals in the CCP leadership with paradoxical developments regarding the rule of law.

Party Affairs

The Road to the Third Plenum

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, October 7, 2013

Since the 18th Party Congress, the Xi leadership has launched two carefully orchestrated, interrelated campaigns to demonstrate its seriousness about eradicating corruption and to improve public support for the regime. The twin campaigns appear aimed at paving the way to economic and government reforms at the 18th Central Committee’s upcoming Third Plenum that Chinese media promise will be substantial.

Political Reform

Debating Constitutional Government

by Joseph Fewsmithvia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, October 7, 2013

Rather than pull public opinion together, Xi Jinping’s call for realizing the “China Dream” seems to have revealed the depth of cleavage among China’s intellectuals. The newspaper Southern Weekend set off a drama when it responded by writing a New Year’s editorial calling the China Dream the dream of constitutional government, only to have provincial propaganda authorities rewrite it beyond recognition before publication. Subsequently, Xi Jinping authorized a sharp attack on “Western values,” including constitutionalism. This internal talk, written into the now infamous “Document No. 9,” prompted several publications to run articles against constitutionalism, provoking liberal intellectuals to defend the idea. This deep divide suggests there is increasingly little middle ground left among China’s intellectuals, while the backing of different views by different officials reflects a politicization of seemingly intellectual debates. These debates are ultimately about the legitimacy of the government and thus reflect fragility in the political system.

Economic Policy

The Narrow Road to Reform

by Barry Naughtonvia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, October 7, 2013

The reform policy process this year will culminate in the Third Plenum, which has now been pushed back to November. While the process is on track, delays show the difficulty in crafting a reform design that must adapt to the privileged position of state-owned enterprises and other limitations on reform design. Turbulence in short-term financial markets in June indirectly illuminates some of these problems.

Military Affairs

“Comrade, Where’s My Military Car?”—Xi Jinping’s Throwback Mass-Line Campaign to Curb PLA Corruption

by James Mulvenonvia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, October 7, 2013

Since the 18th Party Congress in late 2012, CMC Chairman and CCP supremo Xi Jinping has sought to aggressively confront PLA corruption using classic Mao-era methods, including “mass-line educational campaigns” designed to “rectify work style” through criticism and self-criticism. These organizational techniques, combined with discipline inspections and control of the personnel promotion system, allow Xi to quickly place his stamp upon the PLA, though they will not likely root out the deep structural causes of military corruption in the system.

Foreign Policy

Chinese Views on Cybersecurity in Foreign Relations

by Michael D. Swainevia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, October 7, 2013

In recent months, the issue of cybersecurity has become a major source of both tension and potential cooperation for the U.S.-China relationship. With Western assessments pointing to China—not only to Chinese individuals, but also most likely the Chinese government (and especially military) sources—as the source of an increasing number of destructive cyberattacks on commercial enterprises and government institutions, Washington has greatly intensified its expression of concern to Beijing.

China-Taiwan-United States

Settling in for the Long Haul: Stability with Chinese Characteristics

by Alan D. Rombergvia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, October 7, 2013

The political turmoil created in Taiwan by the Kuomintang’s move to oust Legislative Yuan speaker Wang Jin-pyng in mid-September capped off several months of tumult over such issues as the abuse-related heatstroke death of a military recruit, the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, and the recently signed cross-Strait services trade agreement. 

The Provinces

A Biographical and Factional Analysis of the Post-2012 Politburo

by Cheng Livia China Leadership Monitor
Thursday, June 6, 2013

This essay assesses the new Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party—the 25 highest-ranking leaders in the party, government, and military in present-day China—using biographical data regarding age, gender, birthplace, educational and occupational credentials, bureaucratic portfolio and career patterns, and political affiliations and factional backgrounds. Norms of elite selection may be inferred from such data, which allows a broad-based quantitative and qualitative analysis of the changes in the top leadership. Findings include the ascendancy of leaders with experience as provincial party secretaries, the swift decline of technocrats, and the appearance of a new form of the factional balance of power. The essay concludes with a preview of the leading contenders for the next Politburo and its supreme Standing Committee.

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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.