China Leadership Monitor

China Leadership Monitor

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EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 10, 2018 THE CHINA LEADERSHIP MONITOR WEBSITE CAN BE FOUND AT WWW.PRCLEADER.ORG.

This page serves as an archive for China Leadership Monitor hosted at the Hoover Institution prior to November 10, 2018.

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.

Subscribe here to receive a free copy in your email inbox every quarter.

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.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Fall 2018 Issue 57

Foreign Policy
Foreign Policy

Chinese Views on the Singapore Summit Between Donald J. Trump and Kim Jong-un

by Michael D. Swainevia China Leadership Monitor
Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Chinese observers generally view the summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as a positive step towards denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.

Military Affairs
Military Affairs

“Like Donkeys Slaughtered After They Are Too Old to Work a Grindstone”: PLA Veterans Protests and Party-Military Relations Under Xi Jinping

by James Mulvenonvia China Leadership Monitor
Wednesday, August 29, 2018

People’s Liberation Army (PLA) veterans are a revered and honored class in China, and the political leadership is very sensitive to perceptions of their treatment and their potential for anti-regime collective action.

Economic Policy
Economic Policy

Economic Policy under Trade War Conditions: Can China Move Beyond Tit for Tat?

by Barry Naughtonvia China Leadership Monitor
Wednesday, August 29, 2018

It has proven extremely difficult for China to deal effectively with Donald Trump’s economic agenda.  

Party Affairs
Party Affairs

Valedictory: Analyzing The Chinese Leadership In An Era Of Sex, Money, And Power

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Wednesday, August 29, 2018

This article, my last as Monitor general editor and contributor, offers perspectives on the methods of analyzing Chinese leadership politics today.

E.g., 8 / 17 / 2019
E.g., 8 / 17 / 2019
Saturday, April 30, 2005

Spring 2005: Issue 14

Foreign Policy

by Thomas Christensen Saturday, April 30, 2005
article

Military Affairs

by James Mulvenon Saturday, April 30, 2005
article

Political Reform

by Joseph Fewsmith Saturday, April 30, 2005
article

Economic Policy

by Barry Naughton Saturday, April 30, 2005
article

Party Affairs

by Alice L. Miller Saturday, April 30, 2005
article

The Provinces

by Cheng Li Saturday, April 30, 2005
article

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China-Taiwan-United States

Striving for New Equilibria

by Alan D. Rombergvia China Leadership Monitor
Thursday, June 6, 2013

As Beijing established a new state leadership at the 12th National People’s Congress and its companion meeting, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in March 2013, PRC officials continued to stress policy consistency toward Taiwan along lines laid out at the 18th Party Congress in November 2012. They expressed growing confidence that, as cross-Strait relations had already entered a “period of consolidation and deepening” and as the PRC’s growing national power earned it greater international influence, they had the ability to take more initiative in managing cross-Strait development and to cope with foreign “interference” in cross-Strait relations in a calm manner. That said, as one PRC legal scholar pointed out, the central issue regarding Taiwan is “the problem of the Republic of China,” that is both a political issue and a legal issue and at present without solution. The newly appointed head of the Taiwan Affairs Office, Zhang Zhijun, underscored the point when he stated, “as viewed from any perspective, there is no possibility the Mainland will accept the ‘Republic of China.’”

Foreign Policy

Chinese Views Regarding the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands Dispute

by Michael D. Swainevia China Leadership Monitor
Thursday, June 6, 2013

China’s behavior and rhetoric toward Japan regarding a range of controversial events in the East China Sea—from resource claims to naval transits and island territories—constitute a major component of an arguably escalating pattern of assertiveness between Beijing and several of its maritime neighbors. Among these altercations, Beijing’s increasingly acrimonious confrontation with Tokyo over five small islands northeast of Taiwan (called the Diaoyu Islands by China and the Senkaku Islands by Japan) is arguably the most dangerous.

Party Affairs

The Work System of the Xi Jinping Leadership

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Thursday, June 6, 2013

Appointments to PRC government posts at the 12th National People’s Congress in March 2013 completed the generational leadership transition that began at last fall’s 18th Party Congress. Analysis of the division of policy responsibilities among the new leadership provides insight into the structure and processes of policy-making under the new party general secretary, Xi Jinping.

Party Affairs

The New Party Politburo Leadership

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, January 14, 2013

The processes of generational turnover of China’s leadership at the Chinese Communist Party’s 18th National Congress extended patterns of formal politics that trace their roots to Deng Xiaoping’s political reforms of the 1980s, that advanced in the Jiang Zemin era in the 1990s, and that matured under outgoing General Secretary Hu Jintao in the 2000s. As such, the transition in the party leadership at the 18th Congress marked another step forward in the institutionalization of Chinese leadership politics.

Political Reform

The 18th Party Congress: Testing the Limits of Institutionalization

by Joseph Fewsmithvia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, January 14, 2013

The recent 18th Party Congress, convened only after a year of extremely contentious politics, surprised by generating a leadership group that appeared lopsided in favor of supporters of former general secretary Jiang Zemin (江泽民), thereby raising questions about “politics by elders” (老人政治) and the limits of acceptable intervention. Ironically the apparent bias in favor of Jiang’s network may give new general secretary Xi Jinping (习近平) a relatively free hand in the next few years. Nevertheless, by generating the oldest Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC) in years, the congress set up a situation in which five of the seven members of the PBSC will have to retire in only five years and many contentious issues will have to be readdressed relatively soon. Sorting out succession politics issues appears to be getting more difficult over time, but such a judgment will have to wait at least another five years.

Economic Policy

Signaling Change: New Leaders begin the Search for Economic Reform

by Barry Naughtonvia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, January 14, 2013

Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang are now the two top leaders in China. Both have moved quickly to break with the Hu-Wen administration and signal their support for dramatic new economic reforms. The structure of the new Politburo Standing Committee appears to support their aspirations. Neither Xi nor Li has yet committed to specific reform measures, and the obstacles to reform are formidable. However, both Xi and Li have committed to a process that will lead to the creation of a reform program by late 2013.

Military Affairs

The New Central Military Commission

by James Mulvenonvia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, January 14, 2013

The advent of the 18th Party Congress in early November 2012 marked a large-scale turnover of senior military personnel in the People’s Liberation Army, including eight out of the ten uniformed members of the leading Central Military Commission. Moreover, the Party’s new general-secretary Xi Jinping also replaced Hu Jintao as CMC chairman, defying expectations that the latter would stay on for an additional two years. This article examines the reasons for Xi’s “early” promotion and profiles the new members, exploring their backgrounds and possible clues to their preferences and outlooks.

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.

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