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.

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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.

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., 6 / 19 / 2019
E.g., 6 / 19 / 2019
Saturday, October 30, 2004

Fall 2004: Issue 12

Foreign Policy

by Robert L. Suettinger Saturday, October 30, 2004
article

Military Affairs

by James Mulvenon Saturday, October 30, 2004
article

Political Reform

by Joseph Fewsmith Saturday, October 30, 2004
article

Economic Policy

by Barry Naughton Saturday, October 30, 2004
article

Party Affairs

by Alice L. Miller Saturday, October 30, 2004
article

The Provinces

by Cheng Li Saturday, October 30, 2004
article
Friday, April 30, 2004

Spring 2004: Issue 10

Foreign Policy

by Robert L. Suettinger Friday, April 30, 2004
article

Military Affairs

by James Mulvenon Friday, April 30, 2004
article

Political Reform

by Joseph Fewsmith Friday, April 30, 2004
article

Economic Policy

by Barry Naughton Friday, April 30, 2004
article

Party Affairs

by Alice L. Miller Friday, April 30, 2004
article

The Provinces

by Cheng Li Friday, April 30, 2004
article

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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.

The Provinces

China’s Top Future Leaders to Watch: Biographical Sketches of Possible Members of the post-2012 Politburo (Part 2)

by Cheng Livia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, August 6, 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. To a great extent, these leaders’ political position and policy preferences are often shaped or constrained by their personal experience, leadership expertise, factional affiliation, and bureaucratic portfolio. This series will provide concise and primarily fact-based biographies for 25 to 30 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 aim is to present a complete set of biographical sketches of all members of this supreme leadership body by the time the 18th Party Congress has wrapped up in the fall of 2012.

Party Affairs

The Bo Xilai Affair in Central Leadership Politics

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, August 6, 2012

From a procedural perspective, the removal of Bo Xilai from Chongqing and from the party Politburo resembles the 2006 purge of Shanghai party boss Chen Liangyu and the 1995 takedown of Beijing City party chief Chen Xitong. Bo’s removal in that respect therefore does not indicate a departure from the “rules of the game” as played in the last two decades. From a political perspective, each of the three purges—of the two Chens and of Bo Xilai—removed an irritant to the top leadership at an important moment of transition. The Politburo leadership has, publicly at least, sustained its usual façade of unity throughout the Bo affair, and Bo’s removal likely strengthens rather than disrupts preparations for convocation of the 18th Party Congress this fall.

Political Reform

Bo Xilai and Reform: What Will Be the Impact of His Removal?

by Joseph Fewsmithvia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, August 6, 2012

The unexpected flight of Chongqing’s Public Security head to the U.S. consulate in Chengdu in February started an unexpected sequence of events that led to the removal of Bo Xilai, the princeling head of the Chongqing party committee, and the subsequent decision to investigate him. Depending on the outcome of that party investigation, Bo could then be subject to civil proceedings (as is almost always the case). These events have disrupted what appeared to be the smooth transition planned for the 18th Party Congress later this fall. There has been much commentary on these events, and different observers look at the significance and impact of the Bo Xilai case on Chinese politics. Looking at Bo’s unique place in the Chinese political system and at the actions taken and commentary issued by the government in Beijing, this article concludes that Beijing is taking steps to narrow the case against Bo as much as possible, presenting it as a case of violating party discipline and the law. Although this makes sense in the short run, there may be ramifications of the case that will reverberate for a long time.

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