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.

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Military Affairs

Chinese Military Leadership After the 17th Congress: Hu’s Guys or Whose Guys?

by James Mulvenonvia China Leadership Monitor
Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The civilian political leadership changes at the 17th Party Congress in October 2007 have received close scrutiny from outside observers, but important and interesting personnel adjustments in the military have garnered less attention. This article examines recent Chinese military leadership changes in detail, focusing principally on the Central Military Commission but also tracking significant moves at the military region and service level.

Economic Policy

China’s Economic Leadership after the 17th Party Congress

by Barry Naughtonvia China Leadership Monitor
Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The 17th Party Congress in October kicked off the process of selecting China’s economic policymakers. The Party Congress was the key step in a top-down process of leadership determination that assigned politicians oversight of economics portfolios. However, not until the end of November did the assignment of one of the most important economics jobs become clear. That was when rising star Chen Deming was designated the new minister of commerce, moving over from the National Development and Reform Commission. Chen will work closely with State Council Secretary-General Ma Kai, under Premier Wen Jiabao and Executive Vice-Premier Li Keqiang. The political process has shaped the economic leadership in some surprising and unexpected ways, and some key posts are still unfilled.

The Provinces

China’s Two Li’s: Frontrunners in the Race to Succeed Hu Jintao

by Cheng Livia China Leadership Monitor
Friday, October 5, 2007

Several rising stars in the new generation of Chinese leaders will likely bound into the political limelight at the upcoming 17th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. Although Hu Jintao is almost certain to hold the top leadership post in the Party for a second term, the race to succeed him will kick into high gear in the next five years. This article focuses on two frontrunners in the race, 52-year-old Party secretary of Liaoning Province Li Keqiang and 57-year-old Party secretary of Jiangsu Province Li Yuanchao, known collectively as “China’s two Li’s.” This article presents their biographical backgrounds, career paths, patron-client ties with Hu, strengths and weaknesses as contenders for the post of top leader, and their likely policy priorities.

Party Affairs

Beijing Prepares to Convene the 17th Party Congress

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Friday, October 5, 2007

A meeting of the Chinese Communist Party Politburo at the end of August scheduled the convocation of the party Central Committee’s Seventh Plenum and proposed a date for the opening of the Party’s 17th National Congress later this fall. Preparations for Party congresses preoccupy the top Party leadership and inevitably heat up the political atmosphere in Beijing more than a year ahead of time. Judging by available indications, preparations for this congress have gone relatively smoothly. This article offers a number of inferences from the PRC media treatment of the upcoming congress about what themes the congress will address and about what changes in the leadership may emerge from the congress.

Political Reform

Democracy Is a Good Thing

by Joseph Fewsmithvia China Leadership Monitor
Friday, October 5, 2007

Over the past several months there has been a vigorous discussion about democracy in China. Some of this discussion has been undertaken by well-connected, policy-oriented intellectuals, while other parts of the discussion have been conducted by liberal intellectuals who appear to have little policy impact. The Chinese Communist Party leadership, including Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao, has, in general terms, endorsed continuing to implement various forms of “inner-party democracy.” Although such calls should be welcomed, they come at an odd time—just as the change of leading cadres at the local levels has come to a conclusion. The discussion on democracy may promote more experimentation at the local level, but the Party center has been firm on the importance of “democratic centralism” and “scientific socialism”—not democratic socialism.

PRC-Tawain-United States

Applying to the UN “in the name of ‘Taiwan’”

by Alan D. Rombergvia China Leadership Monitor
Friday, October 5, 2007

The issue that has dominated the trilateral U.S.-Taiwan-PRC agenda in recent months and that seems destined to do so for some time to come is the DPP referendum on joining the United Nations “in the name of ‘Taiwan.’” The issue of a “Second Republic” constitution, which was a matter of such great sensitivity in the first half of the year, has simply faded away with the passage of time and under the intense light of U.S. and Mainland attention. However, the UN referendum issue, already a matter of some controversy by early summer, came to occupy center stage not only in the election campaign, but also among all three actors in the triangular relationship.

Economic Policy

China Anxiously Faces a Future of Rising Prices

by Barry Naughtonvia China Leadership Monitor
Friday, October 5, 2007

Inflationary pressures have been building in China for the last year, and they erupted into the open in July. Policymakers have responded strongly, and the issue has taken center stage. After recounting current events, this article examines the economic background and implications of the recent changes and then looks at some of the political implications. The emergence of inflation heightens the economic and political dilemmas facing China’s leaders in the run-up to the 17th Party Congress.

Military Affairs

Chen Xiaogong: A Political Biography

by James Mulvenonvia China Leadership Monitor
Friday, October 5, 2007

After less than a year in the position, Deputy Chief of the General Staff for intelligence Zhang Qinsheng’s duties were assumed in June 2007 by new Assistant Chief of the General Staff Chen Xiaogong, a career intelligence officer in the General Staff’s Second Department. Chen is well known in American sinological circles, having served two tours at the PRC Embassy in Washington, and is well respected by interlocutors as a fluent America hand and strategic thinker. Yet Major General Chen’s 2001–2003 tour in the United States as defense attaché was also a career disappointment, as the hangover from the EP-3A crisis precluded contact with the Department of Defense for his entire tenure. This article outlines and analyzes Chen’s biography, assessing the implications of his career track and experiences for Sino-U.S. security relations.

Military Affairs

Make Talk Not War: Strategic U.S.-China Military-to-Military Exchanges in the First Half of 2007

by James Mulvenonvia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, July 16, 2007

Following key leadership transitions in the Pentagon and Pacific Command (PACOM), strategic military-to-military meetings have continued apace in 2007 with visits to China by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Pace and PACOM Commander Admiral Keating; reciprocal visits by PLA Navy Commander Admiral Wu Shengli to the United States; and an exchange between Deputy Chief of the General Staff Zhang Qinsheng and DoD leaders at the Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore, where China announced that it would finally agree to a military hotline. While the regular conduct of these exchanges is a net positive for strategic U.S.-China relations, the externals highlight persistent tension and misperceptions about intent and capabilities. Further, the lack of demonstrable progress in some spheres, such as the establishment of any “incidents at sea” protocol under the Military Maritime Cooperative Agreement framework or the scheduling of Second Artillery Commander Jing Zhiyuan’s reciprocal visit to the United States, requires analysis and explanation.

Party Affairs

Hu Jintao and the PLA Brass

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, July 16, 2007

The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) national congress that will meet in the fall of this year is likely to register only limited changes among China’s top military leadership. These changes will only slightly alter the representation of the military on the Party’s top decision-making body, the Politburo, and the make-up of the key military policy body, the Central Military Commission (CMC).

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