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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Economic Policy

Claiming Profit for the State: SASAC and the Capital Management Budget

by Barry Naughtonvia China Leadership Monitor
Friday, July 7, 2006

One of the most important economic issues playing out in China today is the control of state enterprise profits. State firms have become very profitable over the last several years, so there is a lot of money on the table. At the same time, control over profit is a central component in a network of interlocking issues, including corporate governance reform, fiscal reform and even social security reform. The State Asset Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) has taken major steps in 2006 toward establishing a claim on these profits and advancing its own agenda for reform of the state sector.

Party Affairs

The Road to the 17th Party Congress

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Friday, July 7, 2006

This summer the Chinese leadership will begin active preparations for the 17th national congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), expected to convene in 2007. Party congresses are the most important public event in Chinese leadership politics, and their convocation involves long preparations that inevitably heat up the political atmosphere in Beijing more than a year ahead of time. This article projects the course of preparations ahead and suggests some of the issues that are likely to be debated on the way to the 17th Congress.

Party Affairs

More Already on Politburo Procedures under Hu Jintao

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, January 30, 2006

A recent chronicle of Deng Xiaoping's political life after 1975 discloses previously restricted information about scores of meetings of the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) top decision-making bodies, the Politburo and its Standing Committee. These data provide a more reliable baseline than has been previously available against which to assess the long-term evolution of the party Politburo in the post–Mao Zedong era and, together with continuing PRC media coverage of current sessions of the party Politburo, analyze its present-day procedures. This article complements and extends analysis, published in previous issues of the China Leadership Monitor, of Politburo operations since 2002 under the CCP's present top leader, General Secretary Hu Jintao.

The Provinces

Think National, Blame Local: Central-Provincial Dynamics in the Hu Era

by Cheng Livia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, January 30, 2006

The alarming statistics on public protests recently released by the Chinese authorities have led some analysts to conclude that the Chinese regime is sitting atop a volcano of mass social unrest. But these statistics also reaffirm the foresight of Hu Jintao, especially his recent policy initiatives that emphasize social justice over GDP growth. In this context, the escalation of mass protests could help to consolidate, rather than weaken, Hu's power in the Chinese leadership. Although Hu's populist policy initiatives seem timely and necessary, they may also lead to public demands for government accountability that undermine the stability of the country. In this circumstance, Hu's strategy is to localize the social unrests and blame local leaders, an approach particularly evident in the case of Guangdong, recently the site of major public protests. A detailed analysis of the current Chinese provincial leadership reveals both the validity and limitations of this strategy.

Economic Policy

Waves of Criticism: Debates over Bank Sales to Foreigners and Neo-Liberal Economic Policy

by Barry Naughtonvia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, January 30, 2006

Financial reform policies have moved ahead rapidly in the last year. At the same time, a mood of disillusionment within Chinese society has been seized upon by critics of reform. General criticisms of "neo-liberal" policies worldwide have fed into specific criticisms of the practice of selling shares in state-owned banks to foreign financial institutions. Vigorous debate has been joined, but thus far, the debate has had limited impact on economic policymaking, which is still dominated by technocrats. However, the official sponsorship of such "leftist" critiques has contributed to increased tension in Chinese leadership politics generally.

Military Affairs

"Ding, Dong, The Witch is Dead!"—Foreign Policy and Military Intelligence Assessments after the Retirement of General Xiong Guangkai

by James Mulvenonvia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, January 30, 2006

For more than a decade, General Xiong Guangkai used his position as the head of military intelligence to influence Chinese leadership assessments of foreign and security policy, especially Sino-U.S. relations. News reports suggest that General Xiong has finally retired, after staying in his position well past the mandatory retirement age, a longevity that most foreign observers attributed to his self-described and perhaps real indispensability. His replacement, General Zhang Qinsheng, is not a military intelligence officer by training, but has instead occupied a series of critical staff and command positions. This article analyzes General Zhang's known biographical data and presents his limited public comments for clues about his outlook and attitudes.

Foreign Policy

Thomas Christensen is on leave

by Thomas Christensenvia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, January 30, 2006

This issue of the China Leadership Monitor does not include an article on foreign policy because our regular contributor on this issue, Professor Thomas Christensen, has been selected as deputy assistant secretary for East Asia in the Department of State. Although we will miss his contributions to the Monitor while he is in the nation's service, we offer him our congratulations.

Political Reform

Promotion of Qiu He Raises Questions about Direction of Reform

by Joseph Fewsmithvia China Leadership Monitor
Sunday, January 1, 2006

For the last two years, the Chinese media have widely discussed the "Qiu He phenomenon," attempting to understand the significance of a local county party secretary's using autocratic methods to jump-start the economy of Jiangsu's poorest county. The party secretary, Qiu He, has been both praised and criticized. But now he has also been promoted to vice governor of the wealthy province of Jiangsu, and at 50 years of age he could rise farther in China's political system. Promotions to vice governor rarely raise eyebrows, but the significance of Qiu's promotion has been widely discussed. Known as an "official with personality," Qiu stands out among the ranks of China's generally staid bureaucracy, and his rise prompts speculation about what types of officials might be promoted under Hu Jintao and what this means for the building of institutions in China.

Party Affairs

Hu's in Charge?

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee's Fifth Plenum opened amid a swirl of rumors that a major shift in high level party appointments was in the works. Party General Secretary Hu Jintao had finally assumed the array of top leadership positions held by his predecessor Jiang Zemin, and was expected to begin promoting allies onto the party Politburo and dismantling Jiang's power base in Shanghai. Yet the plenum closed without making any changes in official appointments, inviting basic questions both about Hu Jintao's power and, more broadly, about the dynamics of leadership politics in China today.

Military Affairs

"Inspired with Enthusiasm": Themes from the October 1 National Day Editorial

by James Mulvenonvia China Leadership Monitor
Sunday, October 30, 2005

Each year on October 1, Liberation Army Daily publishes an editorial celebrating the anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Along with similar commentary published on Army Day on August 1 and the anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party on July 1, each year's National Day editorial offers a snapshot of the dominant political and military policy "lines." This article compares the text of this year's commentary with the three previous National Day messages, and assesses the implications for party-military relations and military modernization.

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