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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Political Reform

Rethinking the Role of the CCP: Explicating Jiang Zemin's Party Anniversary Speech

by Joseph Fewsmithvia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, April 30, 2002

After Jiang Zemin delivered his groundbreaking speech on the communist party's anniversary last summer, there was much speculation about the strength of his political position and controversy over the meaning of the speech itself. Close examination of authoritative commentary, however, suggests that the speech has received strong support within the party and represents far more than the general secretary's personal views. Moreover, articles by party theoreticians based at the Central Party School indicate that Jiang's speech was intended to convey a program of wide-ranging political reform, albeit not one of democratization. This program of political reform is intended to meet the domestic and international challenges facing the party and to make the exercise of power in China better institutionalized and more stable.

The Provinces

After Hu, Who?—China's Provincial Leaders Await Promotion

by Cheng Livia China Leadership Monitor
Wednesday, January 30, 2002

China's provincial leadership is both a training ground for national leadership and a battleground among various political forces. Provincial chiefs currently carry much more weight than ever before in the history of the PRC. This is largely because the criteria for national leadership have shifted from revolutionary credentials such as participation in the Long March to administrative skills such as coalition-building. In addition, provincial governments now have more autonomy in advancing their own regional interests. Nonetheless, nepotism and considerations of factional politics are still evident in the recruitment of provincial leaders. Emerging top-level national leaders—including Hu Jintao, Zeng Qinghong, and Wen Jiabao—have all drawn on the pool of provincial leaders in building their factions, hoping to occupy more seats on the upcoming Sixteenth Central Committee and the Politburo. At the same time, new institutional mechanisms have been adopted to curtail various forms of nepotism. The unfolding of these contradictory trends will not only determine who will rule China after 2002, but even more importantly, how this most populous country in the world will be governed.

Economic Policy

Zhu Rongji: The Twilight of a Brilliant Career

by Barry Naughtonvia China Leadership Monitor
Wednesday, January 30, 2002

Beijing is displaying signs of Zhu Rongji fatigue. Due both to his impending retirement, and to the particularities of his vision of the economic reform process, Zhu's economic policy prescriptions are not as vital or indispensable as before. However, Zhu's legacy of accomplishment is secure. More immediately, Zhu has been preparing the ground for his all-but-designated successor, Wen Jiabao. A smooth transfer of power to Wen will add to Zhu's already formidable reputation as one of the architects of post-Deng China.

Military Affairs

Civil-Military Relations and the EP-3 Crisis: A Content Analysis

by James Mulvenonvia China Leadership Monitor
Wednesday, January 30, 2002

The conduct of the Chinese government during the recent EP-3 crisis raised important questions about the state of civil-military relations in China. Observers at the time were divided as to whether the comments of senior military leaders and editorials in military newspapers were different in content than their civilian counterparts. They were also divided over whether these differences reflected only variations in propaganda or actual institutional divergence. In addition, most analysts seemed convinced that the military monopolized critical information flows to the leadership, especially data about the causes of the collision and the lack of mayday calls by the EP-3, thus tying the hands of Foreign Ministry negotiators and perhaps even unnecessarily drawing out the crisis. Using interviews, some secondary sources, and detailed content analysis of civilian and military media during the crisis, this essay explores these themes.

Military Affairs

Zhang Wannian: A Political Biography

by James Mulvenonvia China Leadership Monitor
Wednesday, January 30, 2002

The political biography of Zhang that follows is the first of a series of sketches of politically important Chinese military leaders.

Party Affairs

The Road to the Sixteenth Party Congress

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Wednesday, January 30, 2002

The scheduling of the Sixteenth Congress of the Chinese Communist Party by a recent Central Committee plenum inaugurates a prolonged process of preparations that will dominate leadership politics over the coming year and color Beijing's approach to policy in all areas. Expected to convene in the fall next year, the congress will lay the foundation for subsequent policy departures and put into place a new generation of top Party leaders. Judging by the themes of leadership statements and press commentary in recent months, the focus of the Congress is likely to be reform of the Communist Party itself so that it can better manage China's increasingly market-driven economy and the impact of China's upcoming entry into the WTO.

Political Reform

Is Political Reform Ahead?—Beijing Confronts Problems Facing Society—and the CCP

by Joseph Fewsmithvia China Leadership Monitor
Wednesday, January 30, 2002

On July 1, Jiang Zemin, general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), called for admitting private entrepreneurs into the party. Although this decision in some ways brought party policy into line with reality, it was an important announcement not only because it reversed a formal party decision made in the wake of the Tiananmen crackdown but also because it opened the door to a wide range of possible political changes. Jiang's announcement may be only the tip of the iceberg. Recent publications have suggested that, in the run-up to the Sixteenth Party Congress (scheduled for fall 2002), party leaders are thinking systematically about the changes it needs to make to cope with the very rapid socioeconomic changes in Chinese society. Although the clear goal is to keep the CCP in power, it is evident that party leaders at the highest levels understand that they can only stay in power by changing. Political change is not without danger. "Leftists" in the party have excoriated Jiang's announcement, and there is widespread resentment over inequalities that have opened up in recent years in Chinese society. If the party is widely seen as speaking only for the well to do—a perception that is already widespread—popular discontent is likely to continue to spread.

Foreign Policy

Tracking China's Security Relations: Causes for Optimism and Pessimism

by Thomas Christensenvia China Leadership Monitor
Wednesday, January 30, 2002

This essay offers an analytical framework and a set of assumptions for assessing China's security policies and reviews important trends in China's security relations. The analytical approach should help us know what to look for when observing key events ahead. These include: Taiwan's 2001 Legislative Yuan elections; economic developments in cross-Straits relations; arms acquisitions and military exercises on the mainland and in Taiwan; Chinese and American diplomatic overtures in Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia; and the 2002 Chinese Communist Party congress.

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