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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Winter 2018 Issue 55

Contributing Commentator
Contributing Commentator

The 19th Party Congress: Ringing in Xi Jinping’s New Age

by Joseph Fewsmithvia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The 19th Party Congress and the First Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee that immediately followed the congress endorsed sweeping changes in China’s leadership, including the makeup of the Politburo and its standing committee.

Foreign Policy
Foreign Policy

Chinese Views of Foreign Policy in the 19th Party Congress

by Michael D. Swainevia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Foreign policy priorities and initiatives addressed at the 19th Party Congress confirm the end of China’s “hide and bide” period and demonstrate its growing interest in becoming a more influential player on the world stage.

Military Affairs
Military Affairs

The Cult of Xi and the Rise of the CMC Chairman Responsibility System

by James Mulvenonvia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Analyst coverage of the recent 19th Party Congress has emphasized the “cult of Xi” and the lack of a designated successor among the new civilian leadership team, as well as the ideological and normative content of the Central Committee work report delivered by party chief Xi Jinping. 

Economic Policy
Economic Policy

Economic Policy in the Aftermath of the 19th Party Congress

by Barry Naughtonvia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Before the 19th Party Congress, economic policy was highly focused on ensuring a favorable environment for the congress.

Political Reform and Governance
Political Reform and Governance

Party All the Time: Governance and Society in the New Era

by Jessica Batkevia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The 19th Party Congress provided further testament to the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to suffuse itself into all aspects of society and government. 

Party Affairs
Party Affairs

The 19th Central Committee Politburo

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The 19th CCP Congress and the new Central Committee it elected followed longstanding norms in appointing a new party Politburo. 

E.g., 2 / 21 / 2018
E.g., 2 / 21 / 2018
Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Winter 2008: Issue 23

PRC-Tawain-United States

by Alan D. Romberg Wednesday, January 23, 2008
article

Military Affairs

by James Mulvenon Wednesday, January 23, 2008
article

Political Reform

by Joseph Fewsmith Wednesday, January 23, 2008
article

Economic Policy

by Barry Naughton Wednesday, January 23, 2008
article

Party Affairs

by Alice L. Miller Wednesday, January 23, 2008
article

The Provinces

by Cheng Li Wednesday, January 23, 2008
article
Thursday, October 4, 2007

Fall 2007: Issue 22

PRC-Tawain-United States

by Alan D. Romberg Friday, October 5, 2007
article

Military Affairs

by James Mulvenon Friday, October 5, 2007
article

Political Reform

by Joseph Fewsmith Friday, October 5, 2007
article

Economic Policy

by Barry Naughton Friday, October 5, 2007
article

Party Affairs

by Alice L. Miller Friday, October 5, 2007
article

The Provinces

by Cheng Li Friday, October 5, 2007
article
Monday, July 16, 2007

Summer 2007: Issue 21

PRC-Tawain-United States

by Alan D. Romberg Monday, July 16, 2007
article

Military Affairs

by James Mulvenon Monday, July 16, 2007
article

Political Reform

by Joseph Fewsmith Monday, July 16, 2007
article

Economic Policy

by Barry Naughton Monday, July 16, 2007
article

Party Affairs

by Alice L. Miller Monday, July 16, 2007
article

The Provinces

by Cheng Li Monday, July 16, 2007
article
Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Winter 2007: Issue 20

PRC-Tawain-United States

by Alan D. Romberg Wednesday, February 28, 2007
article

Military Affairs

by James Mulvenon Wednesday, February 28, 2007
article

Political Reform

by Joseph Fewsmith Wednesday, February 28, 2007
article

Economic Policy

by Barry Naughton Wednesday, February 28, 2007
article

Party Affairs

by Alice L. Miller Wednesday, February 28, 2007
article

The Provinces

by Cheng Li Wednesday, February 28, 2007
article

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The Provinces

The Rise of the Legal Profession in the Chinese Leadership

by Cheng Livia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, October 7, 2013

Crucial to any analysis of China’s political trajectory is an understanding of the kind of leadership that is governing the country. This is even more important now, given the emergence of new political elites with distinct educational and professional credentials who will be running the country for the next decade and beyond. Throughout PRC history, changes in the composition of the political elite have often reflected—and sometimes heralded—broad social, economic, political, and ideological changes in the country at large. This essay examines the rapid rise of lawyers and legal professionals in both Chinese higher courts and the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, and it links the trend of professionalization of the court judges and the emergence of legal professionals in the CCP leadership with paradoxical developments regarding the rule of law.

Party Affairs

The Road to the Third Plenum

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, October 7, 2013

Since the 18th Party Congress, the Xi leadership has launched two carefully orchestrated, interrelated campaigns to demonstrate its seriousness about eradicating corruption and to improve public support for the regime. The twin campaigns appear aimed at paving the way to economic and government reforms at the 18th Central Committee’s upcoming Third Plenum that Chinese media promise will be substantial.

Political Reform

Debating Constitutional Government

by Joseph Fewsmithvia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, October 7, 2013

Rather than pull public opinion together, Xi Jinping’s call for realizing the “China Dream” seems to have revealed the depth of cleavage among China’s intellectuals. The newspaper Southern Weekend set off a drama when it responded by writing a New Year’s editorial calling the China Dream the dream of constitutional government, only to have provincial propaganda authorities rewrite it beyond recognition before publication. Subsequently, Xi Jinping authorized a sharp attack on “Western values,” including constitutionalism. This internal talk, written into the now infamous “Document No. 9,” prompted several publications to run articles against constitutionalism, provoking liberal intellectuals to defend the idea. This deep divide suggests there is increasingly little middle ground left among China’s intellectuals, while the backing of different views by different officials reflects a politicization of seemingly intellectual debates. These debates are ultimately about the legitimacy of the government and thus reflect fragility in the political system.

Economic Policy

The Narrow Road to Reform

by Barry Naughtonvia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, October 7, 2013

The reform policy process this year will culminate in the Third Plenum, which has now been pushed back to November. While the process is on track, delays show the difficulty in crafting a reform design that must adapt to the privileged position of state-owned enterprises and other limitations on reform design. Turbulence in short-term financial markets in June indirectly illuminates some of these problems.

Military Affairs

“Comrade, Where’s My Military Car?”—Xi Jinping’s Throwback Mass-Line Campaign to Curb PLA Corruption

by James Mulvenonvia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, October 7, 2013

Since the 18th Party Congress in late 2012, CMC Chairman and CCP supremo Xi Jinping has sought to aggressively confront PLA corruption using classic Mao-era methods, including “mass-line educational campaigns” designed to “rectify work style” through criticism and self-criticism. These organizational techniques, combined with discipline inspections and control of the personnel promotion system, allow Xi to quickly place his stamp upon the PLA, though they will not likely root out the deep structural causes of military corruption in the system.

Foreign Policy

Chinese Views on Cybersecurity in Foreign Relations

by Michael D. Swainevia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, October 7, 2013

In recent months, the issue of cybersecurity has become a major source of both tension and potential cooperation for the U.S.-China relationship. With Western assessments pointing to China—not only to Chinese individuals, but also most likely the Chinese government (and especially military) sources—as the source of an increasing number of destructive cyberattacks on commercial enterprises and government institutions, Washington has greatly intensified its expression of concern to Beijing.

China-Taiwan-United States

Settling in for the Long Haul: Stability with Chinese Characteristics

by Alan D. Rombergvia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, October 7, 2013

The political turmoil created in Taiwan by the Kuomintang’s move to oust Legislative Yuan speaker Wang Jin-pyng in mid-September capped off several months of tumult over such issues as the abuse-related heatstroke death of a military recruit, the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, and the recently signed cross-Strait services trade agreement. 

The Provinces

A Biographical and Factional Analysis of the Post-2012 Politburo

by Cheng Livia China Leadership Monitor
Thursday, June 6, 2013

This essay assesses the new Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party—the 25 highest-ranking leaders in the party, government, and military in present-day China—using biographical data regarding age, gender, birthplace, educational and occupational credentials, bureaucratic portfolio and career patterns, and political affiliations and factional backgrounds. Norms of elite selection may be inferred from such data, which allows a broad-based quantitative and qualitative analysis of the changes in the top leadership. Findings include the ascendancy of leaders with experience as provincial party secretaries, the swift decline of technocrats, and the appearance of a new form of the factional balance of power. The essay concludes with a preview of the leading contenders for the next Politburo and its supreme Standing Committee.

Political Reform

Xi Jinping’s Fast Start

by Joseph Fewsmithvia China Leadership Monitor
Thursday, June 6, 2013

To paraphrase Hobbes’ characterization of life, one may say that the politics preceding the 18th Party Congress were long, nasty and brutish. The irony of this process is that in the end the political calculus worked out well for new party leader and president, Xi Jinping. As far as one can tell from the outside, he neither presides over a deeply divided Standing Committee nor faces an incumbent head of the Central Military Commission (CMC), as Hu Jintao was forced to do a decade ago. Moreover, as a princeling whose revolutionary heritage is unquestioned, Xi has approached his job with a confidence unseen in his two predecessors, especially early in their terms.

Economic Policy

Programs of Economic Reform Begin to Emerge

by Barry Naughtonvia China Leadership Monitor
Thursday, June 6, 2013

China’s leaders declared a reform renewal last year, but nothing of significance occurred until the National People’s Congress concluded. Although the congress confirmed the appointments of important reformist technocrats Zhou Xiaochuan and Lou Jiwei, and Liu He took over the office of the Economics and Finance Leadership Small Group of the Communist Party, power was also carefully balanced with representatives of the state sector. Since the NPC meeting, however, there have been clear signs of a renewal of reform policy-making in both the Communist Party and the State Council. The progress of these initiatives should be carefully monitored.

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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.