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.

E.g., 12 / 5 / 2019
E.g., 12 / 5 / 2019
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
Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Fall 2006: Issue 19

PRC-Tawain-United States

by Alan D. Romberg Tuesday, October 24, 2006
article

Military Affairs

by James Mulvenon Tuesday, October 24, 2006
article

Political Reform

by Joseph Fewsmith Tuesday, October 24, 2006
article

Economic Policy

by Barry Naughton Tuesday, October 24, 2006
article

Party Affairs

by Alice L. Miller Tuesday, October 24, 2006
article

The Provinces

by Cheng Li Tuesday, October 24, 2006
article
Friday, July 7, 2006

Spring 2006: Issue 18

PRC-Tawain-United States

by Alan D. Romberg Friday, July 7, 2006
article

Military Affairs

by James Mulvenon Friday, July 7, 2006
article

Political Reform

by Joseph Fewsmith Friday, July 7, 2006
article

Economic Policy

by Barry Naughton Friday, July 7, 2006
article

Party Affairs

by Alice L. Miller Friday, July 7, 2006
article

The Provinces

by Cheng Li Friday, July 7, 2006
article

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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.

Military Affairs

Military Themes from the 2013 National People’s Congress

by James Mulvenonvia China Leadership Monitor
Thursday, June 6, 2013

The first plenary session of the 12th National People’s Congress, convened in March 2013, was attended by a large delegation of Chinese military deputies who put forward legislative proposals, listened to government speeches, and met to discuss national military and security issues. This article highlights key military themes from the congress sessions, in particular the role of the PLA in Central Military Commission Chairman Xi Jinping’s vision of the “China dream” and Xi’s three-part “instructions” to the PLA for the coming year.

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