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Analysis and Commentary

Goldilocks and the Three [Russian] Bears

by Alvin Rabushka, Michael S. Bernstamvia
Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Goldilocks has entered the Russian bears' house. High oil prices will harm growth. Low oil prices will harm growth. Only the right oil prices will foster growth.

Waiting for Sunrise

by Ying Mavia Policy Review
Sunday, December 1, 2002

Ying Ma on China Dawn: the Story of a Technology and Business Revolution by David Sheff

Analysis and Commentary

A Tale of Two Countries

by Alvin Rabushka, Michael S. Bernstamvia
Monday, November 18, 2002

China grows at 8% a year, while the IMF tells Russia, which cannot even recover from the Great Contraction of the 1990s, to reduce inflation by a few percentage points.

Political Reform

The 16th Party Congress: A Preview

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

The 16th Party Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will convene November 8, 2002. It and the First Plenary Session of the 16th Central Committee that will immediately follow the congress will overhaul China's top leadership, including the Central Committee, the Politburo, the Politburo Standing Committee, the secretariat, and the CCP's Central Military Commission. The congress will also revise the CCP's party charter—to what extent and in what way will be watched closely—and issue a political report, which will review the party's achievements and amend its ideology. Although much anticipated, this party congress is unlikely to provide a sharp turning point in party policy. The influence of Jiang Zemin and/or his close supporters will persist. The political transition many are hoping for is likely to be drawn out, perhaps extending to the 17th Party Congress in 2007.

Down in Flames

via Hoover Digest
Wednesday, October 30, 2002

How Japanese naval air power went down to defeat. A study of the Second World War by Hoover fellow Mark R. Peattie.

The Provinces

The Mishu Phenomenon: Patron-Client Ties and Coalition-Building Tactics

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

China's ongoing political succession has been filled with paradoxes. Jockeying for power among various factions has been fervent and protracted, but the power struggle has not led to a systemic crisis as it did during the reigns of Mao and Deng. While nepotism and favoritism in elite recruitment have become prevalent, educational credentials and technical expertise are also essential. Regional representation has gained importance in the selection of Central Committee members, but leaders who come from coastal regions will likely dominate the new Politburo. Regulations such as term limits and an age requirement for retirement have been implemented at various levels of the Chinese leadership, but these rules and norms will perhaps not restrain the power of Jiang Zemin, the 76-year-old "new paramount leader." While the military's influence on political succession has declined during the past decade, the Central Military Commission is still very powerful. Not surprisingly, these paradoxical developments have led students of Chinese politics to reach contrasting assessments of the nature of this political succession, the competence of the new leadership, and the implications of these factors for China's future. This diversity of views is particularly evident regarding the ubiquitous role of mishu in the Chinese leadership.

Party Affairs

Beijing Sets the Stage to Convene the 16th Party Congress

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

After a summer of last-minute wrangling, Beijing moved swiftly to complete preparations for the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) 16th Party Congress. Since the leadership's annual summer retreat at the north China seaside resort at Beidaihe, leadership statements and authoritative press commentary have implied that the congress, scheduled to open on November 8, 2002, will see the long-anticipated retirement of "third generation" leaders around party General Secretary Jiang Zemin and the installation of a new "fourth generation" leadership led by Hu Jintao. Chinese press commentary has also indicated that the party constitution will be amended to incorporate the "three represents"—the controversial political reform enunciated by Jiang Zemin nearly three years ago which aims to broaden the party's base by admitting the entrepreneurial, technical, and professional elite that has emerged in Chinese society under two decades of economic reform.

Economic Policy

Evening Glow: The Final Maneuvers of Zhu Rongji

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

Economic policy reform slowed markedly at the end of 2001 and beginning of 2002. However, since June 2002, Premier Zhu Rongji has assumed a higher profile, and resumed a more authoritative role in policymaking. This increased activity should be regarded primarily as a defensive strategy. It is designed to prevent Zhu from becoming irrelevant at the end of his term and to avoid the problems that might develop if the central government were seen as weak or passive. Presumably, it is also designed to solidify Zhu's position in history. Some of the new policy activity may smooth the return to a more activist policy regime after the 16th Party Congress.

Military Affairs

Cao Gangchuan: A Political Biography

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

Cao Gangchuan’s Military Career Cao Gangchuan was born in Wugang, Henan Province, in December 1935. At age 19, he joined the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and was immediately sent to study artillery and ordnance at two entry-level technical schools, at the latter of which he graduated to serve as a teacher for one year. In 1956, he joined the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and was singled out for Russian language education to prepare him for six years of study at a prestigious artillery engineering school in the Soviet Union. When Cao returned to the PLA in 1963, he began a long career in the equipment and ordnance system within the Beijing staff departments. For 12 years, including the time of the Cultural Revolution, he worked as a low-level officer in the munitions offices of the General Logistics Department. From the mid-1970s, Cao moved over to assume increasing responsibilities in the equipment departments of the General Staff Department (GSD), serving as deputy director of the Military Equipment Department from 1982-89. During this period, sources close to General Cao confirm that he often traveled to Europe and Russia on procurement delegations. After Tiananmen in 1989, General Cao directly oversaw this commerce as director of the Office of Military Trade under the Central Military Commission.

Military Affairs

The PLA and the "Three Represents": Jiang's Bodyguards or Party-Army?

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

In July 2001, Jiang Zemin gave an important speech at the Central Party School, formally introducing the concept of the "three represents," which calls for some dramatic changes in inner-party democracy and ideology. Even before this speech, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) had been one of the strongest institutional proponents of these new concepts. This article examines the PLA's interpretation of these ideas, as well as the civil-military dynamic driving their praise of Jiang Zemin as the author of the concepts.