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Party Affairs

The Succession of Hu Jintao

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, April 30, 2002

The anticipated succession of Hu Jintao to be China's top-ranking leader at the upcoming Sixteenth Party Congress will cap the outcome of a ten-year effort to groom him for the position. If Hu does in fact replace Jiang Zemin, the transition in leaders will mark an important new step in the effort, launched by Deng Xiaoping two decades ago, to institutionalize orderly processes in PRC politics. As the Party's top leader, Hu will likely play to the party's center to maintain his own power, while cautiously but steadily extending the liberalizing policies of Jiang Zemin in much the same manner that Jiang did those of his predecessor Deng Xiaoping.

Foreign Policy

Terrorism, Taiwan Elections, and Tattered Treaties: PRC Security Politics From September 11 Through Year's End

by Thomas Christensenvia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, April 30, 2002

This essay addresses three important issues in Beijing's security policy since early September. First, and most obvious, is the September 11 attack on America and the newfound spirit of U.S.-China cooperation that arose from that atrocious event. Second are trends in the mainland's relations with Taiwan in the weeks surrounding the December 2001 Legislative Yuan elections, in which President Chen Shui-bian's Party, the DPP, did surprisingly well despite the economic recession on Taiwan. Third are arms control issues surrounding President Bush's announcement of Washington's impending unilateral withdrawal from the ABM Treaty.

The Provinces

The "Shanghai Gang": Force for Stability or Cause for Conflict?

by Cheng Livia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Of all the issues enmeshed in China's on-going political succession, one of the most intriguing concerns the prospects of the so-called "Shanghai gang" associated with party leader Jiang Zemin. The future of the "Shanghai gang" will determine whether Jiang will continue to play a behind-the-scenes role as China's paramount leader after retiring as party general secretary at the Sixteenth Party Congress in the fall of 2002. More importantly, contention over the future of the "Shanghai gang" constitutes a critical test of whether China can manage a smooth political succession, resulting in a more collective and power-sharing top leadership.

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.

Economic Policy

Selling Down the State Share: Contested Policy, New Rules

by Barry Naughtonvia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Since the middle of 2001, the issue of reducing the government ownership stake in corporations listed on the Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges has been high profile and highly contentious. This issue touches on many fundamental problems relating to the future of China's economic reforms, including the public ownership system, the development of capital markets, and the long-term social security of China's aging population. The twists and turns in Beijing's approach to this issue in recent months illuminates evolving decision-making processes and sheds light on the continuing role of Premier Zhu Rongji.

Some Implications of the Turnover of Political Power in Taiwan

by Ramon H. Myersvia Analysis
Monday, April 1, 2002

On March 18, 2000, Taiwan’s citizens voted the Nationalist Party (KMT) out of office and the Democratic Progressive Party’s candidate Chen Shui-bian in as president. The implications of this peaceful turnover of political party are that, instead of negotiating with mainland China’s authorities to achieve a political settlement of the divided China problem, President Chen has opted for negotiations to take place under a special state-to-state relationship. At the same time, President Chen’s administration has launched a “silent revolution,” promoting Taiwan nationalism: a shared belief that Taiwan has the qualifications of a sovereign nation, that it has a special state-to-state relationship with mainland China, and that its people have the ethnic identity of Taiwan, not Taiwan and China. Meanwhile, the Chen administration, like the Lee Teng-hui administration before it, is changing symbols, rewriting Taiwan’s history, and promoting cultural values of Taiwan inclusiveness to promote Taiwan nationalism and to carry out the de-Sinofication of Taiwan. In response, mainland China’s authorities offered a new interpretation of the “one-China” principle, but the Chen administration rejected that concession. Political fragmentation continues. These developments have frozen cross-strait negotiations and put Taiwan and mainland China on a collision course. But long-term developments, such as growing integration of the Taiwan–mainland China market economies, a revitalized political opposition, and a favorable perception of mainland China’s modernization could neutralize Tai-wan’s nationalism and restart cross-strait talks.

China's America Problem

by Ying Mavia Policy Review
Friday, February 1, 2002

As Chinese nationalism rises, so does anti-Americanism

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.

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.