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Party Affairs

Hu Leadership Focuses on Compassionate Conservative Governance

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Wednesday, April 30, 2003

The four-month period between the 16th Party Congress held in November 2002 and the 10th National People's Congress (NPC) scheduled to open in March 2003 is transitional. The senior party leaders around Jiang Zemin who retired from their party positions are serving out the waning months of their terms in top posts of the People's Republic of China (PRC) state hierarchy, awaiting full retirement at the NPC. Meanwhile, the younger leaders around new party General Secretary Hu Jintao who succeeded them on the party Politburo await accession to the top state posts at the NPC. Despite the transitional nature of the pre-NPC period, the new party leaders have already begun work in roles that suggest the overall priorities of the new leadership. In particular, Hu Jintao has been at the center of efforts to present the new leadership as focused on the plight of those left behind in China's prosperity, on clean government and the rooting out of corruption, on the rule of law, and on greater transparency in leadership workings.

Bring the Troops Home?

by Richard V. Allenvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, April 30, 2003

South Korea may soon have to decide whether it wishes to stand with the United States, which is responsible for much of Seoul’s prosperity, or stand alone instead. By Hoover fellow Richard V. Allen.

The Provinces

The Emergence of the Fifth Generation in the Provincial Leadership

by Cheng Livia China Leadership Monitor
Wednesday, April 30, 2003

The 16th Party Congress marked a shift of power to a younger generation of Chinese leaders, the so-called "fourth generation." These fourth generation leaders, led by new General Secretary Hu Jintao, not only have now held almost all top ministerial and provincial leadership posts, but also have occupied about 80 percent of the seats on the 16th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). But ironically, these "younger generation" leaders are not really that young. Most generational studies on Chinese political elites define the fourth generation as the generation whose members were born between 1941 and 1956 and had their formative years during the Cultural Revolution. Now these leaders are between 47 and 62 years old.

Market Reform: Lessons from New Zealand

by Rupert Darwallvia Policy Review
Tuesday, April 1, 2003

The economics and politics of liberalization and retrenchment

What Will Hu Do?

by Alice L. Millervia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 2003

At a spry 60 years old, Hu Jintao is—by the standards of Chinese leaders—a very young man. Does his rise signal a break with the past? Not likely. Hoover fellow Alice Lyman Miller explains.

Military Affairs

The PLA and the 16th Party Congress: Jiang Controls the Gun?

by James Mulvenonvia China Leadership Monitor
Thursday, January 30, 2003

For Western observers of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), the 16th Party Congress presented a curious mixture of the past, the present, and the future. Jiang Zemin's long-rumored and ultimately successful bid to retain the chairmanship of the Central Military Commission (CMC) brought back memories of party-army relations in the late 1980s before Tiananmen. At the same time, the new crop of PLA leaders elevated to the CMC represents the present and future PLA, possessing high levels of experience, training, and education, and thus professionalism. This article explores the implications of Jiang's gambit, analyzes the retirements of senior PLA leaders and the biographies of their replacements, and offers some predictions about the choice of defense minister and the future course of Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-PLA relations.

The Provinces

A Landslide Victory for Provincial Leaders

by Cheng Livia China Leadership Monitor
Thursday, January 30, 2003

Of all the personnel changes that occurred during the 16th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the most remarkable one is probably the predominant representation of leaders from China's 31 provincial-level administrations. These top provincial leaders differ from each other in their factional affiliations and occupational backgrounds. As a distinct group of leaders with identical career paths, however, provincial leaders achieved a landslide victory at the 16th Party Congress. Compared with top officials from other bureaucratic institutions in the central administration and in the military, provincial leaders obtained the largest number of seats on both the Central Committee and the Politburo.

Foreign Policy

The Party Transition: Will It Bring a New Maturity in Chinese Security Policy?

by Thomas Christensenvia China Leadership Monitor
Thursday, January 30, 2003

This essay addresses three questions relating to the 16th Party Congress. First, what do the power transition and the new lineup of leaders mean for the prospect for future flexibility and new thinking in Beijing on key security issues important to U.S.-China relations: Taiwan, the war on terrorism, Iraq and the U.N. Security Council, weapons proliferation, North Korea, etc.? Second, what evidence exists of new thinking more broadly in the younger generations of Chinese foreign policy elites (35-60 years old) who are replacing the generation of Jiang Zemin, Qian Qichen, and retiring generals such as Chi Haotian and Zhang Wannian? Third, what role do these changes play, if any, in the marked recent warming trends in relations between Washington and Beijing?

Party Affairs

China's Leadership Transition: The First Stage

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Thursday, January 30, 2003

The Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) 16th Party Congress delivered a turnover of top leaders that marks the first stage in a process of managed leadership transition unprecedented in People's Republic of China (PRC) politics. The congress brought to the party's top ranks a new generation of younger leaders and saw the retirement of the cohort of party leaders who had dominated China's politics since the early 1990s. The changes in the party's top leadership foreshadow comparable turnover in top PRC state posts at the 10th National People's Congress (NPC) in March 2003. The congress also ratified amendments to the party constitution that promise a watershed transformation of the party makeup in coming years.

Economic Policy

Economic Policy after the 16th Party Congress

by Barry Naughtonvia China Leadership Monitor
Thursday, January 30, 2003

The 16th Party Congress focused primarily on political principles and personnel issues. With respect to economic policy, the party congress understandably stressed continuity. Thus, fewer dramatic signs of future economic policy orientation have come in the aftermath of the congress than may be the case in other issue areas. In economic policy, the most important personnel choices tend to come at the level of ministers and vice ministers, one level below the top politicians chosen by the 16th Party Congress. These choices are being announced only gradually in the run-up to the 10th National People’s Congress (NPC) meeting in March 2003. Nonetheless, some important choices have already been made—particularly with respect to the financial system—and the implications of those choices are discussed in this essay. The most important signal is the promotion of the former chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), Zhou Xiaochuan, to head the Central Bank. The reassignment of economic managers is especially important because the key personnel involved represent the young, better-educated members of China’s “fourth generation,” those who began their educations after the Cultural Revolution. The senior members of the fourth generation, who have just ascended to the top of the formal political system, by contrast completed their educations before the Cultural Revolution. Some of the shortcomings of the political succession process may imply that the younger, post–Cultural Revolution leaders could begin to play an especially important role effective immediately.