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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.

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.

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?

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

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.

Foreign Policy

A Smooth Ride Despite Many Potholes: The Road to Crawford

by Thomas Christensenvia China Leadership Monitor
Wednesday, October 30, 2002

The last several months since Hu Jintao's visit to Washington have been very good ones in Sino-American relations. This is true not because the relationship was without sources of friction, but precisely because there were so many such sources, yet they produced little heat. One might draw the conclusion that this state of affairs means a permanent maturing of Sino-American relations. Unfortunately, one would have to base this assessment on scant and perhaps mercurial evidence, since there are so many domestic and international reasons for Beijing and Washington to cooperate in the near term. That word of caution having been voiced, the Bush administration and Jiang Zemin's government have chosen to build on areas of common interest and to minimize areas of conflict without backing away from core elements of their security policies and without ignoring the large differences that they still have over arms proliferation, relations across the Taiwan Strait, and the U.S. approach to the war on terrorism.

Political Reform

Social Issues Move to Center Stage

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

For the past two decades, economic reform—or, more precisely, economic growth—has been at the center of China's thinking about politics. Party conservatives hoped to avoid social and political cleavages by constraining economic reform. Party reformers hoped to outrun and defuse social and economic challenges by developing the economy rapidly. Today, there is no escaping that reform has created winners and losers. That conclusion is forcing social issues to the center of political consciousness. Some believe that it is already too late to address these issues effectively, while others see them as forcing a process of political reform. For the moment, the political leadership is giving few indications of specific intentions regarding political reform. But it is nevertheless setting a tone and framework that provides space for such issues to be addressed. Although the Sixteenth Party Congress will be important for many reasons, it seems likely that whatever leadership arrangements are made, the pace of political reform will increase. Whether it will increase sufficiently is more difficult to assess.

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.

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