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Political Reform

China under Hu Jintao

by Joseph Fewsmithvia China Leadership Monitor
Saturday, April 30, 2005

Contrary to hopes expressed by both Chinese intellectuals and foreign observers that the new Hu Jintao administration would be more open to political change and to freer expression of ideas, Hu's government has backed away from some of the tolerance that existed (though insufficiently) under Jiang Zemin. While Jiang Zemin did not shy away from criticizing presumed Western efforts to "divide" and "Westernize" China, the Hu administration has actively backed a campaign to criticize "neoliberalism" and has cracked down on the expression of liberal opinion. For the moment at least, Hu seems determined to address the problems facing China by strengthening the Chinese Communist Party rather than adjusting the relationship between the party and society through greater openness.

Party Affairs

National People's Congress Completes Jiang-Hu Succession

by Alice L. Millervia China Leadership Monitor
Saturday, April 30, 2005

At its annual meeting in March 2005, China's parliament formally transferred former top leader Jiang Zemin's last official post to his successor Hu Jintao. The transfer completes an unprecedented process of orderly leadership succession that began two and a half years ago. Since the National People's Congress, Jiang has assumed a nearly invisible public posture consistent with those of other retired elders among the Chinese leadership. Meanwhile, Hu has been depicted as moving carefully in new policy directions while maintaining continuity with the policies associated with Jiang Zemin.

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Lincoln: Hypocrite or Statesman?

by Dinesh D’Souzavia Hoover Digest
Saturday, April 30, 2005

Reflections on “the greatest practitioner of democratic statesmanship that America and the world have yet produced.” By Dinesh D’Souza.

Military Affairs

Power, Money, and Sex: The PLA and the Educational Campaign to Maintain the Advanced Nature of the Party

by James Mulvenonvia China Leadership Monitor
Saturday, April 30, 2005

In the course of consolidating his leadership, Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Hu Jintao has moved to put his personal stamp on the content of political work in the party and in the army. The main theme calls for maintaining the "advanced nature" of all party members, particularly those in the military. Based on the principle that the party's "advanced nature" derives from the party's "historic tasks for different periods," the current focus is on implementing "Jiang Zemin's thoughts on national defense and army construction," speeding up "military reform with Chinese characteristics," preparing for "military struggle," shouldering the "historic mission," "fighting to win," "resisting degeneration," and improving "the fighting capability of the army in the information era." This article explores each of these themes, providing textual exegesis of their probable meanings and assessing their implications for civil-military relations.

Economic Policy

SASAC Rising

by Barry Naughtonvia China Leadership Monitor
Saturday, April 30, 2005

During April and May 2005, new policies were put in place to address some of the most contentious, long-running economic issues in China. Although the initial policy moves were modest, the way they played out illuminates the process of policymaking in China today, in particular the large and growing role of the State Asset Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC). On balance, these changes have brought the SASAC to a substantially more important and powerful position in the Chinese economy.

Foreign Policy

Old Problems Trump New Thinking: China's Security Relations with Taiwan, North Korea, and Japan

by Thomas Christensenvia China Leadership Monitor
Saturday, April 30, 2005

Recent months have hardly been proud ones for People's Republic of China (PRC) security policy. On diplomatic policies toward Taiwan, Japan, and North Korea, respectively, Beijing has appeared bullying, emotional, and ineffective. Given the widely negative reaction to the passage of an antisecession law, it remains to be seen whether recent trips by Taiwan's opposition party leaders to the mainland in April and May will improve relations across the Strait or will polarize Taiwan politics and destabilize cross-Strait relations. With respect to Japan, government inactivity in the face of acts of vandalism and racist sloganeering on the streets of its major cities seemingly contradicts the PRC's effort to put a smiling face on a rising China. On North Korea policy, Beijing either has decided to live with a nuclear Pyongyang or, more likely, has simply been ineffective in trying to lure the Democratic People's Republic of Korea back to the six-party talks. These outcomes do not match the Chinese Communist Party's self-styled image as a peaceful, responsible, and constructive rising power.

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Echoes of the Gipper

by Peter M. Robinsonvia Hoover Digest
Saturday, April 30, 2005

What would Ronald Reagan say? By Peter Robinson.

Chinatown Revisited

via Hoover Digest
Saturday, April 30, 2005

Los Angeles, it is widely believed, was able to become a major city only after stealing water from farmers elsewhere in California in the 1920s. The problem with this belief? It’s false. By Gary D. Libecap.

The Sage of Fresno

by Jonathan Kayvia Hoover Digest
Saturday, April 30, 2005

Victor Davis Hanson, down on the farm. By Jonathan Kay.

Freedom Is Not Free

by William C. Edwardsvia Hoover Digest
Saturday, April 30, 2005

Not all threats to our freedom come from beyond our borders. By William C. Edwards.


Military History Working Group

The Working Group on the Role of Military History in Contemporary Conflict examines how knowledge of past military operations can influence contemporary public policy decisions concerning current conflicts.