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China Policy Institute: Analysis

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Xi’s Remaking of China’s Political Landscape

Written by Hans H. Tung.

Xi Jinping’s first term since 2012 has dazzled many seasoned observers of Chinese politics. There were open trials of prominent political figures who used to be worshipped in China’s political pantheon. There was an anti-corruption campaign that swept across upper and lower echelons within the Chinese bureaucracy. There were also new social initiatives launched to engage newly emerging opinion leaders and tighten up the government’s control over the society. These new developments defy much of the conventional wisdom. Was it all because of, as some suggested, the leadership style of Xi Jinping that such a great transformation in Chinese politics could happen? Or, were there any more systematic and non-personal factors that could account for these changes? I believe that the answer should lie somewhere beyond the personal background and factors of Xi’s position, but in the institutional matrix of the Chinese authoritarian regime instead. Continue reading “Xi’s Remaking of China’s Political Landscape”

Local Solutions for Local Conditions: China offers Lessons for Development Experts

Written by Yuen Yuen Ang

There is no doubt that China is the most successful case of poverty eradication this century. It alone accounts for three-quarters of the reduction in poverty around the world. Within a single generation, the country has morphed from a socialist backwater, poorer than Bangladesh and Chad in 1980, into the world’s second-largest economy. Yet China’s experience has had surprisingly little impact on international development. At the annual meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in 2016, luminaries and experts convened to debate the age-old problem of ending global poverty. As before, they tabled ambitious goals of development but China was sidelined during the discussion. A joint statement by the multilateral banks to end poverty by 2030 never once mentioned the country. Continue reading “Local Solutions for Local Conditions: China offers Lessons for Development Experts”

China’s Critical Year

Written by William Hurst.

In his Independence Day Speech, on 17 August 1964, Sukarno famously declared the start of what he called the “Year of Dangerous Living”.  In the 14 months following that speech, Indonesia was indeed rocked by violent struggles between parties and factions with competing Communist, religious, and right-wing militarist visions for its future, even as Sukarno embarked upon his most radical foreign policy initiatives within Southeast Asia and in withdrawing from important multilateral bodies and organisations.  The culmination of all this, of course, was the coup and counter-coup, beginning on 30 September 1965, that led to Sukarno’s fall, Suharto’s seizure of power, and the inauguration of his “New Order” regime that went on to hold power for more than three decades.  Contemporary Indonesian history to a remarkable degree turned on this one critical juncture.  China has faced similar moments in its recent past – 1953, 1958, 1966, 1978, and 1989 all come to mind – but the current period marks a similar inflexion point in China’s political, economic, and social development. Continue reading “China’s Critical Year”

China: The Politics of the National People’s Congress

Written by Rod Wye.

In what is the equivalent of an election year for China, particular scrutiny has been lavished on the “two sessions” N– the annual meetings of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in early March – to search for any clues that might shed some light on the mysteries of the Chinese political processes leading up to the 19th Party Congress in the autumn.  Continue reading “China: The Politics of the National People’s Congress”

Chinese Politics in Motion

Written by Jonathan Brookfield.

Last October, I wrote a short piece outlining three possible scenarios related to Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) succession at the Chinese Communist Party’s 19th Party Congress, an event which is slated to be held later this year.  There were two key ideas embedded in that piece.  The first was that Xi Jinping could not afford to simply follow institutional norms with respect to filling seats on the PSC, as such a strategy would likely lead to Hu Jintao affiliated individuals occupying a majority of PSC positions.  The second was that the degree to which this year’s PSC succession deviates from institutional norms will depend both on Xi’s political strength and his desire telegraph the extent of his power.  Given those two ideas, each of the three scenarios discussed represented a different degree of adherence to/deviation from institutional norms. Continue reading “Chinese Politics in Motion”

Xi Jinping and China’s “Two Sessions”

Written by Lynette Ong.

China’s “Two Sessions”, its annual political gatherings, have just drawn to a close. The “Two Sessions” (lianghui) are the meetings of the National People’s Congress (NPC), and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) that take place in March every year. The NPC is the country’s largely rubber-stamp parliament that has around 3,000 delegates. Because of its unwieldy size and the fact that it largely approves all legislations that are put before it, it works more like party conventions in the United States. Continue reading “Xi Jinping and China’s “Two Sessions””

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