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China Policy Institute: Analysis

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Xi Jinping

China’s new anti-corruption body raises worrying questions about the rule of law

Written by Zhiqiong June Wang.

Corruption is thought to cost China US$86 billion each year. Widespread corruption at all levels of Chinese society also worsens economic inequality, which could potentially lead to social unrest.

Although no one doubts the importance of efforts to curb graft, anti-corruption campaigns under the leadership of Chinese President Xi Jinping have been controversial. Continue reading “China’s new anti-corruption body raises worrying questions about the rule of law”

The Belt and Road Initiative: China’s vision for globalisation, Beijing-style

Written by Benjamin Habib and Viktor Faulknor.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a multifaceted economic, diplomatic and geopolitical undertaking that has morphed through various iterations, from the “New Silk Road” to “One Belt One Road”.

The BRI imagines a US$1.3 trillion Chinese-led investment program creating a web of infrastructure, including roads, railways, telecommunications, energy pipelines, and ports. This would serve to enhance economic interconnectivity and facilitate development across Eurasia, East Africa and more than 60 partner countries. Continue reading “The Belt and Road Initiative: China’s vision for globalisation, Beijing-style”

Terrorism and Counterterrorism in China: The Other “War on Terror”

Written by Scott N. Romaniuk & Shih-Yueh Yang.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) comprehensive counterterrorism law that came into effect at the turn of 2016 brought with it waves of criticism from human rights activists, proponents of fundamental rights and freedoms, and liberal states around the world. Renounced by many Western governments, the CCP backed the necessity of the law, contending that the country finds itself in a more complex and dangerous security environment. That security environment, asserted the CCP, requires an accelerated response in the form of broad and comprehensive law that includes: new provisions regarding definitional problems of terrorism, preventive measures, intelligence procurement, investigations, emergency measures and responses, multilateral partnership and cooperation, among others. Continue reading “Terrorism and Counterterrorism in China: The Other “War on Terror””

Why did China extend rural social programmes in the 21st century?

Written by Jane Duckett

Since the early 21st century, the Chinese Party-state has significantly extended its rural social provision. From 2002 it abolished agricultural taxes and adopted several key social programmes — new rural cooperative medical schemes (NRCMS), means-tested rural poverty assistance (rural ‘dibao’), and rural pensions. Under Hu Jintao it implemented these programmes nationwide, and under Xi Jinping it increased their funding. Despite their limitations (they are still less generous than many provisions for urban residents), these programmes have begun to reduce long-standing urban—rural inequalities in social provision. Continue reading “Why did China extend rural social programmes in the 21st century?”

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”

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”

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