Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on telegram
Share on whatsapp
Share on linkedin
Share on print
Share on email

Politics Watch: Wang Qishan Not on Party’s ‘Old Comrades’ List

◎ We noted in our 19th Congress forecast that Wang may be appointed as vice president and handed a diplomatic portfolio in March 2018.


On Feb. 13, state mouthpiece Xinhua released a list of “old comrades,” or former leading officials, whom Xi Jinping and the Central Committee would be paying a visit to during the Lunar New Year period. Former Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leaders Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao are counted among the 95 “old comrades.”

A notable “old comrade,” however, was not included in the list: Wang Qishan, the former Politburo Standing Committee member and anti-corruption chief who stepped down at the 19th Party Congress in October.

Wang’s omission is particularly glaring since other political elites from his generation like Politburo Standing Committee member Liu Yunshan, Politburo member Meng Jianzhu and Guo Jinlong, as well as CCP Secretariat secretary Zhao Hongzhu are named in the Party’s “old comrade” list.

The backdrop:
Wang was elected as a delegate to the Hunan People’s Congress on Jan. 29, a development that has led Chinese and Western media outlets to speculate that Wang is set for a bigger role in the Xi administration at the Two Sessions meeting in March.

Our take:
1. Elite officials from the 18th Central Committee who hold Party positions but not positions in the state government, legislature, and political advisory body are included in the “old comrades” list.

For instance, Liu Yunshan (CCP Central Guidance Commission for Building Spiritual Civilization chairman), Meng Jianzhu (PLAC head), and Guo Jinlong (Central Guidance Commission for Building Spiritual Civilization chairman vice chair) officially retired at the 19th Congress and were named in the list. Zhang Gaoli (State Council vice premier), Zhang Dejiang (NPC head) and Yu Zhengsheng (CPPCC chairman) are due to step down from their state positions in March and were not on the list.

Wang Qishan only held a Party position in the 18th Central Committee (Central Committee for Discipline Inspection secretary) and should be retired, but he apparently doesn’t qualify as an “old comrade” given his exclusion from the list. This suggests that Wang still hasn’t left politics, and may already be designated a state job.

2. We noted in our 19th Congress forecast that Wang may be appointed as vice president and handed a diplomatic portfolio in March 2018 (Oct. 18, Oct. 24).

Wang’s curious omission from the “old comrades” list further corroborates our analysis. The factional struggle between Xi Jinping and the Jiang Zemin faction was very intense around the 19th Congress period, and Xi gave up keeping Wang on the Politburo Standing Committee in exchange for adding his “Xi Jinping Thought” to the Party charter and state constitution. However, we noted that Xi would attempt to keep Wang on as an unofficial Politburo Standing Committee member and even circumvent the Party’s retirement norms by giving Wang a state position (there are no age restrictions for the vice presidency).

3. On Jan. 29, we published an article about Wang being Xi’s best choice for vice president due to the ongoing factional struggle and ratcheting up of tensions between China and the United States. Three days later, Wang became a Hunan delegate, and mainstream news outlets like the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal cited insider sources as saying that Wang is a favorite for the office of vice president.

Our unique research methodology and forecasting tools allow us to predict key political developments in China like the 19th Congress results and Wang Qishan’s imminent appointment as vice president with a high degree of accuracy. We thus have an unparalleled understanding of the direction that China is heading, and can help businesses and professionals better uncover hidden risks and opportunities.


“Your publication insights tremendously help us complete our regular analysis on in-depth issues of major importance. ”
Ms. Nicoleta Buracinschi, Embassy of Romania to the People’s Republic of China
"I’m a very happy, satisfied subscriber to your service and all the deep information it provides to increase our understanding. SinoInsider is profoundly helping to alter the public landscape when it comes to the PRC."
James Newman, Former U.S. Navy cryptologist
“Prof. Ming’s information about the Sino-U.S. trade war is invaluable for us in Taiwan’s technology industry. Our company basically acted on Prof. Ming’s predictions and enlarged our scale and enriched our product lines. That allowed us to deal capably with larger orders from China in 2019. ”
Mr. Chiu, Realtek R&D Center
“I am following China’s growing involvement in the Middle East, seeking to gain a better understanding of China itself and the impact of domestic constraints on its foreign policy. I have found SinoInsider quite helpful in expanding my knowledge and enriching my understanding of the issues at stake.”
Ehud Yaari, Lafer International Fellow, The Washington Institute
“SinoInsider’s research on the CCP examines every detail in great depth and is a very valuable reference. Foreign researchers will find SinoInsider’s research helpful in understanding what is really going on with the CCP and China. ”
Baterdene, Researcher, The National Institute for Security Studies (Mongolian)
“The forecasts of Prof. Chu-cheng Ming and the SinoInsider team are an invaluable resource in guiding our news reporting direction and anticipating the next moves of the Chinese and Hong Kong governments.”
Chan Miu-ling, Radio Television Hong Kong China Team Deputy Leader
“SinoInsider always publishes interesting and provocative work on Chinese elite politics. It is very worthwhile to follow the work of SinoInsider to get their take on factional struggles in particular.”
Lee Jones, Reader in International Politics, Queen Mary University of London
“[SinoInsider has] been very useful in my class on American foreign policy because it contradicts the widely accepted argument that the U.S. should work cooperatively with China. And the whole point of the course is to expose students to conflicting approaches to contemporary major problems.”
Roy Licklider, Adjunct Professor of Political Science, Columbia University
“As a China-based journalist, SinoInsider is to me a very reliable source of information to understand deeply how the CCP works and learn more about the factional struggle and challenges that Xi Jinping may face. ”
Sebastien Ricci, AFP correspondent for China & Mongolia
“SinoInsider offers an interesting perspective on the Sino-U.S. trade war and North Korea. Their predictions are often accurate, which is definitely very helpful.”
Sebastien Ricci, AFP correspondent for China & Mongolia
“I have found SinoInsider to provide much greater depth and breadth of coverage with regard to developments in China. The subtlety of the descriptions of China's policy/political processes is absent from traditional media channels.”
John Lipsky, Peter G. Peterson Distinguished Scholar, Kissinger Center for Global Affairs
“My teaching at Cambridge and policy analysis for the UK audience have been informed by insights from your analyzes. ”
Dr Kun-Chin Lin, University Lecturer in Politics,
Deputy Director of the Centre for Geopolitics, Cambridge University
" SinoInsider's in-depth and nuanced analysis of Party dynamics is an excellent template to train future Sinologists with a clear understanding that what happens in the Party matters."
Stephen Nagy, Senior Associate Professor, International Christian University
“ I find Sinoinsider particularly helpful in instructing students about the complexities of Chinese politics and what elite competition means for the future of the US-China relationship.”
Howard Sanborn, Professor, Virginia Military Institute
“SinoInsider has been one of my most useful (and enjoyable) resources”
James Newman, Former U.S. Navy cryptologist
“Professor Ming and his team’s analyses of current affairs are very far-sighted and directionally accurate. In the present media environment where it is harder to distinguish between real and fake information, SinoInsider’s professional perspectives are much needed to make sense of a perilous and unpredictable world. ”
Liu Cheng-chuan, Professor Emeritus, National Chiayi University
Previous
Next