The Rise and Fall of China’s Domestic Security and Legal Affairs Apparatus

By Janet Liu and Larry Ong In the five years before Xi Jinping took office in 2012, the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission (PLAC) was one of the most powerful organs of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Helmed by then-Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang, the PLAC enjoyed an annual budget of $120 billion, …

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Geopolitics Watch: In Canceling North Korea Summit, Trump Gets Two Birds With One Stone

On May 24, United States President Donald Trump scrapped a planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore. SinoInsider analyzed earlier that the Sino-U.S. trade negotiations are tied with North Korean denuclearization and peace talks. We believe that Trump’s move to call off the June 12 Singapore summit is ultimately aimed at …

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Geopolitics Watch: With the Trade War ‘On Hold’, What’s Next for China, US?

Following the conclusion of recent trade discussions between China and the United States, leading negotiators from both countries have separately announced that the looming Sino-U.S. trade war is now “on hold,” and that both sides have reached a consensus on trade. The White House also released a joint statement on the Washington trade talks on …

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Geopolitics Watch: Reading Trump’s ZTE Tweet, Sino-US Trade, and North Korea

President Donald Trump’s May 13 tweet about working with Chinese leader Xi Jinping to help ZTE find “a way to get back into business, fast” raised many eyebrows. (See our earlier article for more on the ZTE ban.) SinoInsider, however, has been anticipating a U.S. reprieve since the conclusion of the Sino-U.S. trade talks in …

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Can China Withstand a Trade War? An Analysis of Provincial Finances

Sino-U.S. trade tensions have been a concern in recent weeks. Publicly, neither the United States nor China appears to be willing to give up ground. Chinese state media, in particular, has declared that China wouldn’t back down in a trade war. But can China withstand a trade war? An examination of the financial state of …

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Why We Predicted Coming Peace on the Korean Peninsula

By Don Tse and Larry Ong On April 27, the leaders of North and South Korea met at the demilitarized zone and signed a joint statement of “peace, prosperity and unification” of the Korean Peninsula. “South and North Korea confirmed the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula,” the statement read. …

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Are Cultural Exchanges Next in Trump’s Push to Get China to Play Fair?

By Don Tse and Larry Ong The Trump administration recently issued a flurry of moves to restore reciprocity in trade relations with China and safeguard national security. And unlike his predecessors, President Donald Trump has succeeded in pushing the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to cooperate on the North Korean issue and commit to further liberalizing …

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Risk Watch: Can China Withstand a Trade War?

The United States and China spent the first week of April ratcheting up trade tensions. But the Chinese Communist Party’s bark is louder than its bite, and the U.S. is just the opposite. The backdrop: On April 5, President Donald Trump directed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to identify an additional $100 billion of tariffs …

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Fu Zhenghua, Factional Struggle, and Scrubbing the Security and Law Apparatus

The Two Sessions personnel reshuffle saw some shock moves, including the appointment of Yang Xiaodu as National Supervision Commission director, Yi Gang as central bank chief, and Yang Jiechi not being named to any state job. The promotion of Fu Zhenghua, the former public security vice minister, to Ministry of Justice head is another move …

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How We Correctly Predicted Wang Qishan as China’s Vice President

By Don Tse and Larry Ong Introduction To rookie and veteran observers, the fate of Wang Qishan is perhaps one of the more perplexing developments in recent Chinese Communist Party (CCP) politics. Before the 19th Party Congress, pundits wondered whether Wang would retain his spot in the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee. Both Chinese and Western …

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