Politics Watch: US-China Trade War a ‘Deathtrap’ for CCP Politics

Li Zhanshu, the head of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and third-ranking Politburo Standing Committee member, said during a July 16 meeting of the NPC’s Leading Party Members’ Group that officials must uphold the “paramount authority,” or “ding yu yi zun” (“the highest authority settles the question”) of “core leader” Xi Jinping. Li’s choice of …

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Politics Watch: China’s Finance Ministry and Central Bank Clash as Economy Worsens

In an article published on July 13, Xu Zhong, the head of research for the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), criticized China’s Ministry of Finance (MoF) for failing to actively implement fiscal policy to stimulate growth and for “playing the gangster.” On June 30, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had published a guiding opinion that …

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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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Politics Watch: Decoding the CCP Propaganda Shift on China, America, and Trade

On July 2, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) mouthpiece People’s Daily published on its website the first article in a series aimed at critiquing “pompous, arrogant writing” and promoting Xi Jinping’s requirements for writing. Titled “Have We Forgotten How to Write Essays?”, the commentary piece criticizes articles that exaggerate China’s achievements and mock other countries. The …

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Politics Watch: Civil Servant Wages Delayed as Local Gov’t Revenue Falls

The government of Leiyang, a city in Hunan Province, was unable to pay wages to its civil servants in May, according to mainland media reports on June 8. The backdrop: 1. Civil servants in Leiyang were supposed to receive their wages on May 15. However, their pay was only released on June 8. On June …

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Politics Watch: Rumor of Leadership Change in Hainan Hints at Hastening of Opening Up

According to a June 10 article from Duowei News, Guangdong mayor Ma Xingrui was recently in Hainan Province making preparations to take over the post of Party secretary from incumbent Liu Cigui. Liu would be transferred to the Central Policy Research Office to serve as a deputy director. Duowei has its headquarters in Beijing, and …

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Politics Watch: Anbang’s Wu Xiaohui Appeal Hints at Fierce CCP Internal Struggle

Chen Youxi, a Chinese lawyer known for defending controversial persons, wrote on his Weibo account in the morning of May 30 that Anbang Group co-founder Wu Xiaohui was appealing his conviction on charges of fraud and embezzlement. The Shanghai High People’s Court has since formed a collegial court to review Wu’s appeal. The backdrop: Anbang …

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Politics Watch: After Sino-US Trade Talks, China Announces Plans to Open Up Telecom, Financial, Legal Services

On May 23, Chinese premier Li Keqiang presided over a State Council executive meeting where the prioritizing of service imports to China was on the agenda. According to the meeting resolution: 1. A “pilot program will be rolled out in 17 areas, including Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2020, …

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Geopolitics Watch: Why is North Korea Canceling South Korean Talks, Threatening Trump-Kim Summit?

On May 16, North Korean state media KCNA said that North Korea is suspending high-level talks with South Korea scheduled for the day in light of a joint military exercise between the United States and South Korea. KCNA claimed that the military drills, known as Max Thunder, was a “flagrant challenge” to the Panmunjom Declaration, …

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Politics Watch: Wang Qishan Gets New Foreign Affairs Role Amid Sino-US Trade Tensions

The Chinese Communist Party’s Foreign Affairs Commission held its first meeting on May 15. State media reported that Xi Jinping heads the new commission while Chinese premier Li Keqiang is deputy head. Chinese vice president Wang Qishan is the third-ranking member of the Foreign Affairs Commission. Politburo Standing Committee members Wang Huning and Han Zheng …

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