Geopolitics Watch: What Xi and Wang’s Speeches Mean for the Trade War

Summary Xi Jinping and Wang Qishan gave speeches recently in Shanghai and Singapore respectively. From their speeches, we believe that the CCP may still be having wishful thinking about its domestic situation, its influence capabilities, and geopolitical trends. The result of the 2018 U.S. midterm election will not change America’s policy shift on China. The …

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Politics Watch: Xi Consolidates Control Over Spy Apparatus with Local Gov’t Reforms

Provincial governments in China have been recently announcing that the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee has approved their plans for institutional reform. According to the plans that have been released, jurisdiction over provincial, county, and city national security agencies have been transferred from local governments to the National Security Commission (NSC) members in local Party …

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Politics Watch: Decoding Xi’s ‘Subdued’ Southern Tour

Xi Jinping went on an inspection tour in Guangdong from Oct. 22 to Oct. 25. At each stop, he signaled strongly that China should continue to reform and open up. On the last day of his trip, Xi visited the Southern Theater Command headquarters in Guangzhou. Observers have noted that mainland media was oddly quiet …

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Politics Watch: Fang Fenghui’s Expulsion, Meng Hongwei’s Arrest, and the Factional ‘Soft Coup’

The Chinese Communist Party Central Committee announced the expulsion of former generals Fang Fenghui and Zhang Yang from the Party on Oct. 16. Both generals, who previously sat on the Central Military Commission, were found guilty of corruption and will have their illicit proceeds confiscated. Fang’s case was handed over to prosecutors. State media criticized …

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Risk Watch: Declining Export Surplus Will Affect China’s Forex Earnings

The Sino-U.S. trade war and China’s worsening economy have hurt China’s export surplus. According to official economic figures released near the end of September, China’s export surplus fell by a third in the first eight months of 2018 as compared to the previous year. China’s top three performing provinces by GDP, Guangdong, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang, …

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Politics Watch: Meng Hongwei Purge Hints at ‘Soft Coup’ Against Xi

The sudden vanishing and investigation of Interpol chief Meng Hongwei has called renewed attention to the Chinese Communist Party’s pernicious behavior, human rights abuses, and political infighting. Based on our research and understanding of CCP elite politics, we believe that the unusual and abrupt purge of Meng is a sign of serious trouble in the …

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Geopolitics Watch: On Correctly Predicting Trends in China-US Relations

Heading into the final quarter of 2018, it has become clearer that “strategic competition” between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has moved up several notches. On the U.S. side, President Donald Trump called out the PRC’s attempt to interfere in the November midterm election, while Vice President Mike Pence laid …

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Geopolitics Watch: America Presses on the CCP’s Vital Points

From President Donald Trump’s remarks on China at the United Nations General Assembly to United States sanctions against a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) department and its head, recent signs indicate that the Trump administration is getting tough on the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and is planning to get tougher. We earlier analyzed that the …

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Risk Watch: The CCP’s ‘Controlled Blow Up’ of Local Debt Could Trigger a Black Swan

China’s State Council and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) General Office published guidelines that call on state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to reduce their debt ratio on Sept. 13. A measure in the guidelines that allows local government financing platforms to go bankrupt has sparked social debate and some panic.[1] We believe that the CCP is carrying …

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Geopolitics Watch: The CCP is Hijacking the ‘New Cold War’ Narrative

In July, a top CIA official observed at a security forum that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has long been fundamentally waging a “cold war by definition” against the United States. This new Cold War, however, is not like the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, the official said. Since the …

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