RISK vs. OPP
◎ Part one of our 2018 forecasting review.
◎ Using the Red Matrix aggressively is a double-edged sword for the CCP when the U.S. is on high-alert for CCP influence and interference operations.
◎ Xi may be planning to make concessions on trade, but the CCP system may not let him give up too much.
◎ Xi reformed the chain of command of local national security agencies to wrest control of the intelligence apparatus from political rivals and further weaken the
◎ The “subdued” media coverage of Xi’s southern tour and his other gestures in Guangdong is closely connected to the CCP factional struggle.
◎ We believe that the expulsion of Fang Fenghui and Zhang Yang from the CCP is connected with the recent purge of Interpol chief Meng
◎ China’s declining export surplus has affected the country’s foreign exchange earnings.
◎ There are hints that the Meng Hongwei case is connected with a “soft coup” against the Xi leadership.
◎ “Strategic competition” between America and the PRC has stepped up several notches.
◎ CCP stubbornness and the Trump administration’s willingness to call out PRC misbehavior and apply pressure on the CCP’s vital points would lead to an escalation
◎ The CCP is carrying out a controlled “blow up” of local government debts and transferring the risks to the private sector.
◎ In hijacking the new Cold War narrative, the CCP has resorted to old tropes and mixed in new disinformation
◎ Kim’s latest gestures are a positive omen of further advancement in the denuclearization process.
◎ The U.S. recognizes that the China threat is everywhere and existential, and has made addressing the issue the top priority.
◎ The fresh social tensions in Leiyang are the result of local government-business corruption and dwindling government coffers.