Politics Watch: Xi’s Delivery of Trade Commitments Hinges on the CCP Factional Struggle

Summary: Xi Jinping “crossed the Rubicon” by backtracking from tough official rhetoric and making personal commitments to President Donald Trump in Argentina. To deliver on his commitments to Trump, Xi must resolve the CCP factional struggle, the chief factor blocking the implementation of Xi’s policies and the core problem in Chinese elite politics. Based on …

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Geopolitics Watch: Did Trump or Xi Win at the G20?

Summary The U.S. and the PRC paused the escalation of the trade conflict at the G20 in Argentina. While Xi Jinping was likely seeking a pause going into the G20, the concessions which he made to gain the pause suggests a “pyrrhic victory.” Trump and the U.S. appear to have gained more than losing with …

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Influence Watch: The CCP is Hijacking the Discourse on Chinese Influence

Summary The CCP is using the Red Matrix, United Front work, and other types of influence operations to “seize discourse power” on the topic of Chinese influence. We identify three broad strategic lines which the CCP is pursuing to hijack the discourse on Chinese influence: 1) Shut down discussion on Chinese influence by coercion or …

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In the New China-US Cold War, Will Xi or Trump Blink First?

By Joseph Bosco When Vice President Mike Pence addressed the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Summit, he criticized China for its myriad violations of international norms. America and the world have lost patience, he warned: “Things must change.” He spoke these words 51 years after Richard Nixon issued the first urgent “China must change” message. In a Foreign Affairs article previewing the course …

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Risk Watch: Rising Business Failure and Unemployment Heighten Political Risk in China

Summary: Recently released official data shows that China’s economy performed poorly across the board in October. Several key indicators hit new lows and fell below market expectations. Many Chinese businesses, including prominent firms, have failed since the start of 2018. The Chinese authorities claim that unemployment has been kept stable at about 4 percent. Non-government …

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Geopolitics Watch: The CCP Turns to the Red Matrix in Full Court Press Against Trump

Summary: The CCP is turning to its Red Matrix as part of a “full court press” against President Donald Trump before the G20 in Argentina. The CCP is also relying on its Red Matrix to maintain market confidence, as well as preserve political and social stability. The CCP is using the Red Matrix because it …

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Geopolitics Watch: Trump-Xi Meeting at G20 Won’t Curb US Pressure

Summary: Xi Jinping and Donald Trump likely find it to be in their interest to hold a summit at the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires. The meeting will unlikely lead to a concrete deal to resolve the Sino-U.S. trade conflict. Xi will not be able to meet the Trump administration’s asks due to political and …

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Geopolitics Watch: Did the CCP’s ‘Gamble’ on the US Midterm Election Pay Off?

Summary We wrote in August that the CCP could be gambling that the U.S. midterm election results allow it to “avoid a consequential clash with America.” The CCP’s gamble may not work out. The midterm results should have little effect on influencing the Sino-U.S. trade war. Legislative gridlock may instead cause President Trump to focus …

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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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Trump’s Tough-love Policy for China

By Joseph Bosco President Donald Trump is doing a huge favor for Chinese leader Xi Jinping — and he should keep doing it. His administration’s increasingly hard-nosed policies can steer China away from a course that is leading inevitably to outright conflict with the West. Avoiding a U.S.-China war would be a genuine win-win outcome, not another of the rhetorical …

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