Continued Scrubbing of Political Work Dept Hints at Instability in the PLA

The People’s Liberation Army Daily (PLA Daily) recently published two articles that called for a purge of the “pernicious influence” of ex-Central Military Commission vice chairs Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou. Meanwhile, there have been personnel reshuffles in the political work departments of the CMC and the three military branches (army, navy, air force). The …

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The Deeper Implications of China’s Armed Police Reform

By Janet Liu and Larry Ong Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s power consolidation at the 19th Party Congress and the scrapping of presidential term limits at the Two Sessions were the recent focus of international scrutiny. In the same period, two reforms to the People’s Armed Police (PAP) were passed without much fanfare. On Jan. 1, …

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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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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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Politics Watch: Decoding China’s Party and State Institutional Reforms

On March 21, Chinese state media published the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) plan for reforming its Party and state institutions. The plan listed 60 reform programs covering institutions in the Party bureaucracy, the Chinese legislature, the State Council, the political advisory body, administrative law enforcement, and the military police and public security forces. The plan …

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Five Key Takeaways About Yang Xiaodu as National Supervision Commission Chief

Yang Xiaodu, the new Politburo member and deputy secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), was elected as director of the new National Supervision Commission (NSC) on March 18. His appointment shocked many observers. The backdrop: Yang spent over 24 years in the government of Tibet. When Hu Jintao was Party secretary of …

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Politics Watch: The Factional Struggle Behind China’s Constitutional Amendments

On March 11, the 13th National People’s Congress voted to pass a list of constitutional amendments which included changes like removing presidential term limits and adding legislation for a new state supervisory commission. The voting, which was described as anonymous, required a two-thirds majority to pass. The final result was 2958 “yes” votes, 2 “no” votes, …

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Questioning the Discourse on Xi Jinping’s ‘Power Grab’

By Don Tse and Larry Ong A Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee decision to remove term limits for the president and vice president sparked a huge outcry in the media and the China-watching community. Most commentators decried Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s “power grab” and criticized what they saw as his move towards “one-man rule.” …

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Politics Watch: Decoding China’s Presidential Term Limits Change, Other Constitutional Amendments

On Feb. 25, Chinese state media announced the full list of constitutional amendments deliberated at the Second Plenum of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) 19th Central Committee in January. Some key amendments include: 1. Adding “Xi Jinping Thought” to the state constitution, as well as other new terms and phrases coined by Xi during his …

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Politics Watch: Wang Qishan Not on Party’s ‘Old Comrades’ List

On Feb. 13, state mouthpiece Xinhua released a list of “old comrades,” or former leading officials, whom Xi Jinping and the Central Committee would be paying a visit to during the Lunar New Year period. Former Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leaders Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao are counted among the 95 “old comrades.” A notable “old …

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