Politics Watch: Decoding the Convening of Enlarged Military Meetings

Provincial military commands in several provinces held enlarged plenary meetings this week, according to state media reports on Jan. 10. The key points relayed in those enlarged meetings include: 1. Pass on and learn from the “spirit of the Central Military Commission enlarged meeting.” 2. Pass on the spirit of the enlarged meetings of the …

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Politics Watch: Xi’s Reform Anniversary Speech Signals Political Crisis in China

Summary: We believe that Xi Jinping presently faces critical levels of political risk given the political and economic problems in the regime. Xi’s reform anniversary speech is an effort to have his cake and eat it too. The markets may not be convinced by his paradoxical messaging. Updated on 12/18/2018 On Dec. 16, state mouthpiece …

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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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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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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: Peking University’s New Party Secretary is on ‘Work Probation’

On Oct. 23, Peking University appointed Qiu Shuiping as its new Party secretary. Qiu was formerly the chief justice of the high court in Shanxi Province, and previously served for a year as Party secretary of the Beijing bureau of the Ministry of State Security. Because of Qiu’s intelligence background, some observers believe that his …

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

Updated on 12/3/2018 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 …

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Geopolitics Watch: The Coming Ideological Turn in US Policy on China

On Aug. 24, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission published a report on the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) United Front work overseas and its challenges to the United States. The 39-page commission report, which draws mainly from secondary sources, gives a background of the CCP United Work Front Department and some of its associated …

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