Geopolitics Watch: Sino-US Trade Conflict a Catalyst for Big Change in China

United States President Donald Trump stepped up a trade conflict with China on June 19 by asking his administration to identify $200 billion worth of China goods to be penalized with tariffs at a rate of 10 percent. Trump’s move was a response to China announcing retaliatory duties to an earlier list of U.S. tariffs …

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Society Watch: Truck Drivers Go on Strike as Social Tensions Mount in China

Truck drivers in several provinces across China started going on strike starting from June 8. The drivers also encouraged others in trucker WeChat groups to carry out a nation-wide strike on June 10. 大陆的卡车司机已经喊出口号:打倒共产党!大家加油啊,支持大陆的卡友。 pic.twitter.com/NfHqmT21wE — Henry Bai (@henrybai8) June 10, 2018 The trucker strikes are the latest instance of mass social unrest that has …

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Risk Watch: Tax Probe of China’s Entertainment Industry Could See Shakeup of Film Stars

Famous Chinese actress Fan Bingbing’s tax evasion scandal continues to throw up more dirt about double-contracting, or “yin-yang contracts,” and tax fraud in China’s entertainment industry. The scandal arose as a result of an escalating public spat between Fan, film director Feng Xiaogang, and television presenter Cui Yongyuan. Meanwhile, Chinese state media has been steering …

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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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Geopolitics Watch: On Xi, Kim, Dalai Lama, North Korea, and the Sino-US Trade Talks

After trade discussions between China and the United States in Beijing concluded on May 4, several geopolitical developments have unfolded which further affirm our analysis of positive Sino-U.S. talks on trade. North Korea The backdrop: May 6: A North Korean foreign ministry spokesperson was quoted by state media as saying that Washington was “misleading public …

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Politics Watch: Decoding the Politburo’s ‘Communist Manifesto’ Study Session

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Politburo studied “The Communist Manifesto” during an April 23 group study session. At the session, Party members, cadres in government organizations, and high-ranking cadres were encouraged to study the Manifesto and the classic works of Karl Marx. The backdrop: 1. On April 16, the United States commerce department banned U.S. …

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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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