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 …

Read morePolitics Watch: Fang Fenghui’s Expulsion, Meng Hongwei’s Arrest, and the Factional ‘Soft Coup’

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

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 trouble in the …

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

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 …

Read moreGeopolitics Watch: The Coming Ideological Turn in US Policy on China

Politics Watch: US-China Trade War a ‘Deathtrap’ for CCP Politics

Li Zhanshu, the head of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and third-ranking Politburo Standing Committee member, said during a July 16 meeting of the NPC’s Leading Party Members’ Group that officials must uphold the “paramount authority,” or “ding yu yi zun” (“the highest authority settles the question”) of “core leader” Xi Jinping. Li’s choice of …

Read morePolitics Watch: US-China Trade War a ‘Deathtrap’ for CCP Politics

The Rise and Fall of China’s Domestic Security and Legal Affairs Apparatus

By Janet Liu and Larry Ong In the five years before Xi Jinping took office in 2012, the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission (PLAC) was one of the most powerful organs of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Helmed by then-Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang, the PLAC enjoyed an annual budget of $120 billion, …

Read moreThe Rise and Fall of China’s Domestic Security and Legal Affairs Apparatus

Risk Watch: Can China’s New Negative List Help Defuse Trade Dispute with America?

China’s National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce jointly released a shortened negative list of industries where foreign industries are restricted or banned on June 28. The new list reduces the number of sectors restricted to foreigners from 63 to 48, and will go into effect on July 28. The sectors where …

Read moreRisk Watch: Can China’s New Negative List Help Defuse Trade Dispute with America?

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 …

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

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 …

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

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 …

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

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 …

Read moreContinued Scrubbing of Political Work Dept Hints at Instability in the PLA