Politics Watch: Yang Jiechi’s South Africa Trip is a Diplomatic Puzzle

On March 22, China Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying announced that Politburo member Yang Jiechi would visit South Africa from March 23 to March 24. Yang would be making the trip in the capacity of Xi Jinping’s special representative, Hua said. The backdrop: 1. On March 16, the South Korea foreign ministry announced that Yang …

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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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Personnel Watch: What Does the Future Hold for Yang Jiechi?

The closing ceremony of the 13th National People’s Congress on March 20 marked the end of this year’s Two Sessions and the finalization of a sweeping state personnel reshuffle. The reshuffle saw some surprise appointments, including the naming of Yang Xiaodu as the first head of the National Supervision Commission and Yi Gang as central …

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Over 71% Accurate: Our Predictions for China’s New Vice Premiers, State Councilors, Ministers

On March 19, the 13th National People’s Congress elected new vice premiers, state councilors, ministers, committee heads, and key central bank appointees. Han Zheng, Sun Chunlan, Hu Chunhua, and Liu He was confirmed as vice premiers. We called this in January. (It is unclear where Yang Jiechi, whom we felt could be a fifth vice …

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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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Full Marks: Our Predictions for China President, Vice President, NPC Chairman

On March 17, the 13th National People’s Congress elected China’s president and vice president; the legislature chairman, vice chairs, and secretary-general; and the state Central Military Commission (CMC) chairman and vice chairs. Xi Jinping was formally named president and CMC chairman for a second term. (On why Xi dropped the presidential term limits, check out our …

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How We Correctly Predicted Wang Qishan as China’s Vice President

By Don Tse and Larry Ong Introduction To rookie and veteran observers, the fate of Wang Qishan is perhaps one of the more perplexing developments in recent Chinese Communist Party (CCP) politics. Before the 19th Party Congress, pundits wondered whether Wang would retain his spot in the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee. Both Chinese and Western …

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Politics Watch: We Predicted the CPPCC Leadership with Over 70% Accuracy

The 13th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) elected its chairman and other key personnel during its fourth plenary session on March 14. As we anticipated in our 19th Party Congress predictions, Politburo Standing Committee member Wang Yang became the new CPPCC chairman, replacing Yu Zhengsheng. Of the 24 newly elected vice chairs, 10 are …

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Politics Watch: Decoding the State Council Institutional Reforms

The 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) deliberated a plan to reform State Council institutions on March 13. According to remarks by Chinese premier Li Keqiang, there will be 26 ministerial and vice-ministerial agencies (not including the State Council General Office) under the post-reform State Council. Some of the more noteworthy changes include: 1. Merging taxation agencies …

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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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