China Policy Institute Blog

New normality and the National People’s Congresses

Written by Kerry Brown. National People’s Congresses in China tend to overwhelm participants with policy detail. Li Keqiang’s government report came to forty densely printed pages, and took him more than two hours to read out. There were plenty of other documents issued over the period from March 5, from entities like the Ministry of Finance …

Why China’s Xi Jinping Is Still Far From Chairman Mao Status

Written by Steve Tsang. Much has been written in recent weeks of how Chinese president Xi Jinping has established himself as China’s most powerful leader since Deng Xiaoping. Distinguished Harvard scholar Roderick MacFarquhar went a step further in an interview with the New York Times, comparing Xi’s authority with that of Chairman Mao Zedong. Other China watchers have voiced …

The three ‘P’s’ of the fourth plenum

Written by Kerry Brown. There are three ‘P’s’ that the Fourth Plenum outcome on law make clear about the Xi style of leadership. The first is that it is populist. The second is that it is driven by increasingly programmatic politics. Finally, it is driven increasingly by the personality of its central leader as a …

Rule of law with Chinese characteristics

Written by Jackie Sheehan. The decisions emanating from CCP plenums seldom contain surprises – the official communiqué will have been drafted before the session opens. The 4th Plenum of the 18th CCP Central Committee completed on October 23rd was no exception. The plenum’s conclusions on “comprehensively advancing the rule of law” were always likely to go …

On Ilham Tohti

Written by Jackie Sheehan. Can anyone produce a genuine, verified statement by Ilham Tohti supporting independence for Xinjiang or advocating violence by Uyghurs? The answer is no, because he has never done so. The guilty verdict against respected Uyghur economist and writer Ilham Tohti was a foregone conclusion, and holding the trial in Xinjiang when …

Speechless: The silencing of Gao Zhisheng is a warning to other lawyers and activists

Written by Jackie Sheehan. Gao Zhisheng left Shaya Prison in Xinjiang on 7 August 2014. He left prison; he is not free. During the additional year of deprivation of political rights which he must serve, he has no freedom of speech, association, assembly, procession or demonstration, as well as being unable to vote, stand for …

Redefining Hong Kong SAR

Written by Daniel Garrett. While undeniably the most extensive authoritarian and arguably violent crackdown by the SAR government since  the Handover, the local regime’s actions on July 2nd are best understood at this early point as a case of “killing a few chickens” to dissuade participation in OCLP and to dispel demands for civil nomination …

Redefining Hong Kong SAR: The Mainland Security Crackdown Arrives

Written by Daniel Garrett. Within the last few weeks, the political situation in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) has deteriorated precipitously as China’s central and local regimes began implementing the outlines of a mainland-style security crackdown against the city’s pro-democracy movement and escalated its United Front campaign against Occupy Central with Love and …

Being a good cadre

Written by Kerry Brown. One of the seminal texts during the period of struggle before the Communist Party of China (CPC) came to power in 1949 was Liu Shaoqi’s `How to be a Good Communist’, issued in 1939. Liu, despite being a native of the same area of China as his near contemporary Mao Zedong, …

Hong Kong’s Fundamentalists

Written by Jennifer Eagleton. Fundamentalist groups rigidly stick to core beliefs and maintain the “integrity” of their sacred text and practices to the exclusion of all others. Compromise is an anathema and ultimate domination of their dogma is their aim. After the 1997 handover, two unassailable fundamentalist “doctrines” seem to have appeared in Hong Kong: …