China Policy Institute Blog

Xi trains his sights on the PLA

Written by Samantha Hoffman. On 31 March, state media reported that General Gu Junshan, former deputy director of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) General Logistics Department, had been charged with “suspicion of corruption, bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power”. This gives Gu the distinction of becoming the highest-ranking PLA official to be publicly charged in the …

Zero tolerance of corruption, but who’s first for investigation?

Written by Jackie Sheehan. Premier Li Keqiang stressed in his speech at the just-closed National People’s Congress that corruption under the Xi-Li leadership will have “nowhere to hide” in China, and that seniority will be no protection: “No matter who or how senior an official is, if they violate Party discipline and the law, they …

Xi Jinping’s Tiger Hunt

Written by Andrew Hall Wedeman. The Communist Party of China has been grappling with corruption almost from its birth. It has waged major anti-corruption campaigns repeatedly and routinely prosecutes substantial numbers of officials. Between 1997 and 2012 the Supreme People’s Procuratorate reported that it indicted 550,000 individuals on either corruption or dereliction of duty charges, …

The uninspiring state of politics in Vietnam

Written by Adam Fforde. Vietnamese domestic politics have long been highly theatrical. This, naturally enough, has had both positive and negative consequences. Take the idea that Vietnam is one of those countries run by a Communist Party with a Politburo that decides stuff, issues orders and then everybody clicks their heels and toes the line. …

Beyond Myanmar’s Democracy Narrative

Written by Maitrii Aung-Thwin. Questions surrounding Myanmar’s political future have brought the current Constitutional impasse, ongoing cease-fire initiative, and this year’s national census under sharper scrutiny. For most external commentators, these issues remain embedded within a discussion about Myanmar’s democratic prospects. For over twenty-five years, much of the world has come to understand developments in Myanmar …

Thailand’s intractable crisis of political community

Written by Carlo Bonura. Reflecting on Thailand’s political crisis over the last two months, many foreign observers have questioned the democratic credentials of the protest movement opposed to the powerful political influence of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.  In one remarkable instance in January 2014, journalist John Sparks from the UK’s Channel 4 interviewed protest …

The Middle Dream

Written by Lauren Johnston. Soon after becoming Chinese President in November 2012 Xi Jinping spoke of his belief that “The Great Revival of the Chinese nation is the greatest Chinese dream”. Attempts to understand the concept of “Chinese dream”, inside and outside of China, have followed extensively since. This post reflects on the evolution of …

When will Xi Jinping bag a tiger?

Written by Yuwen Deng and Jonathan Sullivan. Whispers surrounding President Xi Jinping’s ‘tiger hunt’ (a metaphor for going after high level corrupt officials) have been circulating ever since he assumed the top positions in party and state in 2012. In recent days many Chinese language media outlets outside of China have reported that Xi’s tiger …

Pursuing mutually incompatible goals: Resilient SOEs, Leading Small Group, and the Market

Written by Yukyung Yeo. The long-anticipated third plenum of the 18th Central Committee closed with two ambitious goals to achieve. According to the plenum communiqué, Chinese leaders once again desire to deepen reforms toward market-oriented economy, yet under the predominant status of SOEs in the market. A “Leading Small Group for Deepening Reform” (shenhua gaige lingdao xiaozu) …

Getting more local is fundamental to a good intergovernmental system

Written by Alfred M. Wu. The Third Plenum of the 18th Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee has stirred a heated debate about the forthcoming reforms and the country’s future direction. Some argue that the plenum, parallel to that in 1978 is the beginning of the “2.0 version” of “reform and opening up”. Others are …