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 …

Why China won’t back down on Hong Kong

Written by Shujie Yao. Obviously, many Hong Kongers are not happy with the way their territory has been governed since it was returned to China in 1997. The recent protests have escalated to such a scale that the central Chinese authority has referred to it as an “illegal” mass demonstration, the likes of which is …

Princelings, preferences and power

Written by Kerry Brown. Do Chinese leaders have to believe anything? After all, unlike their western counterparts, they don’t have to engage in battles over ideas and approaches during an election campaign, nor are they rudely exposed to forensic intellectual examination in the way that politicians in the US, Europe or other democracies are when …

Controlling space and controlling memory

Written by Jackie Sheehan. In the first few years after the 1989 citizens’ movement, we used to try to predict when the next such outbreak would occur in China. Even then, there was little likelihood that any anniversary gathering on the Square would find the political space to develop in the way that 1989 did. …

Tiananmen, democracy and the CCP

Written by Edward Friedman. Leninist party dictatorships from 1989-1991 democratized in East and Central Europe as well as in Mongolia in Asia. The Soviet Union imploded in 1991. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union lost power. For the Chinese Communist Party, these events, as well as the PRC’s rise toward becoming a superpower and …

The ‘United Front’ Unveiled: Through The Looking Glass on Cross-Strait Relations

Written by Ben Goren. In a ground-breaking paper in the Journal Of Current Chinese Affairs entitled The KMT–CCP Forum: Securing Consent for Cross-Strait Rapprochement, André Beckershoff examines the close relationship between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The relationship between the two political parties has previously been the subject of debate …

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, …

Kunming massacre sparks media war

Written by J. Michael Cole By now we’ve all heard about Saturday night’s bloodbath at the Kunming Railway Station, where a dozen individuals wearing black uniforms descended upon innocent civilians and slashed away at them with long blades, killing 29 and injuring more than 130. The targeting of civilians is a terribly worrying development. The reaction …

China’s new petitioning guidelines and social governance policy

Written by Samantha Hoffman. On 25 February, the Communist Party of China’s (CCP) Central Committee and the State Council introduced guidelines on reforming the country’s petitioning system, highlighting the rule of law in handling petition cases and expanding channels for petitioners to address officials. The guidelines have received limited attention in western media—after all, it …