Elite In China Face Austerity Under Xi’s Rule

Andrew Jacobs
New York Times
Warning that graft and gluttony threaten to bring down the ruling Communists, Mr. Xi has ordered an end to boozy, taxpayer-financed banquets and the bribery that often takes the form of Louis Vuitton bags. 

Media

04.02.13

China Concerto

Jonathan Landreth
Before February 2012, when his name exploded onto the front pages of newspapers around the globe, most people outside of China had never heard of Bo Xilai, the now-fallen Communist Party Secretary of the megacity of Chongqing. But in the years...

Caixin Media

03.23.13

Achieving Real Progress in How Government Functions

After months of speculation, the reorganization of the State Council has finally been approved by the National People’s Congress.Under the shake-up, China’s rail business will no longer be managed by the regulator. Three national agencies will be...

China’s Public Expression Philosophy: A Case Of Too Little Theory?

Dr, Rogier Creemers
Free Speech Debate
For the foreseeable future, accepting pluralism, in all its colours and guises, is simply inconceivable in the epistemology of the Communist Party, and so are liberal conceptions of free expression and democracy. 

Media

03.13.13

Chavez and Bo Xilai Gone: Death of a Political Model?

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez’s death on March 5, 2013 came in the same week as the “Two Sessions” began in China, when China’s national legislature meets in Beijing. It was also almost exactly a year since the spectacular political demise of Bo...

China’s Richer-Than-Romney Lawmakers Reveal Reform Challenge

Michael Forsythe, Michael Wei and Henry...
Bloomberg
 The growing presence of wealthy people in the legislature coincides with Xi's efforts to address the concern that the Communist Party no longer represents the interests of ordinary Chinese. ...

Chen Guangcheng Q&A

Nathan Gardels
South China Morning Post
The blind lawyer and human rights activists answers questions regarding China's constitution, rule of law in China, and the inevitability of change in the Chinese government...

Culture

02.28.13

Classical Music with Chinese Characteristics

Sheila Melvin
On a frigid Friday morning at the end of 2012, a stream of expectant concertgoers poured through the cavernous lobby of the China National Center for the Performing Arts. They had come to the stunning, egg-shaped arts complex at this unusually early...

After The First 100 Days Of Xi Jinping

Bill Bishop
New York Times
A look at what Xi has done so far and what is on the horizon, including environmental and economic reforms. loosening media restrictions, and Xi’s formally replacing Hu Jintao as president.

Viewpoint

02.25.13

Xi Jinping Should Expand Deng Xiaoping’s Reforms

Zhou Ruijin
A month after the conclusion of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) 18th National Congress, the new Secretary General of the CCP and Central Military Commission, comrade Xi Jinping, left Beijing to visit Shenzhen, the first foothold of China’s...

Government Reform: Super-Size Me

Economist
Officials say fewer, bigger ministries can mean smaller government. Not everyone agrees.

Chinese Netizens Liked Seeing Partisanship at State of the Union

Liz Flora
Asia Blog
The partisan dissonance exhibited at President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address was a sight for sore eyes for some users on Sina Weibo, China’s microblogging platform.

Waiting for the Next Act

Dorinda Elliott
Cairo Review
“The Taoists have always spoken of an un-carved block, and I think that we should look on the new Chinese leadership as being something like that,” says Orville Schell, Arthur Ross director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at the Asia Society.

Reformers Aim to Get China to Live up to Own Constitution

Edward Wong and Jonathan Ansfield
New York Times
After the chaos of the Cultural Revolution, the surviving Communist Party leaders pursued a project that might sound familiar to those in the West: Write a constitution that enshrines individual rights and ensures rulers are subject to law, so that...

Media

02.04.13

Media Censorship and Its Future

Ouyang Bin
The year 2013 has gotten off to an inauspicious start for China’s press, especially for its most outspoken members. At the end of last year, when many of the country’s media were heralding newly installed Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s visit to...

China Appoints New Tibet Governor, Hardline Policies to Remain

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
China named Losang Gyaltsen Tibet’s new governor, signalling the government won’t ease control of the Himalayan region.

Xi Jinping’s Opposition to Political Reforms Laid out in Leaked Internal Speech

John Kennedy
South China Morning Post
Beijing-based writer Gao Yu’s writing on a speech Xi Jinping made during his “southern  tour” in December, suggests Xi, who blames those not “man enough” to do what had to be done to save the Soviet Communist Party from itself, has even...

Beijing Observation: Xi Jinping the Man

Gao Yu
Seeing Red in China
Xi Jinping’s “new southern tour speech,” made in December, began circulating last week in the party. It reads like a confirmation of Harvard Professor Roderick MacFarquhar’s prediction that the likelihood of the Chinese Communist Party reforming...

Pressures at Home, Tensions Offshore

Bill Bishop
Deal Book
It is tempting to conclude that the increasingly dangerous dispute between China and Japan over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands is driven in part by Beijing’s need to distract its populace from problems at home

In China, Discontent Among the Communist Party Faithful

Edward Wong
New York Times
Some Chinese say that they are starting to realize that a secure life is dependent on the defense of certain principles, perhaps most crucially freedom of expression.

Viewpoint

01.13.13

Is Xi Jinping a Reformer? It’s Much Too Early to Tell

Rachel Beitarie & Jeffrey Wasserstrom
Last weekend, Nicholas Kristof wrote in the pages of The New York Times that he feels moderately confident China will experience resurgent economic reform and probably political reform as well under the leadership of recently installed Communist...

The Old Fears of China’s New Leaders

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
I felt a shudder of déjà vu watching the mounting protests inside China this week of the Communist Party for censoring an editorial in Southern Weekend, a well-known liberal newspaper in the southern city of Guangzhou. It is all too similar to the...

Books

01.04.13

The Rise and Fall of the House of Bo

John Garnaut
When news of the murder trial of prominent Communist Party leader Bo Xilai’s wife reached public attention, it was apparent that, as with many events in the secretive upper echelons of Chinese politics, there was more to the story. Now, during the biggest leadership transition in decades, as the Bo family’s long-time rival Xi Jinping assumes the presidency, China’s rulers are finding it increasingly difficult to keep their poisonous internal divisions behind closed doors.

 Bo Xilai’s breathtaking fall from grace is an extraordinary tale of excess, murder, defection, political purges and ideological clashes going back to Mao himself. China watcher John Garnaut examines how Bo’s stellar rise through the ranks troubled his more reformist peers, as he revived anti-“capitalist roader” sentiment, even while his family and associates enjoyed the more open economy’s opportunities.Amid fears his imminent elevation to the powerful Standing Committee was leading China towards another destructive Cultural Revolution, have his opponents seized their chance to destroy Bo and what he stood for? The trigger was his wife Gu Kailai’s apparently paranoid murder of an English family friend, which exposed the corruption and brutality of Bo’s outwardly successful administration of the massive city of Chongqing. It also led to the one of the highest-level attempted defections in Communist China’s history when Bo’s right-hand man, police chief Wang Lijun, tried to escape the ruins of his sponsor’s reputation.
 
Garnaut explains how this incredible glimpse into the very personal power struggles within the CCP exposes the myth of the unified one-party state. With China approaching super-power status, today’s leadership shuffle may set the tone for international relations for decades. Here, Garnaut reveals a particularly Chinese spin on the old adage that the personal is political.
 —Penguin

Report Links Former Police Chief to Murder

Edward Wong
New York Times
A Chinese newspaper reports a former Chongqing police chief played a direct role in organizing the murder of a U.K. citizen. 

Beijing’s Doomsday Problem

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
Over the past ten days, China has been riveted by accounts of what authorities say are its very own doomsday cult: the church of Almighty God, which has prophesized that the world will end today. Authorities have said the group staged illegal...

The New Chinese Gang of Seven

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
In traditional Chinese religion, a fashi, or ritual master, will recite a set of phrases to turn an ordinary space into a sacred area where the gods can descend to receive prayers and rejuvenate the community. The ceremony can last days, with breaks...

Caixin Media

12.07.12

China’s Dream Team

Stephen S. Roach
The country’s recent leadership transition was widely depicted as a triumph for conservative hardliners and a setback for the cause of reform—a characterization that has deepened the gloominess that pervades Western perceptions of China.In fact,...

Out of School

11.30.12

Heirs of Fairness?

Taisu Zhang
An unusual debate on what may seem an arcane topic—China’s imperial civil service examinations—recently took place on the op-ed page of the The New York Times. The argument centered on the question of whether or not China during the past 1000 years...

People’s Daily Quotes the Onion: Kim Jong Eun ‘Sexiest Man Alive’

Carlos Tejada and John Chin
Wall Street Journal
Top Communist newspaper cited American satirical paper's slide show of North Korean leader...

Caixin Media

11.23.12

Asset Transparency Urged to Fight Government Graft

Calls for government officials to disclose personal and family assets are growing louder in China, mainly in reaction to the rising number of corruption cases affecting officialdom.And some officials are listening. A local Communist Party official...

China: Worse Than You Ever Imagined

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
Last summer I took a trip to Xinyang, a rural area of wheat fields and tea plantations in central China’s Henan province. I met a pastor, a former political prisoner, and together we made a day trip to Rooster Mountain, a onetime summer retreat for...

Caixin Media

11.17.12

Political Reform: The Way to Go

Sections of the 18th National Party Congress report that have justifiably generated the most attention are references to political reform.Anyone who did not harbor unrealistic hopes about the congress and its outcome can read the report and find...

Habemus Papam! China Unveils its New Leaders

T.P.
Economist
With its unique and mystifying blend of pageantry, ritual and secrecy, China’s ruling Communist Party has named its seven new leaders. 

The New Member's of China's Ruling Body

The New York Times
New York Times
All of China’s new Politburo Standing Committee, the group of politicians who rule country, have close connections with former leaders.

Viewpoint

11.14.12

The Future of Legal Reform

Carl Minzner
Carl Minzner, Professor of Law at Fordham University, talks here about the ways China’s legal reforms have ebbed and flowed, speeding up in the early 2000s, but then slowing down again after legal activists began to take the government at its word,...

Viewpoint

11.14.12

Change in Historical Context

Peter C. Perdue
China’s Communist Party has only ruled the country since 1949. But China has a long history of contentious transfers of power among its ruler. In these videos, Yale historian, Peter C. Perdue, an expert on China's last dynasty, the Qing, puts...

Viewpoint

11.13.12

China’s Next Leaders: A Guide to What’s at Stake

Susan Shirk
Just a little more than a week after the American presidential election, China will choose its own leaders in its own highly secretive way entirely inside the Communist Party. What’s at stake for China—and for the rest of the world—is not just who...

Xinhua Insight: China Will Never Copy Western Political System

Meng Na and Mou Xu
Xinhua
Xinhua says Hu Jintao wants China to support state power and at the same time improve the system of community-level democracy.

Opinion: Meritocracy Versus Democracy

Zhang Weiwei
New York Times
Without much fanfare, Beijing has introduced significant reforms and established an elaborate system of what can be called “selection plus election.”

Two Rising China Leaders Say Open to Wealth Declarations

John Ruwitch
Reuters
After report on Wen Jiabao's "hidden riches," Guangdong and Shanghai party bosses said officials will eventually have to declare assets...

Viewpoint

11.09.12

Pragmatism and Patience

Hamid Biglari
Hamid Bilgari, Vice Chairman of Citicorp, the strategic arm of Citigroup, is a leader in international investment banking. Bilgari says that pragmatism and patience are the dominant qualities exhibited by cultures facing major change, such as...

Viewpoint

11.08.12

Who is Xi Jinping?

Orville Schell
In an era of great change and economic uncertainty around the world, one might expect a leadership transition at the top of one of the world’s rising powers to shine a light on that country’s prospective next leaders so the public might form an...

China's Communist Party Congress Opens with a Warning

Peter Ford
Christian Science Monitor
Outgoing President Hu Jintao warned that the Communist Party faces 'collapse' if it fails to clean up corruption...

Viewpoint

11.07.12

Peering Inside the ‘Black Box’

Orville Schell
Just hours after the United States voted for its next president, China, too, is preparing for a leadership change—although much less is known about that process, which begins Thursday with the start of the 18th National Congress of the Communist...

Caixin Media

11.05.12

Scenes from a Leadership Transition

Jiang Zemin’s Lyrical MemoryCompiled by Caixin(Beijing)—A glance at off-hours correspondence between two veteran leaders has added a lighter dimension to the recent public appearances of former Politburo members in the run-up to the party’s 18th...

Viewpoint

11.05.12

The Big Enterprise

Orville Schell
In days of yore, when a new dynasty was established in China and a new emperor was enthroned, it was known as dashi, “The Big Enterprise,” and it usually involved mass social upheaval and civil war. The latter-day version of changing...

Sinica Podcast

10.26.12

Party Congress Preview

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
With less than two weeks to go before the Eighteenth Party Congress, speculation on China’s upcoming leadership transition could not be more intense here in Beijing, where insiders are trading lists of potential Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC)...

Who Was Mao Zedong?

Roderick MacFarquhar from New York Review of Books
In Kashgar’s largest bazaar a few years ago, I spotted a pencil holder sporting an iconic Cultural Revolution image: Mao Zedong and Marshal Lin Biao smiling together. But Mao’s personally chosen heir apparent had been a nonperson since 1971, when he...

A Test Case for the Communist Party’s Commitment to Reform

Yiyi Lu
Wall Street Journal
Critics say the Party can't hold power much longer if fundamental reforms are not introduced – a notion echoed by an essay in the latest issue of the CCP’s own theoretical journal, Seeking Truth...

China Reshuffles Top Military

Benjamin Kang Lim
Reuters
Outgoing air force commander General Xu Qiliang, 62, promoted to vice-chairman of the military's top decision-making body. ...

China hints at move to strengthen Communist rule

Sui-Lee Wee
Reuters
Xinhua says China's ruling Communist Party will discuss a proposal aimed at strengthening one-party rule over the next five years. ...

Caixin Media

10.12.12

Bo Xilai as a Catalyst for Political Reform

No matter how you look at it, the disciplinary process surrounding the case of Bo Xilai will have historic implications.Details of the crimes committed by Bo, his wife, Bogu Kailai, and his former right-hand man, Wang Lijun, reflect a level of...

An Honest Writer Survives in China

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
A little over a year ago, I went with the Chinese writer Yu Hua to his hometown of Hangzhou, some one hundred miles southwest of Shanghai, and realized that his bawdy books might not be purely fictional; their characters and situations seemed to...

No Ancient Wisdom for China

James McGregor
YaleGlobal Online
The much-vaunted China Model has morphed in the past decade to a one-of-a-kind system of authoritarian capitalism that is in danger of terminating itself – and taking the world down with it. It is also proving incompatible with global trade...

The Mixed Bag of Socialism

Qian Gang
China Media Project
Ahead of the 18th National Congress, the phrase “socialism with Chinese characteristics” is as strong as ever.

Ousted From Party in China, Bo Xilai Faces Prosecution

Edward Wong
New York Times
Chinese leaders announced on Friday that Bo Xilai, a disgraced Communist Party aristocrat, had been expelled from the party and would be prosecuted on criminal charges, as the date for the 18th Party Congress, climaxing China’s once-a-decade...

Caixin Media

09.28.12

Bo Xilai Ousted from Communist Party

The Communist Party has expelled Bo Xilai, the former party chief of Chongqing, who’s been embroiled in corruption allegations since early this year.The Politburo made the decision on September 28, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Bo will next...

China’s Lost Decade

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
It’s hard to believe, but just twenty years ago China was on the verge of abandoning the market reforms that have since propelled it to its current position as a world power. Conservatives had used the 1989 Tiananmen massacre to reverse the country’...

Watchwords: The Life of the Party

Qian Gang
China Media Project
To outsiders, the political catchphrases deployed by China’s top leaders seem like the stiffest sort of nonsense. What do they mean when they drone on about the “Four Basic Principles,” or “socialism with Chinese characteristics”? Most Chinese are...

Late Nights, Mysterious Women, and Communism

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
The men who run China today are avid readers of history, especially of the decline and fall of the Soviet Union. They can recite its causes, and they are explicitly dedicated to avoiding a repeat of the experience. So I have to wonder if anyone this...