Willy’s Corner

With Zhou’s Circle Down, Xi’s Purge May Turn to Hu

The Xi Jinping administration has chosen June 30, the eve of the Chinese Communist Party’s 93rd birthday, to make two announcements about Beijing’s 18 month-long anti-graft campaign. With these, he has largely eliminated the remaining allies of his rival Zhou Yongkang—and he may be moving... MORE

Forgetting Tiananmen, and What Came Before It

While it has been established practice for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) administration to lock up intellectuals and NGO activists in the run-up to the anniversary of the June 4, 1989 massacre in Tiananmen Square, police action the past month or so has been markedly... MORE

Terrorism Fears Push Muscular Approach to ‘Overall National Security’

Xi Jinping's new concept of “overall national security” (zongti guojiaanquan) was put to the test on April 30, when two alleged terrorists struck at the Urumqi Railway Station just a few hours after the President and Commander-in-Chief left Xinjiang after a four-day inspection trip. At... MORE

New High-Level Groups Threaten Line Between Party and Government

The Xi Jinping leadership is concentrating more powers in secretive leading groups and commissions at the apex of the Chinese Communist Party. These top-level decision-making and coordinating agencies—the Central National Security Commission (CNSC), the Central Leading Group on Comprehensively Deepening Reforms, and the Central Leading... MORE

National Security Trumps Reform at the NPC

Domestic and international security concerns have dominated the on-going session of China’s legislature, the National People’s Congress. This is despite high expectations that Premier Li Keqiang will unveil thorough-going economic reforms in his maiden Government Work Report (hereafter Report), which was delivered at the Great Hall of... MORE

Members of the Xi Jinping Clique Revealed

Fourteen months after the watershed 18th Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Congress, President Xi Jinping has emerged as a strongman whose power is deemed to be more extensive and entrenched than that of ex-presidents Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao. In January, Xi became Chairman of the... MORE

Xi Invokes Mao’s Image to Boost his own Authority

President Xi Jinping has used the celebration of Chairman Mao Zedong’s 120th birthday on December 26 to legitimize his conservative policies—and the concentration of power at the apex of the party-state apparatus. While more than 100,000 people, mostly rural residents, converged on Mao’s birthplace in... MORE

Xi’s Power Grab Towers over Market Reforms

While the recent Third Plenary Session of the 18th Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee was expected to unveil major initiatives in economic liberalization, what has struck Chinese and foreign observers most is the weight that the leadership has given to enhancing state security, particularly... MORE

SOE Background of Rising Leaders Threatens Reform

The recent detention of senior executives of the China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) has highlighted a major question about China’s economic plans: Whether the Xi Jinping-Li Keqiang administration has finally decided to restructure the 110 or so yangqi, or state-owned enterprise (SOE) groupings. Li has... MORE

Ideological Crackdown Reaches the Strongholds of Reform

The Xi Jinping leadership has started an ideological movement among party members and citizens that is geared toward promoting hard-line socialist values and absolute obedience to Beijing’s edicts. While the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) Rectification Campaign, announced earlier this year, was focused mainly on nurturing... MORE