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Thread: The Big 19th: China's 2017 19th National Party Congress

  1. #1
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    The Big 19th: China's 2017 19th National Party Congress

    Commentary: A reformed PLA puts Xi Jinping in good position for 19th Party Congress
    by Ng Ka Po, June 23, 2017 Channel News Asia

    BEIJING: The 18th Party Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012 established the leadership of Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang, and outlined ambitious plans to reform the Chinese economy.

    The 19th Party Congress will be held sometime in the autumn of 2017. Observers are watching this closely, as a number of senior leaders may retire. The event is usually a milestone ushering in leadership transition.

    But no one expects there to be changes to Xi Jinping’s top position as General Secretary. Many expect that Xi will take the chance to replace retiring leaders with allies, as he is in a good position domestically, especially after sweeping reforms to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

    CRACKDOWNS SINCE 2012
    In 2012, Xi Jinping started a plan to revamp the PLA. A month after assuming leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Central Military Commission (CMC) in November that year, he introduced new rules, and started an anti-corruption crackdown and a political purge.

    Although there have not been news of any anti-corruption investigations of senior military leaders this past year, over 50 of them have been brought down since 2012, including the two CMC vice-chairmen, Xu Caihou and Guo Boxiong, both of whom had good standing with the earlier Hu Jintao leadership.

    Xi had told military rank and file that Xu had “caused comprehensive and deep harm to the construction of the army”.

    “We must cleanse the influence of Xu Caihou, ideologically, politically and also in terms of organisation and work style,” Mr Xi had said.

    For Xi Jinping, this anti-corruption campaign is a high-stakes game that is critical to the consolidation of his paramount status. But changes at the top of the PLA’s leadership would not be sufficient.

    DEEPENING REFORMS SINCE 2014
    Xi Jinping called the year 2014 “the first year of deepening reform”. Xi broke away with the convention of enlarged CMC meetings. He created a small CMC Leading Group on Deepening Military Reforms that excluded veteran PLA leaders.

    After a CMC Reform Working Conference in the fall of 2015, Xi demobilised 300,000 troops. But he elevated the status of the Second Artillery to a full service arm called the Rocket Force and formed a new Strategic Support Force. The Strategic Support Force would build and integrate space, cyber and electronic warfare capabilities for the PLA. In tandem, the Ground Force, which had enjoyed superior status previously, was put on equal footing with other service arms, including the Rocket Force.

    The CMC was declared overall in charge of military affairs and had final say over affairs of the PLA as well as the People’s Armed Police, militia and reserves. Functions under the four General Departments were reorganised into 15 bodies that would report directly to the CMC. The heads of the four General Departments had wielded so much decision and policy making power previously that the civilian CMC chairman could be easily sidelined.

    A CMC Joint Operations Command Centre which reported directly to Xi was also established. Information flowed to this centre from those in the five new theatre commands, newly established from the PLA’s previous seven regional commands.

    In one fell swoop, Xi managed to do away with old structures in the PLA and put himself at the pinnacle of new ones.

    PLA MUST REMEMBER REVOLUTIONARY ROLE
    In the summer of 2015, Xi revealed the thinking behind his military reform plans. “The PLA must conform to orders from the Party’s Central Committee and CMC … We must always firmly adhere to fundamental principles where the Party maintains absolute leadership over the army under any circumstances,” Xi told military rank and file.

    And a year later, Xi was elevated to “core” leader of the Chinese Communist Party by the Central Committee, the same rank that only Deng Xiaoping and Mao Zedong received.

    PROFESSIONALISATION OF PLA
    Xi has moved quickly to strengthen the PLA and give it bite to its bark. Military reforms since 2014 emphasise professionalism, mobility and force projection. The Ground Force would develop “all-region mobility and three-dimensional offensive and defensive capabilities”. Joint-level training would become the norm. Group Armies would integrate various combat modules to fight in cold highlands and mountainous jungles.

    Force projection, with new submarines and a new aircraft carrier, would help the PLA Navy sail further and faster. Thanks to the recent army downsizing, the marine’s third brigade was formed out of an infantry brigade from the former 26th Group Army. A second aircraft carrier is said to be under construction in Shanghai.

    Meanwhile, the Air Force continues to develop its own suite of advanced aircraft, which includes an indigenously developed Y-20 transport plane and the J-31 stealth fighter. This may put the PLA Air Force in a better position to undertake integrated air and space operations.

    Heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula have also put the PLA’s Rocket Force in the limelight. It has responded to South Korea’s THAAD deployment by highlighting the Rocket Force’s capability to launch at short notice. It also revealed in a recent test a new missile model, the Dongfeng-class medium-range ballistic missile E/A DF26B, which is believed to have electromagnetic warfare capabilities.

    PLA leaders will be happy with all these new capabilities. The PLA is now better able to show it can protect China’s interests amid evolving challenges.

    STRONGER POSITION
    Xi Jinping’s military reforms are producing a PLA that is catching up to its Western counterparts in conventional military capabilities while having the space to continue developing its asymmetric warfare capabilities. This will greatly strengthen Xi’s hand to pursue a more assertive foreign policy, especially in the South China Sea.

    The image of a China able and willing to stand up to pressure from the US and its allies has also increased Xi’s domestic political capital. It seems that the sweeping reforms to the PLA has strengthened Xi's hand, giving him greater flexibility and manoeuvering space within his party.

    The 19th Party Congress when held will be an occasion for displaying the power of the core leadership.

    Even so, despite having to rely on the PLA as a key policy instrument in his China Revival programme, the CMC Chairman will remain wary of any expansion of the military’s political influence. Instead of rewarding the generals, Xi will likely tighten his grip on top PLA leadership appointments in the coming 19th Party Congress.

    Ng Ka Po is Professor of International Relations at the University of Niigata Prefecture.

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    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    Reading assignments ...


    How to Read Xi Jinping’s 19th Party Congress Political Report
    by Alice L. Miller, May 25, 2017
    China Leadership Monitor

    Just about anything by Alice Miller is worth taking the time to read.
    http://www.hoover.org/research/how-r...litical-report

    The Road To The 19th Party Congress
    by Alice L. Miller, Aug 30, 2016
    China Leadership Monitor
    http://www.hoover.org/research/road-19th-party-congress

    Getting Ahead in the Politburo: Predicting who will be enthroned in China’s 19th Party Congress
    By Zhou Chutian, Nov 3, 2016, The Journal of International Policy Solutions
    https://www.jipsblog.com/single-post...Party-Congress

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    Beijing vs. Shanghai: Career Prospects

    The Economist has an article today (July 14, 2017) on the new Beijing party secretary, Cai Qi. That got me thinking about the relative advantages of being head of Shanghai or Beijing, and the fate of the men (women aren’t allowed in the higher levels of the CCP club) who held such posts.

    Since 1949 (actually, 1948 in the case of Beijing), only two of the 13 Beijing secretaries have made it to the Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC): Wei Jianxing (secretary 1996-98) and Jia Qinglin (1997-02). Only one other reached a similarly high post: Peng Zhen (1948-66, and NPC Chair 1983-88). Three were purged: Li Xuefeng (1966-67), in 1971; Wu De (1972-78), in 1980, and Chen Xitong (1992-95), in 1995.

    Shanghai secretaries did much better. Seven of the 18 made it to the PBSC (Zhang Chunqiao (1971-76), Jiang Zemin (1987-89), Zhu Rongji (1989-91), Wu Bangguo (1991-94), Huang Ju (1991-2002), Xi Jinping (March to October, 2007) and Yu Zhengsheng (2007-2012). Other elite elevations include We Jianxing as Discipline Inspection Commission Chair and Jia Qinglin as CPPCC Chair. Three Shanghai secretaries were purged: Rao Shushi (1949-50, purged in 1954 along with Gao Gang), Zhang Chunqiao, a member of the Gang of Four (in 1976), and Chen Liangyu (2002-2005), in 2006.

    Obviously, Jiang Zemin had a lot to do with Shanghai boys getting into the PBSC, and if not for his faction action, the tally would match Beijing’s three (Zhu Rongji should not be considered only as Jiang’s man). So, as The Economist article points out, Cai Qi will get a Politburo seat along with his Beijing office (both cities’ bosses are automatically on the Politburo since the mid-1980s), but unless he switches to another career track such as the NPC or State Council, that’s about as far as he’s likely to get.


    PB: Politburo. PBSC: Politburo Standing Committee. NPC: National People's Congress. MAC: Military Affairs Commission
    CC. Central Committee. CPPCC. Chinese People's Political Consultative Committee. CAC. Central Advisory Committee

    CCP Secretaries = = = = = = = Highest other office = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Fate

    Beijing
    Peng Zhen (1948-66) = = = = 8th Politburo (1956-66), 12th Central Committee = = = = = NPC Chair (1983-88)
    Li Xuefeng (1966-67) = = = = Hebei Secretary (1968-71) = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Purged (1971)
    Xie Fuzhi (1971-72 = = = = = CC Secretariat (1966-72), PLA General (1955) = = = = = = Public Security Minister (1959-72)
    Wu De (1972-78) = = = = = =10th Politburo, NPC Vice Chair (1975-83) = = = = = = = = =Purged (1980)
    Lin Hujia (1978-81) = = = = =Tianjin Secretary (1978-81) = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Agriculture Minister (1981-82)
    Duan Junyi (1981-84) = = = =Railways Minister (1976-78) = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =CAC Standing Committee (1982-92)
    Li Ximing (1984-92) = = = = =NPC Vice Chair (1993-98) = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 13th Politburo
    Chen Xitong (1992-95) = = = Beijing Mayor (1983-93), 14th Politburo = = = = = = = = = =Purged (1995)
    Wei Jianxing (1996-98) = = = 14th Politburo; DIC Secretary (1992-02) = = = = = = = = = 15th PBSC
    Jia Qinglin (1997-2002) = = = CPPCC Chair (2003-13) = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 16th, 17th PBSC
    Liu Qi (2002-12) = = = = = = Beijing Olympics Organizing Committee President (2008) = = 16th, 17th Politburo
    Guo Jinlong (2012-17) = = = Beijing Mayor (2008-12) = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =18th Politburo
    Cai Qi (2017-) = = = = = = = Nat'l Security Commission General Office (2014-16) = = = = =19th PB?

    Shanghai
    Rao Shushi (1949-50) = = = CC Organization Dept Director (1953-54) = = = = = = = = = = Purged (1954)
    Chen Yi (1950-54) = = = = =PRC Foreign Minister (1958-72), Vice Premier (1956-72) = = = 8th Politburo
    Ke Qingshi (1954-65) = = = =Vice Premier = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 8th Politburo
    Chen Pixian (1965-67) = = = Hubei Secretary (1978-82) = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 13th CC Secretariat
    Zhang Chunqiao (1971-76) = 10th Politburo (1969-73); Purged (1976) = = = = = = = = = 10th PBSC (1973-76)
    Su Zhenhua (1976-79) = = = Admiral, MAC member (1959-76), PLAN 1st PC (1972-76) = 11th Politburo
    Peng Chong (1979-80) = = = Jiangsu Revolutionary Committee Chair (1974-76) = = = = =10th NPC Vice Chair (1988-93)
    Chen Guodong (1980-85) = =Transport Bank Chair, 11th, 12th Central Committee = = = = Shanghai CAC Chair (1985-92)
    Rui Xingwen (1985-87) = = = CC Propagand Department Director (1987-89) = = = = = = =13th CC Secretariat
    Jiang Zemin (1987-89) = = = PRC President (1993-03), MAC Chair (1989-04) = = = = = = =CCP General Secretary (1989-2002)
    Zhu Rongji (1989-91) = = = =PBoC Governor (1993-95); PRC Premier (1998-03) = = = = = 4th, 15th PBSC
    Wu Bangguo (1991-94) = = = 11th NPC Chair (2003-13) = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 16th PBSC
    Huang Ju (1994-11/02) = = = Executive Vice Premier (2003-07); 14th PB (2004-07) = = =15th PBS
    Chen Liangyu (11/02-9/05) = 14th Politburo (2002-06) = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =Purged (2006)
    Han Zheng (9/06-3/07) = = = Shanghai Mayor (2012-) = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =18th Politburo
    Xi Jinping (3/07-10/07) = = = PRC President (2013-), MAC Chair (2012-) = = = = = = = = CCP General Secretary (2012-)
    Yu Zhengsheng (200/07-02) = CPPCC Chair (2013-); Construction Minister (1998-01) = = 18th PBSC
    Han Zheng (11/12-) = = = = =Acting Shanghai Secretary (2006-07) = = = = = = = = = = 19th PB?
    Last edited by DOR; 14 Jul 17, at 15:55.

  4. #4
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    Lots of folks picking up on Sun Zhengcai’s demise. Not many 54 year-old PhDs on the Politburo, which means the succession list is getting a bit tighter.

    Sun first showed up on the Pekinology radar in 2002 as party secretary for the Shunyi District in Beijing. After four years on the city party standing committee he was named Agriculture Minister – at the age of 43 – in 2006. Up to the Central Committee in 2007, and then running rust-belt Jilin Province (2009-12). He was sent to Chongqing to clean up after Bo Xilai in 2012, and after five years on the job might be expected to move on, particularly in a Party Congress year. But, all indications are that he fell under the wheels of the DICmobile.

    That's the party Discipline Inspection Commission, under former economic guru Wang Qishan.
    Xi Jinping's purge-and-clean machine.


    The next one to keep an eye on is 63 year-old Shanghai party boss Han Zheng. Han spent his entire career in Shanghai, rising up through university party jobs to City party functions (1987 to date). Vice Mayor (1998-02), Deputy Secretary (2002-06), Mayor (2003-12), and – uniquely – a two-time party Secretary, 2006-07 (acting, before handing over -- for six months -- to Xi Jinping) and again since 2012.

    Lots of time working under heavy hitters such as Zeng Qinghong, Yu Zhengsheng and on back to the Jiang Zemin / Zhu Rongji days … PBSC members one and all.
    And, Shanghai cliquers, folks not on the best of terms with the DICmobile.

    Nikkei Asian Review: http://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Econ...ngqing-shocker
    The Economist: https://www.economist.com/news/china...jinping-purged
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    Xi set to restore Mao-era CPC chairman post

    By Oki Nagai, Nikkei Asian Review, July 31, 2017.

    https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Eco...-chairman-post

    BEIJING -- In a bid to further reinforce his power base, Communist Party of China General Secretary Xi Jinping will propose restoring the post of chairman of the Central Committee of the CPC at a key meeting to be convened shortly.

    Xi, who also serves as president of the state, will make the proposal at the Beidaihe meeting, an annual informal summit of current and retired leaders, held at the coastal summer resort in Hebei Province near Beijing.

    The post of CPC Chairman was last held by Mao Zedong, seen as the father of the country, for more than 30 years until his death.

    Attendees at Beidaihe will also discuss revising the CPC's retirement age under which senior members 68 or older at the time of a national party congress -- held every five years -- are expected to retire. In the lead up to the 19th party congress this autumn, Xi will propose revisions that will mark a major turning point for the collective leadership of the party, which has been in place since former paramount leader Deng Xiaoping implemented his reforms and open-door policy.

    Current, past leaders gather
    CPC heavyweights gather between late July and early August every year to discuss key policy issues at Beidaihe. While no information about the gathering is publicly disclosed, decisions made during it greatly influence the party congress.

    A key issue at this year's Beidaihe meeting regards appointing members to the Politburo Standing Committee, the top leadership of the party, which will be reshuffled during the congress. A party official told Nikkei that it will also consider a plan to restore the post of chairman of the Central Committee of the CPC.

    Mao held the post from 1945 till his death in 1976. Under the previous Chinese constitution, the post granted sweeping powers over the party, government and military, allowing Mao to oversee the armed forces of the CPC and the Central Military Commission.

    The post was abolished in 1982 as the power Mao had accumulated allowed the country to slip into chaos, culminating in the Cultural Revolution. The plan to restore the post is aimed at extending Xi's rule.

    Under China's constitution, the state president may serve up to two terms of five years each, while the CPC's provisional rule stipulates that the party general secretary is allowed to remain at the helm for two consecutive terms.
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    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    The above article also has a table of promotions expected at the 19th National Party Congress. PBSC inductees include:

    Wang Yang (b. Suzhou, 1955), PB member (2012-), CC member (2002-), 3rd ranking Vice Premier in charge of poverty, agriculture, floods and other relief efforts (2013-). Ex-Guangdong CCP Secretary (2007-12), Chongqing City NPC Chair (2006-08) and CCP Secretary (2005-07); and long-time Anhui cadre (1980-99)
    Hu Chunhua (b. Hubei, 1963), PB member (2012-), CC member (2007-), CCP Secretary of Guangdong (2012-), Inner Mongolia Secretary (2009-12), Hebei Deputy Secretary and Governor (2008-09), Communist Youth League Secretary (2007-08), Tibet CCP Secretary and deputy (2001-07) and long-time Tibet cadre (1983-97).
    Li Zhanshu (b. Hebei, 1950), PB member (2012-), CCP CC Secretariat member (2012-), CCP CC General Office Director (2012-), Guizhou CCP Secretary & Governor (2010-12), Heilongjiang CCP Secretary, Governor (2007-10) and cadre (2003-10), Shaanxi cadre (1998-2004), Hebei cadre (1972-98)


    Even if Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang and Wang Qishan remain, that’s still only six.
    I’m not sure why the author hasn’t included Zhao Leji or Zhang Chunxian, but both have strong prospects.


    Newly promoted generals:
    Han Weiguo (b. Hebei, 1956), Central Theater Command Commander (2016-); ex-12th Group Army Commander.
    Liu Lei (b. Shandong, 1957), PLA Ground Forces Political Commissar (2015-), 40+ years in Lanzhou MR, mainly with 21st Group Army
    Yu Zhongfu (b. Shandong, 1956), PLAAF Political Commissar (2015-), mainly served with 19th and 24th PLAAF divisions. Since Xi Jinping took power, Yu has bounced around to Jilin, Nanjing and Lanzhou, apparently putting out fires.
    Wang Jiasheng (b. Liaoning, 1955), Discipline Inspection Commission member (2012-); PLA Rocket Force (nee 2nd Artillery) Political Commissar (2014-), CC member (2012-) and former PLA General Armaments PC.
    Gao Jin (b. Jiangsu, 1959), PLA Strategic Support Force Commander (2016-), CC Alternate member (2012-17) Ex-President of the PLA Academy of Military Science (2014-15),
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    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    October 18, 2017

    Date set for China’s most important political event: the Communist Party congress

    China’s ruling Communist Party will convene its key five-yearly congress in Beijing on October 18 – about the same time in the year as the mid-term meeting 10 years ago.
    http://www.scmp.com/news/china/polic...party-congress


    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ CCP National Party Congresses

    No. _ _ _ Year _ _ _ Leader _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Notes

    1st _ _ _ 1921 _ _ Chen Duxiu _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Held in Shanghai
    2nd _ _ _ 1922 _ _ Chen Duxiu _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Shanghai; Comintern told members to join KMT
    3rd _ _ _ 1923 _ _ Chen Duxiu _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ First United Front with KMT
    4th _ _ _ 1925 _ _ Chen Duxiu _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Immediately following Sun Yat-sen’s death
    5th _ _ _ 1927 _ _ Li Lisan _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Immediately following KMT’s purge
    6th _ _ _ 1928 _ _ Li Lisan _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Held in Moscow. Zhou Enlai ranked No. 2
    7th _ _ _ 1945 _ _ Mao Zedong _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Held in Yan’an. Established post-war leadership team
    8th _ _ _ 1956 _ _ Mao Zedong _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Liu Shaoqi ranked No. 2
    9th _ _ _ 1969 _ _ Mao Zedong _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Great Proletariat Cultural Revolution. Lin Biao ranked No. 2
    10th _ _ 1973 _ _ Mao Zedong _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Post-Lin purge. Zhou Enlai ranked No. 2
    11th _ _ 1977 _ _ Hua Guofeng _ _ _ _ _ _ _ First post-Mao NPC; Deng Xiaoping rehabilitated;
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Gang of Four purged; reform era begins
    12th _ _ 1982 _ _ Hu Yaobang _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Deng Xiaoping de facto leader
    13th _ _ 1987 _ _ Zhao Ziyang _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _Deng Xiaoping de facto leader; Hu Yaobang purged
    14th _ _ 1992 _ _ Jiang Zemin _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Deng Xiaoping de facto leader; Zhao Ziyang purged
    15th _ _ 1997 _ _ Jiang Zemin _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ First post-Deng NPC.
    16th _ _ 2002 _ _ Hu Jintao _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Jiang Zemin retains Military Affairs Committee chair
    17th _ _ 2007 _ _ Hu Jintao _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Jiang Zemin formally retires.
    18th _ _ 2012 _ _ Xi Jinping _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ All key positions (party, military state [2013]) unified for the first time.
    19th _ _ 2017 _ _ Xi Jinping _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ?
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    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    Wild rumors

    I’m suddenly seeing reports of assassination attempts – multiple – against Xi Jinping, dating back more than five years. The sources are thus far wholly unreliable, which makes me wonder who has what to gain from promoting these stories.


    Speculation of Assassination Attempt on Xi Jinping
    , chinauncensored.com (http://www.chinauncensored.com/index...-on-xi-jinping). Xi cancelled a meeting with Secretary Clinton in September 2014, and immediately there’s speculation of an attempt on his life.

    Have there been assassination attempts against Xi Jinping? Quora.com (https://www.quora.com/Have-there-bee...nst-Xi-Jinping). “Rumours, completely without foundation, claim up to nine assassination attempts.”

    Corrupt officials planning to assassinate China’s president,
    China Daily Mail (https://chinadailymail.com/2015/02/2...nas-president/).

    The Battle at Zhongnanhai
    , China Scope (http://chinascope.org/archives/6748), yet another one sourcing the same HK magazine speculation. And, by bringing Falu Gong into its, the credibility heads down the toilet.

    Xi Jinping Had Two Assassination Attempts Directed at Him by Zhou Yongkang?, Boxun News (http://en.boxun.com/2013/12/05/xi-ji...zhou-yongkang/).


    OK, those aren’t exactly top-drawer sources. But, some of the others are:

    Xi Jinping: The leader who isn’t there
    , Independent (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...e-8126166.html), doubts the stories.

    Power struggle has Xi leery of coup, assassination attempts, Nikkei Asian Review (https://asia.nikkei.com/Features/Chi...ation-attempts). Certainly a credible source, but the guts of it seems to be the look two security guards gave a tea-serving attendant at a CPPCC meeting.

    Is Xi Jinping protecting himself from an internal threat? China president reshuffles elite security unit, South China Morning Post (http://www.scmp.com/news/china/artic...leaders-safety). People were transferred !

    Bottom line: Xi is very different from Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, but assassination isn't the way politics are conducted in China.
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    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    What to make of this ?

    China’s troublesome civil-military relations | Japan Times | Sept 06 2017

    Part that gets repeated in India

    The mutual-withdrawal deal was struck just after Xi replaced the chief of the PLA’s Joint Staff Department. This topmost position — equivalent to the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff — was created only last year as part of Xi’s military reforms to turn the PLA into a force “able to fight and win wars.” The Joint Staff Department is in charge of PLA’s operations, intelligence and training.

    No sooner had Xi fired the chief of the Joint Staff Department, Gen. Fang Fenghui, then a deal with India was clinched. This suggested that the topmost general was resisting ending the standoff.

    Fang was fired just days after he hosted America’s highest-ranking military officer, Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Fang was replaced by Gen.Li Zuocheng, considered a “war hero” for his combat role in the 1979 Chinese invasion of Vietnam
    Your earlier post talks about promotions. What about who got fired ?

    and

    During his 2014 India trip, Xi appeared embarrassed by the accompanying PLA encroachment that cast a pall over his visit. He assured Modi that he would sort it out upon his return.

    Soon after he returned, the Chinese defense ministry quoted Xi as telling a closed-door meeting with PLA commanders that “all PLA forces should follow the president’s instructions” and that the military must display “absolute loyalty and firm faith in the Communist Party, guarantee a smooth chain of command, and make sure all decisions from the central leadership are fully implemented.”

    Just weeks later, Xi again asked for the PLA’s full loyalty to the party, telling a military-political conference in Fujian that “the Communist Party commands the gun.

    Recently Xi conveyed that same message yet again when he addressed a parade marking the 90th anniversary of the PLA’s creation on Aug. 1, 1927. Donning military fatigues, Xi exhorted members of his 2.3 million-strong armed forces to “unswervingly follow the absolute leadership of the party.”

    Had civilian control of the PLA been working well, would Xi repeatedly be demanding “absolute loyalty” from the military or asking it to “follow his instructions”?
    Always assumed there is no way the PLA can challenge the CCP
    Last edited by Double Edge; 09 Sep 17, at 14:43.

  10. #10
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    I wonder why Fang Fenghui’s dismissal would be considered as an issue of civilian control?

    First, he is under investigation for corruption (nothing new there). http://www.scmp.com/news/china/polic...rruption-probe

    Second, he was plucked from relative obscurity by Hu Jintao and promoted well beyond expectations very quickly. http://www.scmp.com/news/china/artic...residents-wing

    Third, he’s 66 this year. http://www.chinavitae.com/biography/Fang_Fenghui

    And, fourth, maybe someone should take the blame for the fiasco with India?

    Zhang Yang also turns 66 this year. http://www.chinavitae.com/biography/Zhang_Yang|4097
    He spent much of his career in Xiamen, Fujian … where Xi Jinping also served at the same time.
    And, he also appears to be under investigation. http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/eas...-for-top-posts

    Bear in mind that positions are generally for a three-year tenure. These may -- I don't know -- be routine, but the investigation angle suggests otherwise.
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    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOR View Post
    I wonder why Fang Fenghui’s dismissal would be considered as an issue of civilian control?
    It shouldn't be. Unless you subsequently sense some negative reaction from the military. Am not sure there has been any.

    Quote Originally Posted by DOR View Post
    First, he is under investigation for corruption (nothing new there). http://www.scmp.com/news/china/polic...rruption-probe

    Second, he was plucked from relative obscurity by Hu Jintao and promoted well beyond expectations very quickly. http://www.scmp.com/news/china/artic...residents-wing

    Third, he’s 66 this year. http://www.chinavitae.com/biography/Fang_Fenghui

    And, fourth, maybe someone should take the blame for the fiasco with India?
    Time for somebody else I guess

    Quote Originally Posted by DOR View Post
    Zhang Yang also turns 66 this year. http://www.chinavitae.com/biography/Zhang_Yang|4097
    He spent much of his career in Xiamen, Fujian … where Xi Jinping also served at the same time.
    And, he also appears to be under investigation. http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/eas...-for-top-posts

    Bear in mind that positions are generally for a three-year tenure. These may -- I don't know -- be routine, but the investigation angle suggests otherwise.
    Term was up is also my thinking

    Which leave Xi's statements that the communist party commands the gun. Is it normal for Xi to be reminding the military they serve the party or is there a need right now to reiterate

  12. #12
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post

    Which leave Xi's statements that the communist party commands the gun. Is it normal for Xi to be reminding the military they serve the party or is there a need right now to reiterate
    Constantly.
    The People's Liberation Army is the army of the Chinese Communist Party, not the army of the People's Republic of China.
    That has always been the case, but it is so unusual that there is a constant need to remind the brass that they obey the party.

    Frankly, my use of the term "civilian control" was wrong.
    It's party control.
    Trust me?
    I'm an economist!

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    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOR View Post
    That has always been the case, but it is so unusual that there is a constant need to remind the brass that they obey the party.
    So you are saying then that there is some friction between the PLA and the CCP ?

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    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    So you are saying then that there is some friction between the PLA and the CCP ?
    No, the officer corp are all party men (and a few women).
    But, sometimes they might have their own agendas.

    For example, when Jiang Zemin offered an olive branch to Taiwan, and was rebuffed, the PLA launched the Third Taiwan Straits Crisis (1995-96) by conducting military exercises off the Fujian coast and firing missiles across Taiwan. Jiang wasn't strong enough to stare down the brass, but a year later he launched a celebration of the first anniversary of his olive branch. With Deng Xiaoping's support, he then cleared out much of the top brass, including the Yang brothers (Shangkun and Baibing).
    Trust me?
    I'm an economist!

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    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOR View Post
    For example, when Jiang Zemin offered an olive branch to Taiwan, and was rebuffed, the PLA launched the Third Taiwan Straits Crisis (1995-96) by conducting military exercises off the Fujian coast and firing missiles across Taiwan. Jiang wasn't strong enough to stare down the brass, but a year later he launched a celebration of the first anniversary of his olive branch. With Deng Xiaoping's support, he then cleared out much of the top brass, including the Yang brothers (Shangkun and Baibing).
    ok, so this is a good example, question is how does one interpret the PLA's actions in this context ?

    - was the PLA disobeying the CCP by launching the straits crisis
    - Jiang was unable to prevent the PLA from launching the crisis

    Neither makes sense to me. Am surprised you say he wasn't strong enough to stare down the brass. How can that be. If the PLA is the army of the party does it not follow that they obey the party. Whoever becomes party leader should automatically have the PLAs support

    Looking at it from a Taiwan pov, snubbing Jiang comes with a cost. Whether the PLA over reached/disobeyed/jiang couldn't stop them matters not, the result isn't surprising. Good cop. Bad cop.

    The next question is whether Xi in a similar position as Jiang wrt the PLA ?

    Xi purging heads on the pretext of corruption is a tried and tested way of dealing with opposition in many places.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 11 Sep 17, at 17:53.

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