Words Count: Chinese State of the Nation Speech All About the ‘Party’

by Josh Chin / Mar 5, 2017/ WSJ

The Chinese government’s annual policy blueprint runs more than 18,000 Chinese characters. Only a fraction of them are necessary to grasp this year’s theme: a dramatic emphasis on the Communist Party, in particular its leader.

China’s Premier Li Keqiang, as usual, delivered the government’s work report on Sunday in a nearly 100-minute speech to the legislature.  Unusually, the document’s normal heavy doses of economic policy prescriptions came leavened with numerous mentions of the party and President Xi Jinping. Continue reading “Words Count: Chinese State of the Nation Speech All About the ‘Party’”

Can the New U.S. Ambassador to China See Xi Jinping for Who He Really Is?

by Jeffrey Wasserstrom / February 7, 2017 / China File

When the Senate Foreign Relations Committee holds confirmation hearings on Terry Branstad’s nomination to be Ambassador to China, the Iowa Governor is sure to be asked about the positions of the president who nominated him. I hope, though, that Branstad also has to answer for things he has said about another of his strongman friends: Xi Jinping. Continue reading “Can the New U.S. Ambassador to China See Xi Jinping for Who He Really Is?”

The who, what and why in China’s latest VPN crackdown

by Sidney Leng, Josh Ye and Nectar Gan / January 26, 2017 / SCMP

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said in a notice earlier this week that all unauthorised virtual private networks will be banned as the ministry rolls out a 14-month campaign to “clean up” and “regulate” internet connection services. Continue reading “The who, what and why in China’s latest VPN crackdown”

The Chairmen, Trump and Mao

by Geremie R. Barmé / January 23, 2017 / ChinaFile

The January 13, 1967 issue of TIME magazine featured Mao Zedong on its cover with the headline “China in Chaos.” Fifty years later, TIME made U.S. President-elect Donald Trump its Man of The Year. With a groundswell of mass support, both men rebelled against the established order in their respective countries and set about throwing the world into confusion. Both share an autocratic mind set, Mao Zedong as Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, Donald Trump as Chairman of the Board. As Jiaying Fan noted in May 2016, both also share a taste for “polemical excess and xenophobic paranoia.” For his part, Mao’s rebellion led to national catastrophe and untold human misery. Continue reading “The Chairmen, Trump and Mao”

China tightens Great Firewall by declaring unauthorised VPN services illegal

by Josh Ye / 23 January, 2017 /SCMP

Beijing has launched a 14-month nationwide campaign against unauthorised internet connections, including virtual private network (VPN) services, which allow users to bypass the country’s infamous “Great Firewall”.

A notice released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on Sunday said that all special cable and VPN services on the mainland needed to obtain prior government approval – a move making most VPN service providers illegal. Continue reading “China tightens Great Firewall by declaring unauthorised VPN services illegal”

China and Taiwan struggle over Sun Yat-sen’s legacy

Nov 5, 2016 /  The Economist

FOR decades Taiwan’s rulers have paid their respects from afar to Sun Yat-sen, also known as Sun Zhongshan: “father of the nation”, founder of the Kuomintang (KMT) or Nationalist Party, and first president of the Republic of China. In a ritual called yaoji, they face towards Sun’s mausoleum in Nanjing, 800km (500 miles) to the north-west in China, and offer fruit, burn incense and recite prayers. Continue reading “China and Taiwan struggle over Sun Yat-sen’s legacy”

CPC Central Committee with Xi as “core” leads China to centenary goals

Originally Posted at  Xinhua / Editor: huaxia / October 28, 2016

BEIJING, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) — The Communist Party of China (CPC) has called on all its members to “closely unite around the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core,” a call to action that many observers believe will give the country the impetus to realize its two centenary goals. Continue reading “CPC Central Committee with Xi as “core” leads China to centenary goals”

Xi Jinping is a strongman. That does not mean he gets his way

Oct 22nd 2016 | TANGSHAN | From the print edition of The Economist

BY NIGHT the fires of Tangshan burn and the air stinks. In this city in the northern province of Hebei, more than 100,000 people work in factories making steel and many more in firms serving the industry. “Save energy and cut emissions,” reads a red slogan outside one plant, heavy machinery roaring within. Earlier this year China’s president, Xi Jinping, ordered the steel business to cut production. Small and inefficient mills like this one were supposed to close and larger ones to shut down some furnaces. Yet many still operate around the clock. Their city is close to Beijing, virtually on Mr Xi’s doorstep, but the steel bosses openly flout his orders. Continue reading “Xi Jinping is a strongman. That does not mean he gets his way”