Communist Party politics

Communist Party politics

The turbulent history of the Communist Party plays an integral role in China’s rise as a potential superpower.

China’s leaders look to chart a course through choppy waters
Thousands of delegates will gather in Beijing on Friday as the Chinese Communist Party battles to meet the social and economic targets that were decided before the coronavirus pandemic led to the country’s first economic slump in decades. The annual meetings of the legislature and its advisory body, known as the “two sessions,” are mostly rubber-stamp affairs where the government makes public its yearly economic agenda, growth targets and the national budget. The biggest political gathering of the year, held in the Great Hall of the People, has been delayed from its usual date in March for the first time in more than two decades because of the Covid-19 outbreak. It also takes place against t
China's ambassador distances himself from claims that coronavirus came from US
China’s ambassador to the United States has denounced speculation about the origin of the coronavirus after his fellow diplomats openly promoted dubious information about the pandemic. The remarks of the Chinese ambassador, Cui Tiankai, represents an oblique rebuke of a few of his colleagues who spread unfounded claims that the virus might have originated in America. Without naming names, Cui said speculating on the origin of the virus was “harmful” during an interview with Axios on HBO on March 17, published on Sunday.  “Eventually, we must have an answer to where the virus originally came [from],” Cui said. “But this is a job for the scientists to do, not for diplomats, not for journalists
Chinese official claims US army may have brought coronavirus to China
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian has taken to social media to promote an unproven claim that the coronavirus originated not in the central city of Wuhan, where the first cases were reported, but in America.  With the virus’s spread slowing in China, Beijing has sought to highlight its success in containing the epidemic and depict the US’ response as a failure. The most active tweeter in the Chinese government has suggested that the US military had brought the new coronavirus to the outbreak’s epicenter in China. On Friday, he asked his 310,000 followers to share an allegation from a Canada-based conspiracy website that the coronavirus – which has become a global pandemic – orig
Chinese officials thank the people after ‘gratitude education’ campaign backfires
Communist officials in the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak have praised local residents as heroes in an attempt to contain a public backlash sparked by the suggestion they should be grateful to the Chinese leadership.  The Communist Party chief of Hubei province, where more than 67,000 people have been infected by the virus since December, made the remarks on Sunday while visiting front-line medical staff in Wuhan.  “Wuhan is a city of heroes, and the Wuhan people are heroes,” said Ying Yong, who was appointed to the post last month in the middle of the coronavirus crisis.  “[Wuhan’s people] … have shown resilience and strong will … I hereby express my sincere gratitude to the people o
Chinese internet rejects Communist virtual idols named after Mao poems
Two new “virtual idols” representing the youth wing of China’s Communist Party failed spectacularly, in large part because they were released as China still struggles to grapple with the coronavirus outbreak.  The Communist Youth League posted on the Twitter-like Weibo on Monday that it would release two new animated cartoon characters.  “Let’s meet two new friends, the league’s virtual idols Hongqiman and Jiangshanjiao,” the Communist Youth League said to its 12 million followers.  The two characters’ names, which mean “abundant red flags” and “lovely land,” were both derived from poems by late Chairman Mao Zedong.  The project is the party’s latest attempt to win the hearts of China’s you
Xi’s China faces ‘crisis of Chernobyl proportions’
Long before it became synonymous with a viral outbreak, the central Chinese city of Wuhan had been at the heart of some key political events in the country’s modern history. It was where an armed uprising began in 1911 that ended thousands of years of imperial rule. It was where Mao swam across the Yangtze River in 1966, at the age of 72, in a publicity stunt that helped rally support for his Cultural Revolution. This winter, it was the starting point for an outbreak of a new coronavirus – which causes the disease now officially known as Covid-19 – that has rapidly spread across the country and beyond, killing more than 1,380 people and paralyzing cities. The crisis has been referred to as C
Beijing purges top officials at coronavirus epicenter amid public anger
The Chinese leadership has purged the top officials in the central province of Hubei, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, in a response to the public anger over what is seen as a botched response to the epidemic.  Hubei’s Communist Party chief Jiang Chaoliang was replaced by Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported on Thursday. Ying, 61, is a close ally of Chinese President Xi Jinping.  The Communist Party leader of Wuhan, 56-year-old Ma Guoqiang, also lost his job, Xinhua said. He will be replaced by Wang Zhonglin, the party secretary of Shandong’s provincial capital Jinan in eastern China.  Jiang, 61, is the highest-ranking official purged so far in the ou
Here’s why Beijing’s new Hong Kong envoy was a surprise choice
Bringing a political veteran with no relevant experience out of semi-retirement and making him the top envoy to Hong Kong shows Beijing’s determination to reset its policy on the city, according to insiders and observers. Luo Huining’s appointment as the new director of the central government’s liaison office in Hong Kong came as a surprise even to Communist Party insiders. But while he is seen as capable, he was an unlikely candidate for the job. Having turned 65 in October, Luo was supposed to be easing into semi-retirement. Under party rules, senior officials of Luo’s rank are relieved from key positions at the age of 65.  They are then transferred to less demanding roles – usually in Chi
Why Xi Jinping wants everyone to know he ate on the train
Chinese President Xi Jinping is the kind of president who does not mind eating his dinner on the train and who shuns luxurious accommodation, according to the latest state media reports designed to portray him as a thrifty and frugal leader. The report by state news agency Xinhua published on Monday depicted him as a man who would spend his birthday working and personally intervened to ensure that meals in honor were not too extravagant. The report was also intended to reinforce the message to officials that staying down to earth was “no trivial matter” but was key to fulfilling the party’s “original mission” in what one analyst described as a Mao Zedong-style effort to show he was on the si
Can China learn the lessons of a failed dynasty?
Are we finally seeing Pax Sinica 2.0, or is China engaging in a self-fulfilling prophecy that will lead to its doom (again)? Back in 2013, I wrote that China proffered a valid voice that would help maintain and shape the international order in its current form.  My 2015 book China, State Sovereignty and International Legal Order argued that China’s assertions and exercise of sovereignty should not be taken automatically as signs of aggression, or acts beyond the remit of international law, that would threaten world peace.  In turn, international law would moderate and influence China’s state behavior, both within its territory and in its relations with other states. Since then, President Xi