Xi Jinping was elected general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party and chairman of the Central Military Commission at the 18th Party Congress in 2012. He succeeded Hu Jintao as leader of the Comm

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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
Xi’s China faces ‘crisis of Chernobyl proportions’
How the world can benefit from US-China tech war
The phase one trade deal between China and the US, signed on January 15, signaled a truce in the trade war. This is a welcome development, not only for the two countries but also for the rest of the world. It is expected to usher in a period of relative calm and reduced uncertainty, which should increase both investment and consumption globally.  However, it is not a net win for either country, even though they are both better off with the truce. They have both suffered economic losses from the mutual tariffs. In fact, China’s estimated loss in gross domestic product is higher than that of the United States, in both absolute and relative terms. Unfortunately, the conclusion of the phase one
How the world can benefit from US-China tech war
Economic break-up with US ‘unrealistic,’ China’s top trade negotiator says
China and the United States reached an agreement that would help fend off talk of a decoupling between the world’s two largest economies, a top Chinese official said. The countries signed an initial trade deal on Wednesday to put the brakes on their 18-month war of tariffs that roiled global markets and shook up supply chains. Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He, speaking to reporters after a signing ceremony with US President Donald Trump, said the deal indicated that the two countries are deeply interconnected. “I think it is very unrealistic. A few people without economic backgrounds are talking about decoupling between China and the US, but in reality it is impossible,” Liu was quoted as saying
Economic break-up with US ‘unrealistic,’ China’s top trade negotiator says
Made (mostly) in China 2025: Beijing wants to cut reliance on foreign tech
After the Trump administration showed itself willing and capable of blocking Chinese access to US technology as US-China tensions rose, Beijing may have learned. China is aiming to increase its reliance on domestic production for key components, including chips and control systems, to 75% by 2025, according to a former official. The target reflects Beijing’s determination to reduce its dependence on imports by expanding its national manufacturing innovation centers to 40 from the 15 at the end of 2019. Domestic production currently only provides around a third of the key components required by China, but Li Yizhong, a former industry and information technology minister, said this week that t
Made (mostly) in China 2025: Beijing wants to cut reliance on foreign tech
Revealed: China to make huge purchases of US goods in initial trade deal
This story is part of an ongoing series on US-China relations, jointly produced by the South China Morning Post and POLITICO, with reporting from Asia and the United States. China has agreed to make significant purchases of US goods as part of the phase one trade deal to be signed in Washington on Wednesday. The goods will total $200 billion over two years across four industries, according to a Trump administration official and two other sources briefed on the matter. Beijing has agreed to buy manufactured goods worth around $75 billion, $50 billion of energy, $40 billion of agricultural goods and $35 billion to $40 billion in services, the three sources said. Perhaps in reciprocation, the U
Revealed: China to make huge purchases of US goods in initial trade deal
US-China ties to get complicated due to elections in Taiwan
Taiwan may face retaliation and increased pressure from Beijing after President Tsai Ing-wen’s landslide re-election victory, analysts said, adding uncertainty to the already tense relationship between China and the US. Tsai, from the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), won a record-breaking 8.2 million votes, or 57% of the total, in Taiwan’s election on Saturday against 5.5 million votes for her main opponent, Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu, in what was widely seen as an endorsement of the Tsai administration’s tough stance against Beijing. Observers said Beijing was likely to further squeeze Taiwan – a self-ruled island that Beijing claims as part of its territory – in the
US-China ties to get complicated due to elections in Taiwan
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
Here’s why Beijing’s new Hong Kong envoy was a surprise choice
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
Why Xi Jinping wants everyone to know he ate on the train
How playing up a ‘sense of crisis’ could keep Taiwan’s president in office
Chemistry student Chen Pin-yu will be voting for the first time when Taiwan heads to the polls in January, and she has already made her choice. “I’ll be giving my vote to Tsai Ing-wen because she is more capable of defending Taiwan than Han Kuo-yu or James Soong,” the 21-year-old, who studies at Tamkang University in Taipei, said. Chen was concerned about the self-ruled island’s fate if President Tsai lost to Han or Soong, whom the student said “would turn a blind eye to Beijing eroding our sovereignty.” Young voters like Chen will be crucial for the three presidential candidates on January 11, analysts say, in an election seen as a choice between protecting the island’s sovereignty and kee
How playing up a ‘sense of crisis’ could keep Taiwan’s president in office
Trump got 3 things right in China deal
Although the formal text of the US-China phase one trade agreement has yet to be released or signed, observers haven’t wasted a minute sharing their views. By far, the most controversial part has been the tariffs. Some believe the agreement was not worth the harm and uncertainty caused by the tariffs – many of which will remain in place, at considerable cost to US businesses, workers and consumers. Others say the escalating tariffs were instrumental in bringing the 18-month dispute to a successful partial conclusion. The tariffs certainly played a role, but three other factors were critical. First, in the final stages of the trade talks, the United States made important compromises. Usually,
Trump got 3 things right in China deal