Xi Jinping’s Reform Leading Group: Two Years in Operation
By Lance L. P. Gore

Xi Jinping’s Reform Leading Group: Two Years in Operation

May. 11, 2016  |     |  0 comments


In November 2013, the third plenum of the 18th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) unveiled an extraordinary package of reforms covering six areas: economic, political, cultural, social, environmental protection and party building. In November 2014 the fourth plenum passed a resolution on comprehensively implementing the rule of law. In November 2016, the Politburo adopted the Thirteenth Five-Year Plan outline. These three plenums laid out the core reform programs of the Xi Jinping regime. The depth and breadth of this round of reforms are summarized by President Xi Jinping as “four comprehensives”: comprehensively build a moderately prosperous society, comprehensively deepen reform, comprehensively implement the rule of law and comprehensively strengthen Party discipline. The stated objective is to lay the institutional foundation for the next stage of China’s development.


On December 30, 2013, the Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reforms (CLGCDR) was established as the headquarters for coordinating the implementation of the various reforms. With President Xi Jinping at the helm, the CLGCDR represents the largest re-centralization of power in recent history, altering the power distribution at the top and changing way the Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) operates. High expectations have been placed on the CLGCDR to end the 10 years of reform drought under the Hu-Wen regime. Three years have since lapsed and it is time to take a closer look at this powerful body.


Routine Operation


Table 1 outlines the personnel, organization structure and the job description of the CLGCDR. The first thing to note is that Xi Jinping not only personally heads the body but also that 4 out of the 7 members of the Politburo Standing Committee and 14 out of the 25 Politburo members have joined the CLGCDR. Li Keqiang, premier of the State Council, Liu Yunshan, who is in charge of running the daily affairs of the Party, and Zhang Gaoli, executive vice premier, are deputy heads of the CLGCDR. By the last count there are altogether 43 members from all major power centers of the Chinese political establishment. Table 2 describes the high caliber members of the group; through them Xi Jinping can reach and extend his authority over all parts of the party-state establishment.


Table 1. Central Leading Group on Comprehensively Deepening Reforms

Director

Xi Jinping

Deputy directors

Li Keqiang, Liu Yunshan, Zhang Gaoli

CLSGCDR Office (housed in the Central Policy Research Office)

Wang Huning (director)

Pan Shengzhou (deputy director)

Mu Hong (deputy director)

Chen Yixin (executive deputy director)

Member Affiliations

CCP Central Committee

Politburo Standing Committee

4 out of 7 members

Politburo

14 out of 25 members

Central Secretariat

6 out of 7 secretaries

CCP Central Discipline Inspection Commission

5 deputy commissioners

CCP Central Military Commission

Vice chairman (Xu Qiliang)

National People’s Congress

Vice chairman (Li Jianguo) and vice chairman and secretary general (Wang Chen)

State Council

The premier; all four vice premiers; one state councilor; and president of the Central Bank

People’s Political Consultative Conference

Four vice chairmen (out of 12 total)

Supreme Court

President (Zhou Qiang)

Supreme Procuratorate

Supreme procuratorator (Cao Jianming)

Four Main Functions

1. Comprehensive reform design

2. Planning and coordination

3. Comprehensively pushing forward reforms

4. Inspection of implementation

Four Major Responsibilities

1. Deliberate and decide on major principles, policies, guidelines and overall plans for the reforms of the economic, political, cultural, social and ecological systems, and party building

2. Overall steering major national reforms

3. Comprehensively deal with and coordinate major national, long-term, and cross-sectoral and cross-regional reform issues

4. Guide, push forward, supervise and urge the implementation of the Party Centre’s major reform policies and measures

Working Groups

1. Economic System and Ecological Civilization Reform

Ma Kai, Wang Yang, Xu Shaoshi, Miao Yu, Lou Jiwei, Zhou Shengxian, Han Changbing, Gao Hucheng, Liu He, Chen Xiwen, Zhang Yi, Mu Hong

2. Democratic and Legal Systems Reform

Li Jianguo, Wang Chen, Meng Jianzhu, Guo Shengkun, Zhou Qiang, Cao Jianming

3. Cultural System Reform

Liu Baoqi, Ge Shugang, Wang Zhigang

4. Social System Reform

Liu Yandong, Wang Zhengwei, Yuan Guiren, Yi Weimin, Li Bing

5. Party-building institutional reform group

Zhao Leji

6. Party discipline inspection system reform group

Zhao Zhuhong, Huang Shuxian, Li Yubing, Zhang Jun, Chen Wenqing



Source: Adapted from: Central leading group on comprehensively deepening reforms illustrated: Rare high level. Tencent News. http://news.qq.com/a/20140123/016966.htm (accessed 9 April 2014); Takungpao (Hong Kong) /http://news.takungpao.com/special/jxsgxz/ (accessed 5 February 2016); http://news.takungpao.com/special/jxsgxz/ (accessed 5 February 2016).


Table 2. Membership of CLGCDR

Name

CLGCDR position

Concurrent position

Xi Jinping(习近平)

Head

CCP general secretary

Li Keqiang (李克强)

Deputy head

premier of the State Council

Liu Yunshan (刘云山)

Deputy head

secretary of the Central Secretariat

Zhang Gaoli (张高丽)

Deputy head

executive vice premier

Wang Huning (王沪宁)

Secretary in chief and director of the CLGCDR office

director of Central Policy Research Office

Mu Hong (穆虹)

Deputy director the CLGCDR office

Deputy director of the NDRC

Pan Shengzhou (潘盛洲)

Deputy director the CLGCDR office

Deputy director of the Central Policy Research Office

Ma Kai (马凯)

member

Vice premier

Wang Yang (汪洋)

member

Vice premier

Liu Yandong (刘延东)

member

Vice premier

Li Baoqi (刘奇葆)

member

Director of Central Propaganda Department

Xu Qiliang (许其亮)

member

Vice chairman of Central Military Commission

Li Jianguo (李建国)

member

Vice chairman of the National People’s Congress

Meng Jianzhu (孟建柱)

member

Secretary of Central Political and Legal Committee

Zhao Leji (赵乐际)

member

Director of Central Organization Department

Li Zhanshu (栗战书)

member

Director of Central General Office

Du Qinglin (杜青林)

member

Vice chairman, Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference

Zhao Hongzhuu (赵洪祝)

member

Deputy secretary, Central Discipline Inspection Commission

Wang Chen (王晨)

member

Vice chairman of the National People’s Congress

Guo Shengkun (郭声琨)

member

Minister of Public Security

Zhou Qiang (周强)

member

President, the Supreme People’s Court

Cao Jianming (曹建明)

member

President, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate

Zhang Qingli (张庆黎)

member

Vice chairman, Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference

Wang Zhengwei (王正伟)

member

Chairman, State Commission for Nationalities

Zhou Xiaochuan (周小川)

member

President, People’s Bank of China

Xu Shaoshi (徐绍史)

member

Director, National Development and Reform Commission

Yuan Rengui (袁仁贵)

member

Minister of education

Wang Zhigang (王志刚)

member

Head of party group of Ministry of Science and Technologies

Miao Yu (苗圩)

member

Minister of industry and information

Lou Jiwei (楼继伟)

member

Finance minister

Yi Weimin (尹蔚民)

member

Minister of human resources and social security

Han Changfu (韩长赋)

member

Minister of agriculture

Zhou Shengxian (周生贤)

member

Minister of environmental protection

Gao Hucheng (高虎城)

member

Minister of commerce

Li Bin (李斌)

member

Chairman of Public Hygiene and family planning

Huang Shuxian (黄树贤)

member

Minister of supervision

Li Yubin (李玉斌)

member

Deputy secretary, Central Discipline Inspection Commission

Zhang Jun (张军)

member

Deputy secretary, Central Discipline Inspection Commission

Chen Wenqing (陈文清)

member

Deputy secretary, Central Discipline Inspection Commission

Ge Shugang (雒树刚)

member

Executive deputy director, Central Propaganda Department

Liu He (刘鹤)

member

Director, office of Central Leading Small Group for Finance and Economics

Chen Xiwen (陈锡文)

member

Director, Central Rural Work Office

Zhang Yi (张毅)

member

Director, State Assets Supervision Commission

Source: http://www.lc123.net/xw/rd/2015-12-10/284636_2.html



On average, the leading group meets every month. The meetings are chaired by Xi Jinping, attended by the deputy heads and group members. Depending on the reform bills being deliberated at each meeting, officials from relevant departments or localities are invited to join. It is unclear as to how many of 43 members actually participate in each meeting on average, but so far Xi Jinping has duly chaired all 20 meetings and delivered a speech at each, highlighting the key reforms and giving instructions with regard to the implementation of the reform bills passed.


Reform Bills Passed


As outlined in Table 3, the 20 meetings in the past two years have deliberated a total of 108 reform bills. Most of them were adopted; some were retained for further revision, and a very few very important ones were delivered to the Politburo for final passage. Table 3 indicates that the reforms dealt with in these bills are extremely diverse; some are very important but some seem trivial. Most of the bills address nationwide reform issues but some deal with only local reforms. The timing and order of the bills introduced seem random and without clear linkage among them. The authors of these bills are not announced, nor are the specific roles played by the six subgroups. It appears though that they are drafted by the usual bureaucratic agencies or local governments, while the role of the CLGCDR is one of screening and balancing, and endowing the bureaucracies with the highest authority to overcome possible resistance down the line.

108 bills in two years, and each may contain dozens of reform measures; the Xi regime has so far witnessed the most reform-intensive era since Deng Xiaoping. Compared with the pace of legislation in Western democracies and considering the nature of some of the reforms outlined in these bills, the speed and scope of the Xi round of reforms are simply breathtaking. Such tempo is impossible without a body like the CLGCDR.


But of course there is the question of how well these reforms are implemented down the line. At the last CLGCDR meeting of 2014 on December 30, it was announced that all the 80 reforms proposed in February that year had been completed. In addition, the central bureaucracies of both the CCP and the State Council have completed another 108 reforms in their own areas of responsibility. Altogether 370 reform measures have been rolled out and are under way, which marks one of the most intensive periods in reform history.1 There is no way to check the reliability of these claims, especially to what extent the reforms have been consolidated and how well they have integrated with one another. Empirical research is needed to sort this out. Here we take a look at the reform bills only.


The six areas of reform specified by the third plenum, namely, economic, political, social, environmental, cultural and party building, are not given equal weight. By far the political and legal reforms received the most attention, with 37 bills passed; a close second is economic reform, with 32 bills. 16 bills are related to social reforms, seven with cultural/educational reforms, six bills are concerned with the environment and five with party building. Eight bills are about the overall reforms or the approach to reforms.


In the area of political reform, building up the institutional framework for the rule of law has received the greatest attention, down to such details as the pay grade of legal assistants and rank order of police officers. The National People’s Congress terminated the re-education-through-labor law and passed the Legislative Law that provides the basis for legislative activities of local governments. Intellectual property rights courts are established in Beijing, Guangdong and Shanghai, while trial circuit courts of the People’s Supreme Court are set up in Shenzhen and Shenyang; pilot programs to decouple the jurisdictions of the people’s court and the people’s procuratorate from that of local governments is underway. The Letters and Visits system is being overhauled. Despite the great doubt thrown upon the Xi regime’s commitment to the rule of law by Western critics, these reform measures, even if only partially implemented, would constitute a major improvement of China’s legal system.


However, Xi Jinping has made it clear from the outset that China is to stick to the current political system and will not allow Western-style democracy; political reform is to better “integrate the Party leadership, the people’s sovereignty and the rule of law.” The sixth CLGCDR meeting deliberated on “the socialist consultative democracy.” A major program to build up think tanks was also on the agenda.


In the area of economic reform, China is entering a “new normal” of slower growth, and faces the challenges of changing its growth model and upgrading its industrial structure. The CLGCDR reviewed a landmark fiscal and tax reform package that was later approved by the Politburo. The package intends to improve the budgeting system and reform the tax system, in particular re-adjusting the fiscal relationship between Beijing and local governments. It specifies the mechanisms for local governments to borrow money and improves the transfer payment system. The new tax code is designed to stimulate the development of the service and nascent industries; the pilot program to replace business tax with value-added tax has been expanded.


The State Council abolished or devolved to local governments more than 700 administrative review items in 2014. Business registration has been made easier by allowing registration before proof of capital. Price control of 26 goods and services is either relaxed or marketized, including telecommunication, public hospital services, farm products etc. Five private bank permits were issued in 2014 and substantial progress made in establishing deposit insurance. In the rural sector new policies were adopted on farmland leased to peasant households, as well as collective land for business and residential usage. The goal is to allow land use rights to be traded on the market. This hopefully will increase the return to the farmer and allow larger modern farm businesses to emerge.


Table 3 Reform Bills Dealt with by the 20 CLGCDR Meetings

Meetings

Reform Bills

First

22/01/14

1. Work rules of Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reforms (CLGCDR)

2. Work Rules for the Special Groups of CLGCDR

3. Detailed Provisions for the Work of the Office of CLGCDR

4. Member List of the Six Special Groups under CLGCDR

5. Planned Division of Labor among Relevant Central Departments with Regard to the Major Measures in the Implementation of the Third Plenum of the 18th Party Congress Decision (detailed)

Second

28/02/14

6. Key points in the 2014 work of the CLGCDR

7. Opinions on the requirements and tasks of the legislative work proposed by the Third Plenum of the 18th Party Congress Resolution

8. Report on major reforms by the special groups on economic system and ecological civilization reforms

9. Implementation plan for deepening reforms of cultural institutions

10. Opinions on deepening reforms of the judiciary and social systems and the division of labor plan for the implementation (detailed)

Third

06/06/14

11. Overall plan for deepening the fiscal and taxation reforms

12. Opinions on further reforming the residential registration system

13. Outline opinions on several issues in the pilot reforms of the judiciary system

14. Plan for the pilot reforms of the judiciary system in Shanghai

15. Plan for setting up the intellectual property rights court (detailed)

Fourth

18/08/14

16. Reform plan for the remuneration of the CEOs of Central SOEs

17. Opinions on the appropriate stipulation and strict regulation of the fringe benefits and business expenditures of the CEOs of central SOEs

18. Opinions on the implementation plan of deepening reforms of the examination and admission system (of high education)

19. Guidance opinions on promoting the integrative development of traditional and the new media

20. Indicative plan for the implementation of the important reforms passed by the Third Plenum of the 18th Party Congress (2014–2020)

21. Report on the progress of the work of comprehensively deepening reforms in the first half of the year (detailed)

Fifth

29/09/14

22. Opinions on the guidance of the orderly circulation of the contracted land use rights in rural areas and developing appropriate scales of economy in agriculture

23. Plan for the pilot program on the reform of actively developing the collective shares in the farmers’ stock-cooperatives

24. Reform plan for deepening reforms of the management of the science and technology plans supported by the central treasury (special items, funds etc.) (detailed)

Sixth

27/10/14

25. Opinions on strengthening socialist consultative democracy

26. Opinions on the work progress of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Area and more broadly adopt its replicable reform experiences

27. Opinions on strengthening the construction of new think tanks with Chinese characteristics

28. Opinions on making available to the larger society the national facilities and instruments of major scientific research (detailed)

Seventh

01/12/14

29. Opinions on the pilot reforms on rural land acquisition, the trading of collective land for business use and residential property

30. Opinions on speeding up the construction of modern cultural service system

31. Opinions on establishing a parallel system of positions and grades for civil servants at the county level and below

32. Opinions on the establishing of the dispatched units of the Central Discipline Inspection Commission (CDIC)

33. Pilot program plan for establishing the circuit courts of the Supreme People’s Court

34. Pilot program plan for the people’s courts and the people’s procuratorates that cut across administrative jurisdictions

Eighth

30/12/14

35. Summary report on the work of comprehensively deepening reforms in 2014

36. Important points in the 2015 work of CLGCDR

37. Important points in the 2015 work to implement some important measures in the resolution of the 4th Plenum of the 18th Party Congress (detailed)

Ninth

30/01/15

38. Implementation plan for further deepening reforms of the judiciary and social systems as adopted by the 4th Plenum of the 18th Party Congress

39. The methods of nomination and evaluation of the secretaries and vice secretaries of provincial level discipline inspection commissions (trial)

40. The methods of nomination and evaluation of the head and deputy head of the discipline inspection teams dispatched by the CDIC (trial)

41. The methods of nomination and evaluation of the secretary and vice secretary of discipline inspection commissions of central SOEs (detailed)

Tenth

27/02/15

42. Overall plan to reform China’s football system

43. Regulations on the recording, publicizing and accountability of activities by leading cadres to intervene in judicial actions and cases

44. Plan for deepening reforms of the people’s inspector system

45. Opinions on further regulating the business activities of the spouses and children of leading cadres of Shanghai municipality (detailed)

Eleventh

01/04/15

46. Plans to assist rural teachers (2015 – 2020)

47. Guiding opinions on integrated reforms of urban public hospitals

48. Pilot program for reforming the people’s jury system

49. Opinions on reforming the case registration system of the people’s court

50. Indicative plan for the implementation of the important measures of the 4th Plenum of the 18th Party Congress, 2015 – 2020 (detailed)

Twelfth

05/05/15

51. Overall plan for carrying out comprehensive innovation reform experiments in some regions and sectors

52. Pilot reform plan for public interest law suit by the procuratorate

53. Opinion on perfecting the legal assistance system

54. Implementation plan for reforming the science and technology system

55. Implementation plan for enlarging the pilot program of transferring government functions to the associations under the China Science Association

Thirteenth

05/06/15

56. Several opinions on sticking to Party leadership and strengthening party building in state-owned enterprise reforms

57. Opinions on strengthening and improving the supervision of state assets in enterprises and the prevention of the loss of state-owned assets

58. Opinions on improving the national unified qualification system for the legal professions

59. Opinions on hiring legal assistants to the judges of the People’s Court and the procurators of the People’s Procuratorate

60. Several regulations on the interactions between the judiciary personnel, the plaintiff/defendant, lawyers, related personnel and intermediary organizations

Fourteenth 01/07/15

61. Environmental protection supervision program (trial)

62. Program for building an ecological monitoring network

63. Pilot program on the natural resources auditing for leading cadres upon their leaving office

64. Methods of environmental and ecological accountability for the leading cadres of the Party and the government (trial)

65. Guiding opinions on promoting state-owned cultural enterprises to put social effects first and realize the integration of social and economic returns

Fifteenth

18/08/15

66. Opinions on improving the mechanism of reporting to the standing committee of the National People’s Congress on the outstanding problems uncovered in audition and correction measures

67. Several opinions on improving judicial responsibility system of the People’s Court

68. Several opinions on improving judicial responsibility system of the People’s Procuratorate

69. Master program for integrated promotion of building world-class universities and disciplines

70. Special inspection program for the improvement of the weak schools of compulsory education in poverty regions

71. Opinions on establishing a cross-regional loss and found system for identity cards

Sixteenth 15/09/15

72. Opinions on implementing the negative list system of market entry

73. Several opinions on reforming pricing mechanisms

74. Opinions on several policies assisting the opening and development of key border areas

75. Guiding opinions on encouraging and regulating the introduction of non-state capital in SOE investment projects

76. Opinions on deepening the reform of the lawyer system

77. Pilot program on establishing separate ranking system for judges and procurators

78. Pilot program on reforming the pay system for judges and procurators

Seventeenth 13/10/15

79. Opinions on strengthening and improving the responses to administrative litigation

80. Program of reforming the central and local taxation systems

81. Opinions on furthering the reform and development of agricultural land reclamation

82. Guiding opinions on the categorization and functional differentiation of state-owned enterprises

83. Opinions on improving multiple mechanisms in dispute resolution

Eighteenth 09/11/15

84. Pilot program of reforming the All-China Federation of Trade Unions

85. Pilot reform program for the mass social organizations in Shanghai

86. Pilot reform program for the mass social organizations in Chongqing

87. Several opinions on speeding up the implementation of the free-trade zone strategy

88. Several opinions on promoting innovative development of the processing trade

89. Program for Puhui financial development 2016-2020

90. Guiding opinions on urban law enforcement system reform and improving urban management

91. Work plan for building top-tier national think tanks

Nineteenth 09/12/15

92. Pilot program for delineating the power and responsibilities of State Council bureaucracies

93. Several opinions on improving the education opening work in the new era

94. Opinions on the integration of rural and urban medical insurance systems

95. Opinions on the registration of people without residential registrations

96. Pilot program of the China Sanjiangyuan National Park system

97. Request for instruction on implementing the pilot programs of judiciary reforms in localities across the country

98. Pilot program for reforming the ranking system for law enforcement officers in public security

99. Pilot program for reforming the ranking system for technicians in public security

100. Work report of the Central Leading Small Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reform for 2015

101. Key tasks for of the Central Leading Small Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reform in 2016

Twentieth11/01/16

102. Opinions on universal implementation of open public administration

103. Opinions on improving the system of state employees learning and implementing the law

104. Several regulations on protecting and awarding whistle blowers

105. Guiding opinions, the pilot program for reforming the public institutions with administrative roles

106. The implementation plan for deepening the reforms of the science association system

107. Regulations on improving the leadership responsibility system for comprehensive public security management

108. Opinions on regulating the management of auxiliary workers in police stations

Sources: Adapted from Xinhua reports on various dates between January 2014 and January 2016.


The Xi-Style Branding


Successful execution of reform plans depends on not only power and authority but also the leadership style of the top leader. President Xi is widely regarded as the most powerful leader since Deng Xiaoping. In addition to Deng’s pragmatism, Xi is also detailed oriented and systematic. As the chairman, his style has shaped the operation of the CLGCDR.


Systematic and comprehensive


Xi’s systematic and comprehensive approach is borne out by the ambitious reform package unveiled at the third plenum and, more recently, by “the four comprehensives” he proposed at the end of 2014. Unlike previous leading small groups that operated mostly behind the scenes, the creation of the CLGCDR, its main members and broad structure were announced with great fanfare. The year 2014 is branded as “reform year one” and 2015 as a “critical year of reform” when some of the most difficult reforms will be undertaken. The second meeting on February 28, 2014 rolled out 80 reforms and at the fourth meeting a seven-year comprehensive reform plan of 336 major reforms was drawn (2014–2020). The operation of the CLGCDR is marked by planning at the beginning, progress review in the middle, a review at the end of the year and a heads-up on the reforms in the following year.


Meticulous


The official media reported that for each of the 336 reforms in 2014 a detailed implementation plan was worked out: the timing, sequencing, the methods and measurable outcomes at each stage. Xi pledged from the outset that “We will not fire empty shells in the first year of reform; we shall get real!”2 He emphasized “five in-places,” that is, the implementation plan must be in place; the implementing actions must be in place; the supervision must be in place and the outcome must be in place.3 As mentioned earlier, an inspection bureau has been created under the CLGCDR Office. Xi requires that, for each reform the subgroups of the CLGCDR, its office, the lead agencies and the participating departments must first establish an effective coordination mechanism so as to create synergy. The duties and responsibilities are to be clearly specified. The coordination must occur “simultaneously at the strategic, campaign and battle ground levels, and between long-term and short-term objectives.” Action plans should be detailed and executable. The execution of the plan must have a timetable for each item, effective supervision and guidance. Tasks are to be subdivided and assigned to relevant units responsible for the implementation. Frequent and broadly based consultations are to be conducted to solicit feedback for timely adjustments.4


Pragmatic


The Xi-style or approach to reform is problem-driven. To garner popular support, Xi advocates that progress should be measured by “the level of satisfaction of the masses.” Priority is given to issues that people are most concerned with. The Xiist approach also acknowledges the new social reality, that Chinese society is increasingly pluralistic and that there are new classes, new stakeholders, more conflicts of interest and conflicting demands. It acknowledges that in this round of reforms many status quo interests within the party-state establishment will be on the losing side. Overcoming their resistance and preventing them from hijacking or distorting reform measures is a critical test of his resolve.


Concluding Remarks


The CLGCDR, compared to the Central Leading Group on Financial and Economic Affairs (also headed by Xi), provides a larger platform to take on issues from almost anywhere and coordinate reforms in all sectors. Table 3 however also reveals randomness in the agenda of each meeting; for example, one would be hard pressed to think of a reason why football reform and the ranking and pay grade of police officers and legal assistants should be on the agenda of such an important body.


In terms of personality, President Xi is a strong leader and competent administrator. The massive recentralization of power successfully engineered by Xi provides the institutional means for fulfilling his vision and ambition. The CLGCDR has been operating smoothly so far. There is however still a question whether what he possesses now is enough. Xi has yet to assemble a team of capable reformers who shares his vision, and who has the synergy and ethos to work together effectively. Xi’s popularity comes mostly from his massive anti-corruption campaign, which has a chilling effect on the cadre corps that he has to rely on for implementing the reforms. In addition, the cadre corps of the CCP is mostly on the losing side in this round of reforms. Recentralization has constrained their power and reduced their control of resources; anti-corruption has stripped them of the many benefits associated with their offices; Xi has yet to find a way to translate his popularity into concrete support from the masses for his reform programs. Hence the fate of the Xi round of reforms is far from clear, even with his strong leadership and determination.


Notes

1. The 80 pre-set reforms of 2014 basically completed. (2014, December 30). People’s Net. Retrieved from http://politics.people.com.cn/n/2014/1230/c70731-26302482.html

2. Absolutely not to fire empty shell in reforms in the starting year. (2015, March 7). People’s Daily.

3. Xi Jinping: Find ways for the reform and make effort for the reform together. (2014, August 18). Xinhuanet. Retrieved from http://news.xinhuanet.com/politics/2014-08/18/c_1112126269.htm

4. Xi Jinping: Reform to central government must be up and running as soon as possible. (2014, January 23). Sina. Retrieved from http://finance.sina.com.cn/china/20140123/013218050013.shtml


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