Republic of China (PRC), during leadership transitions, both the Chinese TABLE 1-1. Top Leadership Posts that Xi Jinping Holds Concurrently, as of May 2016 Leadership body Post Tenure since Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party General Secretary 2012.11 Presidency of the People’s Republic of China President 2013.03 Central Military Commission of the CCP Chair 2012.11 Central Military Commission of the PRC Chair 2013.03 National Security Committee Chair 2013.11 Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reforms Head 2013.11 Central Leading Group for Foreign Affairs (Central Leading Group for National Security) Head 2013.03 Central Leading Group for Taiwan Aff airs Head 2012.11 Central Leading Group for Financial and Economic Work Head 2013.03 Central Leading Group for Network Security and Information Technology Head 2014.02 CMC Leading Group for Deepening Reforms of National Defense and the Military Head 2014.03 PLA Joint Operations Command Center Commander in chief 2016.04 Note: CMC = Central Military Commission; CCP = Chinese Communist Party; PLA = People’s Liberation Army; PRC = People’s Republic of China.
14 chinese politics in the xi jinping era elite and the public have closely focused their attention on the composi- tion of the PSC. For overseas China watchers, despite highly diverse and divergent assessments of Chinese elite politics, the last decade or so has witnessed a surprisingly strong consensus about the pivotal importance of the PSC. 26 But that consensus seems to have come to an end, as some view Xi as a new strongman in the Middle Kingdom. Western media have frequently cited Chinese scholars who claim a “return of strongman politics” in China. A front-page article in the International New York Times calls the Chinese decisionmaking process “Xi’s one man show.” 27 Th e article quotes a dis- tinguished Chinese professor who characterized Xi as the “emperor” on the PSC, with the other six members of the committee serving as his “assistants.” 28 Some analysts believe that the so-called collective leadership has not worked well in the past and can never work in the future because it is inher- ently disintegrated and ineffective; it only leads to political infighting and bureaucratic deadlocks. Th is is reflected in the widely perceived Hu-era phenomenon of “policies decided at Zhongnanhai not making it out of Zhongnanhai.” 29 Th is gridlock, some observers argue, enabled heavyweight figures such as Zhou Yongkang, who controlled the security apparatus, and Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou, who were in charge of military personnel, to “make CCP leader Hu Jintao a mere figurehead.” 30 He Pin, a New York–based veteran China analyst, argues that the system of collective leadership, in which no one individual is responsible and accountable, is not sustainable.
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- Spring '18
- Michael Lee Weintraub
- People's Republic of China, Hu Jintao, Communist Party of China, Xi Jinping, president XI