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China Analysis Digest #8

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Issue: 2021/08

  • Date: April 14-21, 2021
  • Sources scanned: 81
  • Content: 223 publications from 55 sources
  • Download raw data (.csv)
  1. After Xi: Future Scenarios for Leadership Succession in Post-Xi Jinping Era (Richard McGregor and Jude Blanchette):

    Xi Jinping now stands as the overwhelmingly dominant figure in China’s political system, having gained command of the military, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) apparatus, and diplomatic and economic policymaking, all while sidelining or locking up rivals to his leadership. His drive for power, however, has destabilized elite political consensus and dismantled power-sharing norms that evolved since the 1980s. By removing de jure term limits on the office of the presidency—and thus far refusing to nominate his successor for this and his other leadership positions—Xi has solidified his own authority at the expense of the most important political reform of the last four decades: the regular and peaceful transfer of power. In doing so, he has pushed China toward a potential destabilizing succession crisis, one with profound implications for the international order and global commerce.

  2. A US journalist who dined with Mao is Beijing’s ideal for who should cover China (Mary Hui)

    Beijing’s construction of an arguably unattainable archetype of the ideal foreign journalist is more than just a rhetorical exercise, and reflects a greater tendency since Xi took power “to invoke a kind of nostalgic memory of the CCP in the 1930s and 1940s,” said [Julia] Lovell.  The state’s eagerness to promote Snow is also “expressive of an instrumental desire to shape foreign coverage of China,” she added. “ That desire traces back to the 1930s, and remains a constant.”

  3. China’s backlash against Western brands may be short-lived (Kecheng Fang)

    Even though China’s state censors have so far tolerated or even celebrated the campaign against Western brands over Xinjiang, there’s another reason that the Chinese government might seek to cool things down: The topic unwillingly opened up space for Xinjiang-related discussions…Some seized the opportunity to voice their support for Uyghurs.

  4. Judicial (In)dependence Under Xi (Xin He):

    The high-profile court reforms, initiated at the fourth plenum of the 18th CCP Party Central Committee in 2014, are now complete. On the surface, many reform measures appear to boost judicial independence and Chinese judges’ prestige. But in reality, the regime has further tightened the control of the judiciary and its judges.

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China Story:

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War on the Rocks:


Project Syndicate:

The Atlantic:

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Monkey Cage:

Australian Financial Review:

Lowy Interpreter:

East Asia Forum:

The Strategist:

Sixth Tone:

China Digital Times:


Inside Story:

Politico China Watcher:

Politico China Direct:

Protocol | China:

The Wire China:


Congressional Research Service:

European Council on Foreign Relations:

Center for Strategic and International Studies:

Center for Advanced China Research:


U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission:

Brookings Institution:

Rhodium Group:

Observer Research Foundation:

The Conversation:

The Diplomat:

Foreign Policy:


National People's Congress Observer:

Chinese Storytellers:

Chaoyang Trap House:



Beijing Channel:

Tracking People's Daily:

The India China Newsletter:

Eye on China:

Takshashila PLA Insight:

Beijing to Britain:

China Dialogue:


Hong Kong Free Press:

Taiwan Insight: