About this Report
The Party Watch Initiative Quarterly Report 1 provides a comprehensive overview of the most important Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-related developments and trends for the period covering October 2017 to January 2018 and offers near-term estimates of their future direction. It includes analysis of the 19th Party Congress, Xi Jinping’s consolidation of power over the CCP, military, and security forces, the new National Supervision Law and anti-corruption campaign, economic developments in China’s “new era,” and the growing importance of CCP international liaison and united front work. The report is heavily based on Chinese language publications analyzed during the Initiative’s daily monitoring of authoritative CCP-regime sources.
Executive Summary: Trends and Near-Term Projections
General Secretary Xi Jinping consolidated his official ideological authority and his control over China’s military and security forces. Party-state propaganda sought to condition Chinese officials and the broader Chinese public to Xi’s new status as supreme leader of China without equal. It is almost certain that Xi will continue to centralize power through new laws and regulations and the fostering of a cult of personality through an extended propaganda campaign of adulation.
The CCP is set to extend its disciplinary control over all officials exercising public authority through the creation of a supervision super-body, the National Supervision Commission, that will work alongside the CCP’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) out of the same offices. It is very likely that the CCDI will maintain actual control of the new organization through the appointment of senior CCDI officials to the Commission’s leadership. The Commission is set to enhance the ability of the Xi leadership to investigate and punish those resisting Xi’s policies and authority.
Achieving a moderately prosperous society by 2021 continues to depend on the CCP’s balancing of competing priorities, including the maintenance of adequate economic growth levels, poverty elimination, and emphasis on qualitative growth over quantitative growth targets. It is almost certain that China will continue to advance itself internationally as the leading proponent of globalization through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and as an alternative development model for other countries.
Events since the 19th Party Congress strongly suggest that the CCP’s International Department (CCP/ID) and United Front Work Department (CCP/UFWD) will increasingly advance the CCP’s efforts to rally non-CCP elements in China and abroad to work towards CCP goals, including national development, national unity, and foreign policy initiatives such as the BRI. The CCP/ID has emerged as a key conduit for advancing the CCP’s foreign policy initiatives through party-to-party diplomacy.
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