29 November 2019

ThinkChina Analysis: Stealth Leadership: Silence on Key Challenges at China’s Recent Central Committee Meeting

The fourth plenary meeting of the Chinese Communist Party’s 19th Central Committee gathered China’s political elite for a debate on comprehensive reforms of China’s socialist system, also focusing on how to make the state owned enterprises more effective. However, other key challenges that the Chinese leadership face, such as the demonstrations and riots in Hong Kong and the trade war with the US, were only touched upon indirectly. In this analysis, Professor of China Studies at University of Copenhagen, Jørgen Delman investigates how Xi Jinping and the Chinese leadership have dealt with these crucial discussions of both national and international importance. The conclusion is, that the party has done so under stealth that keeps the internal party discussions a secret, and hence Xi Jinping presents a united party backing him entirely.

Key takeaways

  • In spite of signs showing varied policy requests among party members, Xi Jinping continues to be in full command and the Central Committee gave full backing to Xi Jinping’s policies for reforms of the Party-state system and the state owned enterprises.
  • Due to the closed door policy and stealth of the processes within the party, the Chinese public and the rest of the world remains uninformed about the nature of disagreements within the party, and how they are resolved. This also goes for discussions of pressing matters such as the trade war, the political crisis in Hong Kong, and the renewed independence stance of the Taiwanese ruling party.
  • After the meeting, elections in Hong Kong challenged the Party's conviction of its strong support from the Hong Kong electorate, and an article by China's senior trade negotiator challenged the US attempts to force China to reform its state owned enterprises.

Download and read here

This analysis is an updated version of an article originally published by Insightperspectives.