NPC passes the amended Legislation Law to end recurrent miscarriage of national and local law-making. Enforcing consistency with central policies, it prevents arbitrary interpretation to serve narrow interests. Another link in the chain of Xi’s restructuring of public power, the amended Law returns tax authority to the NPC while offering localities restricted law-making powers.
Rarely has so much been read into the political demise of a middle-ranking official as is now extracted from the case of Qiu He 仇和. The fall of the Yunnan deputy Party secretary, declares People’s Daily, directly implicates the current development model.
The career of Qiu He 仇和 sums up the China model and the tournament system in its heyday, the fat years of the Hu-Wen administration. Cutting him down, Xi and his attack dogs seek to cut themselves loose from a series of stains on the Party’s purity that culminated in the rampant brutality of Zhou Yongkang 周永康, Bo Xilai and their ilk. Qiu embodied a set of interlinked political and developmental models no longer in favour.
Supreme People’s Court’s revised fourth 5-year reform plan was released following the july 2014 initial blueprint. The plan affirms the Xi administration’s ambition for a more centralised, autonomous and professional judiciary. What needs to be done is more certain than ever, what can be done, less.
Last week’s NPC and CPPCC meetings (a.k.a.’Two Meetings’) were seen as the most dour in years. This was due not just to limits on sideshows staged by ‘celebrity delegates’. Li Keqiang 李克强, both in his ‘Report on the work of the government’ and his closing press conference, was felt to sidestep a range of tough issues.
Investment is often raised and delivered in China, as elsewhere, through projects. But unique to China is a 50-year history of attempted central planning and its institutional legacy… Among the by-products of this legacy is the ‘project system’, a set of workarounds and operating procedures that grew up following the demise of the ‘danwei society’…
The banking sector shuddered at troubling signals from credit markets at the end of Q3. Accelerating NPLs suggest economic transition is a false start. In theory, ameliorating credit market risk and redirecting economic activity should be mutually reinforcing processes. In practice, banks’ heightened risk protocols are a tourniquet on targeted stimulus.
Xi’s interpretation of hukou reform at the end of September extinguished notions rural land might be individually owned. The possibility reignited debate on land reform. Appeals to equity found alliance in reformers urging economic expediency: dismantle the dual rural-urban structure and erect a system recognising workarounds like grey market housing.
The summer’s anti-monopoly fanfare may be indicative of more to come. Foreign auto companies appear to be in the cross hairs, as the NDRC realises industrial policy through sanctions. A more hostile environment with idiosyncratic enforcement awaits foreign enterprises.
The problems plaguing the South North Water Diversion Project, slated to open its middle route this fall, are a microcosm of China’s environmental and energy governance. Routine delays are a symptom of poor central coordination. Well over-budget, costs continue to escalate from unforseen contingencies such as treating water from polluted tributaries.
The Third Plenum is a Party meeting. Xi Jinping will stamp his authority and shore up his power base; the Party-state will commit to deeper reform; interest group privileges will be rebalanced; a broad policy ‘road map’ will be laid out; a balance will be struck between politics and economics.
The China Policy Christmas and New Year of the Sheep present for all our friends and supporters: a fabulous slide show of modern Chinese cinema with links to the movies. Our selection brings another dimension to your China insight and, if not quite carefree, offers a more relaxed way to keep you on your China toes.