Here is a rundown of the major developments in Chinese politics since the closing of the 19th Party Congress on October 24:
- Xi has a new team to govern China with him on the Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC) — see SupChina’s summary.
- State media revealed that the Party had scrapped internal straw polls, something the Financial Times described as a “very limited experiment in democracy” among China’s leading politicians, possibly part of Xi’s effort to stamp out the influence of the Communist Youth League — see SupChina’s summary.
- Reuters reports that Li Xi 李希 has been appointed Party chief of Guangdong Province, a more prestigious job than his current role leading Liaoning Province. His new post was vacated by Hu Chunhua 胡春华, who now sits on the 25-member Politburo.
- Reuters also said that Li Qiang 李强 is set to replace Han Zheng 韩正, the party boss in Shanghai who got promoted to the PBSC. Li Qiang is a strong loyalist to General Secretary Xi — Sinocism points out (paywall) that “Li was among the first provincial leaders to refer to Xi as the ‘core’ before the 2016 Sixth Plenum.” See also a piece on Li’s background by the South China Morning Post, which describes him as “a keen supporter of the private sector.”
- The anti-corruption campaign previously spearheaded by Wang Qishan 王岐山, now led by Zhao Leji 赵乐际, is set to expand, despite already having snared nearly 1.4 million officials. SCMP says that authorities are moving to set up a new agency called the National Supervisory Commission, which “will investigate, question, search, detain and take disciplinary action against not just…party cadres suspected of corruption, but all public officials and staff.” The commission will be a nationwide expansion of a pilot program in Beijing, Zhejiang Province, and Shanxi Province that officials said was successful, SCMP notes.
- In the six days since Xi Jinping Thought was enshrined in the Party constitution, at least 20 higher-education institutions have established research institutes dedicated to the topic, according to Agence France-Presse.
Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka
Another bridge opened to boost connectivity to China border / The Hindu
“Working toward improving road connectivity to areas close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in Ladakh region, the Border Roads Organization (BRO) today opened a newly constructed bridge to the people of the cold desert region in Jammu and Kasmir.”
China’s planning a 1,000 km tunnel to divert water away from one of India’s largest rivers / Quartz
How China’s key project in Pakistan got trapped in politics / SCMP
China urges closer cooperation with Sri Lanka on key projects / Reuters
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to visit India in December, reports say / SCMP
China’s statistics bureau to take over accounting of provincial GDP data to combat fraud / SCMP
The Korean Peninsula
Talks under way for Moon visit to Beijing ‘within this year’ / SCMP
China breaks up plot to kill Kim Jong Un’s nephew, report says / Bloomberg
Pollution, gas, and the switch from coal
China’s air pollution is hindering its ability to produce solar power / Quartz
China’s Shanxi calls for gas supply ‘guarantee’ in switch from coal / Reuters
China warns coal producers against manipulation / Caixin
Spain and Catalonia
China reiterates support for Spanish government amid Catalonia crisis / Reuters
As China builds more on the sea, nature’s beauty gets buried / Caixin
“China’s mangrove swamplands are disappearing at an alarming rate.”