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Wang Qishan is back

Part of the daily SupChina newsletter. Subscribe for free.

Wang Qishan 王岐山, “the formidable Chinese politician who oversaw President Xi Jinping’s withering campaign against corruption, has been appointed to the national legislature,” reports (paywall) the New York Times, citing Chinese media sources. Wang will be the National People’s Congress representative for Hunan Province.

  • There’s been no hoopla about the announcement — I have not yet found an article about it on any central government website or news service.
  • The announcement “added to signs” that Wang could re-emerge from his recent retirement and “return to public office as a powerful ally” of Xi Jinping, according to the Times. The Financial Times agrees (paywall), saying the move potentially paves the way for Wang “to assume a high-profile role during Xi Jinping’s second presidential term.”
  • Wang “might become the country’s new vice president, with a possible focus on relations with the United States,” according to “leadership sources and diplomats” cited by Reuters.
  • If Wang stays on beyond the conventional retirement age, it may set a precedent for Xi Jinping to continue ruling the Party and the country beyond the conventional two terms — which is one reason why observers of Chinese elite politics have been paying such close attention to him.

Trump administration to take over 5G networks to guard against China?

Axios says that national security officials in the Trump Administration are considering an unprecedented federal takeover of a portion of the nation’s mobile network to guard against China, according to sensitive documents that Axios obtained.

Within 24 hours of the Axios report, however, the head of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission came out against the plan. Ajit Pai said in a statement, “Any federal effort to construct a nationalized 5G network would be a costly and counterproductive distraction from the policies we need to help the United States win the 5G future,” Reuters reports.

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Jeremy Goldkorn

Jeremy Goldkorn worked in China for 20 years as an editor and entrepreneur. He is editor-in-chief of SupChina, and co-founder of the Sinica Podcast.

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