Updated 12 Sept. 2017
The Communist Party of China (CPC) is scheduled to begin its 19th national congress on October 18th. Around 2,300 delegates representing 88.75 million party members across the country will attend the meeting. At the five-yearly convention, party-handpicked delegates will sing the praise of the political legacy of Xi Jinping during his first term, approve Xi’s keynote speech delivered at the congress that lays out the political and economic blueprint for the country in the future, and, most importantly, endorse the new party leadership for the next five year.
In light of the party constitution, the congress will elect the Central Committee, and the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection(CCDI), the party’s top anti-graft watchdog. Then in the first plenary session the new Central Committee will decide the made-up of the Politburo, the Politburo Standing Committee, and the General Secretary. The session will also determine the composition of the Central Military Commission(CMC), the supreme military decision-making organ that controls the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
Xi’s Grip on Power as the Leadership Core
Since taking the helm of the ruling party in late 2012, Xi Jinping has acquired immense power in his capacity as party chief, chairman of the military commission and state president, along with head of several Central Leading Groups, party’s top task forces that oversee foreign policy, Taiwan affairs, and economic matters.
The president has also collected newly-created titles, chairing the National Security Committee, the Joint Battle Command Center, the Central Commission for Integrated Military and Civilian Development, and several other new Central Leading Groups whose portfolios range from comprehensive government restructuring to military reform, and cyberspace security. Central Leading Groups have existed in China’s power hierarchy for decades. Only in the Xi era have they gained unprecedented authority, which has helped the president sidestep the bureaucracy and centralize decision-making power at the top level. With more than a dozen titles, Xi has now kept his grip over every sector of the party and government, from economic policy to military, from media censorship to domestic security forces.
Like his predecessor Hu Jintao cultivating the once-popular Youth League faction, and Hu’s predecessor Jiang Zemin heading the erstwhile powerful Shanghai clique, Xi has built his own power base by winning over allies and promoting proteges, largely changing China’s political landscape in a short period of time. Of those promoted to key positions, some are associates of Xi’s allies, and most worked under him when Xi was leader in Fujian, Zhejiang and Shanghai before his ascension to the upper echelon of power in 2007.
As a symbol of power, Xi has fast established authority in military, thanks to his red pedigree and a stint as aide to a top defense official decades ago. Xi’s iron grip over the PLA was especially reflected in his high profile appearance at a military parade in an Inner Mongolia training base on July 30th, when Xi, dressed in his mottled green uniform as commander-in-chief of the PLA, watched troops marching with heavy equipment in full battle array, in the noticeable absence of his six other colleagues on the Standing Committee and other senior leaders.
Xi’s authority is also reflected in a massive campaign he has led against sale of ranks, embezzlement and other graft in the PLA and the paramilitary People’s Armed Police. As of now Xi has purged hundreds of allegedly corrupt, disloyal senior military officers including more than fifty generals, among whom are two former vice-chairmen of the CMC, ex-Politburo members, Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou, and two recently-dismissed incumbent CMC members, Fang Fenghui and Zhang Yang. For the sake of consolidation of his power base in the PLA and the implementation of his military reform, Xi has installed in key posts the loyal generals of his choice, many of whom served in the army in Fujian when Xi was governor of the province fifteen years ago. The significance of the massive military reshuffle is simply reflected in a list of the PLA delegates set to attend the upcoming party congress. Of the 303 military delegates, 90% are reportedly the first-timers.
Starting from 2015, Xi initiated the largest overhaul of military structure in more than sixty years. The PLA has now been reorganized into five branches based on the U.S.-style joint command structure. In addition to the existing PLA navy and PLA air force, the newly-created PLA army general command functions as the headquarters for ground forces, while the new PLA rocket force oversees the nuclear arsenal and conventional missiles, and the PLA strategic support force is responsible for cyber-warfare.
The CMC has split up its four large general departments into 15 smaller agencies, with tasks ranging from combat planning to political works, equipment development, logistics support, and discipline inspection. Seven PLA military regions have been reshaped into five theater commands aimed at integrating different branches in modern combined warfare. Five of 18 army corps have been slashed as part of the reduction plan Xi announced in September 2015 that the PLA would cut off 300,000 personnel by 2017.1
In late 2016 Xi was officially named the core of the party leadership, the title Xi’s predecessor Hu Jintao had never gained, while Hu’s predecessor Jiang Zemin and the late Deng Xiaoping obtained. The endorsement has underscored Xi’s authority as supreme leader, though in its documents the party has still mentioned the collective leadership, which has been encouraged since the era of Deng.
With the convention approaching, party officials aspiring after high office are pledging more allegiance to Xi, while propaganda executives are going into high gear in praise of Xi’s virtues and achievements. His speeches and articles have been enshrined as guiding ideology known as Xi Jinping Thought that’s possibly to be written into the party charter at the congress. If succeeded, it would place Xi on a par with Mao Zedong. Study Times, a party’s mouthpiece, publish an article in late July extolling Xi’s inheritance of red genes and extraordinary leadership mettle.2 The massive propaganda drive to sing the praise of Xi is awakening people’s memories of a cult of personality culminating during the Mao era.
Nearly five years into his governance, Xi has brought lots of changes to China’s political sphere and the whole society as well. They are particularly reflected in the government’s tight grip on public sectors, higher education, media and the cyberspace. Authorities are maintaining strict discipline against cadres who dare step out of line, or make “inappropriate” remarks about the central leadership. Security agencies are taking stiff measures targeting human-rights lawyers, labor activists and civil-society advocates who dare to defy the regime’s high-pressured policy. Wary of influences of Western ideas and the free flow of information, university authorities are expanding control over curricula and speeches, though the effects are largely compromised due to the increased diversity of the society and extensive economic and cultural exchanges with the outside world.
With a vast censorship system known as the Great Firewall in place, the cyberspace regulator has strengthened online control, demanding telecom providers to block all access to virtual private networks, or VPNs. Recently the watchdog has required Chinese users must register their real names before posting anything on websites and interactive forums, and that all group administrators and owners of public accounts should be responsible for information posted by their members. In media industries, censors are imposing more restrictions on contents deemed detrimental to the society. Over the past years liberal media were shut down, outspoken intellectuals silenced, and their social media accounts disabled.
Hong Kong has also felt the impact of Beijing’s toughness somehow. Two decades into the experiment of “one country, two systems,” China has tightened its grip on the former British colony, in response to growing public outcries over universal suffrage, national security legislation and other political issues. With pro-democratic groups and pro-Beijing parties pitted against each other over the political future of Hong Kong, more local residents, especially young students, are feeling alienated from the mainland. There’s a similar alienation prevailing in Taiwan too. After the pro-independence party came to power last year, Beijing has taken the heavy-handed approach towards Tsai Ing-wen administration through international isolation and economic punishment. With most people in the self-governed island seeing themselves as separate from mainland Chinese, it presents a huge challenge for Beijing to persuade Taiwanese into believing in potential benefits of the eventual unification with mainland China, or the consequences if formally declaring independence.
Emerging as the world second largest economy, China under Xi has taken a bold, ambitious approach towards broad international affairs, a significant departure from the principle of “hide your strength and bide your time” by Deng Xiaoping. Still, like its predecessors, Xi’s government has given the top priority to the ties with Washington. And China has projected power globally, sending the PLA fleets to participate in joint drills with major naval powers, building its first overseas military base in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, and, more notably, initiating the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank intended for more economic exchanges with Eurasian countries.
China has been more assertive on territories claims, especially in the South and East China Seas, posing challenges against Washington and its regional allies. Yet, Beijing is also facing grave geopolitical threats at its doorsteps. China has long been dragged into a security mire on the Korean Peninsula due to the Kim regime’s nuclear and missile development. Beijing’s two-month long border standoff with India over the disputed tri-junction, which peacefully ended in late August, has simply highlighted a renewed geopolitical risk facing the two Asian giants, especially when Beijing is pursuing its ambitious program of “One Belt and One Road” aimed at boosting its economic cooperation with Eurasian countries.
Anti-Corruption Campaign and Factional Politics
With the party’s legitimacy being eroded and jeopardized, Xi Jinping, soon after taking office, launched a massive anti-corruption campaign, vowing to stamp out notorious rot and hunt down both “tigers and flies,” in reference to corrupt senior officials and grass-root cadres in the party and government.3
Nearly five years into the anti-graft drive spearheaded by party discipline chief Wang Qishang, Xi’s government has brought down more than two hundred high-ranking officials and thousands of ordinary cadres on charges ranging from corruption to political disloyalty, and abuse of power. Among the high-profile cases are the convictions of former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang, former party secretary of Chongqing Bo Xilai, former head of the party central general office Ling Jihua, and many more active-duty and retired PLA generals and colonels.
The latest casualty was Sun Zhengcai, 54, an one-time rising star. He was abruptly removed from the position of party chief of Chongqing in mid-July, followed by a formal investigation into his “serious violations of party discipline,” a grave allegation in China’s political terminology. 4 Sun, agronomist by training, was one of two youngest members of the Politburo chosen at the last party congress as potential candidates for the top leadership, likely a future premier.
Sun’s sudden dismissal is reminiscent of the dramatic downfall of Sun’s predecessor Bo Xilai in 2012. Bo, a strong contender for the top leadership then, was sacked in the wake of the former city police chief fleeing to the U.S. consulate to divulge the secret of Bo’s wife involvement in the murder of a British businessman. The scandal triggered a political earthquake that quashed Bo’s ambitions for high office, removing a hurdle for Xi’s ascension to the top leadership.
The anti-corruption campaign has earned Xi and his team the popularity in the public. Yet there have been critics questioning the motivation behind the political storm, and considering it merely a thinly veiled instrument that selectively targets rival factions in the name of rooting out graft and cleansing the party. The sack of Sun Zhengcai, along with indictments of numerous high-ranking officials with ties to competing political factions, seems to justify the theory.5
Unlike the past infighting within the party that usually went on behind the closed door, nowadays factional struggles increasingly play out online and overseas. Political rivals, along with vested interest groups, have turned to social media and overseas Chinese press, using news leaks as a tool to discredit opponents in an attempt to influence political developments, particularly ahead of this autumn’s leadership reshuffle.
Days after Sun Zhengcai’s dismissal, the South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong newspaper controlled by China’s tycoon Jack Ma, published an opinion piece that linked a young Singaporean investor to Xi Jinping’s right-hand man, Li Zhanshu. The article sparked huge media interests in the motivation behind it. Within days the paper pulled the piece from its website, saying the article “includes multiple unverifiable insinuations.” 6 The move spurred concerns over media self-censorship and more interests in the ongoing political wrestling behind the event.
Of all media events, the most shocking and sensational is the revelation of alleged corruption at the top ranks of the party by an exiled Chinese billionaire in New York. Since early this year, Guo Wengui, who claims to have close ties with China’s intelligence officials, initiated a controversial online campaign against high-ranking officials and their relatives, including top graft buster Wang Qishang.7
By interviews with overseas Chinese media and live-streaming shows through his Twitter and Youtube accounts, Guo accused Wang’s extended family members of deep involvement in business activities ranging from owning properties in California to amassing huge wealth through a web of companies. Allegations let to New York Times and other international media investigations into business transactions by a relevant Chinese conglomerate in the United States. Beijing responded by declaring Guo a criminal suspect through the issuance of an Interpol red notice, and a series of media offensives and legal actions against him.8
Guo’s case has highlighted the complexity of China’s politics and the gravity of the anti-graft situation. Some of Guo’s disclosures, evidenced by a video confession by a jailed former security chief and other media coverage, have revealed the daunting reality of how corruption, embezzlement and cronyism have been embedded in the ruling party, and how government officials, including intelligence chiefs, have recklessly used their power to collude with business elites for wealth grabs.9
Xi and his allies have vowed to continue the war on graft unabated. They have put forward a grand plan to establish a national supervisory commission as part of a long-term effort to make the drive a routine mission. Yet, massive media exposures of corruption in the ruling party have showed that without freedom of press, judicial independence and effective checks and balances, it seems almost impossible to win a war on corruption and the collusion between officials and business elites.
Top Decision-Making Body Expected to Have More Xi’s Men
As regards the upcoming congress, the media is mainly focusing on the makeup of the new Politburo and the Politburo Standing Committee. The lengthy selection of future leaders, which is unknown to the outside world, began long before the congress takes place. There would be intense manoeuvres going on behind the scene over the past months, with Xi and his supporters likely to enjoy dominance, and party elders and other factions prone to scramble for influence in the run-up to the coming congress.
In early August a crucial conclave was held as expected among current leaders and party elders in Beidaihe, a seaside resort east of Beijing where informal party inner-circle gatherings have been held every summer since the Mao era. State media first hinted at the secret summit by saying party propaganda tsar Liu Yunshan, along with two other Politburo members, met with vacationing scientists in the beach town August 9th.10 And Xi and other top leaders’ noticeable absence from the public scenes for the first half of August also suggests there would be a closed-door meeting held there. Given practices, ahead of the party congress, current leaders would seek advice from party elders on the new leadership lineup and other policy matters at the secret summit in Beidaihe. There would be negotiation and compromise over the important topics before a deal was worked out with a list of candidates taken to the party convention for final endorsement.
In the last two changeovers of the Politburo Standing Committee, those 68 or older had to retire and those aged 67 or younger would stay. If unwritten rules for retirement and the size of the top decision-making body remain unchanged at this congress, all current members except for President Xi and Premier Li Keqiang are set to retire, leaving five seats for younger Politburo members to grab. However, if the rule was bent with some senior member retained or a black horse came up, the race would be getting tighter.
There has been speculation for a while that Wang Qishan might extend his term as member of the Standing Committee, though he turns 69. The rumored extension has drawn lots of media attention, especially since Wang was hit with revelations by the exiled Chinese tycoon. A historian by training, Wang worked in a series of leading roles in the financial sector and provincial governments. He served as vice-premier overseeing economic policy five years before becoming the party’s top corruption buster. He is son-in-law of the late vice-premier Yao Yilin.
There’s a theory that Wang’s fate would not only matter to his alliance with Xi in the signature anti-graft drive, but also Xi’s potential extension in the future. It’s an open secret that Xi is likely to maintain his grip on power in some way beyond his next term. Also, there’s suggestion of restoration of chairmanship in the party at this congress, which seem to be tailored for Xi. Late last October a senior party policy adviser, Deng Maosheng, broadly hinted at potential changes to current rules for retirement. He dismissed as “pure folklore” a retirement rule for the leadership, saying retirement rules for senior leaders should be flexible and revised if circumstances required.11
As expected, Wang’s rumored extension has caused lots of repercussions, as the issue will matter to the mechanism of retirement that was installed by Deng Xiaoping and observed by his two successors. The state constitution stipulates that the president serves no more than two terms, while in the party chart there’s virtually lack of clarity over retirement for the top leader, which leaves room for manipulation. Another issue drawing media attention is whether the prospective successors to the top leaders will be confirmed at the convention. The recent dismissal of Politburo member Sun Zhengcai seems to have sparked speculation that Xi is poised to abrogate succession arrangement made by his predecessors and party elders, and to name a successor of his choice. Retirement rules, succession protocols and collective governance are seen as significant part of the political legacy left by Deng Xiaoping for the country.
Of the potential candidates for the Standing Committee, Li Zhanshu, 67, is likely a front-runner. A Xi’s strong ally, Li serves as head of the party’s powerful General Office. Li’s another key role is in charge of the General Office of the National Security Commission. His ties to the president dates back to Hebei province in the early 1980s when Li served as party chief of a rural county and Xi held the similar post in a neighboring one. For the next two decades Li rotated among senior party positions in different provinces before taking the key post in the autumn of 2012.
Vice-Premier Wang Yang, 62, is viewed as an open-minded official. He started climbing up the bureaucratic ladder in Anhui province before taking a senior post in the State Council. After having served as party secretary in Chongqing city for two years, Wang won a seat on the Politburo and became party chief of Guangdong province in 2007. He has been in charge of commerce, agriculture, and poverty reduction in the State Council since early 2013.
Considered a symbolic politician in Shanghai, party secretary Han Zheng, 63, has spent all his bureaucratic career in China’s largest city. In his early years Han worked as a senior executive in local chemical manufacturers. After serving as head of Shanghai Youth League in the early 1990s, Han worked in a series of administrative roles in the municipal government. He had served as mayor of Shanghai nine years before becoming the party chief of the country’s economic hub.
Guangdong party chief Hu Chunhua, 54, is one of two youngest Politburo members. Hu, along with the now dismissed Sun Zhengcai, was chosen as the heir apparent in the autumn of 2012. If elevated at this convention, he would be closer to the top leadership. Hu began his political career as a Youth League cadre in Tibet in the 1980s, when he met his political mentor Hu Jintao, then Tibet party chief. Since then the young Hu was placed on the fast track to promotion.
A Shaanxi native like Xi, Zhao Leji is seen as the president’s ally. Zhao, 60, currently serves as head of party’s Central Organization Department responsible for high-ranking cadres’ promotion and demotion. He worked as party chief of Qinghai and Shananxi province before being promoted to the key position in the party center in Beijing.
An academic-turned-politician, Wang Huning, 62, is head of the party’s Central Policy Research Office. He has reportedly served as major designer for the party’s theoretical blueprints for the three presidents since the mid-1990s. Wang pursued international politics many years at Fudan University in Shanghai. He studied as visiting scholar at University of Iowa and UC Berkeley in the late 1980s. As Xi’s major foreign adviser, Wang was often seen accompanying the president on international trips.
At 67, Li Yuanchao is China’s Vice President, a mostly ceremonial position. He was initially seen as a strong contender for the top decision-making body prior to the last party convention. Since then, Li was largely eclipsed by other rising stars, partly due to the exposure of graft scandals involving his former subordinates in Jiangsu province, where he was party chief years ago.
Propaganda chief Liu Qibao, 64, is responsible for public opinion shaping nationwide. In 1980s he worked in the youth league headquarters with future leaders like Li Keqiang and Li Yuanchao. He served as party chief of Guangxi Region and Sichuan Province. Liu is viewed as politician closer to former president Hu Jintao’s youth league faction.
Zhang Chunxian, 64, currently plays a token role in the central task force responsible for party cohesion and organization. He served as party chief of Xinjiang Uyghur region from 2010 to 2016. Before that, Zhang was party secretary of Hunan province.
A female member of the Politburo, Sun Chunlan, 67, serves as head of the party’s Central United Front Work Department, the body that mainly deals with non-party organizations in the country and political figures from Taiwan, Hong Kang, Tibet and the overseas Chinese.
In the fierce contest, virtually about half a dozen front-runners are competing for five seats on the Standing Committee vacated by retirees. Chances are slimmer for those ranked lower in the power echelon or out of favor with current top leaders.
Politburo Likely to Have More New Faces Born in 1960s
In the next Politburo there will be more new faces born in the 1960s, since about half of 25 incumbent members including above mentioned Standing Committee members are to step down. More Xi’s supporters who have already taken key positions in the party hierarchy are expected to enter this important political council. The move would be a strong guarantee for Xi to implement his political mandate in the second term and beyond.
As practice the new Politburo is expected to reserve two spots for top soldiers on behalf of military. Of two current Politburo members from the PLA, General Xu Qiliang is likely to stay, while General Fan Changlong set to retire due to age. The replacement will be chosen from a group of top-ranking generals pledging loyalty to President Xi. Among them are expected to be PLA generals sitting on the CMC, like Zhang Youxia and Wei Fenghe, and several other newly-promoted generals.
Of the candidates for the Politburo membership, Chen Miner is among the hopefuls. Xi’s loyalist, Chen is current party chief of Chongqing replacing the deposed Sun Zhengcai since mid-July. His ties with the president dates back to Zhejiang in the early 2000s when he served as provincial propaganda chief under Xi. Chen, 57, is even seen as a black horse for the Politburo Standing Committee, if not this year, likely in the future, as Xi’s potential heir.
Cai Qi, 62, is almost certain to join the Politburo as party chief of Beijing, though he holds no membership of the current central committee now. Cai spent most of his political career in Zhejiang and Fujian under Xi before being promoted to the National Security Commission in 2014. Cai was appointed acting mayor of Beijing in 2016 and confirmed months late. He is reportedly among several high-level cadres who own social media accounts interacting with Internet users personally.
Xi’s childhood friend, and now the president’s top economic adviser, Liu He, 65, runs a party task force on financial and economic affairs since 2013. He holds a master’s in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Liu has advocated market-oriented reforms. On one formal occasion, Liu was described by Xi as “very important to me.”12
Ying Yong, 60, is current mayor of Shanghai. He worked his way up the bureaucratic ladder, mainly in law enforcement, in Zhejiang province. He was promoted to a key post of the provincial discipline watchdog when Xi was party chief of the province. Ying served as president of the Zhejiang high court less than two years. Then he worked as president of the Shanghai high court for five years before taking charge of the party affairs in China’s largest city.
At 64, Chen Xi is executive deputy head of the Central Organization Department, overseeing high-level cadres’ promotion or demotion. His ties to Xi Jinping traces back to the 1970s when they were college roommates at the Tsinghua University. After graduation Chen spent nearly 30 years working in a series of executive roles at the prestigious university. He has a brief stint as visiting scholar at Stanford University in the early 1990s. Chen was promoted to the current post in 2013, shortly after Xi’s ascending to the top leadership.
As party chief of Xinjiang Uyghur region, Chen Quanguo, 62, is expected to join the politburo, given the strategic significance of the frontier region he is now leading. He climbed up the party ranks in Henan province, from a lower-level cadre to a top associate to the then governor Li Keqiang. Chen worked as governor of Hebei province before becoming party chief of Tibet in 2011.
Li Hongzhong, 61, is party secretary of Tianjin city. His high-profile pledge of loyalty to the top leader held media spotlight nationwide. Li served as party chief of Shenzhen, China’s prominent special economic zone, and party chief of Hubei province before being promoted to the current position.
Top aide to the president, Ding Xuexiang is deputy director of the powerful Party General Office. Ding started working on Xi’s staff in Shanghai in 2007, and then followed him to Beijing. Ding, 55, is expected to become director of the powerful Party General Office this autumn. He’s seen as Xi’s inner circle member.
Vice-minister of public security Wang Xiaohong, 60, is also vice-mayor of Beijing. He worked his way up the bureaucratic ladder, mainly in police forces, in his home Fujian province, overlapping with Xi. Wang had been police chief of the two major cities in the province before he was transferred to Henan overseeing the provincial public security bureau.
Huang Kunming, 61, is executive deputy director of the Propaganda Department. Huang rose through the party hierarchy in a series of leading roles in Fujian and Zhejiang when Xi was head of those two provinces. Shortly after Xi became the top leader in late 2012, Huang was transferred to Beijing to take charge of the party propaganda apparatus.
Aerospace engineer by training, Ma Xingrui, 58, is governor of Guangdong province. With a doctorate in mechanics, Ma spent his early years in scientific areas. He became leader and chief engineer of one of China’s satellite projects in the mid-1990s. After that Ma was put in charge of various successful lunar missions. In late 2013 he was transferred to Guangdong starting his new political career. Some of Ma’s former colleagues in the aerospace field, such as Zhang Qinwei, current party chief of Heilongjiang province, and Yuan Jiajun, governor of Zhejiang province, are also in a pool of potential candidates for higher office.
Yang Jing, 64, is senior official of Mongol ethnicity. He serves as key member of the party secretariat, state councillor and secretary general of the State Council. Before ascending to those leading roles, Yang chaired the State Ethnic Affairs Commission, and led the regional government of Inner Mongolia.
With old leaders retiring, the new generation of leaders mainly born in 1960s are coming to the forefront of the political stage. Generally speaking, they have received complete education, benefited from economic reforms over the past decades, and afforded to send kids abroad to study at prestigious universities. Driven by pragmatism rather than old ideology-oriented ideas, they’re more concerned about economic development and their achievements while in office,.
At the conclusion of the 19th party congress, on stage will appear a group of new leaders led by President Xi. The next leadership is expected to reflect the changed political environment and a new balance of power. As for the economic and political prospect of the country, what’s the president has done in his first term has already offered an explicit indication. In spite of lots of uncertainties, Xi’s China is likely to stick to the path of political pragmatism, while tackling growing political challenges, economic stagnation, environment pressures, and unforeseen international confrontations.
- China to Cut Troops by 300,000:Xi, Sept.3, 2015, Xinhuanet
- Xi's Road of Growth, July 28, 2017, Study Times
- Xi's War on Corruption is More Than Hunting Tigers, Flies, Dec.9, 2016, Xinhuanet
- Sun Zhengcai under Investigation, July.25, 2017, Xinhuanet
- Anti-Graft Inspector under Investigation: State Media, Apr.18, 2017, VOA
- Clarification Regarding the Column "How's the 'Singaporean' Investor in The Peninsula's Holding Company Linked to Xi Jinping's Right-Hand Man?", July. 20, 2017, the South China Morning Post
- Chinese Official Sues Exiled Tycoon, Alleges Defamation, July 23, 2017, VOA
- Behind a Chinese Powerhouse, a Web of Family Financial Ties, July 18, 2017, The New York Times
- Chinese Billionaire Accused by Former Spy Chief in Video, Apr. 21, 2017, The Guardian
- Senior CPC Official Calls for Innovation in Science and Technology, Aug.9, 2017, Xinhuanet
- Xi's Role as Party "Core" Is Not a Sign of Dictatorship: Official, Oct. 31, 2016, Reuters
- Are Xi and Li Feuding over China’s Economy? May 29, 2016, Asia Times