China Politics

China's shake-up of bureaucracy bodes well for reform

Chinese Communist Party Chief Xi Jinping (right) and Vice-Premier Li Keqiang. Photo: EPA

There is no surer way for an incoming government to show that it means business than with a shake-up of the bureaucracy. A week before the start of Xi Jinping's presidency, premier-in-waiting Li Keqiang kept with tradition and unveiled at the National People's Congress the seventh restructuring in 40 years. 

Thursday, 14 March, 2013, 2:59am

What does the 'Chinese dream' really mean?

What does the 'Chinese dream' really mean?

Since the United States' founding in 1776, Americans have considered it an exceptional nation. Chinese, too, view themselves as exceptional with their connection to the celestial empire. Chinese "exceptionalism", however, diverges from the American concept. The political ideology of the US resonates with the Enlightenment values of democracy, freedom and individual rights. Meanwhile, China strives to preserve and perfect its exceptional nature based on the Confucian model of virtues.

14 Mar 2013 - 2:59am 4 comments

'Troublesome' Hong Kong activist Yang Kuang sent home from Beijing

Yang Kuang meets supporters and the media after arriving at Hong Kong's airport. Photo: Felix Wong

Yang Kuang said he had been escorted to Beijing airport and put on a flight after being held for over 30 hours by police, who told him he had been detained for "provoking quarrels and making trouble".

11 Mar 2013 - 8:31am 14 comments

New ministry needed to map out reforms

Wang Yang. Photo: Simon Song

"In fact, reforms are aimed at cutting off pieces from one's own body." Wang Yang's words may sound sadistic but they encapsulate the enormous challenges and difficulties the mainland leadership has in pushing ahead with any major reform - political, economic or social.

11 Mar 2013 - 5:45am

Hu Jintao protégé Zhou Qiang tipped as the mainland's top prosecutor

Zhou Qiang, the Hunan province party secretary. Photo: SCMP

Rumours have circulated over the past few days over Zhou Qiang's career path, suggesting he would be appointed either the president of the Supreme People's Procuratorate or president of the Supreme People's Court.

10 Mar 2013 - 6:56am

Number of ministries expected to be reduced, streamlined by State Council

Ma Kai

The curtain is likely to be drawn on several decades-old ministries and agencies, while others are expected to be streamlined when State Council secretary general Ma Kai submits proposals to restructure cabinet bodies to the annual meeting of the National People's Congress today.

10 Mar 2013 - 6:56am

Xi Jinping warns officials against colluding with businessmen

Xi Jinping. Photo: Xinhua

Xi Jinping has taken aim at the rampant collusion between mainland officials and rogue businessmen for the first time since becoming chief of the Communist Party, warning officials not to rub shoulders with businessmen.

10 Mar 2013 - 5:52am

No sign of anti-corruption law as CPPCC convenes

Xi Jinping greets a Tibetan NPC deputy yesterday. Photo: Xinhua

The Communist Party's top disciplinary body has yet to put a draft of the mainland's first anti-corruption law on its agenda, a top anti-graft official said this week, despite frequent pledges to accelerate the process.

10 Mar 2013 - 5:52am

Women in China still not equal to men

Sun Chunlan. Photo: EPA

If a new survey by an international accounting group is correct, half (51 per cent) of senior management jobs in mainland companies are now held by women. This places the mainland ahead of Hong Kong, other Asian economies and such Western countries as the United States and Britain, according to the report by Grant Thornton International, which surveyed chief executives and chairmen of 6,627 companies in all industry sectors around the world.

9 Mar 2013 - 2:31am

Does China model herald a post-democratic future?

Xi Jinping. Photo: Reuters

The contrast between the mindless partisan fighting in Washington and the smooth way that the changing of the guard is now going on in China has emboldened some people to assert that we have seen the global future and it is the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party.

9 Mar 2013 - 2:31am 2 comments

The China Dream is not so elusive

The China Dream is not so elusive

Last November, Communist Party secretary Xi Jinping evoked the "China Dream" during a visit to the National Museum of China's "Road Towards Renewal" exhibition in Beijing. The phrase went viral on China's weibo and drew a spate of emotional patriotic outpourings from overseas Chinese.

9 Mar 2013 - 2:32am 1 comment

Blame both sides for Hong Kong's political impasse

Yu Zhengsheng. Photo: Xinhua

Beijing wants security and loyalty from Hong Kong. The pan-democrats want democracy. Both sides insist their demand must be met first before they will concede to the other side. Both can legitimately appeal to the Basic Law as trying to fulfil our constitutional duties.

9 Mar 2013 - 10:29am

Wen Jiabao era leaves promises to keep

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. Photo: AP

A decade is a long time in politics, particularly for someone put in charge of the day-to-day running of a country as dynamic and diverse as China. Yet outgoing Premier Wen Jiabao has persevered with the task, making the most of his skills as a technocrat while putting himself forward as a man of the people. He has gamely steered the economy and made many grand gestures and promises, most of which remain unfulfilled as he prepares to hand over to Li Keqiang. There are those who will be sorry to see him go; others want his successor to be more about substance than populism.

6 Mar 2013 - 2:51am

Don't hold your breath for major reform plan at NPC meeting

Don't hold your breath for major reform plan at NPC meeting

This year's National People's Congress and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference meetings are important in the sense that a new government will be "sworn in". The new premier will take up his position, together with a whole new cabinet - following the forming of a new Central Committee, ministers are expected to be reappointed as well, with a five-year term ahead.

6 Mar 2013 - 2:51am

Beijing urges HK delegates to play 'exemplary' roles

At the CPPCC session yesterday are (from left) President Hu Jintao, Xi Jinping, Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice-Premier Li Keqiang. Photo: AP

In a keynote speech to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), outgoing chairman Jia Qinglin called on Hong Kong and Macau delegates to play a greater role in their special administrative regions and the nation's economic, social and political development.

4 Mar 2013 - 11:34am 1 comment