Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Asian Studies Alumni Publishes Article on 18th Party Congress

Congratulations to Timothy Heath, an Asian Studies MA Alumni who recently published an article for the Jamestown Foundation. Here is an excerpt of his work below:

The 18th Party Congress Work Report: Policy Blueprint for the Xi Administration

The 18th Party Congress Work Report outlines policy guidance for the next five years and thus provides a preview of the type of policies that the incoming Xi administration is likely to pursue [1]. The main theme permeating the Work Report centered on solidifying the domestic and international foundations for China’s development as a great power. Domestically, the Work Report called for carrying out structural economic reforms to sustain balanced growth and systemic political reforms to improve governance and boost the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) legitimacy. Guidance on Taiwan focused on laying the foundations for peaceful unification. The Work Report also called for stepping up efforts to shape an international order that is more responsive to Chinese power and reiterated Beijing’s determination to defend its growing array of interests.
For analysts of Chinese strategy and policy, the CCP Party Congress Work Report is perhaps the single most important document available for study. The Work Report “sets forth general guidelines for the party’s priorities, emphases and tasks for the coming five-year period” and “represents the consensus view of the broader party leadership,” according to Alice Miller (China Leadership Monitor, No. 18, Spring 2006). Underscoring this point, the spokesman for the 18th Party Congress emphasized the high-level participation and extensive coordination for the report. He explained Xi Jinping led the drafting team and the team worked directly for the Political Bureau. To support the effort, the CCP Central Committee organized “46 units to conduct investigations and studies” and produced “57 reports” on topics incorporated in the Work Report. The team carried out extensive coordination and consulted with General Secretary Hu Jintao before finalizing the Work Report for submission to the 18th Party Congress (Xinhua, November 7).
The Work Report is significant for analysis of Chinese strategy and policy in several ways. First, it presents the functional equivalents of a desired strategic end state and interim strategic objectives to support the end state along with timelines for each. To ensure the country remains on course to meet these goals, the Work Report provides guidance on the topics of economics, politics and governance, culture, defense, social welfare, resources, Taiwan and international relations. The Work Report also provides the theoretical logic in the form of updates to the CCP’s socialist theory that intellectually links these elements together [2].

Interested in reading more? Click the following link to see his whole article: 

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