Politics

This aerial photo taken on 26 September 2022 shows an image welcoming the 20th Communist Party Congress, created by growing red sorghum, in a field in Hangzhou, in China's eastern Zhejiang province. (AFP)

Will the CCP remove the unofficial age limit for its top leadership?

There is an unwritten rule in the Chinese Communist Party leadership for Politburo members to stay on at 67 years old and retire at 68. But the average age of the representatives at the upcoming 20th Party Congress is higher than the previous session five years ago, with more members aged 55 and above. Is this a signal that age does not matter and other criteria would take priority? Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu tells us more.
Chinese President Xi Jinping attends an extended-format meeting of heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member states at a summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, 16 September 2022. (Sputnik/Sergey Bobylev/Pool via Reuters)

[Party and the man] Factions and fence-sitters in Xi Jinping's China

While Chinese politicians can be classified into different factional groups such as the princelings, the Shanghai gang, the Youth League group, and the Tsinghua clique, these are not necessarily functional factions in real politics. What is more pertinent is politicians’ relations with the paramount leader, Xi Jinping, who has in the last ten years tried to eliminate the various factions and lump them into one loosely connected “anti-Xi faction”. This is the second in a series of four articles on President Xi Jinping and the road ahead.
Customers dine near a giant screen broadcasting news footage of Chinese President Xi Jinping attending a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan, at a restaurant in Beijing, China, 16 September 2022. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

[Party and the man] Xi Jinping faces biggest challenges in decades

While Chinese President Xi Jinping is likely to secure a third term at the 20th Party Congress, Loro Horta recalls the saying that one should “be careful what you wish for”. The road ahead in his third term looks to be fraught with challenges, both domestically and externally. This is the first in a series of four articles on President Xi Jinping and the road ahead.
Leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) countries, including Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon, attend a narrow-format meeting at a summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, 16 September 2022. (Sergey Bobylev/Sputnik/Pool via Reuters)

Xi Jinping's China dream keeps the world awake at night

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s trip to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan highlights his bid to advance his vision of the China dream. This, however, will require changes in the global balance of power that countries around the world, including Southeast Asian countries, will find hard to manage. How will China proceed from here, and will it be able to win allies along the way?
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi addresses the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN Headquarters in New York City, US, 24 September 2022. (Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)

China's FM Wang Yi paves way for Xi with diplomatic blitz

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has been busy meeting with key political figures while attending the 77th United Nations General Assembly in New York. Will this help to smooth relations between China and the world, especially the US? Or will it be seen as just another PR effort before the upcoming 20th Party Congress? Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan tells us more.
Indonesia's Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto gestures while attending the Gerindra Party leaders national meeting, in Bogor, Indonesia, 12 August 2022. (Willy Kurniawan/Reuters)

Prabowo Subianto: Indonesia’s controversial presidential candidate

Prabowo has been in Indonesia’s political scene for decades and his chequered past has not deterred him from multiple runs for vice-president and president. Given his support from the conservative and radical Muslims, with a potential running mate that can boost his standing, will Prabowo finally make his mark as Indonesia’s president in the 2024 elections? ISEAS academic Leo Suryadinata gives a profile of this controversial figure.
From left: (top row) Former senior Chinese officials Fu Zhenghua, and Wang Like; (bottom row) Gong Daoan, Deng Huilin, and Liu Xinyun. (Internet)

CCP removes political factions and corrupt officials ahead of 20th Party Congress

Corrupt officials linked to former Vice-Minister of Public Security Sun Lijun have recently been meted harsh sentences, among which include life imprisonment and removal of personal assets. Is the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) sending out a message, with just weeks left before the commencement of the 20th Party Congress? Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong tells us more about the CCP’s crackdown on “political factions”.
In this handout image courtesy of the US Navy taken on 27 August 2021, the AI Arleigh-burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG 100) transits the Taiwan Strait during a routine transit. (US Navy/AFP)

China and the US showing restraint over Taiwan issue

Recent developments over the Taiwan Strait have strained the already-tense China-US relations, with Biden repeating the commitment to support Taiwan militarily while claiming no change to the "one China" policy, and China showing comparatively measured responses. How will both sides continue to tread the line? Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong tells us more.
This handout image taken on 9 August 2022 and released by the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) on 10 August 2022 shows a PLA fighter jet taking part in a military drill in an undisclosed location. (Handout/Eastern Theater Command of the People's Liberation Army/AFP)

Prominent PLA elites in 'the cosmos club': Countdown to the 20th Party Congress

Li Cheng, director of the John L. Thornton China Center of the Brookings Institution, notes that well-educated and professionally capable military technocrats are prominently represented in the PLA leadership, and this trend is set to continue after the 20th Party Congress. What contributions will this new corps of military technocrats make as Xi Jinping heads into a likely third term?