Anti-corruption in the Xi Jinping Era


Chinese Studies Centre, University of Sydney

12.00pm – 1.00pm, Tuesday 1 September 2015
Room 310, Old Teachers College (A22), University of Sydney NSW 2006, Australia

Professor Chien-wen Kou

Xi Jinping has engaged in massive anti-corruption campaign since his inauguration as the top leader of China in 2012. This presentation will address the traits and the purposes of this campaign, and its impact on Xi’s concentration of power. The anti-corruption campaign in China at present possesses several traits differing from that during the first two years of the Hu Jintao era (2002-2004): more purges in number and faster in pace, higher at rank levels, more diversified bureaucratic systems, tougher on political rivals, and longer in period. However, almost no princelings and the top leader’s close associates have been officially accused of corruption or inappropriate working style so far, the same as before.

This presentation then claims that Xi’s anti-corruption campaign has dual goals: one is fighting enemy and the other is fighting corruption. The supporting evidence comes from the analysis of colleague ties of more than 100 purged ranking cadres and Xi’s legal and discipline inspection reform.

In the last part of the presentation, the focus will shift to Xi’s concentration of power. The anti-corruption campaign definitely helps Xi to concentrate power; however, his power has not reached the stage of breaking down the collective leadership style so far. The leadership politics in the Xi era can be described as “institutional centralization of power under the framework of collective leadership.” Both international, domestic and individual factors jointly results in this phenomenon. The presenter will share his view on how Xi’s past experience and personality affect his decision-making behavior. The 19th Party Congress of the CCP in 2017 will be a crucial event to watch the future of Chinese leadership politics – collective leadership or strongman politics.

For more information, see here.