Ain’t no party like a Communist Party


Briefly: China’s annual ‘two sessions’ kicked off in Beijing over the weekend. It’s a rubber-stamping exercise, but still offers insights into China’s trajectory and President Xi’s priorities.

The National People’s Congress (NPC) is the country’s equivalent of a parliament, but its members are appointed (not elected) and it formalises decisions that’ve already been made.

Meanwhile, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) is more of an advisory body. It has no real power, but observers watch it for clues of emerging issues in China.

Some of the ‘two sessions’ outcomes are already clear: China has set a 5% GDP growth target for 2023, and Xi Jinping’s unprecedented third term will be ratified. The real tea this year involves key personnel appointments, which will further entrench Xi’s allies in top posts and cement the Communist Party’s control over the private sector. 

Intrigue’s take: Watching the ‘two sessions’ is like watching the Harlem Globetrotters play the Washington Generals: the result is never in doubt, but they sure put on a hell of a show (if you’re a China nerd).

Xi Jinping’s almost total control of Chinese politics will steal the headlines, but it could be a double-edged sword: much harder to blame party officials for mistakes when you’re the one who handpicked them. Still, Xi seems to be enjoying the perks of power… like getting one more cup of tea than everyone else.

Also worth noting:

Latest Author Articles
The world watches as major US aid package moves to the House for a showdown

After a bruising five months of negotiations, the US Senate passed a $95B aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan just before sunrise on Tuesday (local time), in a 70-29 vote.

14 February, 2024
Israel extends offensive into crowded Rafah city

The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) launched a raid on the Gazan city of Rafah in the early hours of yesterday (Monday) morning, hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed there were four Hamas battalions in the city.

13 February, 2024
How to make sense of Tucker Carlson’s Putin interview

US pundit Tucker Carlson released his highly-anticipated yet controversial interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday night (US time).

12 February, 2024
US strikes hit Iran-linked targets in Syria and Iraq

The US struck various targets across Syria and Iraq on Friday night (local time), in what President Biden described as the beginning of his response to the drone attack that killed three US troops the weekend prior.

5 February, 2024