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  • Guoguang Wu

Xi Jinping’s Self-Defeating Governance: Policy Implications and Power Politics with the Rise of Military-Industrial Leaders

Wu CLM Issue 79 March 2024
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Image of Zhang Guoqing, Li Ganjie, and Wu Yansheng
From left: Zhang Guoqing, Li Ganjie, and Wu Yansheng
With the promotion of military-industrial technocrats to central party-state leadership positions, Xi Jinping initiated a series of significant directional and policy changes in China’s political economy, including the strengthening of the ultra-statist model, the militarization of the economy, and, especially, technology-driven growth based on independent technological innovation. However, in the past year this plan has encountered tremendous setbacks, particularly in actualizing China’s self-reliance in key technology and industry sectors, such as semiconductors. Huge financial inputs to these sectors have produced rampant corruption, highlighting the inherent dilemma between statist governance and economic and technological development. Furthermore, Xi’s power politics to control the rising military-industrial leaders has created a contradiction between his personal/power concerns and his policy/governance preferences. Such “politics against governance” helps explain why, since assuming his third term of absolute dominance in the leadership, Xi still seems to be facing a series of problems.

China seems to be losing direction after Xi Jinping gained absolute dominance during the 2022–23 round of leadership reorganization. This was initially demonstrated in December 2022 when he abruptly abandoned his “zero-Covid” policy.[1] Since spring 2023,  despite attempts to attract foreign investment that have been highlighted in both the leaders’ speeches and state media, the state has continued to raid or shut down foreign businesses to protect so-called state security.[2] A bigger surprise came in summer 2023, when Xi suddenly purged Foreign Minister Qin Gang and Defense Minister Li Shangfu, both of whom, as Xi’s confidantes, had recently been promoted.[3] Foreign policy moves contradicting Xi’s earlier foreign policy positions also took place, following, in particular, Xi’s San Francisco trip in November 2023.[4] Despite some adjusted wording, however, so far there has been no decisive, fundamental change in his political rationale; there are also no signs indicating that his power is being challenged or undermined. So, what explains these self-contradictory developments in Chinese politics? Why is Xi Jinping’s unprecedented concentration of power producing schizophrenic policy consequences?

This article attempts to answer this question based on the contradictions in his promotion of leaders with military-industrial backgrounds. In an earlier observation, I identified the rise of this group of leaders to the 20th Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and foresaw their continued ascendance to leading state and local governance positions with significant responsibilities, especially overseeing the industrial economy, rural development, and critical localities.[5] Aiming to understand these latest developments, I continue to explore the rise of military-industrial leaders, with a focus on the challenges the resultant dilemma has presented to practical governance. I argue that the core of the dilemma lies in the tensions between Xi’s personnel appointments for governance purposes and Xi’s personal concerns about political control, which are inherent to his dictatorial concentration of power and his neo-Maoist governance program.

The first section below sketches the policy implications of the rise of the military-industrial leaders, particularly the implications for the Chinese economy, which help to explain Xi’s method of ruling the Chinese political economy. The second section discusses the setbacks the Chinese regime has encountered to fulfill Xi’s goals, primarily his plan to promote independent high-tech progress, and it investigates how the anti-corruption campaign reached a high point during the rise of the military-industrial leaders. The third section turns to an analysis of why this situation has prompted Xi to prioritize his personal power over his governance goals, especially in terms of his move to strengthen control over the military-industrial leaders. The conclusion considers how further moves may undermine governance in terms of both implementing Xi’s policy plans and improving China’s economic and technological performance.  


Ideals – Strengthening the Statist Model, Preparing for a Militarized Economy: The Changing Direction of China’s Political Economy

An earlier paper argues that the rise of top military-industrial leaders had some profound implications for the Chinese economy.[6] This section further highlights five features that have affected Xi’s efforts to reshape the economic structure and, accordingly, China’s economic growth model. These five features include: an emphasis on technology-driven growth based on independent high-tech innovations; wide applications of the so-called “whole-country” system in making technological and industrial breakthroughs; an acceleration of “military-civil fusion” in promoting technological progress and economic growth; the further strengthening of the CCP-controlled statist economic structure; and preparations for the reestablishment of a long-term militarized economy. Each of these features will be briefly discussed below.

  1. An emphasis on technology-driven growth based on China’s independent high-tech innovation: While attempting to maintain a new balance between economic development and state security, Xi Jinping is consistently emphasizing so-called 自立自强, usually translated as “self-reliance,” but in this context meaning “self-supporting and self-strengthening” in science and technology, as “a fundamental measure to accelerate transformation of the economic development model, solve the deep-seated contradictions and problems of economic development and to enhance the endogenous power and vitality of economic development.”[7] In the Chinese context, the military industries are regarded as a key sector to actualize technological self-reliance, as exemplified by the past achievements in the manned moon-landing rocket, FAST (the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope), and the building of aircraft carriers.[8] China dreams today of technology-driven economic growth based on the precondition of achieving independent technological innovations. The military industry is expected to be the major contributor to fulfilling this precondition for China’s future economic development.

  2. Wide applications of the so-called “whole-country” system to make technological and industrial breakthroughs: In his report to the CCP’s 20th Party Congress, Xi Jinping called for “accelerating implementation of an innovation-driven development strategy.” Here, the military-industrial sector is crucial, not only because of its technological contributions but also because of the nationwide application of a new institutional model – the so-called “new style whole-country system” (新型举国体制), which refers to an institutional arrangement whereby the relevant resources of the entire country can be mobilized to make significant scientific and technological breakthroughs against the background of marketization and globalization. For a long time, the military industry has already time nurtured this model. During the Mao era, though China was economically and technologically backward, it was due to this system that the country was able to develop its own nuclear bombs and launch space satellites. The CCP in general — and Xi Jinping in particular — believes that the Maoist method of technological development can be updated accordingly to actualize the contemporary technological goals of the nation. The rise of military-industrial leaders not only is indicative of this belief but, more importantly, due to their personal experience and their management style in the military industry, such leaders will inevitably promote the model in the entire economy with the aim of achieving the expected technological “miracles.”

  3. An acceleration of “military-civil fusion” to promote technological progress and economic development: Military-civil fusion (军民融合) is a CCP national strategy that integrates technological and economic elements in both the civilian and military sectors to simultaneously advance both economic development and military power. It is based on the principle of building up a complicated mechanism to facilitate extensive technology exchanges between the civilian and military industries. China can thus use civilian channels to acquire intellectual property, key research, and technological innovations from the industrial democratic countries to benefit its own military technology. This approach also encourages the Chinese military-industrial complex to transfer and implement its technological advances in the civilian sectors. Most of the rising military-industrial leaders have rich experience in technology transfer, as some have even been stationed abroad to implement this strategy. For example, Zhang Guoqing (张国清), vice premier in charge of industry worked in Iran and Li Ganjie (李干杰), head of the CCP’s Central Organization Department, was based in France for several years and was  involved in obtaining relevant foreign technology that could be used for both civilian and military purposes.[9] Such leaders, who are now involved in managing the national economy, will work to further eliminate the barriers between China’s civilian research and commercial sectors and its military and defense industrial sectors.

  4. A further strengthening of the CCP-controlled statist economic structure: The Chinese military-industrial sector is completely state-owned, state-managed, and state-led. Even though engineer/managers within the sector are well-equipped with an advanced education, sound scientific knowledge, and rich corporate experience, they are, first and foremost, party-state cadres and statist entrepreneurs. Their promotion to high leadership positions in the party-state is indicative of the party-state’s further control of the economy by enlarging the state sector to such an extent that it overwhelms the private sector.

  5. Preparations to reestablish a long-term militarized economy: A militarized economy here refers to an economy that functions primarily to prepare for a future war, rather than acting to meet the everyday needs of the citizenry.  This is similar to the case during the late Maoist era (roughly 1966-1976), when the so-called “third front” strategy prevailed in preparation for China’s future involvement in an imagined war with foreign invaders.[10] At that time, the Chinese military industries became the backbone of the economy, similar to how Xi Jinping today is prioritizing the combat capabilities of the Chinese military and emphasizing state security. Today’s management of the national economy by military-industrial leaders facilitates implementation of this platform.


Reality – Setbacks with Independent Technological and Economic Progress: Why this Situation is Worrisome to Xi Jinping?

All of Xi Jinping’s policies are inspired by his nationalistic ambitions to bring China “back to the center of the world stage” and, thereby, to actualize his personal ambition to acquire substantial power. This inevitably presents a challenge to the existing global order led by the Western industrial democracies, especially the United States. However, during the past decades China’s development has been greatly dependent on economic and technological connections with the West via post–Cold War globalization. Therefore, one of the biggest problems facing Xi is to figure out how to reduce China’s dependence on the West but at the same time to accelerate the growth of national power.

Furthermore, Xi Jinping perceives China's annexation of Taiwan as an essential and pivotal measure to achieve China's "complete reunification." International public opinion speculates that he is likely to take such military actions while he remains in power. If this is the case, he must be prepared for the resultant international sanctions. Therefore, self-reliance will be crucial for a China that is engaged in a war with Taiwan which inevitably will bring it into a confrontation with the industrial democracies.

Technology-driven growth with independent technological progress is Xi Jinping’s strategy to deal with the above issues and the possible consequent sanctions. It is posited that the promotion of military-industrial leaders to leading CCP positions will help him to fulfill this strategy. 

However, since 2022 the strategy has not worked well. The regime’s expectation following the pandemic of a so-called rebound effect to revitalize its economy has not been realized. China’s recent economic sluggishness has resulted in an unprecedented decline in relative GDP. The value of China’s GDP peaked at 75.3 percent that of the U.S. in 2021 ($17,759 billion versus $23,594 billion. In 2022, however, the ratio declined to 70.3 percent ($18,100 billion versus $25,744 billion).[11] This was due to a number of contributing factors, but it shows that China is still greatly dependent on the private sector as well as on foreign capital and international trade to achieve economic growth.

Regarding high-tech, not only have China's attempts to foster independent innovations faltered, but also its pursuit of self-sufficiency in critical high-tech products has emerged as a significant challenge, particularly considering the Sino-U.S. trade conflicts and American export controls.

Semiconductors sit at the center of China’s war to achieve self-sufficiency in technology, industry, and economy, and the Xi Jinping leadership has invested huge resources to it, primarily massive financial investments, including the establishment of the China Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund (also known as the Big Fund) in 2014 with $45 billion.[12] “Despite those investments,” according to a Reuters’ news report, “China's chip industry has struggled to play a leading role in the global supply chain, especially for advanced chips.”[13] 

Instead of meeting Xi’s goals of realizing China’s technological self-reliance, the pouring of state funds into the semiconductor industry has given rise to rampant corruption, as widely reported by both Chinese and global media.[14] In particular, the purge of Xiao Yaqing (肖亚庆), minister of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), in July 2022 due to such corruption is believed to have provoked Xi’s wrath.[15] 

But such frustrations did not lead to Xi’s immediate adjustment of the relevant strategies in the domestic political economy or foreign policy. Instead, he continued to promote military- industrial leaders to critical positions in the party-state, as exemplified by the appointment of Jin Zhuanglong (金壮龙) to replace Xiao Yaqing prior to the 20th Party Congress.[16] A typical aerospace engineer-turned-politician, Jin once oversaw the national program of military-civil fusion development. Since 2007 he has sat on the CCP Central Committee, first as an alternate member for ten years and then as a full member since 2017.[17] His appointment is indicative of the growing influence of the military-industrial engineer-managers in China’s industrialization, technological progress, and more generally, Chinese politics and economy.  

However, significant setbacks were soon to arrive, directly involving some high-ranking military-industrial leaders and greatly undermining Xi’s plans for Taiwan and the United States. What exactly occurred with the next series of scandals, however, has not been disclosed as they took place within the Chinese military, the most secretive part of the nontransparent CCP system. But according to information that has been revealed, a new commander and commissar had been appointed for the Rocket Forces of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) by July 2023.[18] International public opinion speculated that there had been a complete replacement of the PLA Rocket Force leadership, and this speculation gained further backing when China officially revoked the positions of nine deputies to the National People's Congress (NPC) by the end of 2023, among whom all nine were PLA generals and five had been leaders of the Rocket Forces, including two successive former commanders.[19]

The remaining four of the above nine purged PLA generals were leaders of the Equipment Development Department of the Central Military Commission (CMC) or their subordinates in charge of military equipment in various PLA units. Their former boss, Defense Minister Li Shangfu, had already been removed from office (in late October 2023),[20] making him the second (after Foreign Minister Qin Gang) of the five State Councilors to be purged after the new State Council leadership was inaugurated in March 2023. One of the former Rocket Forces officers who was purged had also overseen equipment.

Both the Rocket Forces and the PLA equipment system are closely connected to the military industries. Li Shangfu is a typical military-industrial leader who had worked in the sector for decades. In the above wave of purges, several other military-industrial managers of aerospace engineers were victims as well, including three whose positions as members of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), a national organization parallel to the NPC, were revoked. They included: Wu Yansheng (吴燕生), chairman of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation; Liu Shiquan (刘石泉), chairman of the China Ordnance Industry Corporation, who once served as CEO and deputy party secretary of the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation; and Wang Changqing (王长青), a deputy general manager of the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation.[21] In January 2024, the position of aerospace engineer and administrator, Wang Xiaojun (王小军), former president of the China Rocket Academy and member of the CPPCC, was also revoked.[22] This indicates that the purge is continuing and is increasingly targeting the military-industrial leaders.


The Deeper Reality – Politics vis-à-vis Governance: The Inherent Dilemma between Policy Goals and Dictatorial Control

Xi Jinping’s failure to build up a statist, technology-driven economy due to the rise of rampant corruption has presented him with an institutional governance dilemma. This is a classic dilemma with concentration of power: absolute power yields absolute corruption. In the Chinese context, it is also embedded in the CCP’s scheme of “concentrating strength to accomplish great projects“ (集中力量办大事). However, this "institutional advantage” of the military industries creates a governance dilemma that ultimately becomes undermining.[23]

In contemporary China, the consolidation of power centers around Xi Jinping, who serves as the paramount leader within the party-state-military system. His power reached unprecedented new heights during his third term of power with the new leadership overwhelmingly consisting of his followers. But Xi Jinping has also encountered a series of political challenges, most prominently the challenge controlling those sectors and leaders that he has empowered and promoted. In the top leadership structure, Xi has created an arrangement whereby Li Qiang is pitted against Cai Qi; within the State Council, he has positioned Li Qiang, Ding Xuexiang, and He Lifeng in a triangular relationship of checks, with each being individually accountable to him to ensure their loyalty.[24] With the emergence of military-industrial leaders on the Politburo, it comes as no surprise that Xi Jinping is seeking  to proactively curb any potential threat to his own power and authority that may come from this quarter.

It seems that Xi has many reasons to proactively neutralize any potential threat to him. With similar backgrounds and often an extensive intersecting of work experiences, the military-industrial leaders can be seen as the most coherent group among any other possible groups within the current top leadership. Much younger than many other Politburo members, they also have formidable wide governance power in overlapping fields of industry, technology, trade, agriculture, Xinjiang, Chongqing, and CCP organizational affairs. They are well-educated; they are very knowledgeable and highly professional; and they have good performance records and qualifications from their previous jobs.[25] These are among the reasons that Xi has promoted them, but, for the same reason, Xi feels insecure about them in terms of the fate of his personal power and why this is he has felt it necessary to exercise control over them.

A final reason is perhaps the most crucial: These leaders have military backgrounds, and have had close relations with the PLA. But Xi’s exclusive control over the military forms the most solid base for his concentration of power. Thus far, their rise has not revealed any signs of challenging Xi in this regard, but, as a power-hungry politician, party chief Xi Jinping will not delay in taking action against them, even without waiting for any such indication to occur. It therefore is not surprising that since organizing the new leadership, Xi has been striving to enhance control over the military and the military industries to prevent any potential widespread transition of the military-industrial leaders to challenge Xi’s power.

The rise of these military-industrial leaders has already yielded some increasing roles for the military in China’s political economy, though so far such increases in power have been limited.

First, quasi-military experience is also an advantage in the careers of CCP elites. Following their joining the ranks of senior leaders in the wake of the 20th Party Congress, particularly with the appointment of Li Ganjie as head of the Central Organization Department, other military-industrial leaders have also been promoted to higher positions in the party-state hierarchy.[26] 

Second, military-industry educational institutions are playing an increasingly important role in China’s science and technology. For example, in November 2023 the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering appointed a new cohort of members, among whom ten, or 7.5 percent of the total of 133, came from state-owned military-industrial educational institutions.[27] In 2021, ten other new members also came from such institutions.[28]

Third, and perhaps more importantly, the institutional integration of the Chinese civilian and military industries has gained new momentum. For example, all higher-educational institutions operated by the MIIT focus on the defense industries, with the goals of meeting the nation’s significant strategic demands, assuming a role at the international forefront of science and technology, and to promoting the development of the major sectors in the national economy. These institutions include: Beihang University (北京航空航天大学), Beijing Institute of Technology (北京理工大学), Harbin Institute of Technology (哈尔滨工业大学), Northwestern Polytechnical University (西北工业大学), Harbin Engineering University (哈尔滨工程大学), Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (南京航空航天大学), and Nanjing University of Science and Technology (南京理工大学).[29] They now attract particular attention from the national levels, as exemplified by Xi Jinping’s inspection of the Harbin Institute of Technology and his personal letter to the university,[30] as well as from local levels, exemplified by the recent visit of the provincial party secretary of Jiangsu, Xin Changxing’s (信长星), to Nanjing University of Science and Technology.[31]

These developments may strengthen the power bases of the military-industrial leaders.  However, in the current situation it will not be possible for them to undermine Xi’s absolute command over the military, though Xi’s concerns could intensify accordingly. As failures in both the economy and in technological progress become apparent, Xi will have to find a way to reinforce his authority to prevent the attribution of blame from focusing on himself. With the new anti-corruption campaign targeting the military in general and the military-industrial organizations in particular, Xi unquestionably must tighten his control over the military-industrial leaders.



Within the short time span of about one year following the CCP’s 20th Party Congress, the governance blueprint, as envisioned by Xi at the Congress, has already experienced significant setbacks, especially in terms of promoting China’s independent technological progress and, accordingly, China’s technology-driven economic growth. The rise of military-industrial leaders to the ranks of the central CCP leadership is in large part due to the regime’s goals of accomplishing the technological-economic model developed in the Chinese military-industrial sector, namely, an ultra-statist, much-militarized model with tight control by the Communist Party of loyal scientific-industrial professional managers. Xi’s ideal envisions the promotion of military-industrial engineer-managers to implement an independent, statist, and military-industrial political economy beyond the 20th Party Congress. However, the hard reality shows that, at least so far, his strategy is not working well. It is this contrast between ideals/strategy and implementation/reality that has framed China’s political-economic developments since the 20th Party Congress.

Many factors explain this failure, including primarily an ignorance of market mechanisms as well as the role of global connections to enhance China’s capability for technological innovations. But such an analysis is beyond the focus of this article. Here the focus is on domestic political dynamics, especially in leadership politics, which have precipitated a failure of governance.

However, these failures will not affect Xi’s preferred model of development and governance in which the military-industrial system serves a crucial role, but rather they will inspire Xi to further tighten his personal control over everything, including his control over the rise of military-industrial elite.

In terms of governance, China will insist on self-reliance in terms of scientific and technological innovations to achieve its broader economic and strategic goals, while it will also take advantage of any possible opportunity provided by the West to advance its scientific and technological progress. Contrary to the speculation that the rampant corruption in the state funding of semiconductors “could force the government to rethink how it invests in the sector,”[32] China recently announced the launch of a new state-backed investment fund that aims to raise about $40 billion for the semiconductor sector by ramping up efforts to catch up with the U.S. and other rivals.[33] Xi's governance model, however, prioritizes political factors over cost-efficient analysis. Specifically, the dictator's political strategy aims to bolster his authority over the influence of any subordinates, whether to enforce his governance decisions or to deflect blame in case of failures.

Thus emerges a dilemma whereby the dictator needs capable leaders, such as the military-industrial leaders, to improve governance but, at the same time, the dictator must remain politically equipped to reduce such leaders’ power. Even though the CCP model of governance and development yields rampant cadre corruption, Xi Jinping and the Chinese party-state greatly favor this model, even though it is inherently counterproductive in governance.

Additionally, this approach aims to diminish the dedication of leaders to improve governance and development, consequently transforming various policy domains into political battlegrounds and ultimately undermining effective governance.

About the Contributor

Guoguang Wu holds a Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University and is Senior Research Scholar at the Center on China’s Economy and Institutions, Stanford University, as well as Senior Fellow on Chinese Politics at the Asia Society Policy Institute's Center for China Analysis. His research focuses on Chinese politics and comparative political economy, with current interests in China’s elite politics, the politics of development, transition from communism, and the emergence of capitalism in comparative perspective. He is author of four books, including China’s Party Congress: Power, Legitimacy, and Institutional Manipulation (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and Globalization against Democracy: A Political Economy of Capitalism After its Global Triumph (Cambridge University Press, 2017), and editor or co-editor of six English-language volumes and author or editor of more than a dozen of Chinese-language books. During the late 1980s, he worked in Beijing as a policy adviser and speechwriter for China’s national leadership.


[1] For the policy change and its aftermath, see, for example, Ellen Ioanes, “Xi Jinping Has Abandoned Zero-Covid. What Happens Now?” Vox, January 1, 2023,; Alexandra Stevenson, Joy Dong, and Olivia Wang, “China’s Looming ‘Tsunami’ of Covid Cases Will Test Its Hospitals,” The New York Times, December 10, 2022,

[2] See the discussion in Guoguang Wu, “Li Qiang versus Cai Qi in the Xi Jinping Leadership: Checks and Balances with CCP Characteristics?” China Leadership Monitor, Issue 77 (September 2023),

[3] Xinhua,; “全国人民代表大会常务委员会决定免职的名单,”Xinhua,  October 24, 2023,

[4] "‘在历史关头,我们共同作出了正确的选择’:习近平主席出席中美元首旧金山会晤纪实,” Xinhua, November 19, 2023,

[5] Guoguang Wu, “Aerospace Engineers to Communist Party Leaders: The Rise of Military-Industrial Technocrats at China’s 20th Party Congress,” Asia Society  February 2023,; Wu Guoguang and Bates Gill, “Rise of China’s Military-Industrial Leaders Will Heat Up Race Against the US,” South China Morning Post, March 7, 2023,; Edward White and Sun Yu, “Xi Jinping’s Dream of a Chinese Military-Industrial Complex,” Financial Times, June 18, 2023,

[6] Wu, “Aerospace Engineers to Communist Party Leaders.”

[7] See, for example, “习近平同志《论科技自立自强》主要篇目介绍,” Xinhua, May 28, 2023,

[8] “中国何以成为创新大国,” Xinhua, July 21, 2023,

[9] For their experience, see Wu, “Aerospace Engineers to Communist Party Leaders.”

[10] Barry Naughton, “The Third Front: Defence Industrialization in the Chinese Interior,” The China Quarterly, no. 115 (September 1988): 351-386; Covell F. Meyskens, Mao's Third Front: The Militarization of Cold War China (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2020).



[13] Julie Zhu et al., “China to Launch $40 billion State Fund to Boost Chip Industry,” Reuters, September 5, 2023,

[14] See, for example, Zeyi Yang, “Corruption Is Sending Shock Waves Through China’s Chipmaking Industry,” MIT Technology Review, August 5, 2022,

[15] “China Removes Former Industry Minister Xiao Yaqing from Post for Bribery,” Reuters, December 19, 2022,

[16]“肖亚庆被免去工信部部长职务,金壮龙接任,” Xinhua, September 2, 2022,

[17] See Jin’s bio information at金壮龙.

[18] “中国任命火箭军新领导层引发军中 ‘清洗’猜测,” BBC News Service, August 1, 2023,

[19] “全国人民代表大会常务委员会公告,” Xinhua, December 29, 2023, See also年中国人民解放军火箭军腐败案.

[20] “中华人民共和国主席令,” Xinhua, October 24, 2023,; “全国人民代表大会常务委员会决定免职的名单,” Xinhua,  October 24, 2023,

[21] “航天系统3人被撤销全国政协委员资格,” The Paper, December 28, 2023,

[22] “中国运载火箭技术研究院原院长王小军被撤销全国政协委员资格,” The Paper,  January 29, 2024,,

[23] See, for example, 洪晓楠, “集中力量办大事的显著优势,” 人民网, May 15, 2020,, which quotes Xi Jinping’s saying: “Our greatest advantage is that our country’s socialist system can concentrate strength to accomplish great things. This is a significant, magic weapon to achieve our course.”

[24] Wu, “Li Qiang versus Cai Qi”; Guoguang Wu, “New Faces, New Factional Dynamics: CCP Leadership Politics Following the 20th Party Congress,” China Leadership Monitor, Issue 74 (December 2022),

[25] Wu, “Aerospace Engineers to Communist Party Leaders.”

[26] See some preliminary analysis in Guoguang Wu, “The Rise of Xi Jinping’s Young Guards: Generational Change in the CCP Leadership,” Asia Society Policy Institute, May 2023,

[27] “‘国防七子’ 10人新当选两院院士,” The Paper, November 22, 2023,

[28] Ibid.

[29] See, for example, “中华人民共和国工业和信息化部直属高等学校,”中华人民共和国工业和信息化部直属高等学校; “‘国防七子’ 10人新当选两院院士.”

[30] Xi Jinping inspected the university in 2009 when he was in charge of the CCP Central Secretariat. See “习近平同志视察哈尔滨工业大学并与学生代表亲切座谈,” 中华人民共和国教育部, no. 737,; “‘大学生是祖国的美好未来’: 习近平同志在哈工大,” 哈工大新闻网, In 2020, Xi wrote a letter to the university congratulating it on its 100th anniversary. “习近平致信祝贺哈尔滨工业大学建校100周年,” Xinhua, June 7, 2020,

[31] “江苏省委书记信长星调研南京理工大学盱眙产学研合作基地,” 发展规划处, November 10, 2023,

[32] Yang, “Corruption Is Sending Shock Waves Through China’s Chipmaking Industry.”

Photo credit: China News Service, CC BY 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons; Nuclear Regulatory Commission from US, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons; China News Service, CC BY 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons


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