Beijing Tightens Party Discipline as Xi Rises

By John McLaughlin

John McLaughlin is the Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).  He is a former Acting Director of Central Intelligence and a former Deputy Director of Central Intelligence. He was a US Army Officer in the 1960s, with service in Vietnam.

China’s 19th Party Congress begins Wednesday in Beijing. The Congress occurs every five years, and is an opportunity to understand the Chinese leadership’s vision for the direction of the country. 2017’s Congress is slated to be Xi Jinping’s show, as he solidifies his power and appoints his political allies to the Standing Committee of the Politburo. The Cipher Brief spoke with John McLaughlin, the former Acting Director of the CIA to understand Xi’s intentions and China’s priorities in the coming years.

The Cipher Brief: The Party Congress usually illuminates China’s priorities for the future in terms of its economy, domestic politics, and its international standing. Have the past five years achieved what the last Congress set out to do?

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