Chinese President Xi Jinping’s second term win was unanimous, and Xi’s closest ally, Wang Qishan, was elected vice president on the same day. It’s widely suspected that Wang Qishan lost his Politburo Standing Committee Member’s seat last October due to the alleged corruption exposed by billionaire Guo Wengui, the self-imposed exile in New York. Guo is complicated. Many suspect he’s an agent for Xi’s longtime rival Jiang Zemin. However, even if that were true, the relationship didn’t end on a high note as Guo had hoped for. Nevertheless, under pressure, Xi conceded by letting Wang go. Five months later, Wang made it back, indicating Xi has since consolidated his power and was able to reward Wang’s loyalty. As vice president, Wang will most likely be responsible for the U.S.-China relations. Xi finally gets to choose his dream cabinet, much like what President Trump is doing in the U.S. But this is only half the story. Behind the staunch loyalty display of the Chinese bureaucracy over Xi’s election and the constitutional amendments, fear, resentment and doubts linger. What is the true dynamic between Xi and the Party, and how will this impact Chinese politics and U.S.-China relations? Let’s explore these questions in this episode of Zooming In.
Changing Dynamics among Xi, the Party and Trump