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China purge puts orderly leadership handover in doubt

Thursday, July 20, 2017


The purge and replacement of erstwhile presidential contender Sun Zhengcai.


Politburo member Sun Zhengcai, once seen as a potential successor to Xi Jinping as president, has been removed from his post as Party chief of Chongqing and placed under investigation. Chen Min'er, a Xi loyalist, replaces him.


  • The top leadership will probably manage to present a relatively united front to the public ahead of the Party Congress.
  • In the much longer term, the corrosion of collective leadership could reduce political stability, which may damage investor confidence.
  • An administration composed of officials whose thinking matches that of the core leader is less likely to generate effective policy.

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