Playing Chess: Xi Jinping's Need for Speed: Op-Ed by Professor Brookfield

World Policy

Chinese politics is endlessly fascinating.  No sooner do all the pieces of China’s political puzzle fall into place, then we begin to see reshuffling.  The current case of Jiang Jiemin provides a good illustration.  Some reports have suggested that the recent detention of Jiang – former head of the government body that manages China’s state-owned enterprises and ex-chairman of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) – indicates the seriousness of Xi Jinping’s attitudes toward corruption.  Others see Jiang’s detention as a potential precursor to a move against former Political Standing Committee (PSC) member Zhou Yongkang.  While one should not discount the significance or potential implications of such a move, the action may be more indicative of Xi’s acute political need for speed against his rival, former Party leader Hu Jintao, than a systematic effort to root out corruption or even a focused political power play.

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