The following is an extract from the August 2014 edition of China+ Politics.
The transition to the new leadership under President Xi Jinping, which began in November 2012, is now largely settled. Xi has consolidated his power, dispatching political enemies and quieting others. While he has held the formal positions of power since his ascendency as head of the Party and PLA, he has now shown his willingness and a formidable capacity to use his power. Xi is now unchallenged, and for a time will be unchallengeable.
The ongoing anti-corruption campaign is the biggest purge in Chinese Communist Party history since the Gang of Four were ousted in a palace coup in 1976 by Deng Xiaoping. Meanwhile, Xi has consolidated in his hands control of all the key areas of policy, establishing five Leading Groups which he chairs, covering areas from national security and economic reform to internal Party affairs.
It is clear that power is now more concentrated than at any time, possibly, since Mao in the mid 1950s.
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