Temporal Distribution

在文檔中 習近平「打虎」:反貪抑或肅敵? - 政大學術集成 (頁 35-40)

Chapter 1: Introduction

2.1. Temporal Distribution

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Chapter 2: Tiger Distribution and Succession

In this chapter, we discuss the distribution and succession of tigers. In the first section, we compare the monthly tiger frequency from November 2012 to March 2015 with the occurrence of key events of Xi Jinping’s power consolidation. In the second section, we categorize the tigers into three groups – central civilians, local civilians, and military officers – and then study their geographical/functional distribution. In the third section, we analyze the succession of senior corrupt cadres. We compile the information of who fill in the vacancies left by tigers and whether the successors are from within or outside the given province/institution. The empirics of temporal distribution, geographical/functional distribution and succession allow us to examine if the campaign is genuinely about cleansing corruption or/and to what extent to strike down Xi Jinping’s enemies.

2.1. Temporal Distribution

In the first 29 months of Xi Jinping’s rule, he hunted down almost as many tigers as all his predecessors did in total in the first 90 years of CCP history. Xi put three times more senior cadres under disciplinary inspection in the first two years than Hu Jintao, the last General Secretary of CCP, did in the comparable period.

As many tigers as there are, the hunt unfolds itself gradually. Figure 2-1 is a line chart to show the monthly frequency of senior corrupt cadres between November 2012, when Xi Jinping was elected General Secretary of CCP and Chairman of CMC, and March 2015, when the first Two Sessions after the proclamation of “Four

national Two Sessions where Xi Jinping assumed the presidential office as the head of state, the founding of the three significant coordinating institutions that Xi personally chairs, and the proclamation of pivotal programs that later compose the “Four Comprehensives”22.

Figure 2-1: Temporal Distribution of Tigers

Three observations can be made. First, Xi Jinping takes on the anticorruption cause right after his coronation. The first senior corrupt cadre, Li Chuncheng (李春城), was put under disciplinary inspection in December 2012 right after the 18th Party Congress.

It is contrasted with the prolonged warming-up period of Hu Jintao’s anticorruption

21 The First Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee was held in November 2012 immediately after the 18th Party Congress, so we do not mark it down in Figure 2-1.

22 The first program of the “Four Comprehensives” – to “comprehensively build a moderately prosperous society”

– was first proclaimed in the 18th Party Congress in November 2012, so we do not tab it in Figure 2-1.

* Second Plenary Session

* Xi began presidency

* Xi chaired Leading Group for Deepening National Defense and Military Reform

* Xi chaired the Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reform

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campaign, as the first tiger after the 16th Party Congress was hunted in August 2003, the 10th month of Hu’s tenure. The different scenarios of the two power transitions, from Jiang Zemin to Hu Jintao in 2002 and from Hu Jintao to Xi Jinping in 2012, explain this contrast. The 2002 succession was an incomplete one. Jiang Zemin as the retiring General Secretary packed the new Standing Committee of Politburo with his loyalists. He refused to hand over the military command and retained the CMC chairmanship until 2004. Joseph Fewsmith (2003) calls the 2002 power transition “the succession that didn’t happen”. With his hands tied, Hu Jintao as the new leader could not swiftly execute the anticorruption program even if he intended to. Xi Jinping, on the contrary, took power in a much more favorable scenario. Hu Jintao left the leadership in a “naked retirement” (裸退, luo tui) by relieving his positions all at once.23 Xi Jinping, in return, spoke highly of Hu Jintao’s decision as embodying “his exemplary conduct and nobility of character” (高風亮節, gaofeng liangjie) (Yao, 2012). The position of General Secretary of the party, chairmanship of CMC and presidency of the state compose the trinity of the party’s supreme power in post-Deng China and a leader is not in full command until he assumes all three of them. Hu Jintao’s “naked retirement” and Xi Jinping’s full coronation allows Xi to immediately take on the anticorruption cause.

Second, there is a clear upward trend in the monthly frequency of tigers. The temporal distribution is far from a flat one. Although Xi Jinping began his tiger hunt immediately after the 18th Party Congress, he restrained it in a limited scale in the first year of his rule. Only 12 senior cadres were inspected for corruption from November 2012 to October 2013, and none of them are military officers. The peak in these 12 months is June 2013 when 3 tigers are hunted. There are 4 months without any tiger in this year. In the second year, however, the monthly frequency significantly goes up.

23 Except for the time lag of the national presidency transition. National People’s Congress, annually held in March, elects president.

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From November 2013 to October 2014, Xi Jinping hunted down 53 senior cadres for corruption, 4 times as many as he did in the first year. The peak during the second year is July 2014 when 8 senior cadres were put under disciplinary inspection, including the full-state-level leader Zhou Yongkang. Only one month in the second year fails to produce any tiger. In the last 5 months in our time scope from November 2014 to March 2015, 39 senior cadres were brought down. 10 of them were inspected in January 2015, which makes the highest monthly record in our data. The upward trend of monthly frequency suggests that the anticorruption campaign was intensifying as Xi gradually consolidates his power from the moment he was enthroned to the time he proclaimed full autocracy.

Third, the tiger hunt comes in tidal waves. The monthly tiger frequency does not increase at a fixed rate and it fluctuates. In Figure 2-1 we can clearly observe several high tides and low tides. It seems that each of the high tides temporally followed a key juncture of Xi’s power consolidation, and the low tides occurred right at these junctures. The first high tide in June 2013 with 3 tigers came after Xi assumed the national presidency in March. The second high tide in December 2013 with 6 tigers followed the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee where Xi proclaimed to “comprehensively deepen reform”. The third one, with 8 tigers in July 2014, was after Xi founded and chaired the three powerful coordinating institutions that allow him to grasp powers in a more personal and extended way than Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao.24 The last high tide in January 2015 with the highest record of 10 tigers was recorded immediately after the Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee and when the last two pieces of the “Four Comprehensives” were proclaimed.

24 The three coordinating institutions are 1) Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reform for economic and social governance; 2) Central National Security Commission for domestic security and foreign affairs; and 3) CMC Leading Group for Deepening National Defense and Military Reform for military command.

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Low tides of tiger hunt generally occurred right at the junctures of Xi Jinping’s power consolidation. The first drought of tiger from February to April in 2013 was at the point when Xi assumed the national presidency in that March. The second low tide, January 2014 without any tiger, occurred in the month when Xi founded and chaired the Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reform and National Security Commission. The last significant low tide in the 29-month time scope is September and October 2014, the time when the Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee was on the way. Nie and Wang (2014) study the impact of political circles on anticorruption from 2003 to 2013, concluding that the intensity of campaign significantly decreases in the periods of Two Sessions and Chinese New Year. In those periods, the party is unwilling to take down corrupt cadres because of the political stability concerns. Our statistics presented in Figure 2-1 seems to support their conclusion. The anticorruption campaign comes to a “timeout” when the autocrat concentrates his resources to key an event in which he is to decisively consolidate and expand personal power.

To sum up this section, Xi Jinping carries out his anticorruption campaign immediately after he assumed power in the 18th Party Congress. The number of fallen tigers goes in an upward trend as the monthly frequency generally increases in the 29-month time scope. High tides of tiger hunt occur after critical events that signify Xi’s consolidation of personal power, while at the time of these events Xi tends to call

“timeouts” for the campaign. The temporal correlation between tiger frequency and power-consolidating events suggests that it might not be true that Xi’s anticorruption campaign directly facilitates power consolidation. The two projects of tiger hunt and power-consolidation both require significant resources and thus the autocrat cannot be engaged in both simultaneously. However, power-consolidating events precede anticorruption high tides because power fuels tiger hunt. The new autocrat needs to first assume key offices that grant him extended powers and then he can possibly

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make use of the powers to push anticorruption through.

在文檔中 習近平「打虎」:反貪抑或肅敵? - 政大學術集成 (頁 35-40)