Wielding the Sword: President Xi's New Anti-Corruption Campaign
Fu Hualing, the Hong Kong University commentator, has an impressive new paper on the current anti-corruption campaign under the leadership of Xi Jinping. The observation that most impresses me is this:
There are clear signs that, constitutionally, the Party is coming out more openly and forcefully to play a more visible and direct role in managing the society. The constitutional principle of Party leadership is deeply entrenched, although the Party prefers to hide in the shadows pulling strings to exert political influence through the government and other front organizations.
Under Xi, the Party has become more conspicuous and more self-confident. The Party is more assertive in claiming its right to rule directly, bypassing legislative and executive authorities not to mention the judicial authority.39 While the Party looms increasingly large amidst the increasing marginalization of the legal process in relation to anti-corruption, the relevant legal rules no longer apply as they used to such as access to counsels, disclosure and transparency.
Coupled with the silencing of social media and the narrowing of the public sphere in China in the immediate aftermath of the Xi take-over, anti-corruption enforcement is more opaque, more secretive and less rule-bound.