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Raising the Stakes in Xi's Consolidation of Power

Feb 22, 2016 | 09:15 GMT
Raising the Stakes in China's Anti-Corruption Campaign
Chinese President Xi Jinping and those loyal to him are cracking down on dissent and increasing control over the media in advance of a power shuffle next year.
(KEVIN FRAYER/Getty Images)

A string of mysterious disappearances of Chinese nationals could signal that Chinese President Xi Jinping is taking his effort to consolidate power to new heights ahead of the Communist Party Congress in 2017. It appears that Chinese intelligence agents have recently carried out a number of renditions targeting Chinese citizens living abroad, including some who hold dual nationalities. If true, it would mark a substantial shift in the behavior of Chinese intelligence services, which until now have not been known to engage in kidnapping or assassination campaigns outside China's borders. The renditions would also point to great strain within China's political system as Xi and those loyal to him move to centralize power by cracking down on dissent, increasing control over the media, calling for loyalty and implementing an extensive anti-corruption campaign. As China's socio-economic challenges grow in the lead-up to the power shuffle slated to take place at the...

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