• Cheng Li of Brookings believes there is cause for optimism that Xi Jinping can deliver on economic reforms.
  • One local official recalls brutal treatment he suffered under the shuanggui system, which is often used for anti-corruption investigations of party members. The Party has been considering reforming the system
  • Isaac Stone Fish compares the cases of former security czar Zhou Yongkang (under investigation for corruption) and Bo Xilai.
  • The opaque internal channels through which ideas reach China's senior leadership.
  • Sinica podcast on the state of modern academic and intellectual discourse in China, featuring Orville Schell. 
  • China's Finance Ministry failed to release local government budgets during the opening day of the National People's Congress (in the past it has done so), leading one scholar to claim that Beijing is trying to hide how much is being spent on local security budgets.
  • Vaughan Winterbottom gave his key takeaways from the Congress. The full (and rather turgid) government work reports from recent NPCs can be found here.
  • China increases its focus on Afghanistan.
  • Government censorship instructions regarding the ill-fated Malaysian Airlines flight.
  • Plight of Hong Kong's cage-home dwellers 'worse now than 25 years ago'. 

Apologies for the delay in this week's China links, which we usually present on a Wednesday.