Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Andrew Erickson and William McCahill argue that recent political developments and official pronouncements indicate that China’s new National Security Commission will focus primarily on maintaining state security and social stability in order to promote economic growth. Chinese Communist Party officials often speak of “maintaining social stability” as a euphemism for vigorously suppressing dissent. Erickson and McCahill believe that the new commission will enforce “tougher crackdowns on ethnic minorities, domestic free thinkers, and social media.” This increased surveillance and forceful repression will likely initially be focused on restive, resource-rich Xinjiang province, home to China's Uighur minority.
Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang will lead the powerful commission, which will oversee China’s vast machine of police, militia, and domestic intelligence forces. According to the authors, Xi’s push to assert control over domestic security forces to advance economic development resembles Deng Xiaoping’s efforts to consolidate political and police power in order to facilitate economic reform.