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China's Ninth National People's Congress (NPC), convened in March 1998, established a new NPC and a new cabinet. Is NPC still much like a “rubber stamp” as before? Will the new chairman, Li Peng, follow his predecessor, Qiao Shi, use it as a base to expand his power in competition with Jiang Zemin and Zhu Rongji? More importantly, Zhu Rongji is now the new premier. What are his development strategies for China's economy? He has set out to shake up China's unwieldy bureaucracy and to reform its loss-making state-owned enterprises. Can he still accomplish his ambitions in the face of rising unemployment (xiagang)? How will Jiang Zemin manage his relations with both Li Peng and Zhu Rongji?Based on an in-depth analysis of the latest developments in China, this Occasional Paper contains three separate articles, addressing the above issues in order to provide a new perspective on China's fast-changing political economy in the post-Deng era.