On “Who is Xi Dada?”

Written by Anne-Marie Brady. A few days before Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping arrived in the USA last week, People’s Daily released a nauseating new clip called “Who is Xi Dada”, part of a series of video items about Xi on their Youtube page as well as other sites. “Who is Xi Dada” …

China’s military parade is an error of judgement

Written by Steve Tsang. Whenever the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) departs from routine protocol, it is usually highly significant. Today’s military parade in Beijing, which marks 70 years since the defeat of Japan in the Second World War, is no exception. It is only China’s fourth military parade since the Mao era; it is the …

The 70th Anniversary of Japan’s surrender

Written by Hans Van de Ven. On August 15, 1945, Emperor Hirohito announced in his first ever radio broadcast that he had instructed his cabinet ‘to communicate to the governments of the USA, UK, China, and the Soviet Union that Our Empire accepts the provisions of their Joint Declaration’. This was the Potsdam Declaration in which …

Is the CCP’s Aspirational Leadership Narrative Un-American or Anti-American ? Wang Huning as a Test Case

Written by Niv Horesh. In 1991, David Shambaugh famously damned China’s American-studies establishment as advancing a “shallow and seriously distorted” understanding of US culture, history, society and politics.1 Nevertheless, in the intervening two and a half decades, a new generation of experts has come to inform CCP thinking on the US. Shambaugh’s 1991 study focused on …

How the Internet is shaping PRC development: Three schools of thought in China

Written by Daniel Lynch. Over the past few years I have followed Chinese writings on the impact of the Internet on PRC society.  I’m not so much interested in discovering a definitive answer, but I am trying to understand the range of debate on this critical but impossibly complex question. Understanding the range of debate …

The enduring themes of Chinese propaganda

Written by Matthew Johnson. Two of the most enduring and seemingly paradoxical features of China’s propaganda state are its staying power and steady decline. In English, the word ‘propaganda’ is often deployed as an epithet for media that appears crassly manipulative or one sided. Public relations firms, advertisers, newspapers, and governments may be accused of spreading …

The Debate on China’s Grand Strategy

Written by Lukas K. Danner. In the past couple of years a heated debate on what China’s grand strategy is, or should be, has flared up among academics and policy analysts. With the so-called rise of China, and with an allegedly rising assertiveness on China’s part since 2008, its grand strategy has come into focus even …

Why China’s Xi Jinping Is Still Far From Chairman Mao Status

Written by Steve Tsang. Much has been written in recent weeks of how Chinese president Xi Jinping has established himself as China’s most powerful leader since Deng Xiaoping. Distinguished Harvard scholar Roderick MacFarquhar went a step further in an interview with the New York Times, comparing Xi’s authority with that of Chairman Mao Zedong. Other China watchers have voiced …

Occupy Central and the marginalization of pro-democracy parties in Hong Kong

Written by Ng Hoi Yu. The Occupy Central Movement (OCM), also known as the Umbrella Revolution, broke out in Hong Kong on 28 September. It was triggered by the decision of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC) on arrangements for the 2017 Chief Executive election, which requires all candidates to be vetted by …

Beijing’s Trojan Horse?

Written by Gunter Schubert. Before an important election is due, Taiwanese businesspeople investing in China (known as Taishang) regularly make headlines in the Taiwanese media. Surprisingly, there was not much of a public outcry when it was reported in early September that Taiwanese Business Associations (TBAs) on the mainland had made acting and former heads …