Six reasons why China’s economy is weaker than you think

Written by Geoffrey M. Hodgson. The UK has rolled out the red carpet for Chinese president Xi Jinping on his five-day official visit. He is being given the royal treatment, including a stay at Buckingham Palace, a ride in a state carriage along The Mall and several banquets. The trip will also include plenty of time …

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 …

70 Years of ‘Cold Peace’ and ‘Cold War’ in East Asia Coming to an End?

Written by Christian Wirth. 70 years passed since Emperor Hirohito declared Imperial Japan’s surrender and ended what is often referred to as The Pacific War.  25 years passed since the Soviet Union’s disintegration ended the global confrontation between the US-led ‘West’ and the Soviet-led ‘East’, commonly referred to as the Cold War. Yet even in this …

The Chinese Government Hops on the WeChat Bandwagon

Written by Zixue Tai and Xiaolong Liu. Like everywhere else, social media is an increasingly pervasive presence in Chinese society. Leading the market are the three behemoths QQ, Weibo and WeChat. QQ, the PC-based instant messaging service lately crossing over to the smart-phone market, is the oldest (debuted in 1999 by Tencent) and boasts over 800 …

Reassessing Diasporic Chinese Media in the Wake of China’s Rise

Written by Wanning Sun. A decade ago, I edited Media and the Chinese Diaspora, a volume which examines the formation of Chinese diasporic identities through media production, content, and consumption in North America, Australasia, and South-east Asia. A decade later, my colleague John Sinclair and I are assembling a sequel to this volume. This forthcoming …

The Enduring Ideological Monism of the Chinese Communist Party

 By Giorgio Strafella. In his last article on this blog, Dr Wang Zhengxu examines the coming changes in the CCP Constitution to prove the CCP’s “continuous evolution toward a normal, secular, governing party.” The current Party Constitution, dated 2002, does not include Hu Jintao’s contribution, “the Scientific Outlook on Development,” which will be added after …

How to understand the succession in China?

by Steve Tsang. The 18th Party Congress scheduled to start today will determine who will be the leaders of China for the next decade.  But the people of China have no say in who will be selected, or even how they will be selected – not even the 80 million plus members of the Chinese Communist …

CCP’s anti-corruption campaign enters 63rd glorious year; still no shortage of targets

by Jackie Sheehan What is the Chinese for chutzpah? Whatever it is, He Guoqiang, outgoing head of the CCP Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, surely has it, if he can straight-facedly claim the Bo Xilai case as a sign of success for the party’s programme to root out corruption among its officials. He has headed …

Bo Xilai – a deadly case of delusion and desired defection

By Mike Bastin. While the rumors continue about Bo, his wife Gu and the death of Neil Heywood, it is surprising that the real reason for this entire saga has not yet been publicized. The real reason is not that Bo was seen as a potential threat to the current and future leadership in China, …

The Party Muddles Through

By Zhengxu Wang. Governing the very dynamic and complex Chinese society and economy has become increasingly difficult for the Chinese Communist Party. Challenges to governance abound, so much so that many are wondering whether the large number of “crises in governance” have already resulted in a real crisis in the Party’s legitimacy. A wide range …