Despite an undistinguished career as a provincial administrator, Xi has rapidly amassed more power than his predecessors. He has overawed his rivals and shaken up the party-state hierarchy by launching large-scale anti-corruption and rectification campaigns. With a strong power base in the People’s Liberation Army and a vision of China as an « awakening lion, » Xi has been flexing China’s military muscle in sovereignty rows with countries including Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines while trying to undermine the influence of the United States in the Asia-Pacific region. While Xi is still fine-tuning his art of governance, his zero tolerance for dissent and his preoccupation with upholding the privileges of the « red aristocracy » and the CCP’s status as « perennial ruling party » do not bode well for economic, political, or cultural reforms. Lam takes a close look at Xi’s ideological and political profile and considers how his conservative outlook might shape what the new strongman calls « the Great Renaissance of the Chinese race. »
Willy Wo-Lap Lam is adjunct professor in the History Department and the Center for China Studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong. Dr Lam is also a senior fellow of Jamestown Foundation, Washington D.C. His areas of expertise include elite Chinese politics, economic and political reforms, foreign policy and the PLA. Lam is the author of Chinese Politics in the Hu Jintao Era (2006) and The Era of Jiang Zemin (1999).
Sebastian Veg, director of the CEFC, chaired the seminar.
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This seminar was held in English.