Willy Wo-Lap Lam

Dr. Willy Wo-Lap Lam is a Senior Fellow at The Jamestown Foundation. He is an Adjunct Professor at the Center for China Studies, the History Department and the Program of Master’s in Global Political Economy at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is the author of five books on China, including “Chinese Politics in the Hu Jintao Era: New Leaders, New Challenges.”

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Articles by Willy Wo-Lap Lam

Xi’s Korea Policies Stumble

On March 7, the United States began installation of a Terminal High-Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) system in on a golf course outside Seoul, South Korea. Washington and Seoul did so

After the Election: The Future of Cross-Strait Relations

Barring an upset of momentous proportions, Taiwan’s opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is expected to defeat the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) or Nationalist Party, during presidential elections scheduled for January 16.

China’s Anti-Graft Campaign in Review

China’s anti-graft campaign reached a milestone last month with the early November detention of Shanghai and Beijing Vice Mayors, Ai Baojun and Lu Xiwen, respectively, on corruption charges. At least

The Generals’ Growing Clout in Diplomacy

A recent foreign policy debate in the Chinese media has thrown into sharp relief the extent of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) generals’ influence on the country’s diplomacy. Wang Zhanyang,

Members of the Xi Jinping Clique Revealed

Fourteen months after the watershed 18th Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Congress, President Xi Jinping has emerged as a strongman whose power is deemed to be more extensive and entrenched than

ONE-COUNTRY TWO-SYSTEMS AFTER “7-1”

By Willy Lam The future of "one country, two systems" has become even murkier after Beijing's high profile endorsement of Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa earlier this month. Moreover,

MODEST PROPOSALS FOR CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM

By Willy Lam Although political liberalization seems to have met with at least a temporary setback in China, a modest proposal about constitutional reform put forward by veteran reformer Cao

HU AND JIANG STRUGGLE FOR PRIMACY

By Willy Lam Ex-president Jiang Zemin and his still powerful Shanghai Faction are returning fire after a political season that has witnessed the relentless expansion of the clout of President

HU NOW LEADS ON TAIWAN

By Willy Lam President Hu Jintao will intensify both united front tactics and "military readiness" after having taken over the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) Leading Group on Taiwan Affairs. The

PLA SEEKS A NEW LEAP FORWARD

By Willy Lam Although he is generally deemed a moderate--if not liberal--cadre on political matters, President Hu Jintao issued a remarkably tough message on defense and armaments at a Chinese

CRISES CHISEL AT THE PLA’S CREDIBILITY

By Willy Lam The standing of the People's Liberation Army (PLA)--and its commander-in-chief, Jiang Zemin--has taken a drubbing in the wake of China's raging pneumonia epidemic and a recent submarine

SARS: GROWING IMPACT ON CHINA’S LEADERSHIP

By Willy Lam In addition to shaving perhaps 0.5 percent from China's GDP growth this year, the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) will have a lasting socio-political impact

BEIJING STUDIES THE U.S. WAR IN IRAQ

By Willy Lam Chinese strategic and military experts are scrutinizing the U.S. war in Iraq, and for several reasons. First, if American and British forces become bogged down in their

SECURITY, STABILITY, REFORM

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam Security will be the watchword of the new administration of Wen Jiabao, due to be named prime minister at the National People's Congress (NPC) early next

PARTY BOSSES SLOG IT OUT IN BEIJING

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam Personnel issues are set to dominate the First Session of the Tenth National People's Congress (NPC), due to convene on March 5. After having nailed down

HU JINTAO: PLAYING BY THE RULES

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam New Chinese Communist Party (CCP) chief Hu Jintao is relying on two primary weapons in waging what could be a protracted struggle against the Jiang Zemin

THE DICTATORSHIP OF THE PROLETARIAT

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam While the Chinese Communist Party pledged at its 16th Congress barely six weeks ago to justify its mandate of heaven by building a "comprehensive well-off society,"

SIGNS OF AN ANTI-JIANG BACKLASH ARE GROWING

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam While China's new Communist Party chief Hu Jintao has hardly emerged as first among equals--let alone the dominant figure--in China's new Politburo Standing Committee (PSC), his

THE NEW DEAL IN BEIJING

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam So far as its main purpose--ensuring a smooth, orderly political succession--is concerned, the 16th Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Congress has spawned as many problems as it

THE “RED CAPITALISTS” SLIP IN THE DOOR

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam Whether private businessmen will get due recognition at the 16th Communist Party Congress has become a litmus test of the leadership's commitment to both economic and

ZENG QINGHONG: A MAN TO WATCH

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam One of China's many ironies is that most of the prospects for political reform may well hinge on one of the least popular cadres of the

PREMIER ZHU FIGHTS FOR HIS LEGACY

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam Zhu Rongji has a habit of saying intriguing things when he is abroad. And when cadres who do not see eye to eye with him, including

EXPLOITING A FAVORABLE CLIMATE

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam Beijing is exploiting to the utmost Washington's and the UN's recent decisions to classify the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) as a terrorist organization. CCP leadership

JIANG TURNS BACK THE CLOCK

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam The damage has already been done. Whether Jiang Zemin will give up all his positions at the 16th Communist Party Congress aside, his efforts at recycling

CHEN’S REFERENDUM FLAP

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam Hawkish officers in the People's Liberation Army (PLA) have cited Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian's remarks on the island's statehood and its readiness for a referendum on

CLASS WARFARE IN THE OFFING?

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam One of the biggest contradictions of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) politics is that while the Jiang Zemin leadership is trying to phase out class struggle, antagonism

ECONOMIC RECOVERY, AT A PRICE

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam President Jiang Zemin and his aides have given unmistakable indications that Beijing is taking a harder line on Hong Kong. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership,

HONG KONG, 1997-2002

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam When Chinese President Jiang Zemin arrives in Hong Kong on June 30 for what could be his last official visit to the Special Administrative Region (SAR),

MOSCOW TILTS WEST, BEIJING WORRIES

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam Spin-doctoring by Russian leaders--and the Chinese media--can scarcely change or hide the fact that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership remains deeply troubled by Moscow's tilt

THE JIANG PROTEGES AND THE JIANG THEORY

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam President Jiang Zemin has made significant headway in pushing his proteges' prospects in the run-up to the 16th Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Congress this autumn. But

HU’S VISIT: MORE TALK THAN PROGRESS

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam Vice President Hu Jintao and his entourage have put a most positive spin on his just-completed U.S. tour, but scanty coverage in the Chinese media seems

WILL THE HEIR APPARENT BE A WEAK NUMBER ONE?

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam Vice President Hu Jintao has encountered some problems in factional infighting within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)--and this could affect his pivotal trip to the United

STABILITY AT THE EXPENSE OF REFORM?

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam More than twelve years after Deng Xiaoping launched the open door policy, the Chinese leadership has still not solved the contradiction between stability and reform. Whenever

WEN JIABAO: A REFORMER AT HEART?

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam There seems little question that, given the constraints of Chinese politics, Vice Premier Wen Jiabao is a reasonably suitable candidate to succeed Zhu Rongji as premier

CHANGING OF THE LOCAL GUARDS

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam China watchers worldwide are focused on leadership changes expected at the 16th Communist Party congress this autumn. But reshuffles of perhaps equal significance are taking place

HU JINTAO: EMERGING FROM THE SEMI-SHADOWS

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam After President George W. Bush's visit to China, whether--and how--Hu Jintao will modify Beijing's long-standing U.S. policy has become one of the most crucial questions in

BEIJING’S TAKE ON BUSH’S VISIT

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam Forget about the "constructive strategic partnership." Beijing has officially dropped the goal for Sino-American ties President Jiang Zemin and former President Bill Clinton reached in 1998.

CROSS-STRAIT TENSIONS UNLIKELY TO LESSEN

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam Contrary to expectations, Vice-Premier Qian Qichen's vaunted olive branch for Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is unlikely to reduce Cross-Strait tension in the foreseeable future. Qian's

ZHU MANEUVERS FOR SUCCESSION

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam Premier Zhu Rongji, China's best-known reformer, is on the defensive in the factional infighting that is tipped to worsen in the run-up to the 16th Communist

TAIWAN’S UPCOMING ELECTIONS

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam As with Taiwan elections for the past several years, President Jiang Zemin has set up a special task force of civilian and military aides to monitor

PRC FOREIGN POLICY OUTLOOK

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam PRC Vice President Hu Jintao's relatively high-profile trip to five European countries has raised two basic questions about Chinese foreign policy.

WIDENING THE DEFINITION OF TERRORISM

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam The United States and its allies are opposed to terrorism. The Chinese, however, are opposed to "all forms of terrorism." Or, as Chinese President Jiang Zemin

SINO-AMERICAN RELATIONS: A MATTER OF DEBATE

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam Was September 11 good for Sino-American relations? It's still a matter of hot debate among Chinese cadres and intellectuals. The so-called Mainstream Faction in Beijing thinks

POST BEDAIHE: NO CONSENSUS ON PRC LEADERSHIP

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam They are never reported in the official New China News Agency. Chinese Communist Party (CCP) or government spokesmen would not even confirm that the so-called Beidaihe

ATTACK ON TAIWAN: HOW LIKELY?

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam While considered an unlikely eventuality by most China and Taiwan experts, the use of force--or at least its threat--has proven to be one of Beijing's most

CHINA-TAIWAN MILITARY THREAT UNLIKELY

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam Chinese military forces have just finished an elaborate war game off the Fujian coast that involved more than 100,000 crack troops as well as the latest

STORM CLOUDS OVER BEIDAIHE

by Willy Wo-Lap Lam They are never reported in the official New China News Agency. Chinese Communist Party (CCP) or government spokesmen would not even confirm that the so-called Beidaihe