Willy’s Corner

China’s Soft-Power Deficit Widens as Xi Tightens Screws Over Ideology

Even for a country that is notable for its myriad contradictions, the gap between China’s hard and soft power has never been more pronounced. The year 2014 has witnessed the kind of global hard-power projection that is unprecedented in recent Chinese history. The two-year-old Xi... MORE

Xi Consolidates Power at Fourth Plenum, But Sees Limits

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) pledged to promote rule of law with Chinese characteristics at the Fourth Plenary Session of its Central Committee. President Xi Jinping, also Party General Secretary, promised that the CCP would lead the nation in “strengthening the implementation of the Constitution... MORE

Hong Kong After the Revolution

The ongoing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong—known as the “Occupy Central Movement” or the “Umbrella Revolution”—have fundamentally changed the relationship between the central government in Beijing and the Special Administrative Region (SAR). For the first time since Hong Kong’s sovereignty reverted to China in 1997,... MORE

The Rise of the Military-Space Faction

Much has been written about the growing influence of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) generals on China’s foreign policy. Little has been said about military entrepreneurs and other non-combatant PLA personnel moving into China’s domestic governance. Under Chinese President Xi Jinping, an unprecedented number of senior... MORE

‘The No. 1 is Key’: Xi Jinping Holds Forth on the Art of Leadership

In the past month or so, Chinese official media have published scores of articles containing President Xi Jinping’s homilies on the art of leadership (lingxiuxue) and in particular, his views of the personal qualities needed to govern 1.3 billion people. These reports are based not... MORE

With Zhou’s Circle Down, Xi’s Purge May Turn to Hu

The Xi Jinping administration has chosen June 30, the eve of the Chinese Communist Party’s 93rd birthday, to make two announcements about Beijing’s 18 month-long anti-graft campaign. With these, he has largely eliminated the remaining allies of his rival Zhou Yongkang—and he may be moving... MORE