Willy’s Corner

Beijing Plays Up the Carrot While Still Wielding the Stick

The relatively swift resolution of the protests in Shifang in southwestern Sichuan Province could mark a turning point in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) administration’s handling of the estimated 150,000 or so cases of mass incidents that erupt every year. While continuing to boost its... MORE

China Deploys Pugilistic Foreign Policy with New Vigor

Daunting challenges call for extraordinary responses. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) administration has found itself on the defensive particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. China’s sovereignty spats in the South China Sea with several Southeast Asian states came to a head in a prolonged naval standoff... MORE

Wang Yang: The Future Torchbearer of Reform?

With the 18th Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Congress a mere six months or so away, the identity of senior cadres who will make the Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC) has pretty much been settled. Apart from Vice President Xi Jinping and Executive Vice Premier Li Keqiang—who... MORE

Chen Guangcheng Fiasco Shows Dim Prospects for Political-Legal Reform

The blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng’s plight, which piqued much of the world’s attention the past fortnight, has fully exposed the shocking failings of China’s law-enforcement apparatus. Chen was forced to seek shelter in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing due to the Chinese authorities’ systematic violations... MORE

Hu Jintao’s Sixth Generation Protégés Play Safe to Ensure Promotion

The rounds of ritualistic protestation of loyalty to the “Chinese Communist Party (CCP) central authorities with Comrade Hu Jintao as General Secretary” show President Hu Jintao has become the biggest beneficiary of the Bo Xilai scandal. Apart from pulling out all the stops to ensure... MORE

Beijing’s Post-Bo Xilai Loyalty Drive Could Blunt Calls for Reform

The shock downfall of Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai has shattered the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) façade of unity and stability. The past fortnight has witnessed a plethora of rumors about a failed coup d’etat supposedly masterminded by Bo in conjunction with Politburo Standing Committee... MORE

Hu Jintao Draws Blood with the Wang Lijun Scandal

After apparently engineering the contretemps that have hit Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai, President Hu Jintao is putting additional pressure on other members of the Gang of Princelings—the political faction composed of senior cadres’ offspring. The political fortunes of Bo, the high-profile son of Chinese... MORE

China’s Remnant Liberals Keep Flame of Liberalization Alive

China seems to have entered deep winter as far as political reform and human rights are concerned. While the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership seems to have pulled out all the stops to stifle dissent, intellectuals both inside and outside the party still are pushing... MORE

China in 2012: Political Challenges in China’s Economic Governance

Just as in the political and social arenas, the economic focus of the Hu Jintao-Wen Jiabao administration in 2012 will be upholding stability. In view of factors including the Eurozone debt crisis—which will impact on China’s exports to Europe adversely—top priority is being put on... MORE

The Grim Future of the Wukan Model for Managing Dissent

The apparently peaceful resolution of the “land grab” crisis in the Guangdong village of Wukan has been hailed as Beijing’s new model for tackling dissent. Last September, 15,000 peasants in Wukan in southeastern Guangdong Province, began staging protests against cadres who had illegally sold their... MORE