Willy’s Corner

Beijing Wages Economic Diplomacy to Counter “China Threat” Theory

Beijing is waging an economics-focused diplomacy of reassurance to counter the “China Threat” theory and to augment its political clout particularly in the Asia-Pacific and European regions. In the last two years of its term of office, the Hu Jintao leadership is expected to use... MORE

PLA Gains Clout: Xi Jinping Elevated to CMC Vice-Chairman

The appointment of Vice-President Xi Jinping as vice-chairman of the Chinese Communist Party's Central Military Commission (CMC) has confirmed the Fifth-Generation cadre's status as heir-apparent to President and General Secretary Hu Jintao. Xi's induction into the policy-setting CMC, which was decided by the just-ended plenum... MORE

Hu Revives Quasi-Maoist Tactics to Stem Social Instability

President Hu Jintao has revived a key Maoist concept—"correctly handling contradictions among the people"—so as to more effectively tackle China’s growing socio-political instability. In a speech to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Politburo on the eve of the October 1 National Day, Hu urged party... MORE

Premier Wen’s “Southern Tour”: Ideological Rifts in the CCP?

Two years before he is due to retire from the Chinese Communist Party’s Politburo, Premier Wen Jiabao has issued his boldest-ever call for liberalization. While in the Guangdong boom town of Shenzhen in late August, the premier raised national eyebrows by playing up the pivotal... MORE

Hawks vs. Doves: Beijing Debates “Core Interests” and Sino-U.S. Relations

An intriguing divergence of views has been exposed within China’s foreign-policy establishment on how to handle the country’s worsening ties with the United States that may highlight a growing dissonance between China’s civilian and military establishments. Sino-American relations have taken a confrontational turn since Washington... MORE

China’s Brain Drain Dilemma: Elite Emigration

A popular Internet writer recently caused a stir when he asserted that “all Chinese who earn more than 120,000 yuan ($17,650) a year want to immigrate.” While this view is exaggerated, there is no denying the upsurge in Chinese emigration to Western countries—particularly the United... MORE

Beijing’s Record Revenue Haul Exacerbates Central-Local Tensions

While the world is still angst-ridden with the fragile recovery from the global financial crisis, there seems no end to auspicious tidings coming out of China. Riding on the back of robust exports–which grew by 33.2 percent the first half of the year–China’s economy is... MORE

China’s New Aristocracy: Red Cadres and Red-Hat Businessmen

The scandal of Li Qihong, the female mayor of the Guangdong Province boom town of Zhongshan, highlights a backsliding of corruption in Chinese politics. Particularly, the increasing collusion between party cadres and businessmen has made the issue more acute. Even as the Chinese Communist Party... MORE

Premier Wen’s Four-nation Tour: A “Responsible Leadership Role”?

Premier Wen Jiabao’s just-completed weeklong tour to South Korea, Japan, Mongolia and Burma (Myanmar) provides a good opportunity for evaluating the extent to which China is playing a “responsible leadership role” in world affairs. In President Barack Obama’s National Security Strategy report released in late... MORE

Rising Social Malaise Beggars Hu’s Reforms

Beijing authorities have raised the country’s security alert to the highest level—the first time since the August 2008 Olympics Games—in the wake of a spate of killings in schools and kindergartens that left at least 27 dead and some 100 injured. Given the resources that... MORE