Willy’s Corner

The Irresistible Rise of the “Xi Family Army”

Under President Xi Jinping, whose main power base is the People’s Liberation Army, the famous adage “power grows out of the barrel of a gun” has assumed added significance (China Brief, February 15, 2013; January 9, 2015). On the eve of the 19th National Congress... MORE

What is Xi Jinping Thought?

Ahead of the 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), scheduled to begin on October 18, media attention has focused on top-level personnel changes. While the selection of China’s new group of leaders is certainly important, recent announcement that current CCP General Secretary Xi... MORE

Beijing Harnesses Big Data & AI to Perfect the Police State

Even by the standards of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the brutal treatment of China’s first Nobel Prize winner, Liu Xiaobo, has breached the norms of civilized behavior. The third day after Liu‘s death from liver cancer—which deteriorated into the terminal stage last June largely... MORE

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 over strong economic and diplomatic pressure from Beijing, which argued that THAAD posed a threat... MORE

Beijing’s New Scorched-Earth Policy Against the Uighurs

Under the pretext of joining the global war on terrorism, the Xi Jinping administration has imposed unprecedentedly harsh restrictions on the civil liberties and rights of the 10 million Uighurs living in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR). The shift in President Xi’s Xinjiang policy... MORE

The Emergence of the Wang Qishan Faction

The proverb “mandarins can set big fires, but common folks can’t even light a candle” is often used to describe the often-outlandish privileges enjoyed by the authorities. After the recent Sixth Plenum of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee conferred upon Xi Jinping the... MORE

Beijing Talks Tough About “New Cold War” in Asia

Beijing has declared a New Cold War against “hostile anti-China forces in the West,” a code word for the United States and its Asia-Pacific allies (Military.China.com, August 26; Chinaiiss.com, August 25). This contrasts directly with the auspicious language used by President Xi Jinping when he... MORE