Lance Gore

Senior research fellow, East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore

Lance Gore previously taught at several universities in the United States and Australia, and is currently a senior research fellow at the East Asian Institute of National University of Singapore. His recent books include The Chinese Communist Party and China’s Capitalist Revolution: The Political Impact of Market and Chinese Politics Illustrated: The Social, Cultural and Historical Context. His current research is on the new technological revolution. He is working on two books, one examining the post-capitalist trends in the world and the policy and political implications for China, and the other on entrepreneurship in the public sector.

A security personnel keeps watch next to a Chinese Communist Party flag before the new Politburo Standing Committee members meet the media following the 20th Party Congress of the Communist Party of China, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, 23 October 2022. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Can the CCP truly serve the people?

Recent protests against the Covid restrictions show that the CCP’s mantra of “serving the people” is a double-edged sword. The platitude lends ideological ammunition and justification for people to retaliate, and may also give far leftists fodder for accusing the party of abandoning their original mission. Rather than a nameless “the people” which can be manipulated politically, perhaps it is time to think of the people as each and every person whose rights need to be safeguarded.
A winter swimming enthusiast holds a Chinese national flag as he dives into a pool cut in the frozen riverbank to celebrate the new year in Shenyang, Liaoning province, China, on 1 January 2023. (AFP)

China's big hurdles returning to the forefront of civilisation

China is reopening after three years of it zero-Covid policy, but the ongoing development raises fundamental questions about the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”, says East Asian Institute senior research fellow Lance Gore. The project needs to be grander, if it is to provide some universal significance for the Third Axial Age. Among other things, it might be worthwhile for China to pay attention to developing the personal and social levels of the nation, and to sow the seeds of building a healthy, mature society.
People hold white sheets of paper in protest over Covid-19 restrictions, after a vigil for the victims of a fire in Urumqi, as outbreaks of Covid-19 continue, in Beijing, China, 27 November 2022. (Thomas Peter/File Photo/Reuters)

China's elderly rulers must get used to the young criticising them

East Asian Institute senior research fellow Lance Gore observes that the recent protests in China have highlighted the deep generational gap between the leaders of the country and the protesters. In tandem with the modernisation of society, there needs to be the modernisation of politics, allowing greater room for political participation and dialogue.
People read a newspaper covering the 20th Party Congress of the Communist Party of China at a public display stand in Beijing, China, 24 October 2022. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Xi's CCP practises Leninism of the 21st century. But could it end up as empty talk?

East Asian Institute senior research fellow Lance Gore observes that “Xi Jinping Thought” is really Leninism of the 21st century, or an amalgam of dictums that bear the risk of stifling social vitality and creativity. Not only that, a high concentration of power is a strength but also a weakness if cadres are afraid of deviating from the views of “the great leader”.
In this file photo taken on 12 March 2018, a propaganda poster showing China's President Xi Jinping is displayed on a wall in Beijing, China. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)

[Party and the man] Ditching presidential term limit an exception not the rule

While some consider Xi Jinping’s departure from the two-term presidential limit a sign of a descent into dictatorship, many fail to see that for China’s particular juncture in history, a deep centralisation of power is necessary, and Xi Jinping is very possibly the resolute leader needed to do it. However, this also means that China’s political future could go either way, either morphing into a new integration of democracy, rule of law and good governance, or being locked in a system that makes absolute power possible. This is the last in a series of four articles on President Xi Jinping and the road ahead.
Men twirl dragon streamers on the Bund promenade along the Huangpu River during sunrise in Shanghai, China, on 7 September 2022. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

[State of our world] China’s future in a politicised world

As the world rapidly shifts from an economic one to a highly political one, competition will no longer be about who wins more but about who loses less. In the shift from a win-win to a zero-sum game, China is torn as it strives to get closer to the developed world yet seeks to maintain a distance from the third world and Russia. In navigating these troubled waters, three critical developments — relations with Russia, Taiwan, and decoupling from the West — may alter the fate of China. This is the last in a series of four articles contemplating a changing world order.
A Russian soldiers stands with a national flag at the Red Square during the Spasskaya Tower International Military Music Festival at the Red Square in Moscow, Russia, on 26 August 2022. (Alexander Nemenov/AFP)

Will China and Russia join hands to push for an alternative world order?

Out of the ashes of a changing global order could rise a growing China-Russia alliance, says East Asian Institute senior researcher Lance Gore. Such a prospect is made possible by the common ground they share, including having a victim complex, harbouring resentment towards the West and aspiring to regain their past grandeur. However, the two civilisations are very different and there could still be a misalignment of objectives. In light of the obstacles, will their relationship stay a strategic partnership that goes no further?
This Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense handout picture taken and released on 24 August 2022 shows a US-made 155mm howitzer firing during a drill at Penghu islands. (Handout/Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense/AFP)

Cross-strait reunification is not a precondition for China’s national rejuvenation

The Chinese government should not cave in to nationalist voices keen on equating reunification with China’s national rejuvenation, says East Asian Institute senior research fellow Lance Gore. Given the strength of the PLA, neither the US nor its allies are keen or have the capability to engage in a direct conflict with China. Rather than overreacting at every premeditated provocation, the mainland should have confidence in coming to a common understanding with Taiwan and work on improving its international image.
A Chinese flag flutters near people lining up to get tested at a makeshift nucleic acid testing site, amid the Covid-19 outbreak in Beijing, China, 18 May 2022. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

Can capitalists ever feel at ease in socialist China?

The Chinese Communist Party has yet to resolve in theory and in practice two great issues: the ever widening rich-poor divide and the question of capitalists’ place in a socialist market economy. This is why the slogan "common prosperity" caused widespread panic across the private sector when it was first put forth. How will the authorities prove that “the rich will never be robbed in order to help the poor”?