Lance Gore

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

Dr. 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 woman walks past a Communist Party slogan urging people to "Follow the Party forever" outside a residential compound in Beijing on 6 July 2020. (Greg Baker/AFP)

The return of Mao-era practices: New threat to China's political and economic modernisation

EAI academic Lance Gore says that the Communist Party of China is reenacting the “great leader model” and reviving many practices of the Mao era. These include tightening control over information flow and restricting freedom of speech, enhancing propaganda and ideological and political indoctrination, emphasising obedience and absolute loyalty, advancing the ideal of the party acting for the government, among others. He says these anti-modernisation tactics need to be addressed as China attempts to modernise its governance and build institutions with soul.
People wearing face masks walk in front of the entrance of the Forbidden City, while the closing of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference takes place in Beijing, 27 May 2020. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Modernise China’s governance? Get rid of deities and emperors

China has put a lot of effort into modernising its governance system over the decades, but it still seems to miss the mark or to have even regressed in some areas. EAI academic Lance Gore puts this down to a muddled understanding of what true modernisation entails. Cult of personality, formalism, and conformity still permeate the system to a large degree, such that decision-makers live in a bubble thinking that all is well.
A man wears a protective face mask amid the Covid-19 pandemic, as he walks past the Jingshan park overlooking the Forbidden City in Beijing on 25 January 2020. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)

Will Covid-19 be the catastrophe that ends China's good fortune?

China has faced reversals of fortune numerous times in history, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. After enjoying decades of upward ascent since its economic reform and opening up, some says China’s fate is about to be reversed again with the coronavirus pandemic, a mammoth disruption that kicked off the 2020s. Lance Gore argues that such massive shock to its political and economic system exposes chinks in its armour but does not necessarily unravel a big country with the world’s most comprehensive industrial structure.
Chinese students hold a memorial for Dr Li Wenliang outside the UCLA campus in Westwood, California, on 15 February 2020. In the photo, the student has the words "freedom of speech" written on the duct tape over his mouth. (Mark Ralston/AFP)

Making the great leap forward: When will the Chinese person stand up?

Mao said that “the Chinese people have stood up” when he proclaimed the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Lance Gore from the East Asian Institute says, more than 70 years later, if a Chinese person cannot speak his mind without fear of recrimination, one can hardly profess that the Chinese people have truly stood up.
A new Cold War between the US and China could ensue. (iStock)

Escaping the new Cold War: Fostering understanding between China and the West

Lance Gore, senior research fellow of the East Asian Institute, warns that a new cold war awaits China and the US if they continue to talk over each other. How can the two giants see each other in a better light? How can China improve its rule of law and governance practices?
The Chinese system has governance capacity to tackle the emerging “troubled times”. This picture shows children waiting to bid farewell to China's President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan at the international airport in Macau on 20 December, 2019.  (Photo by Eduardo Leal/AFP)

China's governance model: The way forward for today's world?

Lance Gore from the East Asian Institute says that the shape and form of widespread protests around the world show how states are fast losing their authority to govern. Systems in liberal democracies give protesters the space to air their views, but not necessarily the solutions they are looking for. In this regard, China’s brand of authoritarianism coupled with good governance may surprisingly be the tack to take.
The Chinese national flag (right) flies alongside the Hong Kong flag. (Anthony Wallace/AFP)

Wherein lies the future of Hong Kong?

Lance Gore opines that what is at stake in Hong Kong is really the Hong Kongers’ immediate interests, and the future of the Pearl of the Orient.  He spoke to protesters on the ground and found out that not only do they not identify in the least with mainland China, they overflow with resistance; not only do they feel no shame about Hong Kong’s colonial past, they are actually very proud of it. Wherein lies its future then?
Will the world be able to understand China better? (iStock)

How not to get lambasted on the world stage: Some advice for China

China has made efforts to be accepted on the international stage. These efforts are not always well-received.