Lang Youxing

Professor, Zhejiang University

Lang Youxing is professor and chair of political science at Zhejiang University. He received his Bachelor degree from Zhejiang University, MA degree from East China Normal University, and PhD from the National University of Singapore. He teaches introduction to political science, social theory, political methodology, and contemporary China’s government and politics. His current research interests include deliberative democracy in China, the development of non-state, local governance and politics, and political participation. He has published more than 100 academic articles both in English and Chinese, particularly on China’s village elections, local governance, and deliberative democracy. His authored, edited, and translated books include Anthony Giddens: the Third Way (2000); In Search of A Balance between Liberty and Authority: Study on the Experiences of Zhejiang Privince in Village Elections (with Dr. He Baogang, 2002); Non-government Development and Local Governance (2008); Readings of Political Science (2008); Power and Wealth in Rural China (2009); Making Democracy Work: The Crafting and Manipulation of Chinese Village Democracy by Political Elites (2009); Political aspiration and Political Inclusion: The Rich People’s Participation in Zhejiang (2012); Reform and Rural China  (2015); and The Study of Civil Culture in Zhejiang (2107).

A man wearing a face mask amid the Covid-19 pandemic drives his motorbike along a street in Wuhan, China, on 24 April 2020. (STR/AFP)

A fragmented Chinese society after the pandemic?

Lang Youxing observes that while the pandemic brought the Chinese people together to overcome an unprecedented crisis, it has also unearthed a serious state of polarisation within Chinese society. Conflicting views rule, and netizens in WeChat chat groups mourn the loss of friends with the phrase “Goodbye, my classmates!” after vociferous arguments about Covid-19 and China's position. Bidding farewell to classmates is one thing, but can one say goodbye to society?