Lu Xi

Lu Xi

Assistant Professor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore

Dr. Lu Xi is an assistant professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. He received his PhD from the University of California – Berkeley. He holds an MS in Agricultural Economics from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Xi works on the interaction between China's politics and economics, and is teaching elective modules that examine the political logic driving China's modern economic development. Xi's research interests lie in political economy, development, corruption and meritocracy.

People listen to Ko Wen-je, Taiwan presidential candidate from the opposition Taiwan People's Party (TPP), in front of Ko and his running mate Cynthia Wu’s advertisement at the Jhong Yi Taoist temple in New Taipei City on 10 January 2024. (Sam Yeh/AFP)

Taiwan's elections heading towards new era of intergenerational rivalry

As Taiwan’s presidential election nears, young people's concerns about domestic social issues is becoming a significant voting factor. NUS academic Lu Xi notes that Ko Wen-Je’s popularity among youths and the change in political discourse since Tsai Ing-wen’s “four commitments” has shown that the dilemma over reunification and independence has taken a backseat and could thus pose a challenge to mainland China’s reunification strategy.
Taiwan People’s Party Chairman Ko Wen-je on stage at a celebration of the party’s fourth anniversary at the Taichung International Exhibition Center, Taiwan, 6 August 2023. (CNS)

Can Ko Wen-je shake up Taiwan's political scene with his 'one-man party'?

As Taiwan’s presidential election approaches, Democratic Progressive Party candidate William Lai is firmly in the lead. However, Taiwan People’s Party candidate Ko Wen-je is also in a solid second place. Academic Lu Xi opines that if Ko survives the election and TPP becomes a key minority in the Taiwanese Legislative Yuan, Ko's influence will gain greater ground in the coming years as young voters' support continues to grow.
Kuomintang chairman Eric Chu (second from left), New Taipei City mayor Hou Yu-ih (third from left) and Wayne Chiang (second from right), Taipei mayoral candidate, take a group photo at a rally ahead of the election in Taoyuan, Taiwan, 19 November 2022. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

'Resist China, protect Taiwan' becoming a consensus in Taiwan

NUS academic Lu Xi assesses that the victory of the non-Green camp in the “nine-in-one” local elections shows that the Taiwanese people are aligning their views towards the Taiwan Strait issue regardless of political parties and camps. “Resist China, protect Taiwan” is becoming a consensus, and parties will need to compete on some other parameters such as a wholesome party image and promising political stars.
Delegates during the closing ceremony of the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, on 22 October 2022. (Bloomberg)

Death of China’s factional politics

Academic Lu Xi notes that the traditional notions of factional politics of the Chinese Communist Party has changed following the 20th Party Congress. With a greater centralisation of power, jousting among any remaining factions or subfactions will likely prove less relevant.
People ride escalators at a business district in Beijing, China, on 16 May 2022. (Wang Zhao/AFP)

China's unified national market has its drawbacks and challenges

The Chinese government has recently announced plans to establish a unified national market that is highly efficient, standardised, open and competitive. It would break down walls, raise the standards of the business environment within China and act as a buffer against external pressures. While the intention is good, NUS academic Lu Xi points to possible drawbacks and challenges.
Demonstrators gather in support of Ukraine following Russia's invasion, and watch Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky's speech as it is broadcasted to the Knesset, Israel's parliament, and projected at Habima Square in Tel Aviv, Israel, 20 March 2022. (Corinna Kern/Reuters)

When a country needs to choose between realism and idealism

NUS academic Lu Xi notes that following the Russia-Ukraine war, the world will possibly be divided by political ethics, specifically between the idealists and realists who respectively believe in the rule of law and the law of the jungle. In this hypothetical scenario, will small states be able to stay neutral without taking sides? How will they navigate between the big powers and maintain their own national interests?
People line up to take nucleic acid tests at a testing site outside a hospital following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Beijing, China, 17 January 2022. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

China needs to break free of its zero-Covid policy. Here's how.

With its dogged implementation of the zero-Covid policy, China has painted itself into a corner and is now saddled with four shackles that prevent it from changing course. Lu Xi explains the factors involved and suggests how China may slowly begin to extricate itself from its predicament.
Former KMT chairman Johnny Chiang and incumbent KMT chairman Eric Chu join the annual Autumn Struggle labour protest, focusing on the opposition to the government's decision to allow imports of US pork containing ractopamine, and other issues related to the referendum in Taipei, Taiwan, 12 December 2021. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Taiwan’s four-question referendum results show a Kuomintang in serious decline

Taiwan’s four-question referendum ended without any “yes” votes being passed. The KMT, who initiated the referendum, failed to gain broad-based support for its positions despite an all-out campaign. Rather than the cosmetic reasons, Lu Xi sees the core cause of the KMT’s poor showing to be its outdated approach of pandering to the traditionalist “deep Blue” camp in the party. It has to move with the times and get a better pulse on the electorate if it is to make any headway.
Staff members spray disinfectant at a school ahead of the new semester in Bozhou in China's eastern Anhui province on 23 August 2021. (STR/AFP)

Is China taking policies to the extreme to achieve zero-Covid?

After a month of tough restrictions following a Delta variant outbreak, China reported this week zero new locally transmitted Covid-19 cases. Since the pandemic started, it has stuck with a zero-Covid strategy. In fact, even contemplating living with the virus is often seen as submitting to the ways of the West. LKYSPP academic Lu Xi asks: as some local officials take zero-Covid policies to extremes to submit good report cards, will ordinary folk suffer the most?