Xi Jinping

An outdoor screen shows live coverage of China’s President Xi Jinping attending the closing session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) in Beijing, 28 May 2020. (Wang Zhao/AFP)

Cancelling Xi Jinping's visit to Japan? Vested interests split views of Japanese politicians

Factionalism within the LDP has cast the spotlight on the prospect of Japan cancelling a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Japan that was postponed earlier in the year. Japanese academic Shin Kawashima rationalises that such requests are not a unified LDP view, much less a government one. With a general election coming up in Japan, Sino-Japanese relations will no doubt continue to be part of the shadow play, but there being no smoke without fire, the deterioration of Sino-Japanese relations cannot be underestimated as well.
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.
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.
Medical staff prepare to transfer Covid-19 patients from Wuhan No.5 Hospital to Leishenshan Hospital in Wuhan, March 2020. The people of Wuhan are grateful to front line healthcare workers and volunteers. (AFP)

Official's call for city of Wuhan to express gratitude backfires

Angry netizens suggest that Wuhan party secretary Wang Zhonglin’s call for gratitude for the CCP shows where officials’ allegiance truly lies. The testy mood of the public portends the zero tolerance of further grandstanding behaviour.
In this photo taken on 23 February 2020, a woman wearing a protective facemask to protect against the Covid-19 coronavirus cycles in front of the Lama Temple that is closed off to the public in Beijing. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)

Safeguarding Beijing

Three cautionary warnings have been issued in the last six days by the Chinese government, calling on officials to pay special attention to containing Covid-19 in Beijing. Beijing correspondent Yang Danxu observes that the authorities' political survival is at stake if Beijing becomes severely affected by the coronavirus. All hands are on deck to ensure that this does not happen.
The mainstay of protests in Hong Kong has been the younger generation that grew up after the 1997 handover. Now, they are also the mainstay of the pro-independence movement there. (REUTERS)

Who rules Hong Kong

China is not governing Hong Kong. The ‘one country, two systems’ principle forbids it. Foreign powers are not ruling Hong Kong. They can only influence. Hong Kong people are not administering Hong Kong. This remains an ideal. HKSAR is not presiding over Hong Kong. This is due to institutional design flaws. So, who rules Hong Kong?
China celebrates its 70th anniversary. (iStock)

Mao Zedong to Xi Jinping – Five generations of CPC leaders

On the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China, we present a series of interviews with five ordinary people of China as they reveal their extraordinary lives. As an opener, we begin by taking a look at developments in China under its five leaders.