Veteran Sinologist Willy Lam, who has just published Chinese Politics in the Era of Xi Jinping (Routledge, 2015), will talk about the career, ideology and statecraft of the Fifth-Generation Communist Party leader, Xi Jinping. Dr Lam will address General Secretary Xi’s bold but conservative plans to perpetuate the Chinese Communist Party’s ‘perennial ruling party’ status — and how the sixty-one-year-old princeling could emerge as the Mao Zedong of the Twenty-first Century. Lam will assess the charismatic strongman’s anti-corruption campaign, his efforts to erect a personality cult around himself — as well as the Xi team’s harsh tactics to tame intellectuals and tighten control over the Internet. Also discussed will be Xi’s aggressive global power projection under the nationalist ‘Chinese Dream’ mantra. Key to Beijing’s game plan is to offer China’s neighbours economic inducements which range from trading opportunities to infrastructure-related loans using the ‘One Belt, One Road’ gambit. At the same time, however, the Xi administration is relentlessly modernising the PLA’s arsenal and flexing its muscles in the East China Sea and the South China Sea with the goal of displacing the United States as the ultimate arbiter of the Asia-Pacific region in the coming decade or two.
Willy Lam teaches Chinese politics and foreign policy at the Center for China Studies, the History Department, and the Master’s Program on Global Political Economy at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is a former China writer and editor at the South China Morning Post and CNN. Lam has published seven books including Chinese Politics in the Hu Jintao Era (Routledge, 2006). He is a Senior Fellow at the Jamestown Foundation, a foreign-policy think tank in Washington, DC. Lam’s views on China are regularly cited by the global media including the Associated Press, AFP, Bloomberg and Voice of America.
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