Professor Rory Truex: “Xi for life? What does it mean for China and the World?” | Talks at Google

Professor Rory Truex: “Xi for life? What does it mean for China and the World?” | Talks at Google


[MUSIC PLAYING] RORY TRUEX: I study
Chinese politics and I teach courses
on Chinese politics, so I am grateful for
this opportunity today to get to speak to you
about events unfolding in China this past year. So often, when we
talk about China, we talk about it through the
lens of China-US, the trade war, these sorts of things. But actually, in mainland
China in domestic politics, this has been a seminal year,
in part because of this man– Xi Jinping. And so today, I wanted
to really just focus on giving you a briefing. I thought that would be
the most helpful thing. I’d like to give you
a sense of what’s unfolding this past year,
and what we can think will happen moving forward. So, I wanted to
start– as I mentioned, I teach courses on
Chinese politics, so I wanted to start with an
exam question, which I can see, there was little
enthusiasm for that. But here we go. Bear with me. So this past fall, I taught
a course on Chinese politics. And for the final exam,
I asked the students to identify a year, a critical
year in the development of China, in particular, of
China’s political development. So we have this concept
in political science, something called a
critical juncture, which is a jargony way of
saying that is a turning point, a year where
certain events unfolded and certain decisions
were made that changed the trajectory of history. And so if we look
back at the last 70 years of the rule of the
Chinese Communist Party, certain years come
quickly to mind, which I’m sure many of
you are familiar with. The first is, of course, 1949. 1949 is the establishment of
the People’s Republic of China. This is a picture of
Mao Zedong standing in Tiananmen Square
declaring the establishment of the People’s Republic. And for the first
time in decades, the territory of
mainland China is consolidated under the rule
of a single government. So this was a heady
time for China, and signaling the
beginning of Mao’s rule. Another year which
is, of course, very important is 1978, the
beginning of so-called reform and opening-up. Does anybody here speak
Chinese or study Chinese? So I remember when I
started taking Chinese, I took Chinese 101. And one of the first
words we learned is [SPEAKING CHINESE],, which
means “reform and opening-up.” And I swear, 50%
of our lessons were about reform and opening-up. So it’s an important year. And for those of you who
are less familiar with it, this signals the beginning
of China’s economic miracle. So Deng Xiaoping
comes into power and takes a much more
pragmatic stance with respect to economic policy-making,
basically undoes the command part of
the Chinese economy, and results in an
influx of trade and foreign direct investment
in the so-called 30 years of 10% economic growth. This is the beginning
of this era. This is him visiting the US,
and he’s wearing a cowboy hat. This is one of the famous
images of reform and opening-up. Another year is,
of course, 1989. 1989 is the year of
the Tiananmen Square movement and the
Tiananmen Square Massacre. And this is the year where
we learned that the Communist Party was willing to do whatever
it took to stay in power and was not amenable to the
idea of political reform. And this is the
year where we saw them willing to use live
ammunition on student protesters. And finally, what I’m
going to argue today– and I’m starting to come
up with this argument. It’s not fully developed. But what I argue is that,
potentially, 2017 and 2018 have the capacity to
be one of those years. So it’s difficult to know. We haven’t seen history
unfold quite yet. We haven’t seen the
trajectory moving forward. But there have been a number
of developments in the last 12 months that signal
this might be a turning point for contemporary China. In particular, this
is the year where Xi Jinping, the current General
Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, has
fully consolidated his power, signaled
the start of a new era under his rule that
could last well beyond his expected
time in power. So today, I want to
give you a briefing as to what happened this past
year, why I think this might be a critical year, and then some
trends to think about moving forward, some things that might
be worth paying attention to. So before I get into
what happened this year, I want to set the stage to
talk a little bit about how we used to talk about China. And when I say “how we,” I mean
mostly the political scientist community. And when I say “used to,”
I mean not that long ago. I mean only a few years ago. We used to describe
the Chinese Communist Party through the lens of
almost an exceptionalism. So most authoritarian regimes–
and the Chinese Communist Party is an authoritarian regime– they don’t last very long. They live short, brutish,
violent existences, and they fall from a number
of different threats. The two most pressing threats
facing any authoritarian leader are the threat from within,
the threat of a coup attempt– actually, there’s
some data on this from Milan Svolik, who is a
political scientist at Yale. And he actually shows that
most authoritarian regimes die in this way. They crumble from within. I think it’s roughly 60% to 70%
of authoritarian regimes fall via coup, where one leader comes
in and basically institutes a new authoritarian regime. And then the second
way they fall is through the
threat of revolution. This is the more
romantic version of how authoritarian
regimes collapse. The population comes together,
demands political reform, and either through
some violent struggle or some brokered transition,
the authoritarian regime falls and is replaced
with something else– hopefully democracy. So these are the
two problems facing any authoritarian
leader, including Xi Jinping, Hu Jintao, Jiang
Zemin, and all the way on back. And the way we used
to describe the party was, wow, this is
a regime that seems to have learned from
the lessons of history and figured out how to
mitigate some of these issues. So in particular,
the key feature of the authoritarian regime in
China was institutionalization. So one of the difficulties
for any authoritarian regime is how to share power,
how to keep elites happy, how to transfer power from
one leader to another. So if we look back in the
2000s, there were a set of institutions–
rules and norms– that the Communist
Party had developed that seemed to be solving this
dilemma of threats from within. So in particular,
there was a norm that no leader would stay in
office longer than 10 years. So leaders at the very
top, including Xi Jinping, were expected to stay in
office for two five-year terms. The successor would be
anointed in advance– usually five years in advance,
potentially earlier than that– thus smoothing the
power transition, allowing that person to
develop cache within the system and experience. There would be well-established
retirement ages, so people would be
forced to leave office and wouldn’t hang on too long. Power was exercised
not by just one person, but collectively, where
each leader at the top– and when I say the
top, I generally am referring to what’s known
as the Politburo Standing Committee, the top tier of
leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, usually
seven to nine leaders. Each leader would be
given a portfolio. And while there would be
one most senior leader, they would cooperate
with each other. They would play nice. So these were the
key institutions that we look back on under
Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, the two predecessors
of Xi Jinping, and we say these institutions
contributed to the resilience of the Communist Party. So that’s the
threat from within. The threat from
below– revolution– the Communist Party is
an authoritarian regime. It uses the language
of democracy and claims to be democratic,
but no self-respecting political scientist would call the Chinese
Communist Party democratic. But nevertheless,
in the 2000s, it looked like the party was
starting to develop mechanisms for citizens to have a voice. So these weren’t democratic. They were tightly
controlled by the party. But nevertheless, there were
channels through which citizens could voice their concerns. This is everything
from a petition system, village elections, a People’s
Congress system, which is their legislative system,
online public opinion portals, mayor’s mailboxes. It’s getting increasingly
online and digital. But there were
channels in place where citizens could funnel
their grievances and the party could respond. And so some of the language
we used to describe the party at this time was– we used to call it
responsive authoritarianism or consultative
authoritarianism. In general, this is
a more tolerable form of authoritarian regime. This wasn’t a
tinpot dictatorship. This was a regime that
was sophisticated, and institutionalized,
and seemed to be trying to mitigate these issues. So that’s how we
used to describe it. And this argument– I
should cite the author. His name’s Andrew Nathan. This was made in 2003 if any of
you want to do further reading. I’m sure you have
plenty of other things to do with your
time, but the article is called “Authoritarian
Resilience.” So enter Xi Jinping. So Xi Jinping is the
current General Secretary of the Communist Party. So I’m afraid I’m
going to have to get in a little bit
of the weeds here in terms of the Chinese
leadership system, but bear with me. So any top leader of
China today actually has three different positions. So the first is that
they’re General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party. That’s the head of the party. That’s the most
important position. They are also de facto President
of the People’s Republic of China, which is the head of
state, the government position. The party and the government
on paper are separate things. In reality, they’re
heavily intertwined and the party dominates
the government. And actually, in my experience,
many Chinese citizens have trouble differentiating
the party institutions and the party positions from
the government positions. But Xi Jinping’s party
position is General Secretary. His government position
is the president. And he also has a
military position. He’s chair of what’s known
as the Central Military Commission. So he’s head of state, head
of party, head of military. So he assumed these
positions in 2012, and we are just finishing
up his first term in office. And therefore, he’s expected
to retire in 2022-2023. Now prior to coming to office– I just want to emphasize
a couple of things about Xi Jinping’s rise. The first is, like
many Chinese leaders, you might hear of this
so-called China model, this idea that China is a
meritocratic system and people are promoted based
on their abilities, and talents, and experience, and so forth. That is a highly controversial
argument to make. What I would say
is that Xi Jinping, like many other
Chinese leaders, had a lot of governing experience
upon entering his highest position. So he rose up the
ranks from a young age, was party secretary
and mayor and governor of various different
parts of China, was involved in the
Central Party School. He actually helped run
the Beijing Olympics. So by the time he became
General Secretary, he was highly experienced. The second feature
of his rise is that he is what’s
known as a princeling. So in Chinese
politics, a princeling is simply a leader whose
father or grandfather– and I apologize for using
male nouns here, but this is empirically true. Almost all Chinese
leaders are male. A princeling is a Chinese leader
whose father or grandfather was also a leader. And so Xi Jinping’s
father’s name is Xi Zhongxun, who actually
worked with Mao Zedong before being purged during
the Cultural Revolution. But Xi Jinping, because of
this princeling status– an American princeling would be
like Chelsea Clinton and George W. Bush. That’s how you can
draw the connection. Because of this
princeling status, he potentially had a
more accelerated rise, and he had a certain level
of prestige within the system early on. And then the third thing I
would talk about about his rise is that, like many Chinese
leaders, prior to him coming to power, we actually
didn’t know a lot about him. So one way to rise up
through the Chinese system seems to be to keep
your head down, to develop relationships
with patrons who are higher in
office than you, and not take any dramatic policy
stances in either direction. So prior to coming
into office, we really didn’t know a lot about what
Xi Jinping was all about. And if you look back at some
of the discourse about him in 2012 and 2013,
a lot of people believed he was
China’s Gorbachev. So this is a
democrat in waiting. He’s going to be
the one who finally liberalizes China and
embarks on political reform. And the basis for these
claims was, in retrospect, fairly weak. Xi Jinping spent time in Iowa. This is him as a younger man. He spent time in Iowa
on an exchange program. So he spent time in Iowa. His daughter attends
Harvard University. Therefore, he must get it. He must be a liberal. As it turns out, this conjecture
couldn’t have been further from the truth. Xi Jinping is a reformer. And I’ll talk more
about that later. But he is a reformer
of the illiberal sort. So he’s moving China in a more
authoritarian direction, not a more democratic direction. So what happened in 2017-2018? Why is this past 12
months such a big deal? Well, there were
really three events that unfolded that really
changed what we thought we knew about Chinese politics. The first occurred at what’s
known as the Party Congress. The Party Congress
occurred last fall. It’s a meeting of the 2,000 most
powerful members of the Chinese Communist Party. It happens only once
every five years. And during this
event, we typically see the unveiling of
new leadership circles. And what we were expecting
to see, based on precedent, was that Xi Jinping– there would be a new group
of top seven leaders– Xi Jinping would still be in
power because he still has one five-year term left– but that there would
be a successor. So we would see
two new leaders put into the top tier of the
Chinese Communist Party, and it would be generally
understood, potentially even announced, that these
people were going to take over from Xi Jinping. There would be a new
successor in waiting. So first thing we
learned this fall is that there actually– when
this new leader– this is the event, this image
that I’m showing here. That’s actually four out
of the new seven members of the Politburo
Standing Committee. There was no
successor announced. So remember, I talked
about institutions. This is a big one, having a
successor named in advance. That one’s gone. And why is this a big deal? Well, actually, basically since
the Tiananmen Square Massacre, the Tiananmen Square
incident, there has been a successor in place
in the Chinese political system. So it was known that Jiang
Zemin would transfer power to Hu Jintao. Xi Jinping came to office in
the Politburo Standing Committee in 2007. It was known that he would
take over for Hu Jintao. So now, for the
first time, we don’t have a successor, which means
this can generate instability. So if an authoritarian regime– we don’t know. If something ever
happened to Xi Jinping, if he had a health problem
or something like this, there would be a major
public power struggle. So that was the
event number one. Event number two is a
little more into the weeds, but I thought we could
have some fun with it. So this is event number two. And I had to write
it down because I have trouble remembering
all of the language. But I encourage you
all to memorize this– “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism
with Chinese Characteristics for the New Era.” This is a mouthful. I am not a native
speaker of Chinese, and my Chinese is probably
suspect, but [SPEAKING CHINESE] That’s it in Chinese. To me, it also sounds like
a mouthful in Chinese. There are native Chinese
speakers in the room. I heard you before, so maybe
you can tell me if you agree. But another feature of the
Chinese political system is that any elite
leader is expected to make an ideological
contribution to the Communist Party doctrine. So every leader has
their pet phrase. Mao Zedong has Mao
Zedong Thought. Deng Xiaoping has
Deng Xiaoping Theory. Jiang Zemin’s contribution is
known as The Three Represents. It should be said that it’s
not called Jiang Zemin’s Three Represents. It’s just called The
Three Represents. Scientific Concept of
Development is Hu Jintao. And so now, Xi
Jinping’s contribution is known as Xi Jinping
Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics
for the New Era. This phrase was put
into the Constitution, the charter of the
Communist Party itself. And it was done so while
Xi Jinping was still in office, still in power. Usually, it happens
after the fact. So if we dissect this phrase,
a few things stand out. First, Xi Jinping–
his name is in it. So it’s a named phrase. This honor had only been
reserved for Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. So here we have Xi
Jinping placing himself on par with those two leaders. The second word I want
you to pay attention to is “thought,” [SPEAKING CHINESE]. So remember, there’s Mao Zedong
Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory. So there are some analysts who
believe that a thought actually is higher than a theory. Well, now, we’re
getting into semantics. But it’s telling that Mao
Zedong had Mao Zedong Thought. So now we have Xi Jinping
Thought, Mao Zedong Thought. So not only is he
putting himself on par with Mao and Deng, he
may be only putting himself on par with Mao and above Deng. Socialism with Chinese
characteristics is an old, tired phrase in
Communist Party ideology. It’s basically their way
of justifying the fact that they’ve gone a market
direction while still using socialist language. So this is actually
not a new phrase. But the last thing that I
think is, in some sense, the most important
is the New Era. So Xi Jinping is declaring
that we are in a new era, and he is at the center. And up until this
point, we have generally thought that China was in
the so-called reform period. So beginning in 1978, we have
the reform and opening-up. That was the period we were in. Xi Jinping is saying we are
in the end of that period. We are in a new era,
and I am at the center. So that was event number two. Event number three
occurred this past March, where we had an amendment
to China’s constitution that got rid of term limits for
the position of the presidency. So prior to this, the
position of the presidency, which, you remember, is Xi
Jinping’s government position, was governed by two
five-year term limits. And this past spring,
which, honestly, would have been unbelievable
five or 10 years ago– that term limit was
gotten away with. So the interpretation
of all of these events– so again, just to reiterate,
so we have no successor, we have Xi Jinping Thought
in the Constitution, and now we have no term limits. The interpretation among
the China studies community and the China
watcher community is that this signals that
Xi Jinping is potentially trying to stay on past
his expected retirement in 2022, the
so-called Xi for life. And I titled the
talk not Xi For Life, I titled it “Xi For Life?” with a question mark
at the end of it because I think it’s
important for us all to remember
that what we know about elite politics in China
is actually quite little. It’s an extremely opaque system. And so people that
observe the system, we’re left to take
these very crude signals and try to infer what’s going
on between the party leaders and what’s going
on in their heads. And so I think it’s a
bit premature to say oh, he’ll be in there for
the rest of his life. Although Donald Trump actually
congratulated him on being– [LAUGHTER] I went 20 minutes without
bringing up Donald Trump. So my own interpretation–
so one possibility, he is intending to stay on. That’s one possibility. A second possibility is
he is using these moves to further consolidate power
and create uncertainty. So one feature of the
Chinese political system is if you anoint a
successor, you actually are creating a rival, and you’re
creating a new base of power. And instantly, that person who
is the successor in waiting becomes quite
powerful, and you’re a lame duck for five years. And so maybe by not
anointing a successor and signaling that he
might want to stay, he’s just maintaining his
own bargaining leverage. So that’s one other
interpretation that I think is
important to think about. Either way, my own feeling
is that whether or not he stays in office or
retires, it actually doesn’t matter as
much as you might think because if he does
install a successor, he will likely try to
install a lackey of his own. So he will install someone
who is loyal to him, and he will rule from
behind the scenes. And this is also common
in the Chinese system. Deng Xiaoping continued to rule
despite not actually having the highest level title. So power in the Chinese system
is in some sense about titles, and in many others,
it’s actually about personal relationships
within the system. So either way, I
think one takeaway I want you to come away
with from the talk today is that we are likely in an
era where Xi Jinping is going to be at the center of the
Chinese political system not just for the next five years,
but likely for the next 10, 15, possibly even 20 years. Of course, it’s
difficult to predict. So what do we know
about Xi Jinping? So if we’re in his era– we’ve gotten a
chance to watch him in office now for five years. So what is he actually about? What does he care about? What makes him tick? If I had to describe
him in three words, I would use the following. I would say he’s nationalist,
he is authoritarian, and he’s populist,
that combination. So nationalism– one of the key
phrases of Xi Jinping Thought– and I encourage you to go
study Xi Jinping Thought– is this idea of the so-called
China Dream or Chinese Dream depending on how you
see it translated– [SPEAKING CHINESE] in Chinese. The Chinese Dream
dates back to this idea of national rejuvenation. There is a narrative in the
Chinese political system that China was once
a great nation. That status was robbed of it
by foreign imperialist powers, beginning with the Opium War. There is a century
of humiliation where China is
repeatedly infringed upon by foreign powers. And only when the
Chinese Communist Party comes to power in 1949,
that’s the establishment of a new China, and
China has stood up. And so Xi Jinping’s
China Dream is an extension of that narrative. And the basic dream, as
it has been articulated, is that China will once again
become a strong, powerful, and prosperous nation. One of the most cliche things
you can say about China is that it is a
collectivist culture. This is a pet peeve of mine. It’s a very simplistic
way of thinking, and it’s, in some sense,
an orientalist way of describing China. But in this instance,
I think it’s important to emphasize
that this China Dream– Americans hear this,
and they think, oh, that’s the American dream. That sounds pretty good. It’s actually quite distinct. So this is an image of
one of the propaganda posters of the China Dream. And you’ll see, in
Chinese, it says, [SPEAKING CHINESE], China Dream. And under it,
[SPEAKING CHINESE],, means my dream. So we literally have the
individual being placed subservient to the nation. And to be working
under the China Dream, for an individual
Chinese citizen, it’s about achieving
the collective goal of national rejuvenation. So this isn’t about I’m going
to work hard and better myself like the American dream. This is a collective dream. This nationalism has been
ramped up in recent years. And it seems to me that
increasingly, the party is relying on nationalism
as a source of legitimacy. So under the Mao era, the source
of legitimacy was ideology and Mao himself. Under the reform period,
under Deng Xiaoping and his successors, the source
of legitimacy was performance. So we are going
to deliver goods– economic growth, public good
provision, and so forth. Now, economic growth
is slowing in China. It’s down to roughly 6%. And so a new source
of legitimacy, it seems that nationalism
will be the source of that. And we see Xi Jinping being
increasingly assertive on the international stage. You might have heard
about the South China Sea, China’s territorial claims
there, his willingness to build islands and install
military installations on those islands to
buttress territorial claims. China’s growing increasingly
aggressive with respect to Taiwan and
reunification with Taiwan. You might have heard of the
One Belt, One Road Initiative, or the Belt and Road Initiative. It’s constantly rebranded. But this is so-called
China’s Marshall Plan. It will be a multibillion
dollar investment project spanning
multiple countries and multiple continents. So we have a nationalistic,
assertive Xi Jinping. The second adjective I use to
describe him is authoritarian. China always has these cycles. If you look at the long
arc of Chinese history, there are ups and downs. There are periods of opening
and periods of closing. Mao Zedong comes to power,
and we see a closing with the Great Leap Forward
and the Culture Revolution. Deng Xiaoping comes
to power, and we see an opening, where
political discourse has liberalized a little bit. Then we have Tiananmen
Square Massacre, a closing. Then actually, if we
look back at the 2000s, we didn’t maybe
realize it at the time, but that was a period
of relative openness in Chinese society. Under Xi Jinping,
we have entered into another closed period. And I would argue–
and I don’t think I’m alone in this–
that China today is the most repressive
it’s been since the period just following the
Tiananmen Square Incident. And this has manifested
itself in a lot of ways. There’s increasing control among
civil society organizations. One of the key tenants
of Xi Jinping Thought is that party should dominate
all aspects of society. We also see the party
willing to use good, old-fashioned
repression, detentions, torture, intimidation to
groups that it doesn’t like. This is an image of Li Wenzu. She is the wife of the
man in that picture there, Wang Quanzhang,
who is what’s known as a Weiquan lawyer. The Weiquan lawyers in China– Weiquan just means
rights protection. These are effectively
public defenders. They are a group of lawyers
who are civic-minded, and have tried to use the
principles of the Chinese constitution– which is actually
quite liberal on paper– to help Chinese citizens protect
themselves from the government. So they take cases on
everything from labor issues, environmental issues,
property rights protection, so people who have had
their property demolished by the Chinese government. So these are people
that are trying to work on behalf
of the population, and to protect them from
the government using the Constitution. So they’re not
radicals, actually. They’re not
advocating revolution. Most of them are advocating
that the government abide by constitutionalism
and rule of law. Today, in China,
such individuals to be this type of lawyer
has become a crime, and hundreds of them
have been detained. This particular
individual, Wang Quanzhang, was detained for three
years without any meeting with his lawyer. There’s a certain irony in that. Not allowed to meet his family. We just found out last week
that he is still alive, but I was at an event two
weeks ago where his wife spoke, and she was unclear
whether he was still alive. So it’s important to
keep talking about this. I think a lot of us, when we
go to China– myself included– you get there, and you
think, oh, this isn’t so bad. Really, it’s not
that bad at all. It seems pretty normal here. And that’s on purpose. And a lot of the repression
hums along in the background, and it’s easy to overlook it. And it doesn’t affect
most of the population. But for those individuals
that do try to advocate things like human rights
and political reform, the regime is willing to
do the dirty business. So Xi Jinping is authoritarian. He is nationalistic. And the final thing I
would say is he’s populist. So one of the
hallmarks of his rule which you might have heard of
is the anti-corruption campaign. So Xi Jinping came to office,
and he was quite different from his predecessors. He had a little charisma. Hu Jintao was known as
being a bland technocrat. Xi Jinping, upon
coming into office, he went to a steamed
bun shop in Beijing, ate with normal people. He fosters this image
as a man of the people. And one of the key
features of his rule has been cracking
down on corruption. And corruption in China
was the main threat to the survival of the
Chinese Communist Party. So if you look at
survey data in China, corruption was always ranked
as the number one or number two issue among the
Chinese population. The levels of corruption
were quite high. This is a feature of
an authoritarian system with no electoral
accountability, no freedom of the press, a lack of
civil society organizations, undergoing the process where
business assets are being gone from public to private. So this is a recipe
for corruption. So Xi Jinping comes to power. And immediately, we see a
crackdown on so-called tigers and flies. Tigers are senior
levels of officials within the Chinese system. So he’s willing to go
after the big officials. And then if you’re a
lower-level official in China, you’re called a
fly, which is tough. Maybe one day you’ll
grow up to be a tiger, but for now, you’re a fly. So Xi Jinping’s
anti-corruption campaign signals his willingness to
tackle the tough issues. The interpretation
about this campaign– there are really two
that you’ll hear. The first is that this is
all just a political ploy to purge his enemies. And I believe there
is some truth to that. If you look at the highest
levels of the Chinese Communist Party, individuals who have
been investigated invariably are not in Xi Jinping’s
personal clique. They are people who are in
the rival faction or people who might be opposed to him. That said, the
other interpretation is that this is a genuine
effort at cleaning up the party. And if you go to China and
you talk to individuals, there is some optimism that
Xi Jinping is a strong leader, he’s a competent
leader, and he’s the one that is going
to clean up the party. I think there’s some
truth to both narratives. If he’s investigated hundreds
of thousands of individuals, I have trouble believing
that all of this is politically motivated. I do think there is some genuine
anti-corruption behavior going on. But it’s important not to be
too rosy about this development, in the sense that
actually fighting corruption is
difficult, but we know the recipe for success
in political science and economics. How do you stop corruption? Well, you provide
information to citizens on things like government
contracts and assets of officials. You have a free press,
which is allowed to do muckraking journalism. You have a civil
society organization that works with them. You have anti-corruption
agencies that are independent and a court system
that’s independent. And over time, you’ll see
the reduction of corruption. None of those
features that I just named are present
in Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign. So this is a top-down
campaign, driven by the party, kept
within the party, and the party is basically
trying to police itself. And so that’s important
to keep in mind when we talk about the
anti-corruption campaign. So that’s what Xi
Jinping is about. He’s populist,
he’s authoritarian, and he’s nationalistic. In terms of his popularity,
I would say, I look at it and I actually see,
if he is popular, it’s for the same reasons
that Donald Trump is popular. I went another 10 minutes
without bringing up his name. So the Chinese Dream is kind of
a version of Make America Great Again. It’s Make China Great Again. I hate to be simplistic, but
there is a similarity there. The authoritarianism– so
Donald Trump and Xi Jinping are both willing to speak the
language of law and order, and use the tools of coercion
to try to repress outgroups. That is a common
feature in their rule. And then the populism– so
the anti-corruption campaign is actually a version
of drain the swamp. And actually, I think,
in the Chinese case, it’s more authentic
than what we’re seeing with Donald Trump
in terms of a commitment to clean governance, of course. So the question is,
is Xi Jinping popular? And as a foreigner
standing in New York, I am hesitant to even
weigh in on this. But my own sense– first of all, any time we
try to assess the popularity of an authoritarian regime– this is sort of one of
the classic questions in political science– it’s very difficult to
do, because let’s say you could do a survey,
and you ask people, do you approve of
the performance of Xi Jinping in office? First of all, in China, you
can’t ask that question. I do surveys in China. You’re not allowed to ask
this sort of question. In other authoritarian
countries– so Putin and other
authoritarian leaders have public opinion
polling about them. In China, you’re not allowed
to ask about the performance of any individual leader. But let’s say, even if we
did have that question, and we see a lot
of people approve, is it because they
actually approve? Is it because they’ve
been indoctrinated to say they approve? Or is it because
they are scared, and they say they approve even
though they don’t approve? So it’s very difficult
to differentiate those different possibilities. So we don’t really know
how popular Xi Jinping is. That’s an important
thing to emphasize. My own sense, through my
conversations with students, friends in China,
and other people, is that he does maintain
a broad base of support. So people who are intellectuals,
liberals, business elites, are generally less supportive
of him because of the themes I’ve just outlined. But among the
common population he seems to be viewed as a
strong leader who is helping change China for the better. He’s assertive abroad, and he’s
tough at home on people who have been guilty of corruption. So he does have a
base of support. So all that being
said, what are we looking about– what
should we be thinking about moving forward for China? And why was
2017-2018 a big year? I wanted to point to really
three troubling trends for us to think about as a group. The first is that we’re
seeing an increasing cult of personality
about Xi Jinping. So again, another
cliche or trope in the study of Chinese
politics– you’ll see a lot of “Time”
magazine covers or magazine covers where you’ll see
an image of Mao Zedong, and then it’ll be peeled
back, and there’ll be an image of Xi Jinping
underneath or something like that. So people keep referring
to him as the next Mao, or China’s next emperor. There’s just a series
of phrases that are used over and over again,
along with things like dragon. There’s a certain way
people report about China, which is a little simplistic. But there is some
truth to this idea that there is a cult
of personality being fostered around Xi Jinping. This is the cover of
the “People’s Daily,” “Renmin Ribao,” which is the
mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party. In red– this is
not my own analysis. This was a report in “The
Wall Street Journal.” But they noticed that Xi Jinping
had been mentioned 11 times– the leading word in 11
titles on the front page of the “People’s Daily.” And he’s been mentioned
more on the front page of the “People’s Daily” than any
other leader since Mao Zedong. So this is troubling
in and of itself. What’s particularly
troubling about it is it leads to a second phenomenon
which is Yes Man politics. And so it seems to me that at
the elite level in China today, to oppose Xi Jinping, especially
publicly, is career suicide. And so what we’re
observing instead is a lot of sycophants,
a lot of people trying to ingratiate themselves
with Xi Jinping, praising Xi Jinping Thought. Universities are
building institutes where they study Xi Jinping Thought. And we know– this is one of
the basic tenets of government is that power should not
be concentrated too much in the hands of one person. At best, that person
is benevolent. But at worst, that can lead
to extreme policy making, uninformed policy making. This is the vote count in the
National People’s Congress of that amendment
that I mentioned, the constitutional
amendment where they got rid of term limits
for the presidency, which is one of the more controversial
pieces of legislation to happen in China
within the last 30 years. This is in Chinese, but the
National People’s Congress is huge. It’s the institution I study. It’s the largest
parliament in the world. It’s got almost 3,000 members. We see 2,958 people
voted for it, two people voted against it,
and three people abstained. We don’t know who the people
are that abstained or voted against it. It’s a closed system. There’s some speculation
that Xi Jinping himself may have been one of those
people to say, oh, yeah, people are willing to oppose me. But to me, this is– the National People’s Congress– I don’t want to get
too much into it, but all of the Chinese
political system goes according to script. The party controls everything. But even within
these institutions, there usually is
some opposition. And what we observe in China
today is that a lot of people are bandwagoning around Xi. And I worry about that. The final trend I thought
it was important to bring up here of all places is the
increasingly sophisticated surveillance state
we see in China. So I mentioned
that China is going through a repressive term. What makes it
particularly worrisome is that we have a
highly-sophisticated authoritarian regime that is now
using the fruits of technology to repress its population
and monitor its population. So this is an image of facial
recognition software that’s currently being rolled out. It’s not national yet,
but it’s being rolled out in different
localities in China. And so we are nearing the point
where the Chinese Communist Party, within the
next few years, will likely have full
information on its population. So using closed-circuit
televisions, they have– I’ve heard the estimate
of 200 million, but I have heard
that number is going to rise to 300
million or 400 million closed-circuit
television cameras around the country within
the next five to 10 years. Using those in
combination with AI, which can do facial
recognition– and I understand that the
technology is not perfect yet, but it will likely get there– that, combined with
social media data– so as you all know,
Chinese citizens commonly use an app called Weixin WeChat,
which is sort of like a one app to rule them all. Not only is it a social
network, but it’s also a way for people to make purchases. So the Chinese government, of
course, has a backdoor to that. So we have a situation where
an authoritarian government has full information on
the social networks, the political commentary,
the purchases, and the geographic locations
of all of its citizens. And this is the dark
side of AI, and big data, and this sort of technology. And it’s something, again,
we need to be talking about. And you all, as
technology leaders, I’m sure are aware of this. But it’s something that we need
to be having discussions about, and it’s an abuse of
this sort of technology. In China, I should say that it
seems that this technology is being described as, again, a
way to preserve law and order. And it’s being said,
oh, this is going to be used to catch jaywalkers
and other petty criminals. And again, it’s
unclear whether or not Chinese citizens support this. There might be a faction of them
that does and says, oh, OK, you have nothing to worry
about if you’re not doing anything wrong. But it doesn’t take a
genius, or a critic, or a skeptic to say that
this technology will also be used to target political
dissidents, protesters, petitioners, and so forth,
anybody that’s causing trouble in the Chinese system. I should say that as a
political scientist, a lot of us do fieldwork in China. And I was party to a
couple of conversations in the last couple
of years about– the one thing we do often
with our interview subjects is we guarantee anonymity. We say, OK, we can
meet, and I will never use your name in
anything I write, and there will never be any
record of this interview out in public. Now that we’re
operating in China, I don’t think I
could go to China and tell someone
that I can assure that no one knows
about this meeting because the state is everywhere. I should also say
that this technology is being rolled out in a part
of China called Xinjiang. Xinjiang province
in Western China where there is a large
Muslim population known as the Uyghurs. I encourage you to
read about Xinjiang– X-I-N-J-I-A-N-G. This is
not my area of expertise. But there is increasing
evidence coming out of Xinjiang that these sorts of technologies
are being used to basically put to a large chunk of
the Muslim population into re-education camps. So the level of
repression that’s being used in concert with this
technology is very alarming. So I wanted to leave
time for questions, and I wanted to close by
just using this phrase “end of an era,” which is not mine. There’s a book that just came
out called “End of an Era,” by Carl Minzner, which
does a nice job summarizing some of the trends that
I just spoke about. But Xi Jinping is saying
we’re at the beginning of a new era, which
inherently means we’re at the end of an old era. And to me, it seems one of the
big takeaways of the last year or the last five years, has
been that the Chinese Communist Party– the success or failure
of the Communist Party now lies in the
hands of this person. And one of the old lessons
of Communist Party history– and this is the lesson
of the Mao era– is that no single leader
should become too powerful. And it seems to me that this
lesson has been forgotten. So thank you, I
will leave it there, and we can open it
up to questions. Thanks. [APPLAUSE] Yes. Hi. AUDIENCE: Hi. One of the things that I was
thinking about during the talk was, why is this happening now? I can sort of imagine
maybe it’s Xi’s personality and his strong
leadership, or maybe it’s a weakening of the
existing institutions. But why didn’t this happen
with the previous leader? What kept them in check? RORY TRUEX: That’s
a good question. It’s difficult to answer. The common narrative
you would hear is that the previous
leader, Hu Jintao, actually didn’t have this
force of personality. He wasn’t a particularly
strong leader. He was not anointed by his
predecessor, Jiang Zemin. He was actually anointed
by Deng Xiaoping. So Deng Xiaoping leaves office
and anoints his next two successors, Jiang
Zemin and Hu Jintao. So Hu Jintao had a
reputation as sort of a bland technocrat, a guy
that knew how to make policy, but didn’t know actually
how to command the party. And so this, in some sense,
leaves a power vacuum that Xi Jinping has
been willing to step in. In terms of why now, I think
another thing to emphasize is that this was incremental. So there were little moves
that happened along the way, and they went unchecked. So for example, so Xi
Jinping, upon entering office, there was a dramatic
purge of one of his rivals named Bo Xilai,
where this person was trying to get himself on the
Politburo Standing Committee, and there’s evidence that Xi
Jinping engineered his very elaborate downfall. This would be unusual. And so that sort
of thing happens. Then we start seeing the
anti-corruption campaign unfold. And over time, he
becomes so powerful, it’s like a
self-fulfilling prophecy. Once someone becomes
this powerful, now to be opposed
to him is futile. So I think that’s
one of the elements too is that the
institutions maybe weren’t strong enough in the
beginning to constrain him. Thanks. Here, maybe? AUDIENCE: Hi. Sorry to bring up
Donald Trump again, but just a curious
thought experiment– RORY TRUEX: Oh, great. AUDIENCE: –because
when Xi Jinping decided to get rid of the
term limit, I think that was the most ridiculous
thing that Donald Trump said. Hey, maybe we should
try to do that. RORY TRUEX: Maybe we
should this someday. Yeah. That wasn’t alarming
at all to hear. AUDIENCE: So my question
is a thought experiment. So assuming–
that’s given Trump’s also having a populist
agenda– if, say, Trump manages to get
reelected– and I know that culturally the US is
very, very different entirely from China, but if you were to
try to get rid of term limits in the US, based on
your understanding of authoritarian
regimes, what might be a path of least resistance
for him to go about doing that? RORY TRUEX: Well, that
took a very dark turn, this conversation. And we were already
in a dark place. So the question is
about Donald Trump, if he were also to try
to similarly consolidate power and potentially erode
the term limit institution. It’s interesting. Right when Donald
Trump was elected, there was a lot of political
scientists much more senior than I am– I’m junior, if
you couldn’t tell. People who have been in
the field for a long time were sincerely alarmed about
the erosion of democracy in the United States. And democracy is something
we take for granted here. It’s been around for
hundreds of years. We expect it to be
around the future. But democracies elect
themselves out of democracy. They elect leaders that have
authoritarian tendencies, that consolidate power. So there were legitimate
causes for concern among the political science
community about Donald Trump’s authoritarian tendencies. And I think he’s time
and time again revealed that he has a certain
envy, let’s call it, of authoritarian leaders. He’s done so with Kim Jong
Un, Putin, and Xi Jinping. In terms of this
specific scenario, my hope, as an American citizen,
is if this ever came to pass, we would see opposition
among not just the Democrats, but among the Republican Party. At some point, the
Republican Party needs to realize that this
is unusual and unsustainable, and they need to side with
democracy over the party. And so I hope– we’ve
said that before. The Trump presidency has been
a constant series of events where we’re all
saying, is it this? Are they finally
going to oppose him? So my hope is that we
would see opposition. I would also say there are
major, major differences, of course, between the Chinese
political system and the United States, and particularly the
strength of our institutions, and the court system, and
the legislative branch, and the media, and the ability
to have public discourse is way above what
there exists in China. So I think the outcry,
the public outcry, would be enough so that
that scenario will never come to pass. That’s my optimistic take. Hi. AUDIENCE: Hi. Two short questions. RORY TRUEX: Sure. AUDIENCE: What do
the Chinese people know about these constitutional
changes and specifically the term limits? And also, in Xi Jinping
Thought, is there any mentioning of
Confucianism at all? Does it refer back to
those kinds of thinking? RORY TRUEX: Yeah, so those
are two good questions. So again, as a foreigner, I am
hesitant to ever make claims about this is what the Chinese
people know and this is what they don’t. AUDIENCE: But specifically
in the media, has it been– RORY TRUEX: Yeah. So I would say
that the depiction of this in the
Chinese media has been that this wasn’t a big deal. And a lot of the
outcry that occurred was among people
like me, foreigners who study China or
write about China. And the reason it was
pinned as not a big deal is because actually, the
position of President in the People’s
Republic of China, if you actually look at
the Chinese constitution, it’s basically a
ceremonial position. So that office is not, in and
of itself, that important. It’s important because
the person who inhabits it is the head of the party. So that’s one reason why it
was deemed not that important. The second reason is
that there actually are no term limits on the
position of General Secretary of the Communist Party. So that position has
never had any term limits. There’s been a norm
that that person only stays in power for two terms,
but there was never actually anything on paper
that prescribed that. So the way this was positioned,
and among people in China who were describing this, was
that all this reform does, all this amendment does is put
the position of the presidency, it syncs it up with the
position of the General Secretary the Communist Party,
so now nothing has term limits. So that’s the way
it was phrased. But for those of us on
the outside looking in, it seems that this is a very
obvious example of an existing institution that was designed
to curb excess abuses of power, accumulation of
power, being eroded. So my sense is that the average
Chinese citizen is probably not in uproar about
this, but I think it does remain a pretty
significant political event. In terms of Confucianism, one
of the elements of Xi Jinping has been not just the
nationalism in a foreign policy front, but a cultural
nationalism, and the Communist Party as being the bearer of
Chinese cultural traditions. So Confucianism–
I am no expert, but there are elements
of Confucianism that are conducive to
authoritarian rule, in particular the
emphasis on hierarchy and the relationship between
the ruled and the ruler. And so we’ve seen a
resurgence of Confucianism and the emphasis on
Confucianism in China, especially as an alternative
to foreign ideologies like Christianity and so forth. So I don’t believe– I’d have to look back. There’s a whole book
on Xi Jinping Thought, and I couldn’t get through
it, to be honest with you. But I don’t believe it’s
mentioned in great detail. But culturally and
politically, it has been an emphasis to focus
on traditional Chinese culture and heritage. And the Communist Party and Xi
Jinping are protectors of that. Thank you. Yes. AUDIENCE: Hi. My question is about
the surveillance state, but I’ll come through
a detour, which is in the last question
from this microphone, you mentioned the big
institutional differences between this country
and China, and I’d say democracies in
general and China, and authoritarian regimes. Now, all of the world
is going into the world of new surveillance
technologies together. And we don’t have institutions
surrounding those yet. So do you think there’s
a chance or a danger that democracies around the
world will follow in the model that China is developing and
will probably first develop to the greatest extent, and
that everyone will just sort of stumble into an
authoritarian machine– literally a machine? RORY TRUEX: Yeah, so I have
that personality type that worries about these
sort of things and the rise of the
surveillance state. And Google as a company,
as you of all people know, is involved in the
collection of information on normal citizens,
which could potentially be used by a government for
these sorts of purposes. So I am glad you
brought up the question. It’s something we need to
be talking about a lot. And I assume you all are talking
about this quite frequently. I think in the US, it has
a different flavor to it. Again, I’m not within the CIA. I don’t have much of a
window as to what’s going on. But it seems that it’s
being used, again, for issues of national security,
and information collection that can be used by the US government
to monitor terrorist suspects and so forth. In China, they would
also argue that this is about national security. So the dissidents
and protesters and so forth are undermining
national security. So it’s always governments using
the lens of national security to infringe upon
people’s civil liberties. And so it is something I think
we should be concerned about. And I think the difference
in the US versus China is that in the US, there’s at
least a dialogue about this. And citizens have willingly
given over their information because the technology
is so good– Facebook, Google,
Twitter, and so forth. The tools are so great
that we willingly give forward our information. But I think we are
at a point where if it falls into the
wrong hands or if you have a certain type of
leader, even in the US, this information
could be abused. Thanks. I never answered
that question before, but thank you for asking. AUDIENCE: Could you
expand a little bit on the world’s
largest parliament? I know you made a point
about how well it’s orchestrated by the party. But what’s it like
in its daily affairs? How often does that
orchestration happen? How deep does it go? RORY TRUEX: Thank you
for asking this question. So this was the topic
of my dissertation, so this brings me back to a
sad, lonely, depressing time in my life. [LAUGHTER] So I’ll just give a brief
answer because I could talk about this for a while. But the National People’s
Congress is China’s parliament. And it has 3,000 members. It meets only once per
year for two weeks. So you can imagine,
such an institution is not exactly a forum for
great policy discussion. And they sit in a
large room called the Great Hall of the People
which has 3,000 people. So often when you hear about
the National People’s Congress, you hear the words rubber stamp. And there is some truth to that. So nothing ever
before the parliament in the history of
the institution before the full body has
ever been voted down ever. So if that’s not a rubber
stamp, I don’t know what is. That said, so one of
the arguments I make– I did write a book on this. It’s one of those books
that I wouldn’t wish it on anybody to read it,
but if you’re interested– I have a forum, I might as
well self-promote– it’s called “Making Autocracy Work.” But the argument I try to
make is that actually, this is one of those institutions
that the Communist Party is trying to use to channel
citizen grievances through their institutions. So rather than have people
protest on the street and potentially
engage in violence, they’re trying to create
political institutions that they control, but
that, nevertheless, serve some conduit
of information that the government
can then respond to. So the People’s Congress
system is actually a network of these institutions. There are five different levels
of government, and all the way on down to what’s known as
the township level in China. And there are
hundreds of thousands of legislators in China. People’s deputies,
they’re called. And so what I’ve
argued in this book is that these
people, their task is to go out, and learn
about the population, and try to convey
this information to the central government. But this shouldn’t be
confused with democracy. This shouldn’t be confused
with full representation. These people are handpicked
by the Communist Party, and they are not allowed
to cross the boundaries. So you’ll never hear about
a People’s Congress deputy saying, oh, maybe we should
talk more about the surveillance state, or maybe we should have
elections for the position of the presidency. So it’s a very
constrained system. But thank you for that question. That’s the easy one for me. AUDIENCE: Hi. Thank you very much. This was very informative. RORY TRUEX: Thank you. AUDIENCE: I also
wanted to ask you about the international
affairs aspect of Xi Jinping’s administration. You talked a little
bit about nationalism and how the Xi Jinping
administration is becoming more assertive
internationally, especially in South Asia area,
the Belt and Road. Could you talk a little
bit more about that? And where do you see
this administration– do you see them
applying the tools that they apply internally– the
repression, the surveillance– outside of the borders of China
through technology, and also through politics and money? RORY TRUEX: Yeah. That’s a great question. So it is a broad
question, because China’s foreign relations are
multifaceted and span everything from territorial
claims and ambitions to the economy,
environment, and so forth. One thing I did want to
mention which I haven’t yet is this idea of Chinese
overseas influence. And so there’s a lot
of discussion going on in the US Congress right
now about so-called China’s influence operations and the
way that it’s increasingly using some of these tools to
try to shift discourse in the US and other advanced democracies. In Australia and New Zealand,
this is a major issue. We see this manifest itself
in a lot of different ways. The one trend that I’m noticing
and worrying about is this– using the market, using the
access to China as a way to coerce people. And I’m here at
Google, a company that has had its search engine
throttled over the years and now no longer has the
market share it should in China because of this reason. So a lot of companies,
journalists, academics, universities are
facing this decision of do I play by
the party’s rules and compromise my
business or my values in order to get access to China? So this manifests itself
in a lot of different ways. So academics, we
face pressure if we write about certain things. We have a fear of potentially
losing visa access. In the grand scheme of things,
a visa is not a huge deal. We’re going to be fine. But it’s a
manifestation of that. Firms– you might have read
about a lot of US airlines now have been forced to change
their websites because they can no longer have
the word “Taiwan” on their website, because
Taiwan is a sensitive topic, and it’s considered
part of China, according to the
Chinese government, and on and on and on. Cambridge University
Press is an example that’s close to home for us. Cambridge University
Press runs a journal called “The China Quarterly,”
which is a China journal. At the pressure of the
Chinese government, last year– or was
it two years ago? I can’t remember– they
removed upwards of 300 articles from their website in China. And the articles were all about
things like Tiananmen Square, and Xinjiang, Tibet– sensitive topics. And this is alarming
because then, if you’re a Chinese citizen,
and you’re reading “The China Quarterly,” you’re getting
a sanitized version of scholarship on China. You’re getting a sanitized
version of history. And that’s the version that
the party wants you to get. So fortunately, as a result
of academic pressure, we saw Cambridge
University Press eventually reverse its stance. But all of these individuals
are facing this decision. And it’s a commonality actually
between firms, journalists, universities, and academics. So that’s one thing
that’s alarming to me. Another thing that is
concerning is the monitoring that we used to see
reserved for China is now being extended overseas. So there are a lot
of Chinese students at American universities. And this is something we
need more research on, so I’m hesitant to
make a statement. But it seems, from
what I’ve heard, that there are many
Chinese students who feel that they are under the
same level of surveillance in an American classroom
than they would be at a Chinese university. So I teach a course
on Chinese politics, and we talk about
sensitive topics. A Chinese student
in my course might feel reluctant to say
how they really feel or what they think about
the Chinese government because they’re worried that
they might be being monitored, or that information
might make its way back to the Communist Party. So we are entering a phase where
Xi Jinping’s assertiveness has now led the Communist
Party to try to influence discourse and
dialogue in other countries. And that’s a trend that
I am worried about. Thank you for your question. Here. Yes. AUDIENCE: You partially
asked actually my question, but I want to extend the topic. You mentioned the influences
going abroad, but mainly focusing on Chinese citizens. What is influence globally
with other countries? And do you see a
possible backfire and would other
countries trying to– how do I say– interfere
with China’s government issue and stuff? RORY TRUEX: So that’s
a great question. So for a long time, the
party rhetoric about this was that China
does not interfere within the sovereign
affairs of other countries. That was the line. It’s sort of this doctrine
of noninterference. Leave us alone, we’ll
leave you alone. It’s unclear whether we should
have believed that ever, but it’s increasingly obvious
that they do interfere in some of the ways I just mentioned. More interestingly and
important to think about is this idea that the Chinese
system of governance itself could increasingly become a
model for other countries, particularly developing
countries, to emulate. This is the so-called
China model. And it means different
things to different people. But it’s basically where you
have a system of authoritarian governments– soft
authoritarianism, if we want to call it that,
although I don’t know how soft it is– coupled with
state-led capitalism. And China has the record
of economic performance that is potentially
appealing to other countries. So it remains unclear
how much they’re actually trying to shift
to the governance models of other countries. I have a friend,
Maria Repnikova, who’s a great political
scientist based at Georgia State. And she’s doing
some work on this. And she’s interviewing
officials throughout Africa, who are increasingly going
to China to be trained and to study
governance techniques from the Chinese system as
opposed to a Western system. So I think it’s still
too early to tell how much influence
there will be, but I think it will
likely increase. On that, I think I’m
actually out of time, so thank you all for
this opportunity. [APPLAUSE] Thank you.

100 thoughts on “Professor Rory Truex: “Xi for life? What does it mean for China and the World?” | Talks at Google

  1. Isn’t the cult of personality the same thing as “popularity”?
    Isn’t big brother technology common throughout the advanced countries? Why is it nefarious only when it’s used in China?
    Xi started his crusade against corruption when he was a lowly official in a small municipality, when he was first involved in public service and throughout his rise through the ranks.
    He is instrumental in devising the strategy for targeting extreme poverty and promising to eliminate it by the end of 2020. Why aren’t these mentioned?
    Trying to compare him to Trump is a farce.

  2. It is a general introduction of China's current political situation. I don't think it is superficial rather general. I feel the speaker's view is rather objective and accurate. Not bad at all.

  3. China is doing just fine without the "helps" from Westerners. In fact, the Westerners should prepared themselves for what they had asked for so many years ago.

  4. Whilst China moves towards deglobalisation and self reliance the rest of the world are increasingly dependent on China for much of their technological needs.

    Just how naive and irresponsible do you have to be to outsource all chip level fabrication, manufacturing/assembly and most core app development for all locally branded smart phones and devices – to a country which is far more technically advanced in mobile technology than yourself and just assume/hope there are no hardware and software backdoors built into every device. Devices used by politicians and heads of industry.

  5. china leadership foresaw the coming turmoil and that's why they changed the constitution and extended Xi's term. why select a new leader and team when you already have a leader who is familiar with ALL the issues? A brilliant move by the Chinese.

  6. His knowledge of China is in depth, his interpretation is incorrect. There is no such thing as Tiananmen square massacre, it was a student rebellion instigated by the west who has every desire to stir up trouble in China, hoping it's disintegration like former Soviet union. It was good the then Chinese leaders was resolute to quash the rebellion. The end justifies the means sbd China enjoys a more peaceful and harmonious environment to develop and grow which benefits all Chinese people.

  7. CCP is run by politburo – 9, 7 heroes – who is guided by ‘reign behind the iron curtain’ 睡莲听政……的 长老 Elders, who is advised by the agenda set by ‘内家‘。

    So, from Deng to Jiang to Hu and now Xi, all these No 1s are performing 大业.

    What’s the reason Chiang lost the war ??
    Is the a invisible hand involved 70 years ago ? Why does Xi have to slog another (10+)5 years term ? ….becoz there are missions yet to accomplish – the re-location of UN/IMF/WB to China, the reconciliation of Kuomingtang to the 大业

    Me Professor, it’s 明修栈道 暗渡陈仓 you should care about, not 改革开放 !

  8. What is democracy to me is the vote in election time. Since I can’t control who are the candidates. To me they all are strangers. So I vote according to what the news media told me. American mainstream news medias are very confusing and full of Cold War mentality. They do not give people the realities and mostly propaganda for big corp and government. They were and is demonizing China.

  9. Living in China, people do not feel authoritarian system as Professor indicated. Daily life in China is not much different than that of in America. I don’t care about election but I do care about people’s living getting better. In America.other than rich, the ordinary people’s life is getting worse

  10. When China is consolidated under the power of Xi Jing Ping, the ability by Western Power to infiltrate to influence and control China is greatly diminished if not totally gone. That’s what the rumbling is about from the Western World.

  11. The truth is China is not a normal country it's a dictatorship. The most dangerous the world has ever known in its history. This video can't be watched in China because China blocks youtube and western media. The Chinese cyber army trolls all over Youtube and posts hate comments towards the west (see below). Chinese nationalists and wumao are the worst enemy of the world. Don't let them fool you and the world.

  12. It is a great disgrace that this so called professor is seriously doing a 19th century talk in the 21th century.
    In the future I humbly suggest that US high institutions have to make sure a new professor is able to swallow some knowledge , and then digest it to make it his/her own ideas. This gentleman swallow someone and it goes through his guts and poo out intact. Anybody in this world should have his/her own thought and thinking, let alone a professor.

  13. Nowadays more and more Chinese nationalists are “saving their faces”in YouTube, they don’t know how to see things especially China’s problems objectively. That’s the threat and very sad. Try to picture this kind of people spreading the world in 50 years, what might happen? Can we still speak freely? This professor is telling the truth and his Chinese pronunciation is nearly perfect.

  14. Typical. White American gets up on stage, claims he supports tolerance and diversity, while lecturing on how evil China is.

  15. Never believe a China expert from the West! Rory Truex is no exception! His ignorance and biases are plain to see. Waste of time!

  16. 7% GDP growth is not legitimate? So Xi makes him legitimate by being a nationalist? Shit professor of Princeton doesn't know other major countries grow 2% in average?

  17. china needs to go back to the traditional feudal system. if xi jinping becomes the emperor, china would be back to the same splendor that many past leader was able to attain.
    check this out before visit my library:
    Welcome to my library!

    有空欢迎参观一下我刚设的图书馆:

    http://www.asiawithout.us

    This is how humanity can weather the next 5000 years.

    这是人类怎么度过下一个五千年。

    BIG POWER RIVALRY

    Who is competing? I can't figure out why this is the major cause of humanity's rush to its doomsday.

    What is all that talk about rises of superpowers? It's more like how these risen powers have relied on opium to suppress China, and have bought out so many Chinese domestic traitors to sell China out. In the end, they simply used the standard genocide of Christian crusades.

    They almost knocked out China, then went on to Japan, and almost exterminate the Japanese race, had not for the samurais’ switching to plan B, the Goujian's Revenge. But the Christian ghosts and God are still hanging around everywhere in Asia.

    China is a land of no-god people, who even feel they are more superior than the God of their invading rising powers from the West. There were also the most uncannily capable Chinese leaders, who managed to free the people from the forced opium addiction. The current leaders have also used the Asian tradition of the peasants' belief in communism, and a centralized management system to chase the highest rising powers out of the country.

    So, who are competing? Nobody!

    All we have is that many a rising powers did have tried to chase up with China for more than three centuries, but failed to catch up!

    China will soon return to its peace and prosperity that had lasted for thousands of years. If the rising powers cannot see this, China would again have to move all their national treasury vaults to China, just like what happened before the Opium War. In this way, the Earth this time might not be able to escape the fate of being blown up.

    So don't be sour losers anymore. America, especially, needs to admit that it cannot catch up with China. In that way, China this time around could make some special arrangement to take care of these rising powers.

    What they want is money. China has plenty of that. And China is never a stingy country.

    What China wants is culture, and China should upgrade its culture a bit from last time, so it would be a bid nicer to the rising powers this time.

    SOFTWARE VS 5G

    America might think the current contest on domination of the rollout of the 5G network is the final great battle in tech supremacy. That’s wrong, since it’s wont matter to the consumers who dominates and provides the service.

    However, the next and final tech rollout will matter. It’s the software operating system, an automated software environment that interfaces the users with a universal native language. Now, here humanity needs to choose between English and Chinese.

    It should be English, as there is no problem for Chinese to learn English, but not vis versa. But would the Chinese make this concession? Tough! Maybe if America gives up the current bullying techniques in stopping China’s 5G, China may seriously consider.

  18. here is a solution to America deficit problem:

    “AMERICA, PLEASE STOP TRYING TO PROTECT US!”

    “In fact, you have already forced us to, either buy from you or build on our own, enough weapons to protect ourselves, especially from you!”

    “And please stop worry about our financial plights, just stop your economic sanctions and trade wars!”

    The above messages are what the rest world like to get through to the American voters to help them choose a more civilized leader in their 2020 Presidential Election.

    CNN has put out a recent article substantiating the above requests.

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/09/asia/chagos-islands-feature-intl/index.html

    All the while, when Asians thought they were trying to liberate themselves from Western colonization, starting from the kickoff by Japan at Pearl Harbor, leading to the ensuing Japan-America War, the Chinese Civil War, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, we never could have guessed that America was actually doing the “decolonization” to help out. Now we finally understand each other, could you please get out.

    The following paragraphs from the CNN article described what happened:

    """From Singapore to Djibouti and Bahrain to Brazil, today the US operates about 800 military bases and logistical facilities outside its sovereign territory — more than any other nation.

    Most of America's bases were acquired during the era of decolonization, after World War II, when traditional colonial powers such as Britain and France were shedding colonies around the world, especially in Asia.

    Repeated indigenous exile

    The exile of the Chagosians was not an isolated incident.

    In 1946, 167 natives of the Bikini Atoll were persuaded to leave their paradise chain of 23 coral islands with twisting palm trees and aquamarine waters, after Commodore Ben H Wyatt, the military governor of the Marshall Islands, to which the atoll belonged, told them their land was needed for "the good of mankind and to end all world wars."

    In reality, that meant dropping 23 nuclear weapons on Bikini between 1946 and 1958, as part of the Cold War nuclear arms race — including the most powerful explosion ever detonated by the US.From Singapore to Djibouti and Bahrain to Brazil, today the US operates about 800 military bases and logistical facilities outside its sovereign territory — more than any other nation.

    Most of America's bases were acquired during the era of decolonization, after World War II, when traditional colonial powers such as Britain and France were shedding colonies around the world, especially in Asia.”””

    Has it ever occurred to you, America, that all the expenses on these military bases are money you borrowed from others to create the unpayable national skyrocketing deficits?

    And finally, we shall thank CNN very much for this article, and, by the way, please, on the other hand, stop badmouth communism, feudalism, fascism and authoritative leaders before you get self-educated on what they means in term of harmony and benevolence, after that, you should critically review the Americanism that to most of its victims stands for superstitious Christianity, genocidal militarism and warmongering democracy.

  19. Nice one. I shot a video about his next visit to Europe. Xi Jinping and the Belt and Road ‘for dummies’ here: https://youtu.be/_191EgrSwo8

  20. Dropping term limit isn't necessarily a bad thing, it doesn't mean the current president can stay in the place whenever he wants, there's still election process. If people elect the same people as president, why don't we let him be the president again.

  21. I doubt most experts on China have never lived in China for a while. Then the question is based on what kind of materials did he derive those conclusion? fake CNN news?

  22. Really stupid and beta of him to apologize to the female audience for using the term "male", in reference to Chinese top leaders. Who gives a fuck about what women think regarding Chinese top leaders being men only? This guy represents the typical weak mangina in the current gynocentric western society. The whole presentation is bullshit, anyway.

  23. Your Chinese is good. idea is totally incorrect. it is too hard for you.   twenty years time you may be  start to learn . One thing  is for sure :  china is getting better all the time .

  24. Anglo-saxon's individualism cannot say everyting all. That's very weird when you use your lens to judge others. No one is perfect. If you dont realize the limitation of your ideology which basing on your culture,the more Brexist and Trump will emerge.

  25. Mencius said :The people is worth-The kingdom comes second-The king isn"t worth much .
    I am sure President Xi knows it .Yet President Xi is a great leader-he does a lot for China and the world .He loves the poors and the poors love him .So ,as long as the Chineses love him and support him that"s ok…But the Chineses know and that includes President Xi ..As the Sage-King -with their wisdom always know when it"s time to say bye to the stage …I wish him good health to harvest more success to the Chinese people and China …CHINH..

  26. In another 50 years when the west electorate demographic change to non white majority, they will sing a different tune.

  27. Platitudes and cliches. 0 insights. Again. The mistake all these anaylsts make is to gauge everyhthing they see about chicom with ready made CookieCutters. Skin Deep/superfitial. No wonder China Watching has such a diesmal record of getting things right.

    Chicom is 98 years old. Rose from nothing. Kept succeeding against impossible odds and international meddling/predictions EVER since the 1920s…it had many existential crisis but had always produced the right leadership for the right crisis/opportunities. And they did it again with Xi. The right Guy AT the Right time. China/chicom habe entered a crucial, vulnerable, position. They habe tightened control and clamped down and reinstilled party discipline just in time, BEFORE the backclash from within (on corrupation) and from without (on Trade and economics practices), again. Their action anticipated the "trump phenomenon" sweeping America and Europe. How???? They make mistakes (who doesnt?) but somehow they self-correct in time.

    I dont know how it s done it. But 98 years of dumb luck seems an oxymoron. Study it properly. Before it s too late.

  28. Dear prof, don't speak up much in your class because I don't want to be marked down by you. Has it not occurred to you that is the reason? (I am very perceptive of whom I can take at face value what had been said.)

  29. WeChat is Hitler's wet dream. Why China is so ahead in AI? Well it's because China is a massive surveillance state, they collect datas(thanks to WeChat, Alibaba and surveillance cameras, etc, etc), they use those datas for their deep learning machines who are fundemental for AI😂😂😂.

  30. How can you call yourself a professor in Chinese politics, when FIRST AND FOREMOST you don't even speak the language of the country that you're debating?! It's impossible to talk Chinese politics without any direct ties to the country itself! This dude has received all his knowledge about China through Western media, he probably only seen China from his hotel whenever he visited the country! And the definition of "authoritarian" is highly subjective to interpretation! Worry about closing your illegal Guantanamo bay before talking about China, you uncultured swine! A DISGRACE FOR TRUE ACADEMIA!!!

  31. all the talk here just assumes that US version of politics is correct, and USA is on the right side of history.
    even ignoring the history background of American/British politics, just one simple question, modern politics is NOT mathematics or physics, there exists no only solution from the reasoning of US politics.
    How does anyone know Chinese version of politics is wrong?
    From Chinese point of view, it's simple, the current versions Chinese political system is the blending of Chinese anti-colonism past and Chinese ruling tradition of 2300 years of recorded history.
    our history has already proved it can work at least for 300 years to come. so that's fine for now.
    We Chinese do not really need Americans to worry about our CPC, our governance, our 'dictatorship'.
    There is a Chinese saying about our attitude for Americans on this matter, "When a fox says hello to a chicken, the very chicken should worry about its own safety 黄鼠狼给鸡拜年,不安好心!"

  32. I appreciate your views, Prof. Rory Truex and I 'd like to share my General View of our World Recent History, with several Topics/Situations/Events… I think They Would Be General but I'v been living them. My Short Essay is just reflecting my Personal View. Sincerely,

    THE LEADER STARS & THE CULTURAL TSUNAMY…P2-2 (Palavering, Social Poem- Topic: Who Are Friends & Who Are Enemies?)

    The World Leaders today are facing, A Strange Phenomenon is the Post-Communist China Rising? (PCC) ; It just kept considering as One Hero is rising among the People?

    Like they are going to <Attend a Battle of Future Heroes Competition>, in our World Community? Our well-known Two or Three Heroes in our Heritage World … Are very busy & worry, because they can’t eat & sleep peacefully? Also, many Scholars in our World Forums are also busy in their recent Workshops; But in a General Way, are they still Confused? To scope the Right Workshop Topic for All Intellectuals in the country… It is like already known the Conclusion? It is the Main Subject of <The Present Danger of the PC China Rising>? However, the Western Leaders of the Superpowers, are still embarrassed to <Identify a Right Direction>? Moreover, They haven’t had the ability to analyze <Who Are Friends and Who Are Enemies>? For Example <In A Super Martial Arts Challenge with Critical Topics, such as Media, Information, Science & Technology Industry>… On the Pts of Views of Business Earnings/Interests, through the above mentioned Ways of Trading, Who will be the Preys for World Business? Particularly, the Trade Business Surplus will be higher and higher?

    Which Objects Are Friends, and Which Ones are Your Enemies? Is It True that <The Martial Arts of the Western Countries Have Been In Confused?>? Because many of their High Technologies are reflecting <As Hurting their Own Country & their Own Alliances>? For Example, the Network Science Forms like Google, Amazon, Instagram, Face Books, etc… In these Martial Arts Game, their Reaction is too open, is it stolen, particularly our Intellectual Property? <Stealing Wisdom> is also considered as a higher level of Martial Arts Adaptation & Practice? And Expanding Income, these Martial Arts, Who is the Preferred Income for Business? If the Sales Balance in every year, it is Higher and Higher? How do you explain? About the General Administration/Management, on the pts of views of Martial Arts Training Courses today? Deeply speaking , all Modern Superpowers, still want to Compete or Emulate? But what is the Direction? Is It in the Same Frequency? At Present, are the Western Countries’ Objectives more and more different? While Everyone is clearly aware <PCC> is performing an Abnormal Policy? <The OBOR of PCC> seems still infiltrate into the Loose Frontlines of the West? Exp: from Australia, Greece, Africa, America, then EU. then Italy? A British (UK) or BREXIT is also considering as It Is Playing With Fire?

    Not to mention, we need to review again the Popular Martial Arts Method of many <Old or Previous Leaders>? From the time of Ex President R. Nixon & Ex FM Henry Kissinger to risk themselves into Danger Land of China to teach <their Martial Arts Skills for <the New Student who isn’t quite honest, like the PC China>? They did not keep or remain any defense lesson for themselves, or they forget the Main Strategy? Who Will Be Blamed for Today’s Consequences? Yourself, Allies or Friends? An Alibaba, a ZTE, a Huawei, many other Great Companies have also been promoted? PCC today has Its Trade Surplus & Its Capability still be increased?

    Promoting their Cards like Super Project <A Belt, Silk Road>? Will It Generate a lot of Charms into Asian African Countries Which Are Still Poor? But the United States and the Western Allies, haven’t never thought of, nor prepared enough the Required Qualities of this Super Martial Arts Playing Game… In order to draw their Small Allies out of Bad Situation, or of Being Hungry & Poor? In my opinion, when a Civilization, or a Culture, if planning totally to built, We must have Good & Sustainable Qualities? For how long, if Our Qualified Materials Are Not Met for this Building… The Dream Civilization or Culture will be difficult to Complete, even if, merely it still is A Super Project? Therefore, We need to Break Up, Investigate <The Quality of the Super Projects>? In order to Identify Out, the Leaders must Fix & must Adjust In Time? The the Main Policy and Its Strategy/Strategies must be <Timely Formed>? So that, in the Competitive Facing Views, It would be obtain <Successful Objectives or Project Gains/ Benefits>?

    Vanson Tran – 5/2019

    Some Refs for My Post:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44N_aLnD_rE
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKggeFwKZJ0
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZP7FIu_O2I

    My Website: https://vanson.wordpress.com/

  33. It's difficult for me to take seriously a World Affairs Pontificator that was so clueless at the Party Congress he mentions, and can't even bother to tuck in his shirt when talking about it. Nice guy though… ;-D

  34. Like their Missionaries before them the European travels to other countries and lives amongst the people with smiles of friendship…then they go back and inform their warriors of weaknesses and strengths, culture and values etc.

  35. Michel Foucault said that there are "panopticons" developed in western society, and now we have "faceless gaze" everywhere. so it is not a phenomenon only exists in China. it's a modern scene in modern society.

  36. This young junior thinks he know it all about China and the foundamental tone about the Chinese president is clearly negative.

  37. I was for the one road one belt initiative but now I am angry at the Chinese hiding the 5 G health issues. By ignoring these major health issues with 5 G China's arrogance of ignorance, encourages me not to trust these "Chinks". 1989 soviets fell apart, and Xi's China made sure.

  38. Health is my wealth, sooner or later it always comes down to health. China's 5 G promotion with all it's health risks that China ignores. yes the ignorance of arrogance drives the 5 G trap that will force people on medication and easier to control. Technology and Big Pharma will agree to sedate the public mind with 5 G and drugs. I read Lin Yutang's book "the Importance of living" will make you fall in love with China. But today the ignorance of Greed and arrogance of China makes me sick, they know better. Like idiot Americans, know they doing wrong, but do it anyways. 5 G is China's revenge on the developed world, White man's world.

  39. Another thing, USA America most of Europe are Religious God fearing people Christians. China has no need for God or any superior identity, no god and this scares the USA, Soldiers for Jesus. V.P. Pence is good example of this extremism in Christianity, killing for god is ok.

  40. USA kills for God , boots on the ground in 172 countries, over 1000 military bases world-wide.and always first to kill from nukes to drones. Removing China for God is just fine for USA military, soldiers for Jesus.

  41. I suggest read, Peter Frankopan wrote Feb.2016 "The Silk Roads" excellent research and honest work. Alo East Asia , The History of East Asia Civilization, volume one and The Modern Transformation volume 2. "The search for a new order China without Mao, by Immanuel C.Y. Hsu, 1983. One more China Returns by Klaus Mchnert 1972, "the best book I have read on China today". Pearl S Buck. thanks for reading.

  42. Who cares if the term is for life. Singapore's prime mister have no term limit either and their government are among the best in the world in terms of governance and being corruption free. The key lies in the governance system, not something petty like term limit. China's system is based on meritocracy, even if Xi is president for life, he doesn't have the power to consolidate power or make his son the next leader. China's president is although not elected, it is selected. Only if the person has started as a small official from small town, moved up to the next rank all the way to the top officials would then be qualified for selection, among many other top official competitors. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0YjL9rZyR0

    America's system by contrast is not meritocratic. Its plutocracy, where anybody even with no political experience or done anything honorable can also be elected through its one dollar one vote system. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJy8vTu66tE This is how Trump even gets elected. The truth is while the Chinese government as a whole control its people, America's corporate control the government. Ever wonder why the top 10% of Americans own 50% of all American income and the top 1% own 20% of all American incomes? Why has the median income of middle class Americans stagnated for the past 40 years despite America's economy growing over 3% year after year? Why is America despite the no.1 technological powerhouse in the world, does not have even 1 mile of fast rail built? The only method to travel cross states is oil base transport, like cars, flights and ferries. America's petroleum dollar and its intervention in oil based countries in middle east? I don't think its a coincidence. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZU0IXO7AQw

    If you ask me, America is insanely corrupted, except that it is not considered so under its capitalist policies that allow shits to happen unchecked. And no other countries are powerful enough to condemn America on its behaviors and policies. Guantanamo happened and passed just like that. America's illegal invasion of Iraq happened and passed just like that.

    What matters is not the governing ideology but good governance. There can be democracy where it fails, degrade to populism and hijacked by plutocracy and there can also be authoritarian governments that produce good results, improving living standards of the people. The reverse is also true. So start talking about good and bad governance, not ideologies. People harping on ideologies as if they are absolute are destine for conflict, after all everyone has their own ideologies just like they have their own culture. What people should do is find common grounds where they can work and cooperate on. Don't try to meddle with the governing system and ideology of others.

    I recommend people to read up on Andrew Yang, a presidential candidate for 2020 election. His's policies are based on pragmatism to be injected into America's current system. He does not oppose America's traditional ideology but he does it pragmatically to get there instead of just preaching about the ideology over and over as if it would magically happen.

  43. Very good and open conversation on how the world should engage Chinese Politics. I was fortunate enough to have traveled to Xinjiang on thru Kashgar and then over Khunjerab Pass in Pakistan in 1990. Also again in recent years and you are spot on with your views. You could give another hour lecture on that subject in itself. That area over the centuries has had changes on many levels religion, peoples, etc. Tibet number two and the attrition rate of Han Chinese and cultural genocide of indigenous peoples is like a national sport. Your a smart man and thanks for your views.

  44. There is only one Political System that brings GOD's Kingdom .. it will be the most Charity to tell any leader/presider (in china, in us, in all) .. Eternal

  45. It is amazing that someone with his title and record of field studies could get mistaken on many of the points he mentioned as facts.

  46. Professor Rory Truex used the word "Tiananmen Square Massacre,… and he said it smoothly, very automatic,
    his mind is infested with virus, does he know?
    Here is why?
    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-does-hong-kong-extradition-act-have-common-tiananmen-andrew-wong/?published=t

  47. Recently Egypt slaughtered its own people but no sanctions by America and its cohorts, perhaps the xinjiang re-educated muslims in those camps are safer , they are not in Gitmo either , 😅

  48. asif westerners are not subservient to their and governments and interesthypocracy of western scholars who are embedded in their goverment structures and ideology pretending to be independent and scholarly China is repressive and so too both Uk , US and france

  49. Really? Xi consolidate powers etc? What about Trump? Ain't him doing axactly the same thing and declares so? Anyone dares to challenges, he will CRUSH or KILL without mercy. That's why, like his predissessors, he engages in wars around the globe.

  50. You can criticize all you want, but it only took 20+ years for China to become the 2nd biggest economy in the world and Chinese living stander improving in the fastest rate in the world. I challenge any other western country can compare that?

  51. In the world running game, each country is a runner . Before China is in the bottom, suddenly China passed Africa, then Asia, then Europe. when CN pass them, they blame CN is going to fast, after they stop blaming because Europe can not SEE China. Now, this is America turn, do u think CN will pass the U.S?

  52. This is what happens when Political Philosophy degenerated into a pseudo science called Political Science devorced from Economics. Thus the failure to comprehend the BRI in Hegalian "World Historic Terms". Sorry Prof but you need to learn from Dr Deborah. Brautingam.Why? Because at this stage of your talk I can't refer you as a worthy intellectual.

  53. Wow, young western white man speaks Chinese, yet only touching the surface, maybe you could elaborate more the reasons behind the scenes as someone giving the lecture

  54. Professor Trory needs to read the Chinese Mirage, he has only the western propaganda view of China which has little to do with reality.

  55. American dream is awesome. China dream is bad.American dream is hard working. China dream is lazy working? It's ironic that this guy thinks he is not a nationalist. Why does he even hate trump?

  56. Obviously Rory is quite knowledgeable about the Chinese political system and some of the observations (for someone that is a bit ambivalent / critical about the Party) are correct. However there're a few things to note as well:
    1) the change within the Chinese political system cannot be viewed on a standalone basis. You need to think about what's going on globally (especially in the US and US's stance towards US/China relationship). My gut feeling is that the Party is of the view that it needs to consolidate to brace for a more bumpy road ahead.
    2) when you assume a government is malevolent it is easy to describe the decisions made as malevolent as well. Take the surveillance system for example, many of the western countries also have massive surveillance system (yes I'm talking about London/UK) but people seems to be less concerned about it. It is worth noting that growing up in different narratives / personal experience people can have different views about the importance of various values (safety, prosperity, freedom of speech etc). So people in China may very well choose a political system that's different from the western model (but more based on the values of the Chinese people).

  57. 直到1982年才恢复国家主席制度,这个国家的主席往往有3个位置,总书记、军委书记,国家主席。1982年之后有任期限制的只有国家主席,另外2个都没有任期限制。 这就有可能会出现政权,党权,军权脱钩的情况。为什么这时候改?习近平说了,未来几十年世界将经历前所未有之大变局,这个大变局是什么?就是中国从第二成为世界第一。 美国会用尽一切来阻止这件事情发生,一旦美元霸权地位丢失,美国经济就是崩溃。 中国当然不想看到美国崩盘,希望更加平缓的过度,但是美国人就是不要过渡,要先掐死老二。这个时候需要一个强有力的政府来抵抗美国人的龌龊手段。

    顺便一提,一个国家领导人是否有连任限制不决定这个国家是否民主。 德国总理 Chancellor of Germany 就是可以无限期连任的,你们美国人怎么不去说德国人不民主?

  58. Funny, I can answer your question. It's now is because China is going to No.1 in GPD. And, USA is going to take down China at any cost.

  59. Many rights-defense lawyers(维权律师)are just activists, many of them doesn't has certifications so you can't really call them lawyers.

  60. The so called slaughter of protestors on the Square, is a lie, the protest was staged and backed by the CIA and many police were also killed that day. thank you very much

  61. 13 minutes and this jive turkey Rory has said nothing, just patronizing blah blah blah, China is using the USA model to run the show in their country. THERE ARE NO DEMOCRACIES IN THE WORLD, the USA/CIA have seen to that. LOL

  62. Impressive talk. Other than some cliche accusations such as the Tiananmen “massacre” (feel free to check out wiki leaks for the facts) and oppression in Xinjiang (a controversial one, but do take into consideration several terrorist attacks that killed hundreds of innocent ppl), the speaker got pretty much everything right. These problems he described contribute a lot to the the low support of Xi among the more liberal population in China. But in contrast to many would think, these troubling problems are also known by the majority of Chinese citizens. Most ppl simply choose to not make too big of a deal out of it, which to some degree is understandable if you realize vast majority of the Chinese population are still working hard for a decent income. When you are hungry, you think about food more than anything else.

  63. It's relatively objective, informative for western audience, aside from the Tiananmen Square Massacre is not true. That was staged by CIA

  64. This is interesting. I appreciate that this professor hesitated to draw conclusions but simply raised some concerns. I guess the young generation in China actually like Xi a lot because they were brought up during this rapid growth era. They (including myself) never experienced the cultural revolution period and they don't see problems with authorities as long as they live a good life. But my experience with the elder generation tells me that the nightmares of the cultural revolution still haunt them. The Tiananmen Square event affected their family and friends, etc. Therefore they are aware of the danger of absolute power and so on. These are, indeed, something we keep to ourselves within the family and close friends. So it is difficult to really know.

    So Xi is definitely not respected as it appears to be in the media. I don't know if Xi himself is aware of this. Having said that, Chinese people do see those issues as domestic problems, like, what happens at home and we can manage. We don't really appreciate westerners telling us how things should have been done. Trump is definitely one evidence of how democracy becomes dysfunctional. We laughed at the Brexit and you cannot really blame us for that.

    I am also surprised that an important part of Xi's thought is missing from this conversation: building "a Community of Shared Future for Mankind". You really need to understand the Chinese culture to understand this idea that deeply rooted in our traditional values. We will have to wait and see how it unfolds, but the way westerners see it, the "seeking influence" mindset is not helpful in this situation.

  65. Xi Jinping just simply copies the same way used by Chiang Kai shek from the year 1960 to ensure lifetime presidency.

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