The just-held 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has conferred President Xi Jinping with unprecedented authority. He is now the Party’s second most powerful leader after Mao Zedong. Xi has solid control over the Party, the State and the People’s Liberation Army. It looks probable that Xi will remain China’s paramount leader at least until 2027, if not 2032. Questions remain, however, as to whether Xi, who is an arch-conservative and unabashed Maoist, will use his powers for political, social and economic reforms. Given his top priority of maintaining the CCP as China’s “perennial ruling party”—and in light of his insistence on the Party’s control over key economic sectors as well as the civil society—what are the prospects for thorough-going reforms? The speaker will also address Xi’s ambitious foreign-policy agenda, including his Belt and Road Initiative.
About the Speaker
Dr. Willy Wo-Lap Lam is a Senior Fellow at The Jamestown Foundation. He is an Adjunct Professor at the Center for China Studies, the History Department and the Program of Master’s in Global Political Economy at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is the author of five books on China, including Chinese Politics in the Era of Xi Jinping: Renaissance, Reform, or Retrogression (Routledge 2015).
After the Seminar