Xi Jinping: The Hidden Agendas of China's Ruler for Life

This talk will focus on the policy, ideology and politics of Xi Jinping, State President and General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and China’s ‘ruler for life’. Through comparisons with former CCP leaders, including Deng Xiaoping, Dr Lam will assess whether, having abandoned many of the key precepts of the Era of Reform and the Open Door, the conservative supreme leader’s restitution of Maoist standards might enable China to sustain economic growth and project hard and soft power worldwide. Dr Lam will also examine whether the Communist Party will succeed in retaining the support of 1.4 billion Chinese in the face of unprecedented challenges in the economic and geopolitical arenas. He will also provide a comprehensive picture of Xi’s rise to power; his AI-assisted and ‘legalistic’ surveillance and control mechanisms; China’s evolving economic system; Xi’s foreign and national-security policies; China-US relations and the Taiwan imbroglio; and the implications of the 20th Party Congress of October 2022 from both domestic and foreign policy perspectives.

With 40 years of experience writing and researching about China, Willy Lam is a recognized authority on areas including the Chinese Communist Party, elite politics, foreign policy, the People’s Liberation Army, as well as the country’s economic and political reform. Since 2007, Dr Lam has been an Adjunct Professor at the History Department of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is also a Senior Fellow at Jamestown Foundation, a foreign-policy think tank in Washington DC and an Associate at the Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives, University of Victoria, BC. Earlier in his career, Dr Lam worked in senior editorial positions in international media including Asiaweek newsmagazine, South China Morning Post, and CNN. Willy’s views on China are frequently sought by global media, including the New York Times, Time, The Times of London, BBC, CNN, Reuters, AFP and the Associated Press. The veteran Sinologist has published eight books on China.

Dr Lam was educated at the University of Hong Kong, University of Minnesota and Wuhan University, where he gained a PhD in Economics.