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Shannon Tiezzi, Editor-in-Chief, The Diplomat

“Xi’s New Team”

By now, it’s common knowledge that the Politburo Standing Committee, the apex of political power in China, is stocked with Xi Jinping loyalists. But beyond their personal connections to Xi, what do we know about the six men joining him on the PSC? On paper, their credentials may look typical: two sitting PSC members, the party secretaries of Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangdong, and Xi’s de facto chief of staff. But several of the new members – most notably, Li Qiang, the presumed next premier, and Cai Qi – skipped steps in the typical career trajectory. The new emphasis on loyalty over experience sets the tone for Xi’s “New Era”: Xi wants men who will enforce his decisions, not technocrats to make policy decisions of their own. The case of Li Qiang’s handling of Shanghai’s COVID-19 outbreak is an instructive example of what we can expect from the new PSC.

David Zweig, Professor Emeritus, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; Distinguished Visiting Professor of Taipei School of Economics and Political Science, National Tsinghua University, Taiwan.

“The Path Not Taken”

The talk will focus on the direction China has taken since Xi Jinping and the leadership decided to turn away from the 60-point market reform package of 2013, and instead, adopted the “Made in China 2025” development strategy. The result has been a much more statist domestic economic agenda and a much more mercantilist foreign policy agenda. The 20th Party Congress, with its rejection of any reformist wing, its doubling down on nationalism, Marxism-Leninism, and Xi Thought, and the consolidation of central power, simply reinforces trends begun almost a decade before.

Manoranjan Mohanty, Emeritus Fellow and former Chairperson, Institute of Chinese Studies, New Delhi; Distinguished Professor, Council of Social Development, New Delhi; former Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Delhi.

“Xi Jinping Thought for the New Journey”

The articulation of Xi Jinping Thought at CPC's Twentieth Congress acquired a new sophistication and claimed more authenticity. The functions of this new stress on ideology have to be understood keeping in view the stated and unstated goals of: legitimation, centralized governance, crisis management, and great power aspirations.


About the Speakers

Shannon Tiezzi is Editor-in-Chief at The Diplomat. Prior to taking on the editor-in-chief role, she was The Diplomat’s China editor. Her main focus is on China, and she writes on China’s foreign relations, domestic politics, and economy. She received her master’s degree from Harvard University, with a focus on modern Chinese literature, and her B.A. in English and Chinese from The College of William and Mary. Shannon has also studied at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

David Zweig is Professor Emeritus, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Taipei School of Economics and Political Science, National Tsinghua University, Taiwan. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard in 1984-85. He lived in Hong Kong from 1996 to 2019 and now lives in New York with his family. Zweig studied in Beijing in 1974-1976 and did field research in rural China in 1980-1981 and 1986 and explored the internationalization of southern Jiangsu Province in 1991-1997. He has authored or edited ten books. He is currently completing a book on China’s reverse brain drain. Almost 35,000 students have taken his two online classes with COURSERA on domestic Chinese Politics and on China and the World.

Manoranjan Mohanty was a Professor of Political Science and Director of, Developing Countries Research Centre at the University of Delhi where he taught Comparative Politics, Chinese Politics and Research Methodology. Currently, he is a Distinguished Professor at the Council for Social Development, New Delhi, where until recently he edited the CSD-Sage journal Social Change. He is a social scientist, China scholar and a peace and human rights activist with research interest in the study of the Political Economy of China, India and global transformation. He is an Emeritus Fellow of the Institute of Chinese Studies, its founding member and former Chairperson. He is also the Emeritus Chairperson, Development Research Institute, Bhubaneswar, the research wing of Gabeshana Chakra of which he was the founder-president.


About the Chair

Alka Acharya is Honorary Director, Institute of Chinese Studies and Professor, Centre for East Asian Studies (Chinese Studies) School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).She has been teaching courses on Chinese Foreign Policy and Political Economy to Masters and M. Phil students and guiding doctoral research since 1993. Twelve scholars have so far been awarded a doctoral degree under her supervision. She is the joint editor of the book, Crossing A Bridge of Dreams: 50 years of India-China, published in 2002, has contributed chapters to many books and regularly features in the Economic and Political Weekly.

Webinar details and guidelines


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For ease of meeting attendance, it is recommended participants use the Zoom application on their respective devices. Please ensure you join the meeting only once, and that you remain muted throughout the event. To pose questions, participants may send in questions via the chatbox or use the Raise Hand option. Only unmute yourself if called upon to do so by the Chair. Participants are required to enter their names while joining the meeting for ease of interaction during discussions. The meeting room will be open 4:30 PM IST onwards, with the talk formally starting at 5 PM IST. The talk will also be live-streamed on ICS's YouTube Channel, linked here.



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