Eric X. Li

The president’s Davos speech stressed a message of pluralism Samuel Huntington must be laughing in his grave. More than a decade ago the prescient political scientist popularised the term Davos Man. This was the cosmopolitan proponent of “transnationalism” who dreamt of a world in which borders would disappear, states would be obsolete, and all would […]

When it rains, it pours. As the Great Recession, eurozone crisis, stalled trade deals, increased conflict between Russia and the West, electoral revolts against European political elites, and finally Brexit followed the 2008 financial meltdown, the fact that globalization was running out of steam should have been obvious to all. Yet most of its converts were blind, and even the fiercest rebels against globalization never expected to claim the top prize—the White House—and so soon. World powers are now scrambling to react to Donald Trump’s paradigm-shifting election as president of the United States.

SHANGHAI — Perhaps no country has taken more hits from Donald J. Trump than China. During the presidential campaign, Mr. Trump made it sound as if making America “great again” meant defeating China. But much of the Chinese public supported him. And President Xi Jinping was among the first world leaders to congratulate him. Mr. […]

HONG KONG — The prevailing media narrative about the Hong Kong protest — namely that the citizens are politically dissatisfied and are fighting for democracy against the tyranny of Beijing — is false. What’s actually happening is this: A fringe of radical (or sometimes, more charitably, merely naive) ideologues are recasting the real and legitimate economic […]

SINGAPORE — A few days ago, President Obama sought to define for America a new foreign policy doctrine. In his much anticipated West Point Military Academy commencement speech, he set a bar for American military intervention abroad that is the highest in recent memory — when America’s interests are directly threatened. Perhaps the lessons of […]

Eric X. Li On Why China Is Winning In The Pacific Eric X. Li is a venture capitalist, political scientist and frequent commentator on China’s growing economic and military influence. In a provocative TED Talk andseveral articles he has predicted that while China will continue to grow its wealth and power, it’s unlikely to depart from one-party governance or […]

SHANGHAI — Many analysts argue that China has stumbled recently in the South China Sea and East China Sea in its aggressive territorial disputes with its neighbors, alienating so many of them that it is now viewed as a threat by the region. This in turn has resulted in America’s much-touted “pivot” (now renamed “rebalance”) to the Asia-Pacific. Such judgment is misplaced. On the contrary, history will probably prove that China has dealt with these situations with agility unmatched by the great powers of our time. China’s strategic objective in the region is to change the status quo — the establishment of which it did not have enough power to participate in or influence — to its advantage without resulting in actual military conflicts. In both the South China Sea against several Southeast Asian nations — most notably the Philippines, and in the East China Sea against Japan — China has accomplished that goal. Its naval presence near Huangyan Island, the now frequent visits by Chinese vessels to the areas of Diaoyu (Senkaku) Islands, the growing international focus on the disputes and the recently established Air Defense Identification Zone attest to that achievement.

In November 2013, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) held its much-anticipated Third Plenum of its 18th Congress. Third Plenums, which are usually held a year after a party congress, have generally been used to set the policy agenda for a new administration. More than 30 years ago, Deng Xiaoping famously launched his groundbreaking economic reforms […]

Today, China celebrates the 120th birthdate of the founding father of the People’s Republic — Chairman Mao Zedong. No one looms larger in the narrative of modern China. As the nation continues its ascendency to reclaim its position as a great power, Mao’s legacy is central to its perception in the eyes of the world. […]

From US President Barack Obama’s ceding of the centre stage to his Chinese counterpart at the recent Apec gathering, to frenzied attempts to decipher the country’s political and economic directions from the party’s just-finished third plenum, the rising giant of the East often dominates Western political discourse. Unfortunately, such discourses are taking place on a […]

The Korean Peninsula is the last citadel of a bygone era. Since the end of the Cold War, the United States as the reigning superpower has been the anchor of a global architecture built after World War II and solidified during the post-Cold War period. It is organized around a narrative of dichotomy that has dominated international relations for more than half a century. It is a single fault line narrative and ideology is its cornerstone. A worldwide Western alliance, of which South Korea has been a staunch member from almost day one, led and paid for by the United States, is charged with the mission of maintaining and continuing to expand this global architecture.

At last, Bo Xilai is going on trial. The case against the former Politburo member brings to a climax the aggressive anti-corruption drive undertaken by the Chinese Communist Party. In fact, the new general secretary Xi Jinping has identified corruption as a threat to the very survival of the party-state. Some political commentators have proclaimed […]

In November 2012, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) held its 18th National Congress, setting in motion a once-in-a-decade transfer of power to a new generation of leaders. As expected, Xi Jinping took over as general secretary and will become the president of the People’s Republic this March. The turnover was a smooth and well-orchestrated demonstration […]

A Renaissance in the East In the world’s oldest university, a cradle of the European Renaissance, one is reminded of a great Italian who lived at the onset of that Renaissance half a millennium ago – the first political scientist Niccolo Machiavelli. In one of his letters to his friend Francesco Vettori, the Florentine secretary […]

Bologna — In the world’s oldest university, a cradle of the European Renaissance, one is reminded of a great Italian who lived at the onset of that Renaissance half a millennium ago — the first political scientist Niccolò Machiavelli. In one of his letters to his friend Francesco Vettori, the Florentine Secretary talked about his days […]