Willy Lam in Taipei May 11, 2010

Wish I could go, but I have class all day.  Lam’s writings are often featured in the Jamestown’s Foundation‘s bi-weekly China Brief publication that Michael Turton writes about now and then at The View from Taiwan. (Incidentally, that is where I first saw that Lam would be in Taipei next week.) Here is one of Lam’s latest articles about Chinese Communist Party “sixth generation” leaders, from December 2009.  His presentation looks to be interesting and timely, about the pending power succession process in China that will culminate at the 18th Party Congress in 2012.  The CCP power struggle attendant to the 2012 Party Congress was actually mentioned today in one of my classes.  The signal to watch for – see who is appointed vice chairman of the Central Military Commission in the next year or two.  This person will probably be Hu Jintao’s successor.


Topic:A Closer Look at China’s Elite Politics and Foreign Power Projection 【In English】
Speaker:Dr. Willy Lam (Akita International University, Japan)
Coordinator:Director Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao (Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica)
Time:May 11, 2010(Tuesday)2:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Location:Room 802, 8F, Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica.

Profile :
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has started preparations for transition of power from the the Fourth to the Fifth Generation, which will take place at the 18th Party Congress of 2012. Will the younger corps of leaders be able to tackle growing contradictions within the socio-political fabric – and uphold the CCP’s “perennial ruling-party status” – in the absence of genuine reforms? Have corruption and bureaucratic malaise precipitated a crisis of governance? Can the Fifth- and Sixth-Generation leadership inject new ideas to arrest the decline in the party’s legitimacy and efficacy? For how long can the party rely on its control and security apparatus to bolster its somewhat tattered mandate of heaven? Or is it just that the party-state apparatus has become too big to fail?

Partly due to the fact that nationalism has become the most effective agent of cohesiveness in China, the CCP leadership has been projecting both hard and soft power to strengthen the country’s worldwide clout. What are the traits of China’s quasi-superpower diplomacy? Are the People’s Liberation Army generals getting more say over foreign and security policies? Will the PRC’s growing economic and military prowess feed the “China threat” theory? Will the increasingly adverse competition with the United States in areas including resources, trade – and outer space – affect regional and world stability? These and other questions will be discussed at the lecture and Q&A session.


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