|The Fight for China's Future: Civil Society vs. the Chinese Communist Party||Source|
The Fight for China’s Future throws light on the quintessence of 21st century Chinese politics through the prism of the struggle between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and China’s vibrant intelligentsia and civil society.
This book examines Xi Jinping’s 24-hour, multi-dimensional, AI-enabled police-state apparatus and explores the CCP’s policy towards civil society. Through exclusive interviews with activists from different provinces, it analyzes the experiences and aspirations of key stakeholders in Chinese society, especially intellectuals, human rights attorneys and Christian worshippers. Providing an examination of recent global trends in relation to CCP policies, including China’s relationship with the U.S., it also goes on to explore the possible trajectories of future change.
Featuring an assessment of Xi Jinping’s leadership style and the opportunities this has given certain groups to promote the rule of law, media freedom and other global norms, this book will be invaluable to students of Chinese politics, society and culture.
Willy Lam’s The Fight for China’s Future presents a sobering picture of China in the era of Xi Jinjing where the forces of enlightenment are locked in an existential struggle with the rule of fear. Its deep insights and analysis illuminate the dynamics animating Chinese politics today. — Minxin Pei, Claremont McKenna College
For Grace, Ching-Wen, Wen-Chung and James
|Chapter 1 ◊ Introduction: The civil society versus Xi Jinping’s police-state apparatus.................................. 1
|Chapter 2 ◊ Contributions of intellectuals: Emancipating the mind in the midst of ruthless suppression.... 20
|Chapter 3 ◊ Human rights lawyers’ struggle against Xi Jinping’s “socialist rule by law”................................ 39
|Chapter 4 ◊ A new awakening for China’s oppressed Christians....................................................................... 66
|Chapter 5 ◊ How the China-U.S. Cold War opens up opportunities for the civil society.................................. 86
History has its coincidences. No sooner had Xi Jinping amended the Chinese Constitution in March 2018 to enable him to rule for life than Donald Trump unleashed upon the People’s Republic of China multiple salvoes in areas including trade, technology and geopolitical contention. The years 2018 and 2019 would be remembered as the beginning of a ferocious “new Cold War” between the status quo superpower that largely supports global norms, and a quasi-superpower that thrives on hard authoritarianism, a party-controlled economy, and an unprecedentedly tight control over the civil society and such of its components as dissidents, intellectuals, rights attorneys, house church followers and labor activists.
History, however, also has ironclad rules that punish those who have refused to draw the proper lessons from past fiascos. China’s topsy-turvy history has been dramatized the past two years by a series of anniversaries. The year 2018 marked the 120th anniversary of the short-lived 100 Days Reform of the Qing Dynasty and the 40th anniversary of Deng Xiaoping’s Era of Reform and the Open Door. The year 2019 marked the centenary of the May Fourth Movement, the 125th anniversary of the beginning of the First Sino-Japanese War, and, of course, the 70th birthday of the People’s Republic of China. While trying to fend off constant surveillance and harassment by Xi’s AI-enabled police state apparatus, intellectuals and NGO pioneers are wrestling with some overwhelming questions. For example, although CCP leaders ranging from Jiang Zemin to Xi Jinping have insisted that Western values such as rule of law and civil rights are not suitable for China’s guoqing (“national conditions”), Marxism not only hails from the West but is widely regarded as a failed creed by European and American intellectuals. (In May 2018, Xi lavishly celebrated Marx’s 200th birthday and even sent a five-meter statue of the thinker to his birthplace Trier. But most Germans were lukewarm toward the controversial founder of Marxism and Communism.) Many of the mistakes made by the CCP during the Mao era were partly due to the Great Helmsman’s self-serving misinterpretations of the teachings of Marx and Lenin; yet Mao disciple Xi seems destined to perpetuate blunders such as erecting a personality cult around himself, upholding the party’s monopoly on power, tightening the “dictatorship of the proletariat” and squashing the breathing space of intellectuals and other activists in the country’s fast-growing civil society. Despite the pranks that history seems to have played on China, civil society pacesetters are adamant that the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) and related mistakes must never be allowed to recur.
While pondering such weighty issues, I have benefited from much-neededencouragement, expert advice and timely tips, tea and sympathy from the following friends and colleagues: Robert Barnett, Jean-Philippe Béja, Bo Zhiyue, Keith Bradsher, Anne-Marie Brady, Kerry Brown, Jean-Pierre Cabestan, Anson Chan, Jane Chan, Chan Kin-man, Priscilla Chan, Gordon Chang, Nicholas V. Chen, Helen Cheng, Joseph Y.S. Cheng, Pearl Chih, Ching Cheong, Linda Choy, David Faure, Edward Friedman, Chloé Froissart, Brad Glosserman, Ryoichi Hamamoto, Harry Harding, Chiew-Siang Bryan Ho, Russell Hsiao, Bertel Heurlin, Hung Ching-tin, Peter Jennings, Jan Kiely, Amy King, Timmy Kwai, Patricia Kolb, Carol Lai, Jimmy Lai, Lai Ming Chiu, Diana Lary, Emily Lau, Franky F.L. Leung, Theresa Leung, Angela Li, Linda Li, Joe Lian Yi-Zheng, Lee Yee, Albert Lim, Delia Lin, Perry Link, Dimon Liu, Sonny Lo, Paul Loong, Bruce Lui, Michelle Ng, Mak Yin-ting, Norihito Mizuno, Jeanne Moore, Ng Ka Po, Joyce Nip, Minxin Pei, Eva Pils, David Shambaugh, Simon Shen, Victor Shih, Claude Smadja, Masaru Soma, Volker Stanzel, Robert Suettinger, Norihiko Suzuki, Carina Szeto, Akio Takahara, Marina Thorborg, Luigi Tomba, Kristof van den Troost, Steve Tsang, King Tsao, Jonathan Unger, Sebastian Veg, Arthur Waldron, Kan-Tai Wong, Pak Nung Wong, Alfred Wu, Guoguang Wu, Wu Lik-hon, Ray Yep, Chris Yeung, Yukiko Yokono, Fong-ying Yu, Maochun Yu, Ricky Yue and Zhang Baohui.
I would like to express my gratitude to the Smith Richardson Foundation, whose generous support has been crucial to the success of this project. Thanks are particularly due to the Foundation’s Senior Program Officer Allan Song for his advice and counsel. The Jamestown Foundation, of which I’ve been a nonresident Senior Fellow since the early 2000s, has been an unfailing source of encouragement and support. I salute, in particular, President Glen Howard for many years of unfailing help.
Special thanks are due to the editorial, production and marketing staff> of Routledge for taking very good care of this manuscript. I am particularly indebted to the generous help of Publisher, East Asia Stephanie Rogers and Senior Editorial Assistant Georgina Bishop. I would like to record my gratitude to the Notre Dame University Press for permission to reuse tidbits of my chapter on the Chinese intellectual in Public Intellectuals in the Global Arena: Professors or Pundits? (2016). Two good friends, C.W. Li and Verna Yu, have helped me with research, particularly regarding Chapter 5.
Since 2007, I have been associated with the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) as an Adjunct Professor in its History Department, the Center for China Studies, and the Master’s Program in Global Political Economy. I am much indebted to my CUHK colleagues for their unfailing guidance and support. While researching this book, I have also benefitted from the help of the following institutions: the China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group (especially Albert Ho); the China Labor Bulletin (Geoffrey Crothall and Han Dongfang); and the Divinity School of Chung Chi College, Chinese University of Hong Kong, and its Director Professor Ying Fuk-tsang.
I must also salute my siblings for several decades of warm support and close camaraderie: my sisters Pansy, Kin-Hung, Miranda and Leslie, and brothers Wo Hei and Justin. Above all, I must express my gratitude for the spiritual and other support that my dear, sweet wife, Grace, has given me for so many years. We are very thankful to have two loving, smart, and kind-hearted children, Ching-Wen and Wen-Chung. I am somewhat optimistic that my grandson James will see a China that is more in tune with universal values such as rule of law, freedom of expression and democratic elections.
All-China Federation of Trade Unions
Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank
Association of Southeast Asian Nations
Belt and Road Initiative
Cyberspace Administration of China
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission
China Christian Council
Central Commission for Comprehensively Deepening Reforms
Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
Central Commission for Foreign Affairs
Central Commission for Finance and Economics
Chinese Communist Party
Central Commission for Propaganda and Ideology Work
China Central Television
China Democracy Party
China Gospel Fellowship
China Human Rights Lawyers Group
China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations
China Labor Bulletin
Central Military Commission
Central National Security Commission
Central Organization Department
Central Political-Legal Commission
Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference
Central United Front Work Department
Communist Youth League
Communist Youth League Faction
Ethnic and Religious Affairs Office
Gross Domestic Product
Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
Ministry of Civil Affairs
Ministry of Commerce
Ministry of Finance
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Public Security (police)
Ministry of State Security
New Citizens’ Movement
National Development and Reform Commission
National People’s Congress
One Belt One Road
People’s Armed Police
People’s Bank of China
Politburo Standing Committee
Protect the Harbor Seal Association
People’s Liberation Army
People’s Republic of China
Special Administration Region
State Administration of Religious Affairs
State Assets Supervision and Administration Commission
State Ethnic Affairs Commission
Supreme People’s Court
Tibet Autonomous Region
Three-Self Patriotic Movement [Protestant Churches]
Virtual Private Network
World Trade Organization
Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
“security protection” which covers police and national-security work
“becoming masters of their own affairs”
“rule of law”
“citizen consciousness” or “public consciousness under modern rule of law”
“overall national security”
“residence permit system”
“imperial government examination”
“decay and collapse of society”
“two associations” [TSPM & CCC]
“people’s or “people-level”
“non-official or “people’s organizations”
“ethnic and religious affairs offices; ERAOs”
“restoration of reputation”
“aristocratic” socialism or “crony capitalism”
“human rights lawyers”
“human nature” or “humanity”
“learned mandarins at the service of the monarch”
“leitmotifs of the times”
“a dragnet that stretches from heaven to earth”
“make groundless criticism of”
“picking quarrels and provoking troubles”
“SOE conglomerates” Sometimes called China’s chaebol
“rule by law”
“putting people first”
“secretary in charge of law and order”
“self-sufficiency and independence”
“initiative” and “innate self-sufficiency”
Willy Wo-Lap Lam (born 1952; Chinese: 林和立; Cantonese Yale: Làhm Wòh-lahp) is a Hong Kong journalist, political scientist, and commentator on Chinese politics. He is currently a Jamestown Foundation fellow and an adjunct professor at the Centre for China Studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong.
He holds a BA from University of Hong Kong obtained in 1974, an MA from University of Minnesota obtained in 1978 and a PhD in Political Economy from Wuhan University obtained in 2002.
Lam worked for the South China Morning Post until 2000. He was the paper's Beijing correspondent until the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, and was China editor during the 1997 handover of Hong Kong. In 1995, he was described as the "quintessential China watcher"; CNN called him "one of the most plugged-in observers of Chinese politics in the world" in 1999. Lam was critical of Jiang Zemin at the time, saying that Jiang had "successfully consolidated his power" but "hasn't used that power to accomplish anything significant". He left the paper in December 2000 complaining of editorial censorship.
Lam has described the direction of Chinese society under Xi Jinping as "the closing of the Chinese mind".
Lam, Willy Wo-Lap (1989). The Era of Zhao Ziyang: Power Struggle in China, 1986–88. Hong Kong: A.B. Books & Stationery. ISBN 9627374016.
———— (1995). China After Deng Xiaoping. New York: John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 0471131148.
———— (1999). The Era of Jiang Zemin. Singapore: Prentice Hall. ISBN 0130837016.
———— (2006). Chinese Politics in the Hu Jintao Era: New Leaders, New Challenges. Armonk and London: M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 0765617730.
———— (2015). Chinese Politics in the Era of Xi Jinping: Renaissance, Reform, or Retrogression?. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 978-0765642097.
———— (2019). The Fight for China's Future: Civil Society vs. the Chinese Communist Party. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 978-0367188665.
The Fight for China's Future
Civil Society vs. the Chinese Communist Party
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