December China Seminar

December 9, 2021 | 12:00 p.m. HST |

THE PRICE OF PARAMOUNT POWER
Xi Jinping’s position as China’s most powerful leader since Mao comes with costs

featuring
Richard Hornik
Adjunct Senior Fellow, East-West Center

The recent Communist Party Central Committee plenum marked the Party’s 100th anniversary by declaring the start of a new era through the elevation of Xi Jinping’s status to that of a seminal leader on a par with Mao Zedong and even above Deng Xiaoping. The accompanying propaganda onslaught has further deepened and broadened the Xi personality cult, while his political machinations seem to have sidelined all possible competitors.

But a leader with supreme power and much-advertised omniscience can find it difficult to deflect responsibility or reverse course when his policies fail. Xi is facing intractable problems – some of his own making – that he will find difficult to address in the yearlong run-up to next year’s Party Congress. How he handles these issues will mark a turning point in China’s crusade, as the Plenum promised, to continue its “…great leap from standing up, getting rich to becoming strong, and realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”

Richard Hornik is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the East-West Center. During his 30-year career in journalism, he served as executive editor of AsiaWeek, News Service director of Time Magazine, and Time’s bureau chief in Warsaw, Boston, Beijing and Hong Kong. He co-authored Massacre in Beijing: China’s Struggle for Democracy, and has written for Foreign Affairs, Fortune, the Harvard Business Review, Smithsonian, The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. He has an M.A. in Russian Studies from George Washington University and a B.A. in political science from Brown University. He was a Lecturer at Stony Brook University from 2007-19 and was a Visiting Lecturer at Hong Kong in 2012 and at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in 2015. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

The China Seminar was founded by Dr. Daniel W.Y. Kwok 44 years ago. Under his guidance, it became a signature program of the Friends of the East-West Center (FEWC) in 2009. The program provides an informal venue for China experts, such as scholars, diplomats, and journalists, to present talks on aspects of China that interest the community and members of the Friends. Topics include politics, economics, social issues, history, culture, food, arts, and many other subjects. Though Dr. Kwok has recently retired from his involvement with the program, the FEWC and the East-West Center remain committed to continuing this important program.


November China Seminar

November 18, 2021 | 12:00 p.m. HST |

THE FOLLY OF ENGAGEMENT AND DIALOGUE
featuring
Brig. Gen. David R. Stilwell
Former Assistant Secretary of State
Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs
 

“Engagement” is rightfully seen as the best way to resolve differences between individuals and governments. But what happens when one side refuses to engage meaningfully? Or when the pomp and ceremony of engagement is seen as an end, and not the means to resolving important, pressing issues?  Stilwell will use examples of productive and failed engagement, and the conditions that resulted in their success or failure as lessons to assess the potential for the Biden administration to arrest the deterioration of the US-China bilateral relationship. Hint: the relationship is determined by the most attitude of the most negative actor.

David R. Stilwell is the former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs and current member of the East-West Center Board of Governors. Prior to his appointment as Assistant Secretary, David R. Stilwell served as the Director of the China Strategic Focus Group at US Indo-Pacific Command in Hawai‘i. He served in the Air Force for 35 years, retiring in 2015 as a Brigadier General then serving as the Asia advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. He served multiple tours of duty in Japan and Korea as a linguist, fighter pilot, and commander, and as the Defense Attaché at the US Embassy in China. He was an East-West Center grantee while studying for his Master’s Degree in Asian studies and Chinese language at the University of Hawai‘i and was an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center from 2016 to 2019.

The China Seminar was founded by Dr. Daniel W.Y. Kwok 44 years ago. Under his guidance, it became a signature program of the Friends of the East-West Center (FEWC) in 2009. The program provides an informal venue for China experts, such as scholars, diplomats, and journalists, to present talks on aspects of China that interest the community and members of the Friends. Topics include politics, economics, social issues, history, culture, food, arts, and many other subjects. Though Dr. Kwok has recently retired from his involvement with the program, the FEWC and the East-West Center remain committed to continuing this important program.