Xi Jinping’s leadership style is visibly different from his post-Deng predecessors’. Xi Jinping pursues a distinctive political leadership style in domestic governance and foreign policy formulation, as opposed to the technocratic rule of Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao. Xi’s style is defined by an assertive personal style and the seeking of support from institutions of power, especially the PLA and state security. This is different from “reigning without ruling” that characterised Hu Jintao’s command of the gun.
Dr. You Ji will talk about the new relationship between Xi and the PLA that is in currently in the making. Xi’s personal style has been hands-on, detail-focussed and specific. This can be seen from a strong personal push with regards to PLA war preparation, a substantial restructuring of central and service command chains, and an unprecedented anti-corruption campaign. At the same time, Xi respects the PLA’s operational autonomy and caters for its budgetary needs. In return, the PLA has firmly supported Xi’s power decentralisation at home and assertive sovereignty pursuits internationally.
About the Speaker:
Dr. You Ji is currently visiting senior research fellow at East Asian Institute, the National University of Singapore. He obtained a B.A. degree from the Peking University and a PhD from the Australian National University. He is the author of three books, including the Armed Forces of China and China’s Enterprise Reform; and numerous articles. His papers appear in journals such as the Problem of Communism, the International Journal of Korea Unification Studies, the China Journal, the Pacific Review, Comparative Strategy, Asia Policy, Japanese Studies, Contemporary Southeast Asia, the Naval War College Review, Strategic Analysis, Journal of Contemporary China, Contemporary Security Policy. Among his latest papers are “China’s Council of State Security: Evolution, Rationality and Operations”, East Asia Policy, Vol. 6, No. 2, 2014; “The PLA and Diplomacy: Unrevealing Myths about the Military Role in Foreign Policy-Making”, The Journal of Contemporary China, Vol. 23, No. 86, 2014 and “Decipher Beijing’s Maritime Security Policy and Strategy in Managing Sovereignty Disputes in the China Seas”, Policy Brief, RSIS, Nanyang Technological University, 2013.
Dr. You is on the editorial board of eight academic journals including the China Journal, Issue and Studies, and Journal of Contemporary China.
Organised by IDSS China Programme and RSIS Events Unit.