Xi Jinping and the PLA

Xi Jinping

Xi Jinping’s leadership style is visibly different from that of his predecessors. He pursues a distinctive mode of political leadership in domestic governance, command of the military and foreign policy formulation. Specifically, this leadership can be defined by an assertive personal style, the creation of a structured factional following and attempts to win support from institutions of power, especially the military and state security. This is visibly different from the leadership style of Xi’s post-Deng predecessors. Instead of the Jiang/Hu technocratic style of leadership and the “reign without rule” that characterized Hu’s military command, Xi has been hands-on, detailed and specific in his policies - from a strong personal push to make the PLA ready for conflict, to a substantial restructuring of central and service command chains, to an unprecedented anti-corruption campaign. At the same time, he respects PLA operational autonomy and caters to its budgetary needs. In return, the PLA has firmly supported Xi’s recentralization of power at home and assertion of sovereignty internationally. A new type of relationship between Xi and the PLA is in the making.

About the Speaker

You Ji is currently a visiting senior research fellow at the East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore. He obtained his B.A. degree from Peking University and a Ph.D. from the Australian National University. He is the author of three books, including The Armed Forces of China, and numerous articles. His papers appear in journals such as Problem of Communism, International Journal of Korea Unification Studies, China Journal, Pacific Review, Comparative Strategy, Asia Policy, Japanese Studies, Contemporary Southeast Asia, Naval War College Review, Strategic Analysis and Journal of Contemporary China and Contemporary Security Policy. Among his latest papers are ‘The Politics of CCP Council of State Security’,_ East Asia Policy_, 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. You Ji is on the editorial boards of China Journal; Provincial China; East Asia Policy; Asian and Middle East Studies; Sociology and Criminology; Arts and Social Science Journal; Issue and Studies; and Journal of Contemporary China.

After the Seminar

To allow for informal discussion, the seminar will be followed by an early lunch with the guest speaker at 11.30 am. All are welcome, though those who attend will need to pay for their own food and drinks. As reservations must be made, please RSVP by noon of the day before the seminar to jasmine.lin@anu.edu.au.

This seminar series is supported by the China Institute, the Research School of Asia and the Pacific, and the Australian Centre on China in the World at The Australian National University


You Ji

Dates & times

Monday, 22 September 2014

10.00am - 11.15am


Seminar Rooms, China in the World Building (188), Fellows Lane, ANU

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