Minxin Pei

Minxin Pei

Minxin Pei is professor of government at Claremont McKenna College and a non-resident senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. He is the author of China's Crony Capitalism.

Latest from Minxin Pei

Opinion | China’s ‘wolf warrior’ diplomats are being more reckless than Donald Trump. That’s a mistake

At a time when China’s reputation is suffering, its diplomats should be focused on differentiating China’s foreign policy from that of the US president. Yet, the ‘wolf warriors’ are doing just the opposite.

13 Jun 2020 - 4:20AM

At a time when China’s reputation is suffering, its diplomats should be focused on differentiating China’s foreign policy from that of the US president. Yet, the ‘wolf warriors’ are doing just the opposite.

China’s ‘wolf warrior’ diplomats are being more reckless than Donald Trump. That’s a mistake
Opinion | How China’s coronavirus crisis exposes the Achilles’ heel of Communist Party power

The party’s initial mishandling of the outbreak has eroded support among China’s urban middle class. The brief but intense eruption of public criticism is a taste of how such missteps can threaten the social contract on which the party’s legitimacy is built.

6 Mar 2020 - 12:59AM

The party’s initial mishandling of the outbreak has eroded support among China’s urban middle class. The brief but intense eruption of public criticism is a taste of how such missteps can threaten the social contract on which the party’s legitimacy is built.

How China’s coronavirus crisis exposes the Achilles’ heel of Communist Party power
Opinion | How China’s coronavirus crisis, like the Sars epidemic, was worsened by the Communist Party’s penchant for secrecy

The Chinese government’s early response to the coronavirus outbreak was to tightly control information, hampering containment efforts. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the next time will be better.

1 Mar 2020 - 5:19PM

The Chinese government’s early response to the coronavirus outbreak was to tightly control information, hampering containment efforts. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the next time will be better.

How China’s coronavirus crisis, like the Sars epidemic, was worsened by the Communist Party’s penchant for secrecy
Opinion | George W. Bush’s disastrous Iraq war paved the way for China’s rise. Is Trump about to make the same mistake?

China grew into an economic giant with the US fixated on fighting al-Qaeda. It’s a lesson Trump doesn’t seem to have learned – despite designating China a strategic adversary, the killing of Soleimani threatens to pitch the US into another Middle East conflict.

10 Jan 2020 - 3:42AM

China grew into an economic giant with the US fixated on fighting al-Qaeda. It’s a lesson Trump doesn’t seem to have learned – despite designating China a strategic adversary, the killing of Soleimani threatens to pitch the US into another Middle East conflict.

George W. Bush’s disastrous Iraq war paved the way for China’s rise. Is Trump about to make the same mistake?
Opinion | Xi Jinping can blame his centralisation of power for a rotten 2019 – and maybe an even worse 2020

The trade war took a toll on the Chinese economy, Hong Kong revolted and the world stepped up scrutiny of Xinjiang. One-man rule and fear of Xi aggravated each of these situations, and may set China up for worse in the year to come.

18 Dec 2019 - 3:16AM

The trade war took a toll on the Chinese economy, Hong Kong revolted and the world stepped up scrutiny of Xinjiang. One-man rule and fear of Xi aggravated each of these situations, and may set China up for worse in the year to come.

Xi Jinping can blame  his centralisation of power for a rotten 2019 – and maybe an even worse 2020
Opinion | Beijing’s plan to tighten its grip on Hong Kong could spell the end of China’s economic dream

Beijing vows to change Hong Kong’s political appointment process, pass national security laws and push patriotism in education – ideas that Hongkongers have resisted with protests. Shutting down the city would sever China’s access to global financial services, bring on sanctions and spark countries to join the US’ effort to contain China.

13 Nov 2019 - 11:53PM

Beijing vows to change Hong Kong’s political appointment process, pass national security laws and push patriotism in education – ideas that Hongkongers have resisted with protests. Shutting down the city would sever China’s access to global financial services, bring on sanctions and spark countries to join the US’ effort to contain China.

Beijing’s plan to tighten its grip on Hong Kong could spell the end of China’s economic dream
Opinion | China’s bid to intimidate the NBA is a great example of how to lose friends and make enemies

By picking a fight with the NBA, China may have squandered its best example of sports diplomacy with the US. Its bullying behaviour also risks turning more friends into enemies when the US is seeking to contain it.

22 Oct 2019 - 11:55AM

By picking a fight with the NBA, China may have squandered its best example of sports diplomacy with the US. Its bullying behaviour also risks turning more friends into enemies when the US is seeking to contain it.

China’s bid to intimidate the NBA is a great example of how to lose friends and make enemies
Opinion | China’s Communist Party is looking at the beginning of the end of one-party rule

After nearly 70 years in power, China’s one-party regime is approaching the longevity frontier for dictatorship amid an economic slowdown and tensions with the US. A crackdown on opponents and an emphasis on nationalism may boost support, but only in the short term.

22 Sep 2019 - 1:06PM

After nearly 70 years in power, China’s one-party regime is approaching the longevity frontier for dictatorship amid an economic slowdown and tensions with the US. A crackdown on opponents and an emphasis on nationalism may boost support, but only in the short term.

China’s Communist Party is looking at the beginning of the end of one-party rule
Opinion | China must pick the least bad option to resolve Hong Kong crisis. A PLA crackdown is not it

Hongkongers would almost certainly treat Chinese government forces as invaders, and resistance would be fierce and casualties unavoidable. An exodus of expats and elites would follow, and the Hong Kong economy would almost immediately collapse.

14 Aug 2019 - 4:00AM

Hongkongers would almost certainly treat Chinese government forces as invaders, and resistance would be fierce and casualties unavoidable. An exodus of expats and elites would follow, and the Hong Kong economy would almost immediately collapse.

China must pick the least bad option to resolve Hong Kong crisis. A PLA crackdown is not it
Opinion | Trump owes Americans the truth about the goals of his China policy – economic changes, containment or regime change

More Americans are concerned about the impact of China’s economic might on their livelihoods than its military strength. However, Trump seems bent on a geopolitical struggle, a shift in policy that calls for debate.

23 Jul 2019 - 8:34PM

More Americans are concerned about the impact of China’s economic might on their livelihoods than its military strength. However, Trump seems bent on a geopolitical struggle, a shift in policy that calls for debate.

Trump owes Americans the truth about the goals of his China policy – economic changes, containment or regime change
Opinion | The US could make Hong Kong – and China – pay an economic price for the extradition bill

The US-Hong Kong Policy Act has teeth to deter China from violating its commitment to ‘one country, two systems’ in Hong Kong. Beijing needs to remember Hong Kong’s value as a financial centre, especially as the trade war drags on.

14 Jun 2019 - 2:01PM

The US-Hong Kong Policy Act has teeth to deter China from violating its commitment to ‘one country, two systems’ in Hong Kong. Beijing needs to remember Hong Kong’s value as a financial centre, especially as the trade war drags on.

The US could make Hong Kong – and China – pay an economic price for the extradition bill
Opinion | To counter China, the US must rise above talk of race and a clash of civilisations

Instead of appealing to the dangerous notion of a race war, the Trump administration should focus on China’s threat to global institutions. Allies that may not care to join a fight to safeguard US interests are more likely to do so to defend the liberal order.

16 May 2019 - 2:02AM

Instead of appealing to the dangerous notion of a race war, the Trump administration should focus on China’s threat to global institutions. Allies that may not care to join a fight to safeguard US interests are more likely to do so to defend the liberal order.

To counter China, the US must rise above talk of race and a clash of civilisations
Opinion | Xi Jinping’s intolerance of dissent within government heightens the risk of Chinese policy mistakes

The dismissal of an outspoken reformist official reflects a profound change, under Xi, in the way Chinese leaders govern: from a collective decision-making process in which disagreements and debate were allowed, to a centralised leadership style in which loyalty and conformity are prized.

18 Apr 2019 - 5:01AM

The dismissal of an outspoken reformist official reflects a profound change, under Xi, in the way Chinese leaders govern: from a collective decision-making process in which disagreements and debate were allowed, to a centralised leadership style in which loyalty and conformity are prized.

Xi Jinping’s intolerance of dissent within government heightens the risk of Chinese policy mistakes
Opinion | Donald Trump demands US allies join his Huawei blacklist, but what is he offering in return?

The Trump administration’s America-first agenda is not compatible with its new cold war, which requires allies to forgo Chinese technology at their own expense.

22 Mar 2019 - 9:32AM

The Trump administration’s America-first agenda is not compatible with its new cold war, which requires allies to forgo Chinese technology at their own expense.

Donald Trump demands US allies join his Huawei blacklist, but what is he offering in return?
Opinion | US-China trade war is more about geopolitical rivalry, such as in the South China Sea, than soybeans

The decoupling of the American and Chinese economies would not only have grave economic consequences globally, but also unleash unfettered US-China rivalry. Beijing needs to make strategic, not simply trade-related, concessions to avoid this.

20 Feb 2019 - 6:31AM

The decoupling of the American and Chinese economies would not only have grave economic consequences globally, but also unleash unfettered US-China rivalry. Beijing needs to make strategic, not simply trade-related, concessions to avoid this.

US-China trade war is more about geopolitical rivalry, such as in the South China Sea, than soybeans
Opinion | As China ups its influence abroad, the West must count on the power of its democratic values to prevail

Instead of reacting with suspicion to anything connected with China, Western democracies should focus on the strength of their own democratic processes, such as transparency.

14 Dec 2018 - 6:51PM

Instead of reacting with suspicion to anything connected with China, Western democracies should focus on the strength of their own democratic processes, such as transparency.

As China ups its influence abroad, the West must count on the power of its democratic values to prevail
Opinion | Why China’s East Asian charm offensive will need more than sweet talk and trade deals to succeed

As geopolitical tensions with the US rise and China seeks friends in the neighbourhood, concessions in the South China Sea will go further than trade deals and sweet talk.

17 Apr 2019 - 12:12AM

As geopolitical tensions with the US rise and China seeks friends in the neighbourhood, concessions in the South China Sea will go further than trade deals and sweet talk.

Why China’s East Asian charm offensive will need more than sweet talk and trade deals to succeed
Opinion | As the US and China seek to win the trade war, the whole world could end up the loser on climate change

A global effort is essential to prevent catastrophic changes in the climate, which can’t happen if China and the US form competing orders

23 Oct 2018 - 2:36PM

A global effort is essential to prevent catastrophic changes in the climate, which can’t happen if China and the US form competing orders

As the US and China seek to win the trade war, the whole world could end up the loser on climate change
China would be wise to avoid going MAD in the trade war
Opinion | Two lessons for China on how to avoid a Soviet-style collapse in its new cold war with the US

Beijing is on track to lose its new cold war with the US, as it is failing to recognise and rectify the two mistakes that proved fatal for the Soviet Union: economic mismanagement and imperial overreach.

8 Sep 2018 - 9:05AM

Beijing is on track to lose its new cold war with the US, as it is failing to recognise and rectify the two mistakes that proved fatal for the Soviet Union: economic mismanagement and imperial overreach.

Two lessons for China on how to avoid a Soviet-style collapse in its new cold war with the US
Trump’s rise leaves China ideologically safe but facing graver security risks
Can Xi Jinping offer enough on his state visit to mend the rift in Sino-US relations?
Rooting out PLA corruption is helping Xi Jinping to build his power base
Beijing sees only a distorted version of the Singapore model
China's self-defeating crackdown on 'Western values'

The news from the mainland these days is mostly depressing, owing to the government's escalating crackdown on its critics.

13 Feb 2015 - 6:37AM

The news from the mainland these days is mostly depressing, owing to the government's escalating crackdown on its critics.

China's self-defeating crackdown on 'Western values'
The Communist Party survived Tiananmen, but does it have the tools to last another 25 years?

It may be hard to imagine, but 25 years ago, the Chinese Communist Party was nearly toppled by a nationwide pro-democracy movement. It was the late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping's steely nerves and the tanks of the People's Liberation Army that enabled the regime to avoid collapse, at the cost of several hundred civilian lives.

29 May 2014 - 4:32AM

It may be hard to imagine, but 25 years ago, the Chinese Communist Party was nearly toppled by a nationwide pro-democracy movement. It was the late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping's steely nerves and the tanks of the People's Liberation Army that enabled the regime to avoid collapse, at the cost of several hundred civilian lives.

The Communist Party survived Tiananmen, but does it have the tools to last another 25 years?
Zhou Yongkang case set to expose the scale of the rot in China's elite politics

Less than 18 months after becoming general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi Jinping is poised to cage the biggest political "tiger" - a corrupt top official - in the history of the People's Republic.

20 Jul 2018 - 2:53PM

Less than 18 months after becoming general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi Jinping is poised to cage the biggest political "tiger" - a corrupt top official - in the history of the People's Republic.

Zhou Yongkang case set to expose the scale of the rot in China's elite politics
Xi Jinping's three challenges

Since ascending to the Communist Party's top post in 2012, Xi Jinping has confounded observers. While his political strategy has entailed tightening the party's control over ideology, cracking down on official corruption, repressing dissent and championing a more nationalistic foreign policy, he has announced an unusually bold economic reform blueprint.

13 Jan 2014 - 4:47AM

Since ascending to the Communist Party's top post in 2012, Xi Jinping has confounded observers. While his political strategy has entailed tightening the party's control over ideology, cracking down on official corruption, repressing dissent and championing a more nationalistic foreign policy, he has announced an unusually bold economic reform blueprint.

Xi Jinping's three challenges
What's the real test to Xi Jinping and the Communist Party at the Third Plenum?
Reconcilable differences
25 Feb 2011 - 12:00AM
Reconcilable differences