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 | How the US-China cold war could lead to more conflict, but also more peace

Competition with China will demand greater strategic discipline from the US, creating openings for the likes of Russia and Iran to exploit. At the same time, shifting US priorities could also force some states to start fending for themselves.

Competition with China will demand greater strategic discipline from the US, creating openings for the likes of Russia and Iran to exploit. At the same time, shifting US priorities could also force some states to start fending for themselves.

5 Jan 2022 - 4:41AM
Opinion | Why the world must temper hopes for US-China climate change cooperation

Besides the difficulty of insulating potential areas of collaboration, it is unclear what and how much climate cooperation the two can deliver. As a result, bilateral progress will be volatile, modest and incremental at best.

Besides the difficulty of insulating potential areas of collaboration, it is unclear what and how much climate cooperation the two can deliver. As a result, bilateral progress will be volatile, modest and incremental at best.

19 May 2021 - 12:07PM
Opinion | US election chaos would be one more gift to China from Trump

Trump’s incompetent management of the pandemic has made America an object of pity around the world. If he follows through on his threats to defy the will of US voters, the appeal of US democracy would be eviscerated – to Beijing’s delight.

Trump’s incompetent management of the pandemic has made America an object of pity around the world. If he follows through on his threats to defy the will of US voters, the appeal of US democracy would be eviscerated – to Beijing’s delight.

1 Nov 2020 - 3:33AM
Opinion | Why Yoshihide Suga will struggle to sustain Japan’s balance between China and the US

Japan’s new prime minister will find it difficult to avoid taking sides in the intensifying US-China conflict. The competing interests illustrate the plight of a country squeezed between two duelling geopolitical giants and the scale of Suga’s diplomatic challenge.

Japan’s new prime minister will find it difficult to avoid taking sides in the intensifying US-China conflict. The competing interests illustrate the plight of a country squeezed between two duelling geopolitical giants and the scale of Suga’s diplomatic challenge.

12 Nov 2020 - 6:31PM
Opinion | Why cultural decoupling from China and barring Chinese students will hurt the US more

Instead of advancing US objectives by promoting American values, the Trump administration is playing into the hands of Beijing. The US will miss out on contributions from Chinese students and China will benefit from the reverse brain drain.

Instead of advancing US objectives by promoting American values, the Trump administration is playing into the hands of Beijing. The US will miss out on contributions from Chinese students and China will benefit from the reverse brain drain.

20 Aug 2020 - 3:01AM
Opinion | In Trump, China has an adversary who’s not afraid to push back – even if it means economic pain

Communist Party leaders have overplayed their hand by tightening control over Hong Kong with a national security law. Trump and his senior advisers not only believe in the law of the jungle, but are also unafraid to wield raw power against their foes.

Communist Party leaders have overplayed their hand by tightening control over Hong Kong with a national security law. Trump and his senior advisers not only believe in the law of the jungle, but are also unafraid to wield raw power against their foes.

12 Jul 2020 - 3:17AM
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.

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
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.

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
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.

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
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.

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
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.

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
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.

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
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.

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
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.

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
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.

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
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.

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
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.

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
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.

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
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.

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
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.

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
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.

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
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.

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
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.

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
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

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
27 Sep 2018 - 3:07PM
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.

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
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7 Jul 2017 - 8:06PM