China Seminar | 11 January 2018

The Closing of the Chinese Mind: Xi Jinping’s drive for complete control over the flow of ideas in China

Richard H. Hornik Richard H. Hornik

Since Xi Jinping became General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party in 2012, one of his primary policy goals has been to reassert Party control over all information flows. The initial focus was on censoring and shaping internal social media and on reinforcing Party control of news outlets. But in the last two years those efforts have broadened to include academia, civil society organizations and foreign influences. With the latest Party Congress anointing Xi as China’s most powerful leader since Mao, the future for exchange of ideas in China is the bleakest in four decades. The implications for Chinese society and the economy will be substantial. Richard Hornik, currently a lecturer in the School of Journalism at Stony Brook University, is a journalist with over 30 years of global experience. He was executive editor of AsiaWeek, deputy chief of correspondents and news service director of Time in New York, and he served as Time’s bureau chief in Warsaw, Boston, Beijing and Hong Kong. He co-authored Massacre in Beijing: China’s Struggle for Democracy, with Donald Morrison, and has written for Foreign Affairs, Fortune, Smithsonian, The New York Times and Wall St. Journal. He has an M.A. in Russian studies from George Washington U. and a B.A. in political science from Brown University. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was Journalist-in-Residence at the EWC. He was a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Hong Kong in 2012 and at UHM in 2015, when he was the inaugural Daniel K. Inouye Visiting Scholar in School of Communications.