China Seminar

Richard H. Hornik

Richard H. Hornik

13 February 2020

The Chinese Communist Party’s United Front Work Department: The Sharp End of Xi Jinping's Soft Power Offensive

Xi Jinping has aggressively expanded the overseas operations of the Communist Party’s United Front Work Department to become a powerful foreign policy tool. The UFWD promotes Beijing’s foreign policy agenda both by insinuating itself into local organizations abroad and by pressuring Chinese nationals and people of Chinese descent living in open societies to self-censor and to harass or undermine groups critical of Beijing’s policies. Once viewed as largely irrelevant, United Front work overseas is increasingly controversial as its tactics have become more overt and aggressive.

14 February 2019

The Great Disillusionment: The end of 25 years of global consensus that China would become a pillar of global order

In 2018, even Old Friends of China like Henry Paulson have gone public with criticisms of the government. Former ambassadors to China have written distinctly undiplomatic critiques. Academics openly question the self-censorship they had previously accepted as the price of entry into the Middle Kingdom. The downside of mega-billion infrastructure loans from China has begun to dawn on developing countries, and the security risks of buying telecommunications equipment from companies like Huawei and ZTE have slowed their global expansion to a crawl.

11 January 2018

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

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.

12 January 2017

Xi’s Challenge: Can China Avoid Economic Stagnation?

All rapidly developing countries eventually face what economists call a “middle income trap” when they try to move from resource-driven growth dependent on cheap labor and capital to growth based on high productivity and innovation. Few counties have made that transition, and China’s chances were heavily compromised by the unprecedented growth of private and public sector debt in the past 8 years. Will Dynamic Zhonguo become the Muddle Kingdom? Richard Hornik, currently a lecturer in the School of Journalism at Stony Brook University, is a journalist with over 30 years of global experience.

14 January 2016

The Great Slide Backward: Academic Freedom in Xi's China

In spite of the repeated statements by Chinese officials about the need to foster innovation, since the ascent of Xi Jinping, academics in China have watched the relatively open discourse permitted in the previous 20 years gradually slip away. This is infecting both Chinese universities and the branches in China of foreign universities. And it has slowly begun to seep into Hong Kong as well. Richard Hornik, currently a lecturer in the School of Journalism at Stony Brook University, is a journalist with over 30 years of global experience.

8 January 2015

Same Bed, Different Dreams: The Umbrella Movement as Seen by Xi Jinping and Hong Kong’s Sandwich Class

Although press coverage of the protest movement in Hong Kong has been extensive, it has largely failed to address the underlying motivations of the two most important sides to the conflict: China’s top leadership, as personified by Xi Jinping, and Hong Kong’s middle class. While the outside world has focused on student and activist demands for a more democratic selection of the Territory’s Chief Executive, the support from large sections of the public is based on a sense that Hong Kong’s economic advantages are dwindling because of ineffective leadership by Hong Kong’s top officials.

9 June 1994

China's Economy in the 1990s: Limits of Growth

We hope you will join us for an up-to-date look at China’s economy by Richard H. Hornik, a senior correspondent for TIME magazine and on leave as a journalist-in-residence at the East-West Center for 1993-94. Mr. Hornik will have just returned from China. From 1991-93 he served as TIME’s Southeast Asia bureau chief focusing on political developments in Cambodia and Vietnam and the remarkable growth of the East Asian region. His reporting on the latter lead to his current research project which explores whether the “Confucian societies” of East Asia will be as economically successful in the first third of the 21st century as they were in the last third of the 20th.