China Story Yearbook: Power

Dear colleagues,

We are delighted to announce the publication of the China Story Yearbook: Power. You may read it online on our website (HTML):, Or download PDF and ePub versions from the ANU Press:

In 2018, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was, by most measures, more powerful than at any other time in its history and had become one of the most powerful countries in the world. Its economy faced serious challenges, including from the ongoing ‘trade war’ with the US, but still ranked as the world’s second largest. Its Belt and Road Initiative, meanwhile, continued to carve paths of influence and economic integration across several continents. A deft combination of policy, investment, and entrepreneurship has also turned the PRC into a global ‘techno-power’. It aims, with a good chance of success, at becoming a global science and technology leader by 2049 – one hundred years from the founding of the PRC.

In surveying the various ways in which the Party-state wields its hard, soft, and sharp power, the China Story Yearbook: Power offers readers a sense of the diversity of power at work both in China and abroad. Citizens of the PRC have long negotiated the state’s influence; increasingly, diaspora communities and other actors are now being subject to its might. As with previous editions in the series, we place important developments in historical context, and adopt a cross-disciplinary approach: it is our view that economy and politics cannot be divorced from culture, history, and society. The Yearbook provides accessible analysis of the main events and trends of the year and is an essential tool for understanding China’s growing power and influence around the world.

Table of Contents


Powering Up – Paul J. Farrelly, Jane Golley, and Linda Jaivin

Forum • Powerful Words, Powerful People

Constantly Strive to Become Stronger – Paul J. Farrelly

Mao and Xi: Story of the Man, Story of the People – Bryce Kositz

Chapter 1

Immunity to Temptation — ‘Power’ in Chinese Language – Michael Schimmelpfennig

Forum • Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

Power Surge: China’s New National Supervisory Commission – Tobias Smith

Chapter 2

Talking (Up) Power – Gloria Davies

Forum • Power and Influence

Power in Chinese Foreign Policy – Darren Lim and Victor Ferguson

China’s Korea Diplomacy – James Reilly

Chapter 3

Technology: Rapid Ascent and Global Backlash – Andrew Kennedy

Forum • The Power of Money

Calling the Tunes in Cambodia – Ivan Franceschini

Buying Power: Alibaba in South-East Asia – Qian Linliang

Chapter 4

Internment and Indoctrination — Xi’s ‘New Era’ in Xinjiang – Gerry Groot

Forum • Directing the Way

Raising the Flag: Loving Religion, Loving the State – Xie Shengjin and Paul J. Farrelly

Rapprochement with the Vatican – Paul J. Farrelly

Chapter 5

Girl Power – Jane Golley

Forum • Power and the Patriarchy

The Story of Yanxi Palace – Zhou Yun

Chapter 6

Australia’s China Debate in 2018 – David Brophy

Forum • Politics with Taiwanese Characteristics

Disenchantment in Taiwan – Mark Harrison

Sharp Power, Youth Power, and the New Politics in Taiwan – Graeme Read

Chapter 7

China’s Power in Africa: Rhetoric and Reality – Beyongo Mukete Dynamic

Forum • Who’s in Charge Here?

China’s Base in Djibouti: Who’s Got the Power? – Olivia Shen

Chinese Engagement in Africa: Fragmented Power and Ghanaian Gold – Nicholas Loubere

Chapter 8

Towards a ‘World Class’ Military: Reforming the PLA under Xi Jinping – Zhang Jian

Forum • Softly Does It

Soft Power, Hard Times – Linda Jaivin

Sinology as Spectacle – Paul J. Farrelly

Passing Marx – William Sima

Chapter 9

The Anthropomorphic City — Power and Planning  – Carolyn Cartier

Forum • (Im)mortality

Power Over Life and Death – Natalie Köhle

Towards a Healthier Future – Chen Mengxue

Chapter 10

The State Advances, the Private Sector Retreats – Ben Hillman

Forum • With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

The Power of Giving: China Deepens Involvement in Refugee Affairs – Song Lili

Protecting Citizens Overseas: The Policy, the Power, and Now the Movie … – Peter Connolly

Poste by: Paul Farrelly <>

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