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The Diplomat  |  Author

Zhuoran Li

Zhuoran Li

Zhuoran Li is a Ph.D. candidate in China studies and a research assistant at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University. His work has been featured in The Diplomat and the National Interest, and he has appeared on Vox News.

Zhuoran Li is a Ph.D. candidate in China studies and a research assistant at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University. He received his BA at the University of Virginia and MA at SAIS. His research interests include Chinese politics, Japanese politics, and East Asian security and diplomacy. His works have been featured in The Diplomat, SAIS China Studies Review, and the National Interest, and he has appeared on Vox News.

Posts by Zhuoran Li
January 07, 2023

How Beijing Accidentally Ended the Zero COVID Policy

By Zhuoran Li
China’s central government aimed to modify the zero COVID policy incrementally following the 20th Party Congress. What went wrong?

November 15, 2022

China’s Performative Zero-COVID Policy

By Zhuoran Li
To bolster their standing during the pandemic, local cadres are putting a new twist on the concept of performative governance.
October 26, 2022

China’s Gradual Reform Dilemma

By Zhuoran Li
Numerous efforts to rebalance the Chinese economy, including Xi Jinping’s, have failed. Why?

October 08, 2022

The CCP’s Changing Understanding of the Soviet Union’s Collapse

By Zhuoran Li
The CCP has always been invested in avoiding the fate of its Soviet counterpart. But Chinese leaders’ lessons from the Soviet collapse have changed over the years.

September 26, 2022

The End of Senior Politics in China

By Zhuoran Li
Xi Jinping is the first leader since 1978 not to be constrained by powerful elders in the CCP.

July 15, 2022

Chinese Feminists Caught Between a Rock and the Party

By Zhuoran Li and Jennifer Lee
The CCP has tacitly encouraged cyber bullying of Chinese feminists to prevent the movement from gaining ground.
June 17, 2022

China’s Diplomatic Campaign Following Russia’s Ukraine Invasion

By Zhuoran Li
China’s diplomatic outreach is more aimed at advancing Beijing’s Indo-Pacific interests than drumming up support for Moscow.

June 02, 2022

What Does ASEAN Centrality Mean to China? 

By Zhuoran Li
Beijing pays frequent lip service to the idea, but it also poses significant challenges to China’s Southeast Asian ambitions. 

May 28, 2022

Despite High Ambition, China’s Media Influence Operation Is Far From Successful

By Zhuoran Li and Gavin Xu
A case study of CGTN reveals how bureaucracy and a flawed incentive structure is holding the state media outlet back from true influence power.

May 10, 2022

Will China Learn From Its Biggest COVID-19 Mistake?

By Zhuoran Li
Amid the Shanghai lockdown, government efforts to silence and prosecute critics have received more public attention – and sparked increasing outrage.

March 22, 2022

What Keeps China’s Zero-COVID Policy Going

By Zhuoran Li
The CCP's approach to pandemic management incentivizes officials to double down on extreme measures without regard for the costs.
March 17, 2022

What Doomed China’s Much-Anticipated Property Market Reform Plan?

By Zhuoran Li
Once again, China’s government failed to approve a property tax law, seen as a key part of reforming the real estate sector.

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