Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium

It is five years since we announced the launching of China Heritage at the end of a speech titled Living with Xi Dada’s China — Making Choices and Cutting Deals and published A Monkey King’s Journey to the East, the inaugural article in our online journal. It is also ten years since the irresistible rise of Xi Jinping.

We mark this occasion, and the beginning of the end of Xi Jinping’s first decennary as head of China’s party-state-army, with Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium, a series written and published online in the Wairarapa, on the southern tip of Te Ika-a-Māui, the North Island of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium is the theme of China Heritage Annual 2022. This material is also included in Readings in New Sinology.

— Geremie R. Barmé, Editor, China Heritage
Distinguished Fellow, The Asia Society
1 January 2022



Due to the volume of material in the series, Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium is extended through the calendar year of 2023. See 陰魂不散 — Tedium Continued — Mao more than ever, 26 December 2022.

New work is published in tandem with chapters in The Other China, a series launched on 12 January 2023. A link to this new series can be found under Topics in the menu bar of this site.

— Geremie R. Barmé
13 January 2023


Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium will continue in 2024, with material being added during the year along with the publication of chapters in a new series, The Tower of Reading (see under Topics in the menu bar), and The Other China.

From January 2024, chapters in the series will continue to appear and new material will be published under Supplementary Material, following on from

— The Editor
1 January 2024


Communist Chinese politics are a lugubrious merry-go-round … and in order to appreciate fully the déjà-vu quality of its latest convolutions, you would need to have watched it revolve for half a century. The main problem with many of our politicians and pundits is that their memories are too short, thus forever preventing them from putting events and personalities in a true historical perspective.

Simon Leys quoted in Watching China Watching
China Heritage, 2018


Background Reference Material


Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium

Geremie R. Barmé

For Xu Zhangrun 許章潤






Supplementary Material, 2023-2024


Previous Issues of China Heritage Annual:

Extended Background Reading for China Heritage Annual 2022