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.

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


Background Reading


Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium

Geremie R. Barmé

For Xu Zhangrun 許章潤




  • Prologue 真面目 — The True Face of Mount Lu, 1 January 2022
  • An Illustrated Proem 鴟 — A Winking Owl, a Volant Dragon & the Tiger’s Arse, 10 January 2022
  • Introduction 瞽 — You Should Have Looked Back
  • A Listicle 單 — Tallying Up the Tedium
  • Chapter One 迴 — Turn, Turn, Turn
  • Chapter Two 變 — From Reform to Revival
  • Chapter Three 蔭 — Shadows of 1644
  • Chapter Four 彪 — The Tyger’s Red Genes
  • Chapter Five 甦 — Xi Jinping’s Restoration
  • Chapter Six 曲 — The History Men
  • Chapter Seven 讕 — The Factory of Lies
  • Chapter Eight 兲 — Horses Don’t Exist
  • Chapter Nine 伎 — The Theatre of Politics
  • Chapter Ten 緘 — A State of Cultural Boredom
  • Chapter Eleven 刁 — Thick Skin, Black Heart
  • Chapter Twelve 喬 — Professional Chinamen
  • Chapter Thirteen 丕 — A Century of Cancellation
  • Chapter Fourteen 膜 — Taiwan, ROC (The Republic of Comedy)
  • Chapter Fifteen 熬 — Enduring
  • Chapter Sixteen 祗 — The Miraculous Chairman Xi
  • Conclusion 憬 — An Irrealis Mood & China Hopium


Extended Background Reading