I am an Associate Professor in the Department of International Affairs, School of Public and International Affairs, University of Georgia. I received my Ph.D. in political science from University of California, Berkeley in December 2012. Before Berkeley, I studied at School of International StudiesPeking University, China (1999-2003) and Department of Political ScienceNational University of Singapore (2003-2006).



My research interests are social activism, media politics, political participation, and democratization. My area focus is China. My book, Contesting Cyberspace in China: Online Expression and Authoritarian Resilience (to get the book from Amazon, click here), examines Internet governance in ChinaBy investigating the struggles over online expression—both as a cat-and-mouse censorship game and from the angle of discourse competition—it makes a two-fold counter-intuitive claim: (1) the Chinese party-state can almost indefinitely co-exist with the expansion of emancipating Internet; (2) but the key explanation for this co-existence does not lie in the state’s capacity to control and adapt, as many have argued, but more so in the pluralization of online expression, which empowers not only regime critics, but also pro-regime voices, particularly pro-state nationalism.

我的研究兴趣主要在社会活动、媒体政治、政治参与以及民主化,关注的地区主要是中国。我在新书 《角逐中国网络空间:在线表达与威权韧性》(本书目前只有英文版,此中文标题为暂名)中研究了中国的网络治理。通过观察关于网络表达的斗争–关于内容审查的猫鼠游戏以及话语竞争的现象–本书提出了一个双重观点:(1)中国的威权体制几乎可以与视为解放性的互联网的扩张无限期地共存;(2)但是与先前研究不同,解释这种共存的关键不仅在于国家的能力以及应变,更在于网络表达的多样化本身,因为网络表达不仅能够赋权批判者,也同样壮大了支持中国威权体制的声音。

Contesting Cyberspace in China

A side note: Following the logic in my book, one may better understand authoritarian politics overall. Moreover, I believe it helps explain why the Trump Administration’s China strategy would not weaken authoritarian rule in China, but rather would boost nationalist support for the CCP. Not surprisingly, many in China have called Trump 川建国(”Trump the Nation-Builder”) and his strategy is really making China great.

Media coverage & public exposure:

Yi-ling Liu, Waving goodbye to Weibo, Rest of World, December 21, 2020.

The Economist, The year of the rat-fink Some people in China help the party police the internet,  January 18, 2020.

Washington Post, The Cybersecurity 202: U.S. officials: It’s China hacking that keeps us up at night, March 6, 2019.