The establishment of a surveillance state by the ruling Chinese Communist Party, and how that keeps the party in power, will be the focus of the next talk in the Modern China Lecture Series.

“Unveiling China’s Surveillance State: How a dictatorship maintains power?” presented by Minxin Pei of Claremont McKenna College, will take place at noon, Tuesday, April 6. The talk, open to the public, will be on Zoom and can be accessed from a PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android at

The Chinese Communist Party has constructed and maintains probably the most formidable surveillance state in human history that relies on the secret police, constant monitoring of over tens of millions of individuals with the use of an extensive network of informers and modern surveillance technologies. Pei will describe and analyze how this surveillance state operates in keeping China’s rulers in power.

Pei is the Tom and Margot Pritzker ’72 Professor of Government and George R. Roberts Fellow at Claremont McKenna College. His numerous books and articles include “China’s Crony Capitalism: The Dynamics of Regime Decay” (Harvard, 2016).

The Modern China Lecture Series was initiated to promote awareness of important issues related to China for those on the CSUSB campus and in the community. In the series of more than 50 lectures, workshops, film screenings and roundtable forums since January 2014, China scholars from UC San Diego, UC Riverside, the Claremont Colleges, UCLA, USC, UC Irvine and other institutions have visited the CSUSB campus to share their expertise and opinions.

Speakers in the series have included specialists in history, economics, political science, philosophy, finance, security studies, literature, anthropology and other fields.

The series cosponsors this year are the CSUSB Department of History, the History Club/Phi Alpha Theta, and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Also scheduled for April:

  • “Multicultural History in a Multi-Party Taiwan: The National Museum of Taiwan History,” presented by Kirk A. Denton of The Ohio State University, noon on April 13;
  • “Jade Mountains & Cinnabar Pools: The History of Travel Literature in Imperial China,” presented by James M. Hargett of the State University of New York, Albany, 1:30 p.m. on April 15; and
  • “Expanding Historical Empathy: How the Holocaust is Helping Chinese Remember Atrocities of the Mao Era,” presented by Vera Schwarcz, author and professor emerita, Wesleyan University, noon on April 22.

See the CSUSB Modern China Lecture Series online listing of past and upcoming presentations.

For more information on the Modern China Lecture Series, contact Jeremy Murray, associate professor of history, at