He's better at characters than Asimov was, though motivations still tend to be simple and stark. In real life, I would expect his aliens' propaganda techniques to produce at least as many terrified wannabe resistance fighters as enthusiastic turncoats. I found the sections dealing with the Cultural Revolution and its aftermath affecting, horrifying and fascinating (translator Ken Liu's footnotes do an excellent job of getting a Western reader through the unfamiliar aspects).
Unfortunately, the involvement of the three-body problem mentioned in the title is perhaps the least believable thing in the story, given that Cixin Liu is using a real triple star system that, given its configuration, shouldn't behave like he describes it behaving and should be fairly tractable to numerical prediction (also, he doesn't understand how tides work). That is, the least believable thing up to the final chapters, in which we finally see the extraterrestrial menace without a highly figurative filter and the super-science becomes colorfully goofy, in what Nicoll accurately calls the Edmond Hamilton mode. This is the first volume of a trilogy, and I would expect to see more of this in the later installments.