The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers

The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers

Richard McGregor

Language: English

Pages: 336

ISBN: 0061708763

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


“Few outsiders have any realistic sense of the innards, motives, rivalries, and fears of the Chinese Communist leadership. But we all know much more than before, thanks to Richard McGregor’s illuminating and richly-textured look at the people in charge of China’s political machinery.... Invaluable.” — James Fallows, National Correspondent for The Atlantic

The Party is Financial Times reporter Richard McGregor’s eye-opening investigation into China’s Communist Party, and the integral role it has played in the country’s rise as a global superpower and rival to the United States. Many books have examined China’s economic rise, human rights record, turbulent history, and relations with the U.S.; none until now, however, have tackled the issue central to understanding all of these issues: how the ruling communist government works. The Party delves deeply into China’s secretive political machine.

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The state-owned industrial and financial sectors are unrecognizable from a decade ago. They are still under political control, but they are also subject to a whole range of other performance criteria. The federal taxes collected during the fat years of the economy are now finally being spent on health, education and welfare, areas that were grotesquely neglected in the late nineties and early years of this century. Finance in rural areas, where most Chinese still live and work, has been slowly

to Wen’s 2007 pronouncement was more hard-headed. As a former senior official ousted after the 1989 Beijing crackdown joked to me, ‘You need a new dictionary to understand what Chinese leaders mean when they talk about democracy.’ Like communist and revolutionary parties throughout history, formed and nurtured by underground cells and violent conflict with the regimes they sought to overthrow, the Party in China is secretive by habit and inclination. In a country which has embraced the internet

to Wen’s 2007 pronouncement was more hard-headed. As a former senior official ousted after the 1989 Beijing crackdown joked to me, ‘You need a new dictionary to understand what Chinese leaders mean when they talk about democracy.’ Like communist and revolutionary parties throughout history, formed and nurtured by underground cells and violent conflict with the regimes they sought to overthrow, the Party in China is secretive by habit and inclination. In a country which has embraced the internet

systems. The Politburo has striven to professionalize the selection of top officials through the department, while undermining the process at the same time by fixing appointments in favour of loyalists and relatives. Powerful officials presiding over local fiefdoms have swept aside the rules even more crudely, establishing market places in which government positions are bought and sold for huge financial gain. ‘The older senior officials who survived the wartime were different from the younger

had been bringing up the rear. One of the department’s vice-ministers, Ouyang Song, listed the Party’s contributions to the earthquake effort at the press conference as though he was reading monthly production statistics. Over 500 party committees of soldiers, close to 10,000 grassroots party bodies, 1,000 temporary party organizations and over 40,000 party members, all ‘had faced danger and difficulty without retreating’. The press conference, only the fourth in the organization department’s

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