McGregor The Party, 1-33

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Politics in China

McGregor The Party, 1-33
Changing nature of the personalities of CCP leaders:
Mao and Deng – heroic revolutionaries
Jiang Zemin – large personality
Hu Jintao – very low key party official – created by the party

Red telephone

Party placement and links into all significant organizations in the nation
Analogy between the CCP and Catholic Church/Mafia
Leninist state
Understanding the operation and decisions of the CCP
CCP transformation is as large as the economic transformation of China itself:
Link the fate of an authoritarian party-state to high levels of entrepreneurial society and manage breakneck economic growth and social change,
especially the creation of a large space for a private life for the average Chinese

the creation of an open space for the discussion of public policy

Enormous borrowing of ideas from abroad

Openness to ideas from abroad

Massive CCP effort to recruit on basis of merit

Complex mixture of government and market – no contradictions here

David Shambaugh

China’s communist Party

Shambaugh’s concepts of atrophy and adaptation
Can the CCP survive?
Why did the communist parties in SU and EE collapse?
Will the CCP follow? My lecture to the Nguyen Ai Quoc Political Academy in 1994
Why has the CCP not only survived in the past 20 years but led a very poor nation rapidly up to the second most powerful in the world?
CCP is deeply embedded as the organization of power, control AND dynamic change in the society in:



Embedded means closely connected in a functional and operational sense, buy also means separated from in providing some space for semi-autonomy in decisions

CCP as a system of very effective recruitment of the most talented people in the society – universities, Communist Youth League, business, science, arts
CCP national vision: wealth and power plus higher quality of life for most
Predictions about the future
CCP strategy of dynamic stability
Reforming authoritarians – Qing?
Nathan and Gilley
China’s New Rulers
Examines the succession process for Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao
Li Peng and Jiang Zemin – 1988 – 2002/3

Zhu Rongji 1998-2003

Create the current system of titles and structure
Politics of succession
The Party

Xi Jinping's Rise and Political Implications

Zheng Yongnian

Chen Gang

Li Keqiang, protégé and former colleague of Hu Jintao in the Chinese Communist Youth League (CCYL),

a compromise candidate among Hu Jintao’s CCYL clique, Zeng Qinghong’s princeling group (taizidang) and Jiang Zemin’s Shanghai Gang, Xi’s elevation has special implications for Chinese politics today and in the future.

Members of the CCYL clique refer to those who share working experience in the same organisation (the Central Committee of the CCYL). These cadres are not necessarily all members of a faction, but their sense of belonging to the same group has been dramatically enhanced since Hu Jintao was elected CPC General


Princelings (taizidang) refer to children of former high-ranking officials of the CPC. It is more of a categorical group than a factional group.

The Shanghai Gang members refer to politicians who have used Shanghai as a springboard to launch their political careers. Since Jiang Zemin was elected CPC General Secretary in 1989, the Shanghai Gang gradually became a dominant faction based on a patron-client relationship between Jiang and his followers.

The “Youth League faction” was first represented by Hu Yaobang, who acted as CCYL First Secretary in the 1950s and 1960s, and is now represented by the incumbent

Chinese President Hu Jintao. As top CPC positions are increasingly being dominated by officials with CCYL and princeling backgrounds, Xi’s special family setting facilitated him greatly in China’s political arena.

the politics of power succession can most reflect the nature of elite politics, although elite politics takes place in different political contexts. Power succession is the core of Chinese elite politics. bitter political struggles that resulted from power succession occurred and plunged the country into chaos, as in the cases of his appointed successors Liu Shaoqi and Lin Biao. power succession during the Deng era also did not go smoothly.
The party leadership after Deng has made enormous efforts in institutionalising elite politics. Many formal institutions have been established, but informal rules continue to play a role in handling power succession. The case study of Xi shows that Hu Jintao, just like his predecessor Jiang Zemin, cannot dictate in choosing his own success, so he had to appeal to other means in handling power succession. the chosen successor usually faces two major challenges, namely, managing his/her relations with the existing leader, and developing a broad network of political support
Power succession presents an existential threat to the CCP.

prior to the 17th Party Congress, the CPC Central Organisation Department held a tentative election among provincial/ministerial level-and-above officials, asking them to vote on candidates of Political Bureau Standing Committee Members. For the purpose of political stability,

Hu and other leaders accepted the election results, implying that votes are

important in deciding future leaders of the Party.

While one still does not know what actually happened to the so-called

“democratic process of electing the new party leadership”, it is certainly true,

as the report stated, that for the first time, the participants of the Central

Committee’s plenary session could recommend the candidates of the Political

Bureau members.

The farewell to the strong-man politics has pushed forward China’s leadership structure in an increasingly power-sharing direction that facilitates intra-party consultations, bargaining or even polls in secret behind closed doors.

The weaker the top leader is, the more he will rely on “collective decision-making” ( jiti juece) when appointing successors and enacting national strategies.
How did Xi win?
Xi was selected because he was acceptable to various factions inside the Party

due to a number of factors, including his special family background, unique

Xi’s local political performance (zhengji ) in Fujian and Zhejiang Province

was particularly important for his entry into the Political Bureau. He spent

17 years in Fujian, starting from the Vice Mayor of Xiamen City in 1985

to Party Secretary of Ningde, Fuzhou to finally the Governor of Fujian.
Xiamen was one of China’s four special economic zones in the 1980s with

a relatively developed economy and special policy treatment from the central

government, while Ningde was the poorest region in Fujian Province. In the

CPC’s increasingly-institutionalised elite management system that puts more

focus on cadres’ performance and experience, such governing experiences in

both rich and poor regions have become important for officials to be promoted

to higher positions.Keqiang,
Xi has special political capital: his close connection with Party patriarchs, his long-time working experience in coastal provinces — China’s economic powerhouse, and his skills in dealing with foreign, Hong Kong and Taiwan business people. Xi accumulated abundant local grass-roots working experience that the leadership values, which Li Keqiang lacks.

Shanghai was the last stopover before Xi entered the Political Bureau. He

was shifted to Shanghai to fill the power vacancy after former Shanghai Party

Secretary Chen Liangyu and his faction were purged and jailed due to chain

corruptions caused by a pension fund scandal. During the seven-month short

stay, Xi helped mop up Shanghai, and reportedly called on officials to declare

their assets when he took over in Shanghai.
The appointments of the CCYL and taizidang political figures are favourable for Hu Jintao. Although Hu’s power base is the CCYL, he also has the strong support from the taizidang, especially old revolutionaries.
Directory: tlairson -> china
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china -> How China Sees America: The Sum of Beijing's Fears Nathan, Andrew J; Scobell, Andrew. Foreign Affairs
china -> The Game Changer: Coping With China's Foreign Policy Revolution
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china -> July/august 2011 Boston Review China’s Other Revolution Boston Review, pp. 12-26
china -> Dr. Thomas Lairson China’s Global Strategic Realignment
china -> The South China Sea Is the Future of Conflict
china -> Dw what will India's veto of wto deal cost global trade?
china -> Malaysia in graphics Economic Malays

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