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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had to be made the same length. ‘The propaganda department only speaks two words–yes and no,’ the editor said. ‘We are condemned to live under this freak, who stretches you out, or cuts you short, and only knows how to utter two words.’ The editor’s graphic characterization of the propaganda department, no doubt born out of his own unpleasant personal experiences, underestimates the body’s growing sophistication. To manage a modern market economy, as academic Anne-Marie Brady points out in her

employment; and ‘the ‘iron wage’ of a guaranteed income and pension–were all dismantled. Workers at centrally controlled urban state enterprises dropped from a peak of 76 million to 28 million in just ten years from 1993. The state sector, which had always been the heart of the Party’s control over the economy, seemed to have been decimated. The hard-nosed implementation of these reforms prompted a backlash against Deng’s policies and doomsday-like warnings that China was on the brink of violent,

state business executive. He was a member of the Central Committee, and he served as chairman and secretary of Chinalco’s party committee. He was also a smart, aggressive businessman. He took the company in different directions, diversifying into copper and rare earths at home and getting involved personally in sensitive negotiations with indigenous landowners at a bauxite project in Australia’s deep north in the company’s push offshore. It wasn’t long, however, before his country came calling

political work was important. ‘Once, when we were gathering opinions, one [young] comrade suggested–“Now that we have a market economy, and the profit incentive is being used, and the impact of rules and institutions is being emphasized, why do we still [say] political work is the ‘lifeline’?”’ ‘Is there any doubt on this?’ Yung had snapped back at the young comrade. After consulting with his superiors, the answer that came back from on high was that the pre-eminence of politics was ‘the

attract ‘unnecessary attention’ by carrying clubs on to the plane in Beijing himself. He demanded they be given to him on the course itself. Zhang’s tradecraft did him no good in the end. The banker was detained by the anti-corruption commission in March 2005 over allegations made in a US lawsuit that he had taken bribes of about US$1 million from the company that hosted him at Pebble Beach. Zhang received a phone call out of the blue at his home in Beijing from the commission one early evening

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