The Party Forever: Inside China's Modern Communist Elite

The Party Forever: Inside China's Modern Communist Elite

Rowan Callick

Language: English

Pages: 272

ISBN: 1137278854

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


A century after its underground beginnings, the Chinese Communist Party today exerts far-reaching control over every aspect of private life. Beyond its legendary control of the internet within China's borders, even seemingly non-political domains are subject to its authority: routine business deals require party approval; university courses reflect party doctrine; and party families amass incredible wealth while other enterprises are squeezed out. Experts predicted that the Party leadership would mellow as the country's economic fortunes soar, but the next generation of political heavyweights is keeping a tight grip on the reins of power. Today's huge new class of young professionals, whether they believe in the Party's ideology or not, are as focused as ever on strengthening the Party's role and silencing dissent. In The Party Forever, Rowan Callick goes behind the scenes to reveal the workings of China's political elite, introduce us to its future leaders and explore how prepared it is to meet the challenges of its new role in the twenty-first century. This is an essential and eye-opening account of this poorly understood but hugely influential player in world politics.

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independence, but these have largely been restricted to second-tier “intra-party” arenas. Early in 2012, the party opened itself to a limited debate about the country’s economic direction. The chief underlying question was whether to focus on maintaining a stable and unchanging political and social structure, or to introduce reforms beyond the economic opening of the previous 30 years. Any further steps toward modernization are likely to come from within the party, rather than from outside

documents 7 Ikea 205 imperial China 4, 12, 35, 40, 201 Confucianism 53, 64, 127, 132, 138 control of the arts 100 fall of Qing Dynasty 120–21, 153 foreign relations 6, 14 good v. bad emperors 127 legal systems 64–65, 72 mandate of heaven 5–6, 64 petition system 47, 179 Qianmen conservation area 229 India 12, 52, 77, 161, 226, 227 Indonesia 12, 52, 140 Intel 178 International Children’s Day 33 International Court of Justice (The Hague) 123 International Federation of Journalists

version of freedom-of-information legislation. This did not mean that the government had conceded the citizen’s right to know—rather, it had accepted that, in order to improve governance, its officials should be releasing more information. A pilot program was introduced in 2004 in Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Wuhan, three of China’s biggest cities. During the following four years, however, only one request was formally lodged by a journalist. He was Ma Sheng, a writer on legal affairs for Liberation

among hundreds of such edicts, the federation said. But despite the difficulties, “many journalists try to go out of their way to get the news. When pedicure worker Deng Yujiao was charged with murder in Yesnaguan, Hubei province, after she had refused ‘special services’ demanded by officials, some journalists went to the area to investigate, even though authorities had ordered them not to report it.” The federation’s general secretary, Aidan White, noted, “The IFJ list indicates that much as

China’s most popular search engine, warns those who seek Cultural Revolution sites: “Your search word could violate laws.” It is not surprising that the party should be so edgy about such a potentially painful discussion. President Hu Jintao, at a 2005 summit with Japan’s then prime minister Junichiro Koizumi—who was strongly criticized for visiting the Yasukuni shrine, which honors war criminals among other war dead—urged Japan to “take history as a mirror and look to the future.” But at home,

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