Tag Archives: princelings

New Leadership in China: Quo Vadis Political Reform?

Xi Jinping has, as expected, taken over as the new General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at its 18th National Congress.  The new Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC) also includes Li Keqiang (like Xi, a member of the previous PBSC), Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan, and Zhang Gaoli.

Representing the fifth-generation of China’s communist leaders after Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, Xi and his team have some onerous tasks to gear up to. While the rest of the world, including India, can often focus only on China’s increasing global economic imprint and its rapid military modernization, for China’s leaders themselves the most important concerns have always been domestic ones. And of these, none are as important as the ones about maintaining social stability and the necessity of political reform.

The new PBSC is widely perceived by Western and Chinese observers as being short of genuine political reformers. Further, quite a few on the new PBSC – including Xi himself – have depended on their identity as members of elite communist families to rise to their current posts. In this sense, there is much similarity with the Indian political scene. The cabinet reshuffle by the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last month for example, had several young representatives of India’s own elite political families climbing into more senior positions. Continue reading New Leadership in China: Quo Vadis Political Reform?

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The fall of Bo Xilai and some reflections on Indian politics

The dust has not yet settled on the dismissal of Bo Xilai as Party Secretary of Chongqing, one of China’s four major city-level provinces (the equivalent of states in India). Bo’s fall was especially significant given he was a leading contender for membership of the all-powerful the Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC) of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at its upcoming leadership transition in October.

What does this event say about the Chinese political system? And what reflections might we derive about the Indian political system? Continue reading The fall of Bo Xilai and some reflections on Indian politics

Grand Old Parties: The Chinese Communist Party and the Congress (I)

The Communist Party of China (CPC) celebrated the 90th anniversary of its founding in July this year. From being unambiguously communist in ideology and a party of the masses, the CPC today is an elitist organization that has under its canopy competing factions with differing economic philosophies united only by a common desire to preserve the Party in power.

To take a China-India comparison, one might ask – is the CPC evolving into the equivalent of India’s Congress (I)? Continue reading Grand Old Parties: The Chinese Communist Party and the Congress (I)