“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.
Richard McGregor is a reporter for the Financial Times and the publication’s former China bureau chief. He has reported from North Asia for nearly two decades and lives in Washington, D.C.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations xv
1 The Red Machine: The Party and the State 1
2 China Inc.: The Party and Business 34
3 The Keeper of the Files: The Party and Personnel 70
4 Why We Fight: The Party and the Gun 104
5 The Shanghai Gang: The Party and Corruption 135
6 The Emperor is Far Away: The Party and the Regions 170
7 Deng Perfects Socialism: The Party and Capitalism 194
8 Tombstone: The Party and History 229
What People are Saying About This
“Superb in its depiction and demystification of the most important force at work in China today. Essential , riveting guide to how the rising power really works.”
“Masterful. . . . McGregor’s book is proof that for all of its secretive tendencies, the Party and its power can be usefully analyzed. . . . An accessible introduction to the Party’s power in today’s China.”
“Illuminating and richly-textured. . . . The Party will be invaluable for anyone trying to make sense of China’s future plans and choices. It has certainly enriched my own understanding of the country.”
“Richard McGregor is one of the best foreign journalists who have ever reported from China. The Party is a fine contribution for those who want to know about the rising power they will face in the decades ahead.”
“A compelling exploration of the world’s largest and most successful political machine.”
“This is a marvellous and finely written study of how China is really run, and how its strange but successful system of Leninist capitalism really works. It should be read by anyone doing business with or just trying to understand China.”
Do you feel as if you see “Made in China” everywhere you look? Financial Times correspondent Richard McGregor explains why and more. He unveils the secrets of one of the most mysterious organizations in the world: the Chinese Communist Party. If you think a communist organization controlling a major global economy is counterintuitive, you’re probably right. But McGregor explains how it all happened – and the roles that various entities such as business, the Chinese military, and the nation’s regions and cities continue to play. Understanding how an anticapitalist, communist country became one of the world’s economic powerhouses means dealing with a cast of thousands and a dizzying array of names and roles. And time is marching forward as China’s new head of state, Xi Jinping, is now replacing Hu Jintao, the leader at the book’s center. Still, getAbstract is confident readers will come away with a better understanding of what makes China tick. This is a must-read for executives interested in doing business with China and for anyone who wants to understand the system that governs its one billion people.
More than 1 year ago
Real fly on the wall stuff. Great analysis and historical insight about the CCP. The writing style is clear and journalistic making for politically relevant and interesting page turner. This is a balanced but honest look at China's communist party thats worth buying if you want the inside scoop.
More than 1 year ago
Richard McGregor renders a great service to his readers by shedding light on the inner workings of the ruling Chinese Communist Party which is keen on secrecy. The transformation of China's economy and society and its impact on the rest of the world in the last three decades has too often deflected attention from formal politics in Beijing.
Highly pragmatic, cynical, and adaptive, the Party has succeeded in the last three decades in linking the power and legitimacy of a communist state with the drive and productivity of an increasingly entrepreneurial society. The party's legitimacy still depends largely on the economy and its accompanying resurgent patriotism and nationalism. For all its increasingly international presence, China and, therefore, the Party will remain focused mainly on solving the country's problems due to their scale, depth, multiplicity, and variety.
McGregor shows systematically how high secrecy, tolerance of non-embarrassing corruption in its ranks, resolute hostility to the rule of law, and vindictive pursuit of enemies are all vital for the Party if it wants to remain at the core of the modern Chinese narrative through its tight grip on 1) personnel, 2) propaganda, and 3) People's Liberation Army.
At the same time, the Party has traded in Mao Zedong's totalitarian terror for a seductive modus vivendi with Chinese citizens. As long as ordinary Chinese accept the enlightened leadership of their empowered elite and do not ask for either accountability or the rule of law, they can pretty much lead their life and career as they see fit and eventually get rich. McGregor also shows clearly that although the Party has adapted its membership make-up to ongoing changes in China, it is struggling to keep up with the rapidly evolving aspirations, demands, and cleavages of the Chinese society. However, the bargain that the Party has struck with ordinary Chinese does not exist in a vacuum. The Party's propaganda system has to constantly remind Chinese citizens that there is no serious alternative to the Party in order for it to remain at the top of Chinese society.
The Party is also keen to minimize its profile abroad. For example, the Party likes to promote the largest state-owned enterprises (SOEs) that are publicly traded in Hong Kong and outside mainland China as independent commercial entities. The Party's myriad functions, starting with its control over top management of these SOEs, have been downplayed systematically.
In summary, McGregor convincingly demonstrates that the Party is determined to pursue its own model of economic, political, and social development on its own implacable terms. The rest of the world, especially the West, has no other option but to adapt to the reemergence of China, regardless of the ultimate outcome of this metamorphosis.
mnicol on LibraryThing
5 months ago
¿...The most astounding development success the world has ever known.¿ (China)¿ Dani Rodrik The Globalization Paradox (Oxford: OUP, 2011:149)Small wonder that the ANC greatly admires the CPC. Mc Gregor's book is a highly interesting profile of the Party including haw it relates to state owned enterprises. There is a chapter on the Great Leap Forward, the most astounding development disaster the world has ever known.
DavidWineberg on LibraryThing
5 months ago
Page after page, The Party reveals the ugly, unvarnished details about how the Communist Party of China stays in power, It has nothing to do with ideology, nothing to do with communism. It's just all about power. Checks and balances are a horrifying prospect. All power must be concentrated. This is institutionalized Mafia. Things might look dismal in the US Congress. But there is simply no such thing as an honest Chinese government official. There can't be, by the rules. Online kibitzers argued to let the Beijing Olympics Manager go free because he "only" scammed $1 million out of it. He was as close to an honest politician as they could imagine. Or just not good at it.Incredibly, despite the constant bleating to root out corruption, the simple truth is corruption is a designed-in feature and function of the Party, and it simply would cease to be without it. "Corruption makes our political system more stable," explains a government official on p168. Central government cabinet ministers are paid less than $1400 a month. Do you need to know more?Fighting the system is useless. Corruption investigations must be approved by the next higher level, so they will only take place if 1) there is no way it could tarnish that next higher level, and/or 2) if someone wants to "get" an up and comer below him. So by the rules, you will never see a corruption investigation at the Politburo level. They are "made", in Mafia terms: It's all laid out very neatly in one sentence very early on (p.24): "Judges must remain loyal - in order - to The Party, the state, the masses and, finally, to the law." This in a report from The People's Supreme Court in 2009. So good luck you shareholders and property owners. The city can and does sell your building out from under you without warning. The state can and does swap CEOs at will among "competing" firms.After I read Hungry Ghosts many years ago, I thought that nothing could ever shock me about China again. Hungry Ghosts is an excellent book detailing for the first tine, the Mao-engineered famine that killed or ruined nearly 60 MILLION Chinese - and was covered up! The Party tells the gripping story of how this will always be possible in China. It's must reading if you hope to understand.Although the book is extremely well documented, and written from personal interviews, sometimes the language is a bit awkward and clumsy. And I got annoyed when, for the the fourth time, the author cited Exxon-Mobil as Exxon-Mobile, as if it were a telecoms firm instead of the oil giant. Once is a typo, but four times? So it's not perfect, but it's as haunting as anything yet.
More than 1 year ago
This is an exceptionally well informed and balanced book about the special interest group that monopolizes China's government, politics, military affairs, and legal system--and how the Chinese Communist Party also controls most of the vital sectors of China's economy. Note that the positive ratings mostly have commentary while the negative ratings are all anonymous up till now and thus can be disregarded.
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