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New Emperors, The: Power and the Princelings in China von [Brown, Kerry]

New Emperors, The: Power and the Princelings in China Kindle Edition

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'Kerry Brown's account of China's power elite is sweeping, topical and accessible, and a most valuable addition to our knowledge of the rising superpower.' Jonathan Fenby, author of Tiger Head, Snake Tails and The Penguin History of Modern China 'So many people I meet often discuss China in their own Western context, and have little or no regard for the structure of Chinese society or how it has developed. Few say that the Chinese communist party is the biggest business organisation in the world. Kerry Brown's book is a must read for anyone who has genuine interest or need to understand those complexities, which given how important the country is becoming to the world, means the other 5 billion plus of us that don't live there.' Jim O'Neill, Former Chairman of Goldman Sachs 'Kerry Brown plumbs the depths of power, networks and influence of the newly installed Chinese leadership under Xi Jinping. The result is an insightful framework for understanding how they got there and- importantly- how they intend to stay there.' Bates Gill, University of Sydney 'Kerry Brown is one of our most perceptive and accurate foreign observers of China, and 'The New Emperors' is the distillation of his views of the way the Chinese Communist Party operates. Immensely well-informed, insightful and caustic, Brown digs deeply into the nature and background of the Party and the people who dominate it. His stories of the in-fighting and scandal, which are deeply emblematic of the way the Party operates, are memorable, while his account of the background and rise of the newest emperor, Xi Jinping, is the finest I have yet come across. This book is excellent for the general reader, but for anyone who has to deal with Chinese power in any form it is essential.' John Simpson


China has become the powerhouse of the world economy and home to 1 in 5 of the world’s population, yet we know almost nothing of the people who lead it. How does one become the leader of the world’s newest superpower? And who holds the real power in the Chinese system? In The New Dragons, the noted China expert Kerry Brown journeys deep into the heart of the secretive Communist Party. China’s system might have its roots in peasant rebellion but it is now firmly under the control of a power-conscious Beijing elite, almost half of whose members are related directly to former senior Party leaders. Brown reveals the intrigue, scandal and murder surrounding the internal battle raging between two China’s: one founded by Mao on Communist principles, and a modern China in which ‘to get rich is glorious’. At the centre of it all sits the latest Party Secretary, Xi Jinping - the son of a revolutionary, with links both to big business and to the People’s Liberation Army. His rise to power is symbolic of the new dragons leading the world’s next superpower.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 1769 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 257 Seiten
  • Verlag: I.B.Tauris; Auflage: 1 (5. Juni 2014)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
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  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
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  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #431.717 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) HASH(0x94983594) von 5 Sternen 8 Rezensionen
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HASH(0x94ac8e40) von 5 Sternen Disappointing 30. August 2014
Von wsmrer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Kerry Brown is a well placed Sinologist in the British-Commonwealth system; professor, served as First Secretary in Beijing for FCO three years, and a Senior Fellow of the China Policy Institute at Nottingham University. He has a number of books out on China, this being his latest.

If you are picking this book up to try to unravel what is happening in China today with out a fair familiarity with the country you will be disappointed. You will be inundated with leaders names and inter relationships that will be hard to follow but that is less daunting than his express intention to show us why and how the current seven leaders of the politburo came to power and what they are likely to pursue. In short he tells us nothing you might not have read in the press if you follow Chinese developments.

He opens with the enticing story of Bo Xilai and his wife's murder of Neil Heywood -a British business man and procurer; that is an old but still interesting chapter in how power is used and lost. For Bo was and still is popular with many and raises the issue of whether Maoist appeals are yet vibrant. Brown dances around this issue a few times but he dismisses it as unlikely.

Each effort he makes to create useful categories on interrelationship and wellsprings of power he admits are only mildly suggestive, if that. China's Communist Party's workings are opaque, and remain such in spite of his knowledge and continuing interest.

The best chapter is chapter six, The Contradictions Of Modern China: Ideology And Its Role, where he spend time looking at Xi Jinping's and Li Keqiang's early and recent writing and speeches and that does provide some flavor for their personalities and raises reasonable questions about what they will be able to achieve as president and premier in the rapidly changing dynamics of China today. He wisely avoids making predictions.

He seems to have missed Xi's early secret speech to the Party elite in Shenzhen, reported in the New York Times, in which Xi's solution to what could be called the Gorbochev problem of losing Communism as a system was to promote and ensure the loyality of the military to the Party. The crude rendering of that would be "if we ask them to shot they will." The recent commented on growth of military expenditures in the Peoples Republic of China is not necessarily about a small island in the East China Sea or contested waters off Vietnam and elsewhere. It could be bridge building for an uncertain CCP and creations of strong links with the Military Industrial set. But American encirclement is certainly causal as well.
An additional read, and easier to follow, would be Wang Zheng's Never Forget National Humiliation: Historical Memory in Chinese Politics and Foreign Relations

China today clearly can not be understood without turning to the evolutionary movement of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) from its revolutionary Maoist role of representative of Communism and Marxism to its current casting of its self as advancing Nationalism and the Rejuvenation of the Chinese people. Professor Wang gives 1991 as a turning point, when following the pro-democratic Tiananmen Square protest and its suppression of 1989, the CCP lost faith in communism as a selling point as it was collapsing in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Brown never focuses on that as the party's device to maintain legitimacy.

For a better understanding of the all encompassing workings of the CCP see Richard McGregor, The Party: The Secret World of China's Communist Rulers.
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HASH(0x969840f0) von 5 Sternen Intriguing Insight Into Modern China. 27. April 2015
Von Mr. D. J. Walford - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Kerry Brown sheds a bright light on a subject that is pretty much shrouded in darkness; The leadership selection process of China and how the power to rule is accrued, shared and, ultimately, to whom it's attributed. Brown covers many areas of Chinese politics and arrives at some very interesting conclusions. The present leaders of the country, known as the 'Fifth Generation', are also analysed and assessed by the author which gives further insight into China's future directions. All of this is discussed in an environment which acknowledges just how remote and detached the elite has become from the rest of the country.

First it must be noted that the subject matter is a very complex one. China's leaders are selected via a very deeply confusing process. Each leader must satisfy several criteria ranging from the patronage of previous leaders to satisfying particular ideological concerns to having an 'institutional' background in areas such as big-business, the nation's Youth League, the nation's leading universities or by being part of the privileged 'Princeling' sect. Unlike past leaders, the current leaders of China also have very little, if any, military experience, they tend not to have studied abroad and have extensive previous experience of running regional cities and provinces. This certainly gives insight into how China see's it's future progress.

Brown covers the concept of the Princeling too. He identifies that the title indeed has a broad interpretation but generally refers to the over-privileged offspring of previous national leaders. These children make up almost 50% of the elite class in China and hold many lucrative positions in business and regional politics. The vast majority line their pockets too and are virtually unaccountable. Needless to say, the Princelings are a powerful group in contemporary China and will not disappear soon either.

Indeed, the author stresses the importance of 'networks' in determining who is fit to lead. Whilst powerful figures such as Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping are now creatures of the past, individual patronage and support is still essential to any budding leader. Jiang Zemin, the previous president from the 1990s, still has significant influence in determining the country's leaders. In fact, the downfall of Bo Xilai has been partially attributed to Jiang's dislike of him, among other things. The downfall of Bo himself is also covered by Brown and this is significant for several reasons. Bo's reformist agenda angered some of the older guard in China. His blatant corruption, as well as the murderous tendencies of his wife (re-Neil Heywood) attracted attention as it exposed the murky underside of China's leadership; massive corruption, murder, lack of accountability and the need for change and reform.

The author builds on his analysis by covering China's politics in a much wider scope as well. Brown documents the lack of accountability of it's elite leadership, their vast detachment from mainstream China, the monumental and poorly disguised corruption, the lack of an internal market for manufactured goods and the reliance of non-state entities for their vast economic success which could be in danger of over-heating if reform isn't considered. Brown concludes by emphasizing just where China needs to improve if it's to continue in it's growth and the dangers posed if the nation doesn't keep pace with the ever changing world.

This is a very good read and one which is essential to understanding how modern China's leadership functions.
4 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x94852a30) von 5 Sternen Interesting, but not Highly Insightful 7. Februar 2015
Von Loyd Eskildson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
By 2012 China was spending $5 billion/year more on domestic security than external defense. Political reform had stalled - the Party was facing a massive legitimacy crisis due to the way in which relatives of leaders had made fortunes over the past three decades. On November 15, 2012, China's Communist Party appointed seven leaders to its Politburo Standing Committee to oversee its next decade. Author Brown's book is intended to explain how China's Standing Committee, the group of seven that runs the country, came to be comprised of its current members - all male. Secret ballots cast by party members played only a partial role - per Brown, the real negotiations took place in 2012 at a seaside resort where CCP elites huddled in consultations. Brown contends that the explanation can be found in their societal networks (birth, marriage, or tie to a top institution), or a mentor. All seven had proven themselves to be skilled crisis managers and effective communicators. President Xi Jinping rose to the top, per Brown, because his connections had the most impact - a father with strong guerrilla and revolutionary ties to Chairman Mao - as well as initiating economic liberalization in 1980s southern China, a wife with ties to China's military, and his graduation from China's elite Tsinghua (chemical engineering, Marxist philosophy). Xi also had been Committee Chair in charge of preparations for the 2008 Summer Olympics, President of the Central Party School, and worked through a succession of prior posts at lower levels within China. Also important - Xi Jinping had criticized corruption with CCP throughout his career. Further, he had never been a Red Guard - just the kind of history that could have proven negative to explain later.

Connections and blood relationships are also important in the U.S. - witness the 2016 race for president, with Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush among the leading contenders. However, China has never been led by the direct descendant of a previous top leader - contrary to North and South Korea, Taiwan, and the U.S.

China is a highly hierarchical political system. In 1998 there were 40.5 million cadres running the country; 'leading cadres' constituted a bit over 1% of these, with 92% working at the provincial level an below. Previously power centered around one man - Mao, but those days are gone. Power is dispersed through different institutions and bodies, locally and nationally. Aspiring politicians have to 'canvas' amongst those different sources, recruiting support to have a chance to join the club of top 3,000 high-level cadres, Without the time and opportunity build up a network in the ministries, provinces, and other key organizations, one's core support at the center can be very shallow.
1 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x94ae57bc) von 5 Sternen Recommended quick read for anyone working in China or with ... 31. Dezember 2014
Von Canuck in Asia - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Very accessible and interesting read about China's major leaders, their backgrounds and how this is relevant to the current challenges China is facing domestically; and also how mis-understood China and its leaders are by Westerners not familiar with Chinese culture, the importance of networks. Recommended quick read for anyone working in China or with work related to China.
1 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x94749f48) von 5 Sternen An Education 26. August 2014
Von Santosh Pai - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Extremely well researched and expertly written. This book deconstructs the top leadership of China right down to the personal level. A must read for diplomats and anyone else who makes it their business to understand China.
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