China: Dynasties Fight Back

President Jiang Zemin of China is about to call on President George Bush at his Texas ranch. Is this to be his international swansong as a new generation of leaders is chosen at the Communist Party Congress next month, or will the retirement rules be cast aside as dynasties fight back?

The World Today Published 1 October 2002 Updated 23 October 2020 7 minute READ

Willy Wo-lap Lam

Senior China Analyst, CNN Asia-Pacific Office in Hong Kong

On the surface, china seems irrevocably committed to market-oriented modernisation. The economy is shortly due to overtake those of the UK and France, and Chinese scientists will soon be sending a man to the moon. The Internet revolution is sweeping the land even as China’s membership of the World Trade Organization will ensure the influx of more foreign products – and foreign ideas.

At the same time, however, Beijing is busy restoring Cultural Revolution-style practices. And the remnants of feudalism are not only palpable but dictating political development. Indeed, twenty six years after the Ten Years of Chaos (1966-76), centuries-old dynastic politics are making a last stand as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) gears up for its watershed Sixteenth Congress planned for next month.

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