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.