Following the Leader: Ruling China, from Deng Xiaoping to Xi Jinping

Following the Leader: Ruling China, from Deng Xiaoping to Xi Jinping

David M. Lampton

Language: English

Pages: 312

ISBN: 0520281217

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Following the Leader: Ruling China, from Deng Xiaoping to Xi Jinping

David M. Lampton

Language: English

Pages: 312

ISBN: 0520281217

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


With unique access to Chinese leaders at all levels of the party and government, best-selling author David M. Lampton tells the story of China’s political elites from their own perspectives. Based on over five hundred interviews, Following the Leader offers a rare glimpse into how the attitudes and ideas of those at the top have evolved over the past four decades. Here China’s rulers explain their strategies and ideas for moving the nation forward, share their reflections on matters of leadership and policy, and discuss the challenges that keep them awake at night.

As the Chinese Communist Party installs its new president, Xi Jinping, for a presumably ten-year term, questions abound. How will the country move forward as its explosive rate of economic growth begins to slow? How does it plan to deal with domestic and international calls for political reform and to cope with an aging population, not to mention an increasingly fragmented bureaucracy and society? In this insightful book we learn how China’s leaders see the nation’s political future, as well as about its global strategic influence.

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revolution in China and the Soviet Union was not the same. In 1917 Lenin mobilized workers to seize power. But we encircled urban areas by the rural [areas]—it took us twenty-eight years to achieve power. We couldn’t have driven Chiang Kai-shek to Taiwan if we had listened to Stalin, who was in favor of armed struggle, and if we had listened to him we’d still have American concessions [in the treaty port cities] in China. Lenin never talked about a mixed economy. —Premier Li Peng, February 1990,

Dai Qing; the Tiananmen-era dissident Liu Binyan (in a joint appearance at the University of Michigan); and the editor of the World Economic Herald in Shanghai, Qin Benli, who was fired from his position by Jiang Zemin, providing some of the background to Jiang’s rapid rise in Beijing thereafter. I had a minor interaction with Chai Ling in the aftermath of the Tiananmen debacle of 1989. 16. That these statuses are not mutually exclusive with the above three is shown by the fact that, for

35, 187 intellectuals, 139 interdependence theory, 7. See also global interdependence interest rates, 37 international affairs, 228–31. See also foreign policy; global interdependence; power relationships International Civil Aviation Organization, 206 International Monetary Fund, 101 Internet, 3, 53, 75–76, 93–94, 100. See also social media interviews: access to the archive, 242–43; characteristics of respondents, 234–40, 237fig., 238fig.; conventions for quotations from, 11;

China; open door and reform; and cooperation with the United Kingdom.”17 In short, Xu was arguing that the problem was not in Hong Kong but in Beijing—not exactly in line with Lu Ping and Zhou Nan, who told the journalist David Gergen more than a year later, “Prosperity and stability in Hong Kong largely depend on close cooperation between China and Britain during the latter half and that is where we are now.”18 Such contradictory comments give a hint of the behind-the-scenes infighting over the

As China historically (and even today) sees itself as having been bullied, it proves prickly to deal with, even as it becomes stronger—creating the fear among its neighbors that it will itself become the bully. Every nation has its national narratives structuring popular and leadership thinking about foreign policy, providing frameworks by which citizens assess the fitness of their leaders, and setting standards that contending domestic leadership groups use in their own internecine struggles.

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