18th Party Congress: Get Your Program!

“The Battle for China’s Top Nine Leadership Posts”
Cheng LiThe Washington Quarterly
Winter 2012

If there is one downside to making Chinese politics your favorite spectator sport, it is that it is awfully hard to find a good program for the big games. Keeping track of the plays and the players can try even the most dedicated China-watcher, especially when we know so little of the people in the game that they all start to meld into a single, male, 178cm, middle-aged Chinese guy with a dark suit and a bad haircut.

Cheng Li has thus done us a huge favor with this article. He starts out by describing the playing field and the rules of the game, and then gives us a roster of the teams on the field. Granted, his primer is a few months out of date, but its an important read if you want to understand what this weeks hubbub is about.

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