The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers

Richard McGregor

McGregor’s prognosis at the end of his book is prescient indeed. He predicted that with “economic growth and resurgent nationalism” the Party’s power has been strengthened. That China had long known they “have never wanted to be the west when they grow up.” (p 273 paperback ed).

He ended with an optimistic note in his Acknowledgements where he said he was glad his 2 children were born in China, learned to speak Mandarin and it’s the most exciting country to live in. (p 276)

It is amazing that McGregor an old China hand who worked in China for Financial Times UK for 8 years from 2000 only mentioned Xi Jinping 3 times in his book. He completely missed how Xi would go on to change China.

This book was written in 12 months from May 2008. (p 274). I hope McGregor will write a new edition that will explain how Xi Jinping consolidated power and was able to remove all the political reforms implemented by Deng Xiao Ping to prevent a strongman like Mao to emerge as a paramount leader.

Only time will tell if X voluntarily relinquishes power; and whether his rule is good or bad for China.

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