August 2, 2021
General News

China’s Leaders by David Shambaugh review – from Mao to now | Politics books

On a visit to the US in 2015, China’s president Xi Jinping did something passingly rare: he cracked a joke. Talking about the anticorruption campaign that had defined the first few years of his rule, he declared that it was about creating cleaner politics, not wiping out rivals. “This is not House of Cards,” he smiled, referencing the American political drama starring Kevin Spacey as crooked US president Frank Underwood. Not a bad gag, but pretty much a one-off. Over the past few years, Xi has made few other jokes in public. He has, however, instituted a new five-year economic plan while abolishing term limits and imposing a draconian national security law on Hong Kong. He has also fuelled global curiosity about the Chinese Communist party (CCP) and its aims. On the 100th anniversary of its foundation, there is a new urgency in knowing about the men (always men) who have run…

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