China's New RulersThe Secret Files
by Andrew J. Nathan and Bruce Gilley
Now in paperback
At the Chinese Communist Party's 16th Congress in November 2002, a group of new leaders took over the world's most populous country. Their accession as the "Fourth Generation" of rulers of the People's Republic, following the generations of Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, and Jiang Zemin, signaled the end of a long, complex struggle for power.
Yet little has been known outside high Party circles about either that struggle or the men who emerged victorious from it. China's New Rulers, based on confidential Party files leaked to a Chinese writer abroad, offers an unprecedented glimpse into the most orderly succession in the turbulent history of the People's Republic. At its center are detailed descriptions of the nine men who will rule China for the next five years?their backgrounds, their characters, and their visions for the future. Among the challenges they will face are economic reform and China's integration into a global economy, pressures for political liberalization and human rights, ethnic unrest in Tibet and Xinjiang, the status of Taiwan, and relations with the US.
China's New Rulers is an extraordinary account of a high-level political drama that has largely taken place in secret. It portrays many key figures in the Party, government, and military, and provides new information on Jiang Zemin's thirteen years in office. Most importantly, it contains the first insights into matters of great importance to the West: who will lead China, what changes they may bring to their country, and how they may act as international partners and competitors.Andrew J. Nathan and Bruce Gilley
China's New Rulers has a more enduring value because of its vivid picture of the party's procedures in selecting new leaders who also turn out to display outstanding qualities. The book portrays the party as a tightly knit establishment in which younger cadres rise like cream to the top on the basis of a combination of merit and luck in their patronage ties.— Lucian W. Pye, Foreign Affairs
Published on the eve of the emergence of a new generation of leadership in China, this volume could not be more timely for China watchers.— Choice
It gives an acute account of the men who will oversee [China's] immediate political future—revealing some intriguing personality quirks along the way—and provides important insights into the problems and solutions that the new rulers are contemplating.— The Guardian (London)
As informative as an intelligence assessment....Readers...will be keen for this glimpse into the new leaders' views on China's future direction.— Booklist
Fascinating for the account...of how the party leadership selects and perpetuates itself; and revelations of what kind of men the new leaders are.— Jonathan Mirsky, Times Literary Supplement
A remarkable book...the best guide we shall get...essential reading for anyone involved with China in the broadest sense.— The Sunday Telegraph (London)