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5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding China and what it really means, 27 Aug 2010
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This review is from: The Party: The Secret World of China's Communist Rulers (Hardcover)
This is an excellent introduction and analysis of contemporary China. McGregor's analysis and insight are very perceptive and he tracks the emergence and shifting power structures within the Communist Party in a fascinating manner. Taking a thematic approach and using very specific examples he takes us on a journey through the complexity of Chinese administration. What you see is certainly not what you get in China as far as this book is concerned. he is very good on the economic analysis of how CP political structures trump economic governance. The basic premise of the book is the shadow world of authority that the CP maintains over the economy has been misread by the western capitalist system. He argues that rather than becoming more like the West China has become more Imperial reinventing itself with a new mandate from Heaven to interpret economic fundamentals. He details how through an extended and closed network of patronage and influence the CP maintains a system of control that is at once devolved and also in key parts highly centralised. The sections on the economy, the milk scandal and internet are very good. This though is not the whole story and he does miss out some of the key tensions currently running through China.

An excellent book, well written and easy to read.
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