The Chinese Communist Party: Recruiting and Controlling the New Elites

Cheng Li

Abstract


This article explores two interrelated aspects of the new dynamics within the CCP leadership – the new elite groups and the new ground rules in Chinese politics. The first shows profound changes in the recruitment of the elite and the second aims to reveal the changing mechanisms of political control and the checks and balances of the Chinese political system. The article argues that the future of the CCP largely depends on two seemingly contradictory needs: how broad-based will the Party’s recruitment of its new elites be on the one hand and how effective will the top leadership be in controlling this increasingly diverse political institution on the other. The emerging fifth generation of leaders is likely to find the challenge of producing elite harmony and unity within the Party more difficult than their predecessors. Yet, the diverse demographic and political backgrounds of China’s new leaders can also be considered a positive development that may contribute to the Chinese-style inner-Party democracy.

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