Seán Golden, Senior Research Associate, CIDOB

China’s Fifth Generation of Leaders: an Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove

Publication date:
01/2013
Author:
Seán Golden, Senior Research Fellow Associate, CIDOB
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Notes internacionals CIDOB, núm. 66

The 18th National Congress of Communist Party of China has replaced half the members of the Central Committee.
The Red Guard generation born after the proclamation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 have come to power.
There was a strong internal struggle between the children of veteran revolutionaries (taizidang) and the meritocrats who had risen to power through the Party’s selection processes (tuanpai).
The taizidang promote liberalization in order to generate more wealth; the tuanpai promote redistribution of wealth to combat social inequality.
The results of the 18th National Congress seem to indicate that the taizidang faction is winning the struggle.
There are signs of political change in China: the social media allow people to organise themselves and publicise information the official media suppress.