pacific forum History of Pacific Forum

PacNet #78 – China’s New Leaders: Conservative Immobility or Streamlined Decisions?

Western pundits have pronounced China’s new leadership team "conservative," meaning reactionary old communists who won’t be able to get anything done. After all, our favorites got left out. Wang Yang, who solved a village crisis in Guangdong with democratic reform, didn’t make it. Nor did my personal favorite, Li Yuanchao, who had made a "democratic personality" prerequisite for high promotion. Wang Qishan, the vigorous market-oriented reformer, got put in charge of discipline rather than the economy. Hence the conclusion that bureaucrats and reactionaries are in charge. But that is not the Chinese view.