From Mao to Deng to Jiang to Hu to...


Although many believe Hu was originally hand-picked by Deng as the youngest member of China’s top leadership and a leading candidate to succeed Jiang, he had exercised a great deal of political skills between 1992 and 2002 to consolidate his position, and eventually emerged as Jiang’s heir apparent in his own right. Hu also benefited from the slow but progressive institutionalization of power succession within the Party, something his predecessors lacked entirely. Since the early 1980s, the Peoples Republic of China has been marked by progressive institutionalization and rule by consensus, and moved away from the Maoist authoritarian model. Although a western-style legal institution and rule of law remain to be put in place, Hu’s power succession was conducted in a fairly orderly and civil manner, which was unprecedented in Communist China’s history. This trend is expected to continue and an institutionalized mechanism of power transition is expected to emerge, first perhaps within the Party. In fact, it has been one of the Party’s stated major goals to create an orderly system of succession and mechanism to prevent informal rule and a cult of personality. (
The fifth generation [of Chinese leadership] came to power at the 18th Party Congress in 2012, when Hu Jintao stepped down as Party General Secretary. In the fifth generation, one sees fewer engineers and more management and finance majors, including successful entrepreneurs. Most of the fifth generation of civilian leadership, born in the postwar years 1945 to 1955, were educated at top Chinese universities. ... Following his elevation to General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, which oversees the People’s Liberation Army, the Princeling and current General Secretary Xi Jinping, succeeded Hu Jintao as the paramount leader of this generation. (en.wikipedia...)
Should China abandon its one-party system for a more genuine form of democracy?
has China developed an appropriate form of government
that is “modern” but remains grounded in its own history and culture?

Contemporary Issues


So, has China finally recovered from its “Century of Shame” —
and if so, what role will it play on the global stage in the 21st century?