Friday, April 27, 2007

Bought and sold by the party...

Most recent issue of Far Eastern Economic Review has essay by Carsten Holtz (subscription required) which argues that China scholars, investment bank research analysts - well basically everyone who has any interaction with China - has become corrupted by the party. In order to maintain access or just because we're stupid, we all buy into the fiction that China's government is 'normal' instead of what Holtz believes is really a mafia. I disagree with much of what he says but it is a very useful reminder that no matter how sanguine one may be about the medium term prospects for China (and I am very sanguine) there is an awesome political transition which is likely to happen somewhere 'out there' (2017? 2027? sooner? anyone's guess) and there is little reason to be sanguine that it will be painless, peaceful, or successful.

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