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Friday, October 5, 2012

In China, A Tale Of Two Princelings

China’s Bo Xilai (left) and Xi Jinping.

The case of two prominent Chinese politicians — one whose star is on the rise and the other, whose star is falling rapidly, gives a look into the workings of the Chinese Communist party.

Bo Xi Lai, the charismatic former head of the Chinese mega-city of Chongqing has been expelled from the Communist party, at the same time that Xi Jinping is preparing to take over as Communist Party Chief at the all-important 18th Party Congress in early November.

Both men are considered “princelings” or sons of prominent senior communist party officials who fought alongside General Mao.

Challenges Facing Communist Party

Jeremy Page, reporter for The Wall Street Journal, says that as Xi Jinping prepares to become Communist Party Chief, the party is facing some challenges.

“The consensus inside and outside China is that the Communist party can’t rest on its laurels,” he told Here & Now‘s Robin Young. “The progress that was made and the economic growth over the last 10 years was largely a result of reforms that were pushed through in the previous 10 years including overhauling the financial sector, getting a lot of bad debt off the books, streamlining state enterprises, joining the WTO, there’s a lot of debate over what should come next.”

He says that two key issues for the party will be tackling bad debt and reigning in the excessive power of the state sector, which Page says is stifling the growth of private enterprise.


  • Jeremy Page, reporter for The Wall Street Journal

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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