China’s newly appointed anti-corruption head, Vice Premier Wang Qishan, recently called on party officials to read the classic book by French historian Alexis de Tocqueville, The Old Regime and French Revolution. The message was clear. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime, which is widely detested as the representative of China’s super-rich, is in danger of sharing the fate of the French aristocracy.
The extent of the red aristocracy in China was underscored last week in a lengthy Bloomberg article, entitled “Heirs of Mao’s Comrades Rise as New Capitalist Nobility.” It detailed the emergence of 103 children of the “eight immortals,” and their spouses, as the most powerful businesspeople in China. The “immortals” were the top bureaucrats and military figures, led by Deng Xiaoping, who came to power after Mao Zedong’s death and set the agenda of capitalist restoration.
The Bloomberg article explained: “They entrusted some of the key assets of the state to their children, many of whom became wealthy. It was the beginning of a new elite class, now known as princelings. This is fueling public anger over unequal accumulation of wealth, unfair access to opportunity and exploitation of privilege—all at odds with the original aims of the communist revolution.”
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment