Gady Epstein: The Chinese Communist Party Is Like God
In Forbes, Gady Epstein reviews The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers, by Richard McGregor, former China correspondent for the Financial Times:
In his revealing new book The Party, author Richard McGregor, who covered China for London’s Financial Times, lays bare the secretive machinery of the party, how it operates far more pervasively in public life and commerce than many suspect.
A powerful symbol of this hidden reach of the party is the secure internal network of “red machines,” phones that sit on the desks of some 300 of the nation’s most elite officials. Even more interesting is on whose desks you’ll find those phones: not only members of the Politburo, but also the chief executives of 50 of the nation’s biggest companies. Paranoid conspiracy theorists on China will have plenty to feast on in McGregor’s accounts of the failed deals of Chinalco and Unocal. (Though you’re not really paranoid if Beijing really is calling the shots for their big resources companies.)
“The Party is like God,” a professor from People’s University in Beijing tells McGregor. “He is everywhere. You just can’t see him.” (Read an essay adapted from The Party here.)