The Man to See – Simon Elegant

From Time:

About once a month, a stream of black sedans with heavily tinted windows snakes through the gates of Zhongnanhai, the sprawling headquarters of the Chinese Communist Party, which occupies the southwestern corner of Beijing's Forbidden City. The limousines bear the 22 members of the party's Political Bureau, or Politburo. In legend, Communist Party meetings are endless, but since 2002, when Hu Jintao became General Secretary of the party (he became President of China the next year), Politburo sessions have been quite brisk. Typically, they are over by lunchtime, and then two top academics are ushered in to brief the assembled leaders on trends in energy supply, patterns of urbanization or intellectual-property rights. The discussion can last until the evening, when Hu sums things up, though he reportedly rarely expresses his own opinion. "It's amazing," says Alice Lyman Miller, a China scholar at Stanford University and editor of China Leadership Monitor, "the thought of the entire Politburo sitting around and listening to academics for hours." [Full Text]

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