Empire, Power & People with Andrew Gavin Marshall- Episode 131

Chinese Power Politics & Dynastic Intrigue

How is power organized and exercised within China? There are the obvious institutions: the Party, the State, the military, bureaucracy and state-owned enterprises which dominate the economy. But behind this lie the factions and families of the ruling oligarchy, with their descendants known as 'Princelings', amassing great wealth from the plunder of the nation, increasingly tied to Western financial and corporate institutions and elites, as well as elite Western universities.

The factional power politics and confrontations between China's oligarchy plays out largely behind the scenes of a powerful propaganda apparatus. In 2012, China's behind-the-scenes gangster-state power politics hit the headlines and became clear for many to see. The rise and fall of the powerful princeling, Bo Xilai, revealed a story of power and intrigue worthy of the ancient Chinese emperors and Hollywood movies, complete with propaganda campaigns, mass terror and torture campaigns, power struggles with other influential families and elites, spies, sex and the murder of a British banker, prompting a national and international scandal which has changed the course of China's history. As China is said to be changing the course of modern history, perhaps we should make a greater effort to better understand politics and power within China itself.

Listen to the full episode here:


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