A new Explainer from Charles Parton OBE looks at the basic framework of knowledge which needs to be already in place when ‘watching China’; what needs to be read; advice on how to read material; and cautions against some traps.
In this Explainer for the Council on Geostrategy, the author draws on his many years of experience working in and on China for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (as it was then) to provide advice to government officials and experts on how to properly interpret and analyse Chinese official documents, statements and activities.
Institutionalisation and norms go only so far – and not very far when it really matters. This is a regime and governance system where naked power is far more important.
It is not too much of an exaggeration to say that the most important group of people in the PRC is the 2,851 CCP county secretaries (with the possible exception of the Politburo Standing Committee). It is they who implement – or not. Watching how they react and how the central leadership deals with them gives good clues as to what is going on.Charles Parton OBE