Contemporary Southeast Asia Vol. 30, No. 2 (2008), pp. 34849 DOI: 10.1355/cs30-2n © 2008 ISEAS ISSN 0219-797X print / ISSN 1793-284X electronic China's Communist Party: Atrophy and Adaptation. By David Shambaugh. Washington DC & Berkeley: Woodrow Wilson Center Press & University of California Press, 2008. Hardcover: 234pp. Ever since the Tiananmen Square massacre nineteen years ago, predictions about the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) impending demise have been repeatedly made by Chinese and foreign observers. Yet while the 87-year-old party has been plagued by serious problems including endemic corruption, it has continued to defy doomsayers by not only attracting more members but also boosting its control over 1.3 billion Chinese. Veteran Sinologist David Shambaugh has advanced a persuasive argument for explaining the CCP's staying power: while certain values and traditions of the party may be undergoing irrevocable decay, the world's largest political organization seems resilient enough to make adaptations that will at least serve to prolong the proverbial mandate of heaven. These changes have prevented the CCP from going the way of the Soviet Communist Party or the Korean Workers' Party of North Korea. Shambaugh argues that, beginning with late patriarch Deng Xiaoping, the CCP leadership has drawn the
Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic Affairs – Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
Published: Jan 9, 2008
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