Liang Qiao, Political Mobility of Chinese Regional
Leaders: Performance, Preference, Promotion
(New York: Routledge Contemporary China Series, 2018), 185p.
$108 hardcover; $56 e-book.
Hok Wong Cheung
Published online: 13 March 2018
Journal of Chinese Political Science/Association of Chinese Political Studies 2018
In Political Mobility of Chinese Regional Leaders, Liang Qiao analyzes political
careers among regional leaders in contemporary China. This book fills a research
gap since most academic discussions focus on central government, or central-local
relations. Meanwhile, the successful administration of the CCP depends heavily
on the performance of regional elites given its large territory with 1.4 billion
people. The research questions that Qiao asks are: 1) What are the patterns of
political mobility for regional elites in post-Deng China? 2) What are the factors
that determine elite mobility? 3) How have political mobility issues influenced
leaders’ decision making? The author argues that these outcomes can explain
political phenomena in contemporary China.
Based on data from government documents, reports, websites and open
sources, Liang framed his research questions into these hypothesis: a) In terms
of promotion, professional experiences and personal connections are greater
advantages then educational and professional training; b) leaders in more
developed regions more frequently receive promotions than do leaders in less
developed regions; c) in post-Deng China, leaders are demoted or dismissed for
actual causes (corruption and violation) instead of purely political problems;
and d) central government selection is becoming more rational and technical.
For this analysis, the author uses the following independent variables: geo-
graphical characteristics; biological factors; educational background; career and
recruitment background. The author compared regional elites’ political mobility
in the Mao era (1950s and 1960s), Deng era (1980s and 1990s) and post-Deng
J OF CHIN POLIT SCI (2018) 23:305–306
* Hok Wong Cheung
Department of Applied Social Sciences, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China