Prof. Minxin Pei's new book, China’s Crony Capitalism: The Dynamics of Regime Decay (Harvard University Press) received a positive review in The Economist.
Mr Pei’s book is quietly devastating. In sober, restrained language, he exposes the full gravity of corruption in China. Presenting a wealth of evidence, he shows that this is not the unfortunate by-product of rapid economic growth but the result of strategic choices by the party. With clinical precision, Mr Pei explains how corruption operates at every level, perverting each branch of the party-state and subverting the political authority of the regime. The party cannot mitigate, let alone eradicate, “crony capitalism” because, since 1989, it has been “the very foundations of the regime’s monopoly of power”, the author argues. The conclusion, he believes, is that far from saving the regime, President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive may accelerate its demise by creating divisions within the ruling elite even as it reinforces strong popular resentment of corruption.