China’s Domestic Leadership

A Kim Jong Il birthday day discussion about how the isolation of North Korea’s leaders shape their country’s reactions to the rest of the world in what often appears an irrational way turned to China’s worldview and how it presents itself to the world. It was pointed out to this Bystander that in most countries to be foreign minister is to hold one of the Great Offices of State, yet in China the official with the greatest responsibility for foreign affairs, Dai Bingguo, is a State Councillor who ranks below 50th in the Party’s hierarchy while the foreign minister, Yang Jiechi, ranks around 250th. A little subsequent research reveals that at the apex of that hierarchy, the nine-man Politburo Standing Committee (and it is all men), there is a paucity of foreign experience. None of the nine has lived, worked or studied abroad for any significant time if at all. None, as far as we could find out, speaks fluently or has studied a foreign language, though we understand there is some ability to read in English. All built their careers as domestic politicians in jobs that had no involvement with the rest of the world until being promoted to their current posts. All politics is local to some extent, but the experiential distance of China’ leaders from the rest of the world may amplify the roughness of relations with the U.S. and the E.U. in particular at times when, as now, they are going through a rough patch.

1 Comment

Filed under China-E.U., China-U.S., Politics & Society

One response to “China’s Domestic Leadership

  1. Cuyler

    Where does one find a ranking of officials within the Communist Party?

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