China’s supreme leader has received unprecedented power – what is America’s biggest rival doing with such power?

Just as may be seen as usual in the case of Western democracies, there is also in authoritarian regimes constant competition to gain and retain power. Whereas in a democracy the parties mainly compete for government, in one-party systems the actors are mainly within the party, the various interest groups and the individuals who do so. The situation in China is no different, however, and interesting patterns and things can be discovered in the struggle for power within the Communist Party.

We often misjudge the Chinese political system as one that focuses on the individual, Where the leader of the ruling party, similar to the Soviet Union under Stalin, has unlimited power, can marginalize his opponents without much effort, and can push his will through the party apparatus in every situation.

Practically speaking, China has established a party-oriented rather than individual-oriented system since the Communists took power in the 1940s. The clear and unconditional center of Chinese political life is always the party itself, with the head of the ruling party playing a prominent role, but far from untouched.

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