Why and How the CPC Works in China?

Academic activities at the 2012 London Book Fair (III/III)

Why and How the CPC Works in China? (launch of the revised English version)

Time: 16:00-17:00 16 Apriil 2012
Venue: Piccadilly Room,  Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London SW5 9TA
Chair: Zhang Haiou, Editor-in-chief, New World Press
Speakers: Wu Shulin, Xie Chuntao, Kerry Brown, etc.
Organiser: China International Publishing Group (CIPG)
Language: English and Chinese with translation


16:00-16:03 Book Donation to the British Library (will be received by Dr Frances Wood, Head of the Chinese department)
16:03-16:10 Speech by Wu Shulin, Vice-Minister, General Administration of Press and Publication of China (GAPP)
16:10-16:20 A speech by Xie Chuntao (the author and editor)
16:20-16:30 An introduction of the Multilingual Editions, by copyright representative
16:30-16:40 A speech by Dr Kerry Brown, China expert in the UK (Head of the Asia Programme at Chatham House; Head of the Europe China Research and Advice Network, ECRAN)
16:40-17:00 Q & A

Links of related info:

The new book

Why and How the CPC Works in China?
Editor: Xie Chuntao
Paperback: 225 pages
Publisher: New World Press (January 7, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 7510418828
ISBN-13: 978-7510418822

Editions include: Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish

The editor

Xie Chuntao is the deputy director of the Teaching and Research Department of CPC History at the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC. He was born in Linshu County, Shandong Province, in February 1963. From 1978 to 1988 he studied at Shandong Normal University, Zhejiang University and Renmin University of China, and obtained a bachelor’s degree in education, a master’s degree in law and a doctorate in law. He has been teaching and doing research on the history of the CPC at the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC since 1988. His publications include ‘Turmoil of the Great Leap Forward’ and ‘A Brief History of the 1959 Mount Lushan Meeting’. He compiled and edited ‘A History of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics’, ‘China in Transition: from 1976 to 1982’, ‘An Illustrated History of the 50 Years of the P.R.C’., and ‘China Through the Ages – from Confucius to Deng’ (English Version). In addition, he has published over 100 articles. He is now an executive council member and deputy secretary-general of the History Society of the CPC. He is also a guest professor and part-time researcher at many institutions of higher learning.


The international community has come to see China and the CPC in a new light because of a series of important achievements and symbolic events–from truly exceptional Beijing Olympic Games and world-attracting Shanghai World Expo to the country’s rapid economic growth even during and after the international financial crisis. As

“China pattern,” “China road” and “China experience” have become phrases frequently heard and discussed at home and abroad, insightful people are pondering over the following questions: How could the CPC score such brilliant achievements in the course of its running China? How can the CPC still be full of vigor and vitality 90 years after it was founded and 60 years after it came to power? How can the CPC continuously steer the country through hardships and overcome difficulties? What, in a word, is the secret of its success? Does it have special advantages in its system and mechanism?

This book presents a profound analysis and interpretation of 15 important questions that both domestic and international audiences may ask from a historical perspective. Not a theoretical book in the general sense nor a writing on the CPC’s history in the traditional manner, it is an attempt to combine both approaches in a new way. Through stories and based on facts, it is an easy-to-understand and readable book for those who are interested in current China and the ruling Communist Party. In a nutshell:

  • It explains the causes for the success of the CPC at different periods of time.
  • It has interesting stories for a broad range of readers.
  • It evaluates the CPC in an objective and academic way, including Western and Chinese commentary.


Preface: Solving the puzzles about the CPC

1. Why was the CPC capable of establishing a new China?
2. How was the CPC able to clear up the mess left behind by the KMT?
3. How did the CPC keep the people’s support despite its mistakes?
4. How did the CPC maintain power when the Eastern Bloc Communist Parties fell?
5. Why could the CPC solve the problem of feeding 1.3 billion people?
6. How could the CPC make China the world’s second-largest economy?
7. How could the CPC integrate socialism with the market economy?
8. Why could the system of multi-party cooperation under the CPC’s leadership be implemented?
9. How can the CPC get China’s various ethnic groups to live in harmony?
10. Why could prosperity and stability be maintained in Hong Kong and Macao?
11. Why does the relationship across the Taiwan straits keep making progress?
12. How could China win the support of so many developing countries?
13. How could the CPC conduct the earthquake relief work effectively and host the Beijing Olympic Games successfully in the same year?
14. Why is the CPC able to arouse and attract the people?
15. How can the CPC properly manage a party with more than 80 million members?
Concluding remarks: Can the CPC cope with challenges successfully?

Note: the 9 and 14 are new chapters which were written after its Chinese version had been published.


If you want to understand the secret behind the CPC’s success, you will find it much more efficient to read this book than to read 100 articles. It looks at the history and development of the CPC and its impact on the growth of China. It does not evade the setbacks and failures along the way. Many of your questions about China will be answered after you read it. —Zhao Qizheng, member of the CPPCC Standing Committee, and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee

The volume by Chinese scholars provides foreign readers with a good overview and a considerable amount of data on the evolution of the Communist Party of China (CPC) over nine decades. It offers Chinese perspectives on many complicated and sensitive subjects–even if foreign readers and scholars do not agree with these perspectives, they should still be aware of them. —David Shambaugh, Professor & Director, China Policy Program, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, USA

“The book is not a theoretical work in the traditional sense, nor an ordinary book on the history of the CPC, but an attempt to combine both organically. It is hoped that this book will increase the readers’ understanding of the CPC through reviewing the history, achievements and experience of the Party in revolution and ruling the country.”  — Xie Chuntao, the author of the book and a professor with the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC.

“This book records the whole process from the foundation of the People’s Republic of China to the modern construction of the country. For many people in other countries, who have misunderstandings about the CPC, this book is definitely a must read.” — Zhao Qizheng, the spokesman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference

“This book is an important example of what China brings to the book fair every year,” — Claudia Kaiser, Vice President of the Frankfurt Buchmesse

“In order to deal with China, you have to understand the CPC, and in order to understand the CPC, you have to read this book.”  — Huang Yongjun, President of New Classic Press (UK)

“There are still many misconceptions about China that this book aims to overcome. An important point is that the book openly discusses the past mistakes of the CPC, including the issue of corruption. This is a big step forward.”  — Greg Jones, an exhibitor with a Chinese publishing company at the Frankfurt Buchmesse

“The media still often make the mistake of writing stories that are not based enough on fact. It is necessary to remember how far China has come in a very short space of time.” — Gerhard Friedemann, who has worked in China in the energy field

Further comparative reading

A revised version of Why and How the CPC Works in China? has been launched on the 16th April at the 2012 London Book Fair. This book puts forward a new way of introducing China and the CPC to the world.

CCPN invited Kerry Brown, Head of the Asia Programme at Chatham House, to give a speech at the book launch event Why and How the CPC Works in China?  Martin Jacques, author of When China rules the World, Loretta Napoleoni, the author of Maonomics, were also invited, and will participate as Honorary Guests in this event, together with other UK based China experts.

To form a contrast with the above book a list of related books on China and CPC from Western authors is introduced below:

  • Loretta Napoleoni, Maonomics: Why Chinese Communists Make Better Capitalists Than We Do? Seven Stories Press (20 Nov 2011). Loretta is economist, author, journalist and political analyst.On the 15 February 2012, she gave a public lecture at LSE. In her lecture ‘she argued that current global economic turmoil is the beginning of the collapse of capitalism and the victory of “communism with a profit motive” (Commi-Capitalism), that the balance of power in the world is shifting from West to East, and that the Chinese Communist economic model is winning out over the Western system’. Click HERE to listen her lecture at LSE online or download it.
  • Richard McGregor, The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers, Penguin (Jun 2010). Richard is China bureau chief for the Financial Times. He gave a public lecture at LSE, chaired by Martin Jacques, the author of When China Rules The World.  Click HERE to listen his lecture at LSE online or download it.
  • Martin Jacques, When China Rules The World: The Rise of the Middle Kingdom and the End of the Western World,  Allen Lane (June, 2009). Martin is a Guardian columnist, Senior Fellow of IDEAS and a Core Member of CCPN, LSE. He gave a public lecture at LSE. Click HERE to listen his lecture at LSE online or download it; Click HERE to download slides. Click HERE to read an interview article in Chinese by BBC.
  • Kerry Brown, Friends and Enemies: The Past, Present and Future of the Communist Party of China (China in the 21st Century), Anthem Press (1 July 2009). Kerry is Head of the Asia Programme at Chatham House; Head of the Europe China Research and Advice Network (ECRAN).  In October 2011 Kerry gave a seminar to students of the MSc China in Comparative Perspective at LSE. He said that the ego-based network described in Fei Xiaotong’s book From the Soil:The Foundations of Chinese Society (1992), was very helpful when he wrote his book Friends and Enemies. Click HERE to read an interview article in Chinese by BBC.
  • David Shambaugh, China’s Communist Party: Atrophy and Adaptation,  University of California Press (Feb 2009).  David Shambaugh, Professor & Director, China Policy Program, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, USA. According to the book description, ‘David Shambaugh assesses the strengths and weaknesses, durability, adaptability, and potential longevity of China’s Communist Party (CCP). He argues that although the CCP has been in a protracted state of atrophy, it has undertaken a number of adaptive measures aimed at reinventing itself and strengthening its rule. Shambaugh’s investigation draws on a unique set of inner-Party documents and interviews, and he finds that China’s Communist Party is resilient and will continue to retain its grip on power’. Its Chinese version, translated by Lu Zengkui and Wang Xinying, proofread by Yu Keping, published by the Central Compilation & Translation Press in 2011. David’s blurb for Why and How the CPC Works in China? on the back cover.  Click HERE to look at it

There is a Chinese review article which offers Chinese scholars’ views on a list of books on CPC. ‘Change, legitimacy and the future of the Chinese Communist Party – Western scholars’ recent studies on CPC’ (in Chinese), Contemporary World and Socialism, No 3, 2011, by Lu Zengkui. He is Associate Research Fellow of the Information Department of the Central Compilation and Translation Bureau (CCTB). Click HERE  to read the paper (Chinese).

More related books

Click HERE to Chinese page