Hu Jintao: China's Silent Ruler by Kerry Brown

Gunjan Singh is Research Assistant at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile
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  • January 2013
    Book Review

    Chinese economic and military growth in the last decade has heightened interest in the country's functioning and political system. The world at large is highly intrigued by the way the Chinese political system functions and there is also a curiosity regarding the strengths and weaknesses of this system. This is further complicated by the fact that the Chinese government works in an ambiguous manner and it is very difficult to understand what the government is thinking or doing, in spite of analysing parameters such as the media and official government statements, which act as indicators in a democratic system but cannot be used to understand China because of its single party authoritarian system. In this context, therefore, Hu Jintao: China's Silent Ruler can be regarded as a major contribution to the literature on the subject of China's political system and its functioning. Kerry Brown's book is an attempt to fill the vacuum existing in this area. The book consists of six chapters and a conclusion, and deal with topics such as Hu's life, internal affairs, international politics, ideology, the economy and Hu's relationship with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which is important in order to understand the Chinese politics of his time.