The Chinese Communist Party's Nomenklatura System: A Documentary Study of Party Control of Leadership Selection, 1979-1984

The Chinese Communist Party's Nomenklatura System: A Documentary Study of Party Control of Leadership Selection, 1979-1984

The Chinese Communist Party's Nomenklatura System: A Documentary Study of Party Control of Leadership Selection, 1979-1984

The Chinese Communist Party's Nomenklatura System: A Documentary Study of Party Control of Leadership Selection, 1979-1984

Excerpt

Reformist Communist Party leaders in both China and the Soviet Union have announced plans to trim the scope of party control over government, the economy, and mass organizations. In November 1987, for example, Chinese Party Secretary General Zhao Ziyang proposed to the Thirteenth Party Congress that a new civil service system be installed in government organs, and that economic enterprises and mass organizations themselves choose their own leaders. In October 1988, Soviet Party Secretary General Mikhail Gorbachev announced sweeping changes to the organization and power of Central Committee departments also designed to weaken the authority of party units over government ministries. Party leaders have taken these steps to permit basic economic reforms within their own countries.

Perhaps the major instrument of Communist Party control of contemporary China's political, economic, social, and cultural institutions is the nomenklatura system. The system consists of lists of leading positions, over which party units exercise the power to make appointments and dismissals; lists of reserves or candidates for these positions; and institutions and processes for making the appropriate personnel changes. By relying on the no-

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