I just finished reading “The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers” by Richard McGregor. It describes well the organizational structure of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and how it runs China. It’s full of stories of the CCP’s control of various sectors of Chinese life. What remains a mystery is the internal politics of the CCP and how decisions are made. Like politics anywhere, China has lots interests competing for state decisions and resources. How, and if, such interests are organized into factions within the CCP, and how decisions are reached, remains murky.
From the book’s description by its publisher Harper Collins (here):
As an organization alone, the Party is a phenomenon of unique scale and power. Its membership surpasses seventy-three million, and it does more than just rule a country. The Party not only has a grip on every aspect of government, from the largest, richest cities to the smallest far-flung villages in Tibet and Xinjiang, it also has a hold on all official religions, the media, and the military. The Party presides over large, wealthy state-owned businesses, and it exercises control over the selection of senior executives of all government companies, many of which are in the top tier of the Fortune 500 list.
In The Party, Richard McGregor delves deeply into China's inner sanctum for the first time, showing how the Communist Party controls the government, courts, media, and military, and how it keeps all corruption accusations against its members in-house. The Party's decisions have a global impact, yet the CPC remains a deeply secretive body, hostile to the law, unaccountable to anyone or anything other than its own internal tribunals. It is the world's only geopolitical rival of the United States, and is steadfastly poised to think the worst of the West.
In describing the role of the Central Organization Department, as an example from the book, McGregor writes:
A similar department in the US would oversee the appointment of the entire US cabinet, state governors and their deputies, the mayors of major cities, the heads of all federal regulatory agencies, the chief executives of GE, Exxon-Mobile, Wal-Mart and about fifty of the remaining largest US companies, the justices of the Supreme Court, the editors of the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post, the bosses of the TV networks and cable stations, the presidents of Yale and Harvard and other big universities, and the head of think tanks like the Brookings Institution and the Heritage Foundation. Not only that, the vetting process would take place behind closed doors, and the appointment announced without any accompanying explanation why they had been made.