The succession problem in the People's Republic of China.
Buss, Claude A.
Jencks, Harlan W.
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In light of Deng Xiaoping 's advanced age (80 years old), the Chinese leaders, without a historical precedent of smooth institutional succession or the ability to rely on legal documents, are, once again, facing the same pattern of uncertainty, instability, conflict and major policy change related to succession. This thesis will explore the problems and possible solutions of the succession issue. In the introductory Chapter, five factors are identified as the major problems associated with the Chinese succession. However, only military, power base, and Deng's policy alternatives will be discussed in this thesis. Chapter II looks at the People's Liberation Army as political and military institution on the one hand, and as a participant in the political succession struggle on the other. The concept of political power base will be analyzed in Chapter III by examining Deng Xiaoping vs Hua Guofeng. Chapter IV deals exclusively with Deng's attempt to build a consensus that will avoid repeating turbulence associated with succession. In the Conclusion Chapter, an attempt will be made to speculate the near term (5-10 years) outcome of PRC succession politics. At the conclusion of this thesis, an epilogue discusses the United States' near term interest (s) in PRC and recommends a policy alternative for the US policy makers.
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