Takeaways from China’s 19th Party Congress, with Bill Bishop and Jude Blanchette


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Two expert observers of Chinese elite politics weigh in on the outcomes of the 19th Party Congress.

Today we welcome back to the show two regular Sinica guests, Bill Bishop and Jude Blanchette, to discuss the outcomes of the 19th Party Congress, which wrapped up on October 24 in Beijing.

Bill Bishop authors the Sinocism newsletter, an essential resource for serious followers of China policy, and he is regularly quoted in a variety of major news outlets reporting on China. He has been on Sinica most recently to discuss how to understand media coverage of China.

Jude Blanchette is the associate engagement director at The Conference Board’s China Center for Economics and Business in Beijing, and is a scholar writing a book on neo-Maoism in China — you can listen here to a Sinica episode featuring him discussing the topic.

Click here to read an article on SupChina that rounds up the top three takeaways of the 19th Party Congress, drawing on both this podcast and on SupChina reporting.


Bill: The Spy’s Daughter, the third book in a trilogy by Adam Brooks, a former BBC correspondent in China who quit his job and started writing spy fiction based in China.

Jeremy: The article “Aerospace experts in China’s new leadership” on China Policy Institute: Analysis, which discusses the substantial number of technocrats in the new Central Committee, even if they are now less prevalent in the upper echelons of leadership. And Ear Hustle, a podcast produced by the inmates of San Quentin State Prison in California about their experience in prison.

Jude: Mao’s Invisible Hand: The Political Foundations of Adaptive Governance in China, a book by Sebastian Heilmann and Elizabeth J. Perry on how policy making in China is affected by the Communist Party’s revolutionary experience. Also, the work of the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS), where Heilmann now works.

Kaiser: Putin’s Revenge, a two-part series on PBS Frontline that explains Putin’s rise and the events that shaped his worldview. And The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia, a book by Masha Gessen.