The 100 Years of Chinese Communism is a rather interesting book. It is written by Dr. Yang, and is the result of his years of work as an advisor to the CCF. He gives us a realistic look at China in the long period of socialism and makes us realize that it will be a different civilization than that we are used to. Although he is rather critical of the leadership at the present time, he makes some good comments regarding some aspects of Chinese behavior.
The theme of this book is that after 100 years of uninterrupted rule by the communist leaders, there is a danger that their long time rule may come to an end. This could lead to chaos and turmoil as different groups seek to gain power over time. It seems to me as if Dr. Yang is predicting the eventual downfall of the Party. This makes him a bit different from many of his colleagues in academia who are predicting the downfall of the Party after the 100 years of Communism.
I think it is unrealistic to expect a party that has ruled for such a long time to suddenly fall from power, especially one that has relied on the methods of terror for so long. I also question the timing of such a move, since such a change would probably not be welcomed by the Chinese leadership. Such a move would surely create chaos throughout China and the whole country would probably face serious unrest. It might be best if such a move was made after a peaceful transfer of power to ensure that stability prevails.
I believe Dr. Yang is correct in many ways but my opinion is that he goes too far in his forecasts. First, I do not believe he foresees the current economic challenges the Chinese leadership faces. Instead, I believe he overreaches and gives the party too much credit for past successes, forgetting the recent failures. For instance, he praises the “long period of prosperity” during the PRC’s rule but fails to mention that this was mostly a short-lived prosperity because of the global recession. Second, I do not believe he foresees a shift in the party’s position on Taiwan or any other issue that concerns China. Rather, he seems to believe that once these issues are resolved, the party will have no further need for reforms.
Third, I do not believe he foresees a 100-year alliance with Japan, South Korea, or the Philippines, nor does he foresee the reunification of Taiwan or an eventual return to Chiang Mai. Indeed, there is a high chance that such a policy may be unacceptable to the national leadership in Beijing since the objective of reunification is to remove Taiwan from Chinese control. Moreover, it is highly doubtful that such a policy could gain China much needed friends in the international community. It is rather unlikely that Tokyo will accept Japanese colonies in Manchuria, a step that some Chinese fear would herald another appeasement of Japan.
Therefore, I do not believe Professor Zhuang Ziheng foresees any of these issues and he presents a fairly accurate historical view of the Chinese communist party in its first decade and a half. His book is therefore not only a useful guide in terms of party development in China but also a helpful study in the history of this extremely important country. The book should be mandatory reading for every international student studying international relations, especially those studying China. For every nation studying international relations, especially those studying China, this book should be mandatory reading.