Jude Blanchette is Senior Advisor and China Practice Lead at Crumpton Group, a geopolitical risk advisory based in Arlington VA, where he advises private sector clients on China’s political and regulatory environment. He is also an Adjunct Fellow of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, a Washington DC-based think tank that develops national security and defence policies, and a fellow with the National Committee on United States-China Relations’ Public Intellectuals Program. His first book, China’s New Red Guards: The Return of Radicalism and the Rebirth of Mao Zedong, will be published in June 2019 by Oxford University Press.
Since 2015, the Chinese Communist Party has stepped up its presence within the day-to-day activities of foreign companies operating in China. At the same time, Chinese private firms were facing a similar situation. In this essay, Jude Blanchette argues that the campaign to enlarge the reach of the Party into private companies cannot be separated from its much wider campaign to increase the Party’s governance over all institutions under its purview, in an attempt to arrest the organisational atrophy that accompanied the post-Mao economic reforms initiated in the late 1970s.