Who Rules China? Comparing Representation on the NPC and Central Committee
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China’s annual legislative meetings are often dismissed as political pageantry and rubber stamp approvals. But amid significant changes in Chinese elite politics over the past few years, this chapter sheds light on demographic representation in China’s highest ruling body, the CCP Central Committee, and its legislature, the National People’s Congress. Relying on an original database of the top 375 Chinese politicians, Damien Ma and Neil Thomas discover interesting patterns in the geographic origins, gender balance, and ethnic diversity of Chinese leaders. China is hardly a paragon of equal representation, but it is surprisingly close to the global average on many metrics.