Hong Kong Book Fair

New book lifts lid on China's leaders

Collection of Post stories chronicles power struggles in Beijing, profiles top leadership

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 July, 2013, 9:13am

A book that charts the latest transfer of power in Beijing and lifts some of the veil of secrecy from a new generation of leaders who will run China for the next decade will hit the shelves at the Hong Kong Book Fair tomorrow.

The China Renaissance: The rise of Xi Jinping and the 18th Communist Party Congress is the result of an ambitious project the South China Morning Post embarked on at the start of last year to document the Communist Party's power transition from the fourth-generation leadership to the fifth, which turned out to be full of drama and intrigue.

The fierce jockeying for power saw the downfall of one of the country's most charismatic leaders, Bo Xilai , toppled by a web of scandals involving corruption, betrayal and murder. It also saw the political career of one of former president Hu Jintao's closest allies, Ling Jihua , destroyed in a scandal featuring a spinning Ferrari.

The book is a collection of stories published in the Post over 13 months, from the very beginning of the Bo Xilai saga, in February 2012, to the National People's Congress in March, the conclusion of the power shift. Highlighted is a series of exclusives that kept the Post well ahead in its 18th Party Congress coverage, including stories that won the Scoop Award from the Society of Publishers in Asia. The Post was the first English-language news outlet to report the line-up of the elite Politburo Standing Committee; it was also the first to break the news Hu would retire from all of his posts in the power transfer and it led the way on the saga of Hu's top protégé, Ling, whose career imploded after a cover-up of the Ferrari crash in Beijing that killed his son.

The book profiles the 25 members of the new Politburo, top cabinet officials and financial leaders running economic, military and foreign affairs.

The China Renaissance is jointly published by SCMP Books and World Scientific Publishing. It will sell for HK$120 (retail price: HK$234) at the SCMP counter at the fair and later go on sale at Page One, The Commercial Press, Academic & Professional Book Centre and Cosmos Books.