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Crown Prince Party

"Crown Prince Party" (太子党 tai4 zi3 dang3) are the descendants, usually second-generation, of prominent and influential senior communists of the People's Republic of China who were seen has have political and economic influence within the nation. They have often been seen as being given offices with or without regard to their competence. Some of them, however, do actually have ability. This is only an informal categorization, however, and not a political party.

The main influence of the Crown Prince Party is having guanxi with the top leadership of mainland China, they are often seen as being able to provide political cover. Therefore they tend to appear on the boards of directors of corporations doing business in mainland China and as mid-level members of the bureaucracy. However, none of the top leadership of the party, state, or army are seen to be members of the party.

However, most political observers see the Crown Prince Party as having the most power in the 1990s and that their power was reduced in the late-1990s by a number of factors:

  1. First of all, not only did the Crown Prince Party cause some resentment among the general public, but they caused resentment within the party among the vast major of members who did not have a powerful relative;
  2. Second, their power was considerably reduced as their senior relatives died and being a relative of a person who no longer has power can even be a liability;
  3. Finally, the growing institutionalization of Chinese business and politics made their guanxi less useful and in some cases counterproductive.

One watershed event occurred around 1998, when most of the members of the Crown Prince Party lost most of their state and party positions.

The following are some of the more famous "crown princes":

In a publication, 226 "crown princes" were listed (see link below).

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