Yale Historian Sees Continuity Between Qing Dynasty, 18th Party Congress

Historians in the News

Peter Perdue, Professor of History at Yale University, says that China's 18th Party Congress, which will usher in the new leaders of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, bears some resemblance to the Qing Dynasty practices of emperor selection among the ruling Manchus from northeast China, who were connected to the Mongols, a Central Asian people who were ruled by a khan. Perdue spoke with Susan Jakes, Editor of the website ChinaFile, a project of Asia Society's Center on U.S.-China Relations.

"After a khan died, in the Mongolian tradition, there was an all-out free-for-all of brothers and uncles and other people, all fighting it out to see who would be the best man to take over," Perdue says.

"And then finally one succeeds and they hold what they call a khuritai, or acclamation ceremony that brings everyone together like a modern party Congress to acclaim the new leader. And then after that the new leader goes out and kills all his brothers and cousins and rivals and everybody else."...

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