China Princes of Privilege

The ancient art of nepotism flourishes, and so do complaints

When Li Shuchang became a Communist Party chief in the northeastern town of Yingkou, his family quickly prospered. Li named a son to be deputy director of the local industry and commerce bureau. Li's son-in-law became deputy secretary of the Communist Youth League, and his daughter rose from typist to police-department junior official. But when more than a dozen cousins and other clan members also gained influential posts, outraged city leaders acted. They sacked Li last month, suspended his party membership, and warned all local party members to take heed of his example.

Li's fall reflects the latest Chinese attack on...

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