Made in China: The Revenge of the Nerds

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Wednesday, June 27, 2001

The nerds are running the show in today's China. In the twenty years since Deng Xiaoping's reforms kicked in, the composition of the Chinese leadership has shifted markedly in favor of technocrats -- that is, individuals holding actual or putative political office who majored in natural sciences or engineering in college. The Maoist Reds who dominated politics during the Cultural Revolution have long since been eclipsed by resurgent Experts. These techno-intellectuals' were once themselves targeted by the Gang of Four and zealous Red Guards because of their suspect class backgrounds,...