CIA releases secret documents on China

Interesting. I’m impressed at how prescient the analysts were in assessing Mao’s influence, and how with this death the country would return to sanity.

“As long as Mao is capable of political command, China’s situation will probably be tense and inherently unstable,” it said; a “disorderly and contentious” struggle would follow, and eventually a move away from “discredited” policies to “secure modest economic growth.”

In an introduction to the collection of 71 documents, which are on the agency’s Web site at and will be released by the Government Printing Office on compact disc, Robert L. Suettinger, a career intelligence analyst and China scholar, says that “unfortunately, the collection provides only a few examples of this kind of cogent analysis on China’s leadership situation.” But Mr. Suettinger described the record as “nonetheless an impressive one” in which “the fundamentals are consistently right.”

Among the most important judgments, Mr. Suettinger wrote, was a consistently accurate assessment that the Communist Party in China was never challenged from 1948 on in its predominance of power on the Chinese mainland.

For true Sinophiles this will be a must-read. For those interested only in US politics, pardon the digression, but China is always on my mind.

The Discussion: 5 Comments

China Intelligence Unbound

Richard TPD has China on his mind, and now anyone with Adobe Acrobat Reader or a CD drive can, too. Currently, 37 out of a total 71 documents are available online. What makes these documents special is that they are…

October 18, 2004 @ 11:52 pm | Comment

Asia by Blog

Asia by Blog is a twice weekly feature, posted on Monday and Thursday, providing links to Asian blogs and their views on the news in this fascinating region. Please send me an email if you would like to be notified of new editions. Previous editions ca…

October 21, 2004 @ 1:08 am | Comment

Simon’s E. Asia Briefing: 2004-10-27

The following is a digest of highlights from the past month’s Asia by Blog series over at The round-up has four key areas of focus: China, Taiwan & Hong Kong (Politics, Economy & lifestyle, History sport & culture, Information), Korea…

October 26, 2004 @ 7:07 pm | Comment

How to see on the Internet the secret papers about China released by the CIA on October 18?

November 6, 2004 @ 3:52 pm | Comment

Not on the Internet yet, sorry.

November 6, 2004 @ 4:38 pm | Comment

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