dragonAs mentioned in the Joongang Ilbo, a group of 1,000 core members of the Communist Youth League are coming to visit South Korea this next year.  What I also find interesting is the recent Bloomberg article on the latest generation of hyper-rich oligarchs’ children, descended from Mao’s generals, who comprise the majority of these young “princelings”. Out of the current new line-up of the Chinese Communist Party’s Politburo, announced to the public on Nov. 15, five of the seven are princelings  To quote Cory Doctorow,

“Wealth in China is even more concentrated than Russia, Brazil or the USA, and the Chinese looter-class use complex screens that take advantage of different ways of representing their names in English, Cantonese and Mandarin to obscure the ownership of former state assets, flogged at pennies on the dollar in sweetheart deals for the hyper-privileged. The Princelings are western-educated, mostly in the USA, and flaunt expensive luxury-brand accessories on their social media profiles.”

The interactive graphic in the Bloomberg article also demonstrates the often interwoven relationships between the families of the “eight immortals” (original generals of Mao).  The connections therein make marriages between Korean chaebol look minute in comparison.

Unlike the “princeling” contingent, the Communist Youth League or ‘tuanpai’ on the other hand are groomed as potential leaders in the Chinese Communist Youth League and focus on the lesser privileged, are more populist in character and have served in China’s hinterland. Their main concerns are the farmers, migrant labourers, and the urban poor. (cite)Generally, they are often described as being reformed-minded and mentioned in comparison to the status-quo that the princeling contingent represent.

As time passes and further resentment of the privileged princelings accrues, the role of the tuanpai in regional affairs will likely be influential even here in Korea, thus good relations with the younger members is a good thing for Korea (?).