This volume discusses the changing role of the village level Chinese Communist Party secretaries in the countryside. Rural reforms since 1978, especially the dismantling of the rural commune in the early 1980s, have reshaped the social, economic and political landscapes of rural China. Economic reforms have led to gradual erosion of the power of the party secretaries, reduced their income advantages, and at the same time increased the complexity and difficulty of their tasks. The issue of incentive has emerged for talented people to remain party secretaries. The political implications, according to the author, are a gradual transformation of the nature of the CCP and its turning from a “vanguard party” to a “rearguard party” that manages things from the sidelines and in an ad hoc fashion.Contents:Out of the Cultural RevolutionParty Secretaries in the CountrysideThe CCP Through the Next Millennium?Readership: General.