Power Progeny 官二代

The Chinese term guan er’dai (官二代) could be translated numerous ways into English, and possibilities might include “sons and daughters of government officials” or “official offspring.” Whatever the translation, the Chinese term is used with increasing frequency to refer to the children of standing or former Party or government officials who are afforded special privileges and opportunities by virtue of the power and privilege enjoyed by their parents. The term is often used in conjunction with the term fu er’dai (富二代), or “progeny of prosperity,” which refers to the sons and daughters of powerful business leaders, who are similarly afforded great opportunity. Both terms are backgrounded by growing inequality of both wealth and opportunity in China, which has come as social and political reforms have lagged behind economic reforms, putting wealth and power in the hands of a relative few.

David Bandurski

Now director of the CMP, leading the project’s research and partnerships, David joined the team in 2004 after completing his master’s degree at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He is currently an honorary lecturer at the Journalism and Media Studies Centre. He is the author of Dragons in Diamond Village (Penguin/Melville House), a book of reportage about urbanization and social activism in China, and co-editor of Investigative Journalism in China (HKU Press).