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China holds a complex system of rules, regulations and policies that dictate how and who is eligible for leadership roles or government office. In reading the explicit policies that dictate the political system, there are examples of both direct election and promotions from within. The election rules show the principles of organization that have developed to organize the world's largest country into local and administrative areas. Looking at specific examples of individual politicians demonstrates a trend towards appointing wealthy economic players to positions reserved previously for Communist Party bureaucrats. Amidst a larger backdrop of cultural beliefs and social practices, the role of the people remains nuanced but still important. This paper examines how the ways in which individuals become political officials has affected and changed both the political climate inside China as well as the political relations that guide U.S.-China relations. The interactions and policies of engagement between China and the United States are guided by the political system in practice in China today.