Politics in China. Introduction to China. Ethel Wood. Why China?. China is a capitalistic communist country! Say what? It did a SINGLE TRANSITION…just economic—will it lead to political change? It always has… Authoritarian, one party state Most important economy in the world
Why China? China is a capitalistic communist country! Say what? It did a SINGLE TRANSITION…just economic—will it lead to political change? It always has… Authoritarian, one party state Most important economy in the world Twilight zone…parallel universe Party and Government Structure
Overview: The Big Picture System of Government: Authoritarian Single Party Rule Distribution of Power: Unitary System Electoral System: Is there one? Authoritarian One Party Constitution: 1982 Legislature: Unicameral Current Head of Party and State: President HuJintao Head of Government: Prime Minister WenJiabao Current Ruling Party: Communist Party Major Political Parties: …..
You Must Remember: Communist China is only 60 years old…young China has had 4000 years of authortarian rule! Communism is a perfect fit for authoritarian historical tradition. China is only half communist—politically Economically China is a free market freak Problems will arise with rule of law…a free market system MUST have rule of law.
OUTCOME: End of communist rule? Industrialization always undermines authoritarian rule. China becomes next great super power? Spain to England to US to China?
Sovereignty, Authority and Power Ethel Woods Introduction Read page 147-148
Historical Traditions Authoritarian Power Confucianism Bureaucratic Hierarchy based on scholarship The “Middle Kingdom” Communist Ideologies
The Chinese Mind
Importance of Geography Horseshoe Theory of Chinese Isolation
Political Culture: The Chinese Mind Dynastic Rule for 4,000 YEARS Taoism: Inner Peace Confucianism: Social harmony based appropriate behavior within hierarchy. Resistance to Imperialism 19th Century to 1911 Revolution Maoism 1949 Strongly influenced by Marx and Lenin but his version of communism was distinctly Chinese Whereas Lenin emphasized the the importance of the party vanguard to lead people to revolution and beyond, Mao resisted the inequity implied by Lenin’s beliefs
Political Culture: The Chinese Mind Mao believed in the strength of the peasant, and center his philosophy on these ideals: Collectivism Struggle and Activism Mass Line Egalitarianism Self Reliance
Political Culture: The Chinese Mind Collectivism Valuing the good of the community above that of the individual Cool with peasants, contrary beliefs of scholars (old culture) drawn by individualism Struggle and Activism Mao encouraged people to actively pursue the values of socialism—something that would require struggle and devotion Mass Line Two way street of communication between people and gov’t. Required teaching and listening on everyone’s part Leaders would communicate their will and the direction to the people, but the people in turn would communicate through the mass line their wisdoms to leaders
Political Culture: The Chinese Mind Egalitarianism Hierarchy was the key organizing principle before 1949—Confucianism Mao’s emphasis on creating an egalitarian society was in complete opposition to it Self-Reliance Instead of relying on the elite to give directions, people under Maoist rule were encouraged to rely on their own talents to contribute to their communities
Political Culture: The Chinese Mind Deng Xiaoping Theory 1978-1997 “It doesn’t matter whether a cat is white or black, as long as it catches mice.” 1962 statement reflects Deng’s practical approach to solving China’s problems In other words, he didn’t worry too much about whether a policy was capitalist or socialist as long as it improved the economy. So……as long as he (they) they stayed in power, so what…. Ahh, so it’s all about power…imagine that from a politician.
Political Culture: The Chinese Mind Deng Xiaoping Theory 1978-1997 The result of his leadership was a dramatic turnaround of the Chinese economy through a combination of socialist planning and the capitalist free market His political and social views remained true to communist tradition—the party should supervise all, and no allowance should be made for individual freedoms and/or democracy
Politics in China
Current Policy Challenges and Historical Background
Current Policy Challenges Political corruption, rural unrest, a growing wealth gap, and severe pollution—all related to economic successes of last 20 years Chinese leaders agree to be judged on their ability to foster economic growth and deliver a better material life for citizens. Social safety net gone “iron rice bowl” gone Full employment is no longer guaranteed China is member of WTO, which encourages capitalistic reforms “some get rich first”, current government policy wealth is becoming more visible Corruption is a serious problem, especially in the country Villagers rise up against abuses of power
Current Policy Challenges While economic liberalization has taken place, the government has firmly suppressed organized challenges to the Communist Party Handful of leaders at the top monopolize the authority to choose what inputs from what groups are acceptable The rules of the game are not transparent Hong Kong—clashes over western oriented population who have enjoyed political rights Taiwan—political unification Non-Han minorities, such as the Tibetans, challenge Chinese nationalism
Social Conditions Huge population World’s most populous country Most live in the countryside, but now that is only 57% compared to 85% in 1980 Rural industrialization and growth of towns Rural collective industry is the most dynamic industrial sector The population is concentrated in the eastern third of the land Only ¼ of China’s land is arable Land shortage/reduction in cultivated area Land is used for property borders, burial grounds, and bigger houses. So the problem of feeding the large population is expected to continue China is a multiethnic state 92 percent of Chinese are ethnically Han, but there are fifty-five recognized ethnic minorities, ranging in number from a few thousand to more than 16 million. Tibet and Xinjiang (unrest)
Historical Setting “Our long history…” Imperial Rule Unique bureaucratic of scholar-officials Confucianism
Imperial Rule to Communism Nationalist Party (KMT) Formed in the 1920s with goal of unifying fractured country ruled by warlords Civil War Between Nationalists and Communists Mao Zedong led the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Mao and Communists won after World War II PRC founded in 1949
History of PRC At first China looked to Soviet Union for implementation strategy--FAILED Created unique directions such as mobilization campaigns through the masses Soviet Like Structures Central bureaucracy of planning agencies Nationalized industry Built collective farms Tolerated no dissent once directives were articulated Implemented many campaigns to mobilize the mass with compulsory participation Hundred Flowers Campaign Example of relaxation of control over dissent, only to be overturned “Enemies of the state” declarations common and millions were imprisoned or killed Chinese Soviet Split 1950s cooling off period between China and Soviet Union partially due to Soviet unwillingness to help with Chinese nuclear program
The Great Leap Forward Great Leap Forward (1958-1966) was a utopian effort to transform China into a radical egalitarian society. MAINLY ECONOMIC! Attempt my Mao to free China from Soviet domination Campaign requested that citizens abandon material rewards and needs for moral reasons Emphasis was mainly economic, but was based on four principles: 1. All-around development 2. Mass Mobilization 3. Political Unaminty and Zeal 4. Decentralization. FAILED: Mao’s efforts ran counter to the traditional political culture (bureucratic centralism), and the people lacked the skills to contribute to industrialization Failure Lead to Cultural Revolution
Retreat from the Leap The Great Leap Forward led to a human catastrophe China retreated from Maoist radicalism Changed the nature of education system to rely on technical expertise and material benefits
Cultural Revolution The Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) was a much more profound reform in that it encompased political and social change, as well as economic In short, Mao was embarrassed by failure of The Great Leap Forward (which was mainly economic) so he broadened the scope of reform to political and social, thinking this would solve his lack of support problem. Important Principles The Ethic of Struggle Mass line Collectivism Egalitarianism Unstinging Service to Society
Cultural Revolution A primary goal of the Cultural Revolution was to remove all vestiges of the old China and its hierarchical bureaucracy and emphasis on equality. Campaign driven by anti-Western rhetoric--Western material goods were destroyed (he found and enemy) Citizens were tried for crime of being “capitalist roader” or siding with the West All Chinese were forced to be involved Schools were closed as youth were expected to join the movement FAILED! By late 1960s the citizens had taken the campaign to new height and the country neared anarchy Mao died in 1976
Cultural Revolution: AFTER Mao died in 1976 Gang of Four ruled Deng Xiaoping Theory! “It doesn’t matter of the cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice.” Retreated from Cultural Revolution Changed the direction of economic policy in China Allowed foreign investment (special economic zones) Privatized industry Relaxed some of political controls imposed by Mao
The Structure of the Party-State
Structure of the Party State “Parliamentary System under single party control” “Nothing really matters but the party” Design Features The basis of the idea was that the party’s claim to legitimate rule is not based on representation of the preferences of the majority, but on representation of the “historical best interests” of all people—the idea being that the populace does not know its own best interest, but the party does….isn’t that brilliant! Guardianship and Hierarchy Describes the relationship between Communist Party & society Representation of “historical best interests” Mass line…added by Chinese… “moderates” guardianship
Structure of the Party-State Party Organization Democratic Centralism – Leninist principle This means that democracy exists only at the center of decision making, but once a decision is made no dissent is tolerated. Centralism never sacrificed to democracy Refers mainly to consultation: opportunities for discussion, criticism, and proposals in party organizations. There are official government structures in China, but the real power lies with the party Two Hierarchies, with Party Leadership Government structures are more or less duplicated at each level of the political system by Communist Party structures In principle, there is a division of labor between party and gov’t structures In practice, two perform similar functions with overlapping responsibilities But with the party being the main policymaker
Structure of the Party State:Key Point that might help In both the government and Communist Party hierarchy, while the formal power of the structure is directly proportional to size, actual impact on policy is inversely proportional to size. The bigger size = more formal power The smaller size = more REAL power
Structure of the Party State:Government Structures National People’s Congress (NPC): Legislative Functions Elected for five-year terms by delegates in provincial-level congresses and the armed forces Assemble once annually for a plenary session of about two weeks Always large body Formally has extensive powers: amendment of the constitution, passage and amendment of legislation, approval of economic plans,etc. Is it a rubber-stamp assembly? Was during Maoist years, but now…. It is still too large and meets too infrequently, but the lawmaking role of the less cumbersome NPC Standing Committee seems to be gaining.
Structure of the Party State:Government Structures NPC Standing Committee When NPC is not in session (almost all the time), the NPC Standing Committee serves as working legislative assembly 150 members, all reside in Beijing Meets regularly throughout year Exercises most formal powers of NPC and prepares agenda for annual NPC plenary sessions.
Structure of the Party State: Government Structures State Council: Executive Functions Think… “Cabinet”….or……“Government” In lawmaking, State Council is center of gov’t activity Composed the premier, who is head of government, and his cabinet of vice-premiers, state councillors, ministers, auditor general, and secretary general State Council Standing Committee, which meets twice weekly As in most parliamentary systems, the bulk of legislation is drafted by specialized ministries and commissions under the direction of the cabinet President- Head of State – purely ceremonial office
Structure of the Party State: Government Structures Judiciary: Supreme People’s Court Supreme People’s Procuratorate Bridge between public security agencies and the courts Communist Party Leadership The Communist Party exercises direct leadership over government and legislative functions in a variety of ways Read 262-263 In short, the Chinese system is executive-led government, but with an important difference having to do with the Communist Government.
Structure of the Party State: Party Structures REMEMBER: As in the government hierarchy, while formal power of the Communist Party structures is directly proportional to size, actual impact on policy is inversely proportional to size. The bigger the size the more formal power The smaller the size the more REAL power National Party Congress According to constitution supreme authority is vested in this body it is too big and meets to infrequently to play a role in significant policy and decision making meet once every five years ratify important changes in broad policy orientation already decided by more important smaller party structures they elect the central committee
Structure of the Party State: Party Structures KEY POINT: While the Central Committee technically elects the Politburo, Politburo Standing Committee, and the party general secretary, the composition of these structures is determined by party leaders before the party congress, and elections are mainly ceremonial, featuring no candidate choice.
Structure of the Party State: Party Structures Central Committee Exercises power of National Party Congress between sessions Elected by the National Party Congress CC elects Politburo, Politburo Standing Committee and party general secretary. collection of the most powerful several hundred political leaders in the country Members hold major positions of leadership, as ministers in the state bureaucracy or provincial party leaders. Membership reflects political power, not confer it they do not initiate policy but changes in policy or leaders at the political center must be approved by it they endorse and are responsible to realize party policy
Structure of the Party State: Party Structures Politburo Top political elite, usually no more than a couple dozen leaders Most have a responsibility for overseeing policy making in some issue area elected by the Central Committee Politburo Standing Committee typically no more than a half- dozen leaders who meet once weekly core political decision makers in China selected from the Politburo General Secretary- top leader—position held by HuJintao
Structure of the Party State: Party Structures Top Leader and the Succession Problem Death of leader creates succession problem in most communist countries There is no formal or generally acknowledged position of second-in-command and no regularized mechanism to chose a new top leader. 1970s Communist Party elders were reinstated after years of forced retirement under Mao and Cultural Revolution Central Advisory Commission…bogus new structure for old cronies…dismantled in mid 1990s Party Bureaucracy The Secretariat monitors the bureaucracy and provides a staff for the Politburo to carry out decisions
Structure of the Party State People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Army, Navy, Air Force PLA Does not dictate policy to party leaders, but it is the self-appointed guardian of Chinese sovereignty and nationalism. Preventing Taiwan’s independence A decade behind Western military technology Party Dominance Nomenklatura system Linchpin of polictical system The most important mechanism by which the Communist Party exerts control over officials.
Structure of the Party State Party Membership/Party Core Groups Vast majority of officials in party structures are CP members Members obliged to practice the rules of democratic centralism and meet regularly throughout the country Party core groups are organizations of the most senior party members Overlapping Directorships Practice of “wearing two hats” is common Playing the role of party member and government leader Used to be more extensive in the past than now
Structure of the Party State Elite Recruitment Nomenklatura system is the key to political recruitment Has changed in recent years Party has recruited capitalists and has emphasized economic performance as a characteristic to be recruited into the party Rule by Law The new Chinese legality acknowledges rule by law, which means that all are equally subject to the law Debatable if true in practice…Westerners say no, Chinese have renewed emphasis on it for economic purposes
Structure of the Party State Socialist Legality Socialist legality rejected the rule of law and criminal legal training stopped. Began in 1954 as part of first constitution, eventually abandoned Lawlessness reached a peak during Cultural Revolution Legal Reform:Began in 1978 Need was to establish legitimacy by righting past wrongs and establishing public order after years of instability Goal: encourage economic growth and foreign investment Established written criminal law Campaigns launched to educated citizens about the law and equality before the law
Structure of the Party State Criticism of Legal Practices Criticisms abound for its legal system Punishments viewed as too harsh for crimes Death penalty used widely Most prosecutions result in guilty verdicts Criminal proceedings are inquisitorial, meaning “verdict first, trial second” Political prisoners! New legality does constrain the state more than ever
Political Socialization Mass Media Ordinary citizens now exposed to news and opinions about public affairs Hong Kong Relatively free and critical mass media Chinese journalists expose government wrongdoings and thwart official efforts to suppress news of disasters. Chinese leaders reserve the right to shut down publications that in their view go too far. Internet: 50,000 cyber police; still difficult to monitor Education System Past: very ideological; persecution of scholars Today: respect for expertise Fall 2006 reduced the seven compulsory courses on political ideology and party history to four, in the first major curricular change in twenty-five years.
Political Culture From radicalism to “reform and opening” to the outside world Political Knowledge Not uniformly distributed in China More active knowledge and interest found in men, the more highly educated, and Chinese with higher incomes. Beijing Here people discuss politics very frequently Political Values Reject every democratic value and support for democratic values generally low Influence of non-Chinese political socialization is evident Show an impact of socioeconomic development; urban Chinese are much more supportive of democratic values than are mainland Chinese generally
Political Participation Changes in the Rules Political participation: was required; now optional Mao: mass mobilization campaign; contemporary leadership does not attempt to rouse the mass public to realize policy objectives Rejection of mass mobilization as the dominant mode of political participation Rather: express opinions and participate through regular, official channels – hotlines, letters to newspaper editors, etc. Local Congress Elections Village Committees Unacceptable Political Participation Protestors and Reformers Democracy Movement Tiananmen massacre of June 4, 1989
Interest Articulation and Aggregation Organizations Under Party Leadership Satellite parties Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Important mass organizations All-China Federation of Trade Unions Women’s Federation Mass organizations represent the interests of the Communist Party to the organized “interest groups” it dominates, not vice versa.
Interest Articulation and Aggregation NGOs Nongovernmental organizations Most active in environmental issues Seek embeddedness All-Chinese Women’s Federation: responsible for more than 3,000 social organizations dealing with women’s issues GONGOs Government-organized nongovernmental organizations Front operations for government agencies Set up to take advantage of the interest of foreign governments and international NGOs to support the emergence of Chinese civil society. Most interesting: business associations set up to organize firms The Self-Employed Laborers Association The Private Enterprises Association Federation of Industry and commerce
Policymaking and Implementation Policymaking Three tiers in policymaking Politburo and its Standing Committee Leading small groups (LSGs) Relevant party departments and government ministries From agenda setting to implementing regulations Five stages: agenda setting; inter-agency review; Politburo approval; NPC review, debate, and passage; and the drafting of implementing regulations Two most important states: interagency review and drafting of implementing regulations
Policymaking and Implementation Policy implementation Monitoring Policy priorities Adapting policy to local conditions Corruption
Policy Performance Economic Growth Success story; opening up to foreign trade and investment Trade balances Scarcity prices versus government controlled or two-track pricing system Decentralization Reform of SOEs Environmental Degradation Economic growth = serious environmental damage Health and productivity costs “first development, then environment” EPBs local environmental protection bureaus State Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) Underfunded
Policy Performance Population Control Little regulation during Maoist years; 1978 population close to a billion One-child family policy State-sponsored family planning added to the constitution Ideal family had one child Most couples required to stop childbearing after one or two births Married couples in urban areas restricted to one child In rural areas, married couples are subject to rules that differ across provinces. In some, two children permitted. In others, only one child permitted; in most provinces, a second child is permitted only if the first is a girl. Difficult to implement; many sons ideal: a married daughter joins the household of her husband, while a married son remains in the household to support aging parents. Policy implementation Carrots and sticks utilized to encourage one child policy Perverse outcomes Shortage of girls Sex-selective abortions
Hong Kong 1842 and 1860, the island of Hong Kong, and adjacent territory on the Chinese mainland, were ceded by treaty to the British in perpetuity. Due to result of wars fought to impose trade on China For nearly a century, China was a British colony. 1984, the Chinese communist authorities elaborated the principle of “one country, two systems” applicable to Hong Kong after 1997 Hong Kong reverted to Chinese sovereignty in 1997 but would continue to enjoy a “high degree of autonomy.” Chinese authorities hope the outcome will woo Taiwan back to the PRC, too.
Taiwan Governed by the Nationalists as the Republic of China since 1945 100 miles off the east coast of the Chinese mainland. Communist “liberation” of Taiwan Korean war; American interests in the security of Taiwan Two major events affected Taiwan’s status Lost its membership in the U.N. and its seat on the Security Council to China in 1971 U.S. recognized China diplomatically, downgrading the relationship with Taiwan to one of unofficial liaison Today fewer than 30 countries recognize Taiwan. Taiwan’s public does not support unification.
China’s Political Future Still primarily a communist state Room for optimism? The dramatic changes in the Chinese economy, polity, and society, are as much a by-product of reform as a direct product of reform policies. Room for optimism? Authoritarianism has not survived intact with economic modernization in many East Asian countries. Prediction: The party will continue to transform China in the years to come and to transform itself in order to continue to rule.