China By: KattCrowdis,Autumn Hamilton, Wesley Caldwell, Brittany Jackson, Jon Grisby
Overview • Today, China stands as one of the few remaining communist nations. • China is a newly industrialized country. • Its economy has had a steady move towards capatalism, but its government remains highly authoritarian, providing evidence that marketization and privatization do not always go hand in hand with democracy.
Legitimacy • Like Mexico, Nigeria, and Russia, the Constitution is not seen as a source of legitimacy in China because the country is governed by authoritarian elites who are not bound by law. • During Mao, the source of legitimacy was the approval of the peasants (through mass line which required leaders to listen to and communicate with ordinary folks). • The source of legitimacy in both Russia and China is idea of democratic centralism, belief that a small group of leaders are the ones who should make the decisions for the people. • Also, a source of legitimacy in China and Nigeria is the military. The military played an important role in the rise of the Communist party and is represented in the government by the Central Military Commission. • Like Russia, Mexico, Nigeria, and Iran, China has had a history of authoritarian rule, making it hard for democracy to take hold in the country. • Russia has had a communist and authoritarian background much like China’s regime. Nigeria has also experienced an authoritarian rule in a lot of its history through military dictators. The United Kingdom has experienced authoritarian rule in the form of monarchies.
Political Culture • Geographic Influences • Like Mexico and Iran, China has major splits between regions • The vast majority of the population live in urban areas in the east. Large mountains and deserts make the western and northern parts of China less habitable. • Chinese Nationalism • Unlike Nigeria, there is no national identity crisis in China. The Chinese have always been a group of people with high nationalism and ethnocentric beliefs. • Patron-Clientelism • Like Russia, Mexico and Nigeria, China has a “I’ll scratch your back, you’ll scratch mine” that has had an important impact on the political culture.
Citizens, Society, and the State • Under Mao, virtually no civil society was allowed, and the government controlled almost every facet of citizen’s lives. With a transition to a market-based economy, important transformations are occurring in citizen-state relationships. • Urban-Rural Cleavages • Like Mexico, there is a divide between the wealthier urban areas and the poor countryside. There is a difference in economic and culture. • Linguistic Diversity • Many different spoken languages and dialects.
Citizens, Society, and the State • Ethnic Cleavages: • Like Russia, autonomous regions threaten the structure of the country. • Primary ethnic group is the Han (92%) • However, the other 8% minority groups are apart of autonomous areas that make up 60% of China. • Five autonomous regions- Guangxi, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Tibet, Xinjiang. • Tibet: Today, campaigns for independence include the movement rallies around the Dalai Lama (a spiritual leader) and monks setting themselves on fire. • Uyghurs (ethnic group that lives in Xinjiang): They are Muslims of Turkish decent. They use violence to make their point and to further their cause. This has worried the Chinese government since September 11, 2001.
Political Participation • Party and Participation • The Chinese Communist Party is the largest political party in the world and dominates the Chinese government. • Like the USSR, only a small minority of the country’s population are members of the party • During the Mao era, cadres (politicians whose careers depended on party loyalty and ideological purity) led the CCP at all levels. • Since Deng’s reforms, technocrats (people with technical training who have climbed the ladder of the party beaucracy) have led the party increasingly • As of 2001, capitalists can join the CCP.
The Growth of Civil Society • Communications through cell phones, fax machines, TV, and internet have made it more difficult for the party state to monitor citizens. • With the appearance of private organizations that do not directly challenge the authority of the state but focus on social problems and the allowance of NGOs in the 1990s, has given way to a new China.
Protests • The Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989 showed the limits of protest in China. Massive repression was the government’s message to its citizens that democratic movements defy the party leadership will not be tolerated. • Riots in Tibet and Xiajiang • In recent years the most serious protest movements have occurred in Tibet and Xinjiang, both autonomous regions of western China. • Like Russia, China has autonomous regions which fight for independence. • In Tibet, noteworthy riots were started in 2008 by the Dalai Lama. • During the 2008 Summer Olympics torch relay, in many cities along the route, the torch relay was met by protestors. • In 2009, riots broke out in the capital city of Xinjiang because the Uyghur were dissatisfied with the Chinese central government’s handling of the deaths of two Uyghur workers during previous disruptions.
Political Institutions • Political regime- authoritarian • Power in the hands of political elites- those that hold with political control without much input from citizens. • Leaders are recruited through their membership in the communist party, but personal relationships and informal ties to others are also important in deciding who controls the regime.
Political Institutions • Like Great Britain, China has implemented policies of decentralization, or devolution of power to subnational governments. • Like Nigeria, the military is integrated into the political hierarchy. • The CCP has allowed the existence of eight “democratic” parties. Each party has a special group that it draws from and are tightly controlled by the CCP. They do not contest the CCP for control of the government, but they do serve an important advisory role to the party leaders.
The Chinese Communist Party • The party bases its claim to legitimacy not on the expressed will of the people but on representation of the historical best interests of all the people (democratic centralism ruled by a vanguard society). • Organization of the CCP • National People’s Congress- This body consists of 2,000 delegates and meets every five years. It is not important in policymaking. • Central Committee- Composed of 340 members and meet once a year. Their meetings are called plenums and are important in that they are gatherings of the political elites and from their midst are chosen the Politburo and the Standing Committee • Politburo- Has 24 members and is important in policy making. • Standing Committee- Only has 7 members (with the General Secretary and Central Military Commission as members). They meet in secret and are the most powerful people in China.
Elections • The PRC holds elections in order to legitimize the government and the CCP. • The party controls the elections by controlling the election commission and by placing candidates in the race. • The only direct elections are held at the local level, with voters choosing deputies to serve on the country’s people’s congresses by direct, secret ballot elections. • The people’s congresses at higher levels are selected from and by the lower levels, not directly by the people.
The Political Elite • Under Mao, the leaders who made the Long March with him became known as the “Old Guard”. • Like Russia, Mexico, and Nigeria, a patron-clientism network exists (in China called guanxi). • Like the USSR, China recruits its leaders through nomenklatura(a system of choosing cadres from lower levels of the party hierarchy for advancement based on loyalty and connections) • Factions follow the process of fang-shou (a waxing and waning cycle of power).
The Political Elite • Factionalism: • Like Iran, all factions in the government of China have one common goal (in Iran it’s a theocracy and in China it is communism), but they differ on how they wish to implement policies and how to achieve the final result. • Conservatives- Faction that is against any movement to more economic liberalization and any democratic freedom. • Reformers- Supports major capitalist infusion into the PRC. Do not support democratic reform and focus only on economic liberalization. Leaders include Hu Jintao (recent president) and current president Wen Jiabo. • Liberals- Support economic and political reform. Faction has lost power since the Tiananmen Square incident. • Princelings- An aristocracy of families with revolutionary credentials from the days of Mao. Their policy preferences are not always clear.
Corruption • Like Russia, Mexico, and Nigeria, corruption has become a big problem in PRC in the past few decades because of the combination of guanxi and the economic liberalization. • Recent policies have been aimed at decreasing the corruption and bribery within the government.
Interest groups and Media • Organized interest groups and social movements are not permitted to influence the political process unless they are under the party-state authority. • Like Mexico and Nigeria, state corporatism exists. • Most are units based on a person’s place of work and are initiated by the party. • No legitimate organization channel exists for farmers. As a result, Chinese farmers are more likely than are most other citizens to express their concerns to the government through petitions and protests. • State media holds the largest share of the market. • All media outlets are subject to heavy censorship by the government.
Institutions of the Government • The three organizations are the Communist Party, the government, and the People’s Liberation Army. • All three organizations are separate but controlled by the CCP through dual role- vertical supervision of the next higher level of government and horizontal supervision of the Communist Party at the same level.
Institutions of Government • Political Structure • The People’s Liberation Army • Encompasses all of the county’s ground, air, and naval armed services. • Judiciary: People’s Court • Judicial system organized hierarchically. • Rule of law has been in place since Mao. • Criminal justice system works harshly and swiftly. • Executive: President/ Bureaucracy • The President and Vice President serve five year terms (max of two). • The Premier is the head of the government (bureaucracy) and is appointed by the President (the Vice President, President, and Premier are all apart of the Standing Committee). • Legislative: The People’s Congress • System of people’s congresses, with a National People’s Congress at the top, and hierarchical levels down through the provincial, city, and local congresses. • National People’s Congress chooses the President and the Vice President.
Military Party Government Central Military Commission Ministry of State Security, Ministry of Public Security, People’s Armed Police Standing Committee Politburo Central Committee National Party Congress Provincial Party Congresses and Committees Local Level Party Organizations Primary Party Organization President Premier State Council Central Government, Ministries, Bureaus National People’s Congresses Provincial People’s Congresses Local Level People’s Congresses Village Council
Policy Issues • Economic Policy Issues: • The process of fang-shou gives insight into how the Chinese government has managed the tensions between capitalism and democracy. The two rounds of economic reform were each followed by political movements that were repressed by the government. Since 1989, the economic reform has been significant, but the government’s response to political movements has remained constant. • Democracy and Human Rights: • Chinese leaders following Deng have not strayed from his path of economic reform and resistance to political reform. • Reforms have been instituted that allows some input from the National People’s Congress. • Reforms that put more emphasis on laws and legal procedures • Reforms with village elections allowing them to be competitive, with choices of candidates and some freedom from the party’s control. • Population Policy: • During the Mao era, large families and population growth was encouraged. • In 1979, under Deng, China instituted the “one-child policy” to decrease population growth • “one child policy” ended in 2014. • There is now a major difference in sex due to the males being preferred over females, and also there is very little young compared to the old. • The tradition of the young caring for the old is a big tradition both in china and Mexico.
Policy Issues • Civil Rights and Liberties: • Like Russia, criticizers of the government are immediately jailed in China. • Protestors are responded too relatively violently like in Mexico, Iran, Russia, and during the miliarty rule in Nigeria. • Few signs are shown of change towards more civil liberties. This is similar to Iran. • The transparency of the government is very low like in Russia. • Environmental Issues: • China is one of the largest producers of greenhouse gases due to there recent industrialization. There has been one new law put in place January 2009 that is designed to combat this pollution problem. Compared to most of the other countries studied it has a very high amount of pollution. • Unemployment Issues: • Since today the economy is market based it is possible to have unemployment and a wealth gap. There is no longer a guarantee of employment. • There is a large wealth gap between the city and rural areas. • This is also very apparent difference between the north region and the south regions (south is more developed) in China. This is similar to the regional variations in Mexico and Nigeria.
Political and Economic Change • Like Russia, China is an old civilization with a relatively long, relatively stable history up until the massive upheavals of the 20th century. • Like Russia, Iran, and Nigeria, change in China was radical, violent, and chaotic. • During the 19th century, like Iran and Mexico, China was influenced by Western imperialistic forces. • Under Mao, land reforms, like that which occurred in Mexico in the ejido system, redistributed property from the rich to the poor.
Political and Economic Change • Like Russia, China is an old civilization with a long, relatively stable history that experience massive upheavals during the 20th century that resulted in regime changes. Unlike Russia, China rose to regional hegemony very early in its history. • Had dynastic cycles where a dynasty would seize power, grow stronger, and then decline. New dynasties would claim to possess the mandate of heaven. The last dynasty fell in the early 20th century. • Similar to Mexico, Russia, and Iran, change during the first half of the 20th century was radical, violent, and chaotic. China's result, however, was communism.
Political and Economic Change • China's oldest traditions regarding politics have provided stability and longevity. This has been disrupted by control by imperialistic nations in the 19th century and revolutionary upheavals in the 20th century. • China's new political community was influenced by Chiang Kai-Shek, the founder of the Nationalist Party and Mao Zedong, the founder of the Chinese Communist Party. • The Revolution of 1911, led by Sun Yat-sen established China as an independent country
Political and Economic Change • Following the break from the Soviet influences in 1928, Chiang Kai-shek became president of China and Mao Zedong and his communists formed an opposing party. • Mao garnered strength for the Communist Party by the Long March, the 1934-36 pursuit of Mao's army across China by Chiang and his supporters. Mao eluded him until Chiang became distracted by the invading Japanese. The forces of Chiang and Mao met in a civil war, of which Mao won. Chiang fled to Taiwan. • In 1949, the People's Republic of China was founded by Mao and his supporters, establishing communism. It wasn't recognized by the UN until 1972.
Political and Economic Change • Similar to the Soviet Union, the PRC was based on the organizing principle of democratic centralism. • The Soviet Model (1949-1957) was the first phase of political development, with heavy Soviet influence on reforms and plans to boost the economy. • The Great Leap Forward (1958-1966) was the departure of China from Soviet domination, and acted as a utopian effort to transform China into a radical egalitarian society. It focused on four principles: all-around development, mass mobilization, political unanimity, and decentralization. It did not work. • The Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) was an effort to reform political, economic, and social change. It's main goal was to remove all vestiges of old China and put more emphasis on equality, involving the destruction of universities and libraries. • After Mao's death, three groups emerged: Radicals, Military, and Moderates.
Political and Economic Change • Economic and political change took place when moderates took control and Den Xiaoping emerged as the new leader. Through his "Four Modernizations" of industry, agriculture, science and the military, China experienced economic liberalization. • The Open Door trade policy boosted China's economy • Xiaoping did not support political liberalization, and China continues to follow this today • Under Maoism, virtually no civil society was allowed and the government controlled almost every facet of citizen's lives. With a transition to a market-based economy, important transformations are occurring in citizen-state relationships. • As modernization has occurred, the CCP has begun to appeal to patriotism as citizens no longer see communist ideologies as central to their lives. • China has made a move to a mixed economy that is developing, as opposed to Britain or Russia which both have developed economies. Mexico is newly developed along with Iran, and Nigeria remains developing with a low GDP per capita. • Political corruption through the patron-clientelism system can be found in China, and also in Nigeria, Iran, and Mexico as well. • China's economic change is similar to Mexico, Nigeria, and Iran which host a mix of democracy and command. • All of the countries have made attempts or are currently implementing democracy into the economic policies, with mixes of a command and market economy emerging. • Under the township and village enterprises, rural factories and businesses are run by the local government and entrepreneurs. The TVEhas increased the rural development and economic opportunity.
Fang- Shou in China Economic Liberalization Four Modernizations (1978-1985) Second Revolution (1987-1989) Political Movements Democracy Wall Movement (1978-1979) Student Democracy Protest (1986-1987) Tiananmen Democracy Demonstrations (1989-2000) Falong Gong Demonstations (1989-2000) Riots in Tibet (2008) and Xinjiang (2009) CCP Response De-legalization of Protest (1979-1980) Anti-Bourgeois Liberalization (1987-1988) Tinanmen “Massacre” arrest, attacks on political dissendents (1989-present) Outlaw of Falun Gong; arrest/execution of leaders (present) Refusal to complete talks with Dalai Lamaz; arrest of dissendents
Political and Economic Change • An integral part of the economic reform of the past quarter century has been the opening of the Chinese economy to international forces. • Special Economic Zones were established in 1979 where foreign investors were given preferential tax rates and other incentives. • Since 1978 China’s trade and industry have expanded widely. With this expansion has come rapidly growing GDP, entrepreneurship, and trade with many nations. • China is now a member of the World Trade Organization like the U.K, Russia, and Mexico. • Deng Xiaoping emphasized economic reform, but he continued to believe that the Party should be firmly in command of the country. In general, he did not support political reforms that included democracy and more civil liberties for citizens. Freedoms and incentives were granted to entrepreneurs, but they have operated largely under the patron-client system (guanxi). • Today, China has a socialist market economy.
Shown by the graph above, China is expected to continue to have enormous economic growth that will fortify its title as the largest economy in the world, while Russia will experience a decline and the UK a slight increase.
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