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Political Institutions of China

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  1. Political Institutions of China

  2. Elections designed to give the party-state greater legitimacy • Party controls elections to prevent dissent • Direct, secret-ballot elections at local level • Found most common at the village level (could be a façade) • Indirect elections at other levels ELECTIONS

  3. CCP allows the existence of eight "democratic" parties.  • China Democratic League-intellectuals • Chinese Party for the Public Interest-overseas experts • Membership is small and has very little power • Important advisory role to the party leaders and generate support for CCP policies  • Meet at CPPCC during National People’s Congress (and attend NPC as nonvoting deputies) NONCOMMUNIST PARTIES

  4. CCP CHINESE GOVERNMENTPLA PARALLEL HIERARCHY Three parallel hierarchies Principle of dual role China's policy making is governed more directly by factions and personal relationships (guanxi) Political Institutions

  5. Organized hierarchically by levels •  The party has a separate constitution from the government's constitution of 1982, and its central bodies are: • National Party Congress • Central Committee • Politburo/Standing Committee Organization of the CCP

  6. Three branches - a legislature, an executive, and a judiciary. • People's National Congress • The National People's Congress choose the President and Vice President of China, but there is only one party-sponsored candidate for each position Executive/Bureaucracy • The President and Vice President • The Premier • Bureaucracy Government

  7. Chinese for patron-client relationships • Think nomenclatura in the CCP • Helps to build contacts and power • Can determine Politburo membership among other things Guanxi

  8. Executives • President and Premier (Prime Minister) • President is head of state with little constitutional power, but is sometimes the General Secretary of CCP • Prime Minister is head of State Council, or ministers, and is in charge of “departments” of government

  9. They are elected for 5-year terms by National Peoples Congress, nominated by CCP’s National Party Congress They also serve on Central Military Commission, which oversees the PLA The CCP’s leader is the general secretary and he is in charge of bureaucracy, or Secretariat Executives continued

  10. Think of Russian Matrioshka dolls • Top legislative body is National Peoples Congress • 3,000 members chosen by provincial peoples congresses across the country • They meet in Beijing once a year for a couple of weeks to “legislate” for 1 billion+ people • Pass laws; amend Constitution, • On paper very powerful, but checked by Party The Legislature

  11. The National Peoples Congress chooses a Central Committee of 200 that meets every 2 months to conduct business Inside this is the Central Committee’s Standing Committee which functions every day Legislature

  12. Parallel structure • The National Party Congress is main representative body of CCP, not people • Has 2,000 delegates • Select 150-200 people chosen for Central Committee • It chooses a Politburo of 12 people to run party’s day to day business • Many of these people work in Secretariat so Politburo chooses a Standing Committee of 6 headed by General Secretary (Thus merging executive to legislative) Party Representation

  13. Standing Committee of Politburo includes president and prime minister, plus closest associates, and the party legislative “branch” and party executive is joined with government executive Merging of Executive and Legislative

  14. State Council • Government Ministers and Premier carry out the decisions made by National Peoples Congress (or Politburo) • Chinese bureaucrats are paralled by party members assigned to their ministries • Leadership small groups are informal groups that link other ministers to coordinate policymaking and implementation • In spite of centralization, provincial and local ministries have had to adapt national policies to local needs Bureaucracies

  15. China has a 4-tiered "people's court" system • Handle criminal cases and government working on civil law codes • “People's Procuratorate" • Investigates suspected illegal activity • Criminal justice is swift and harsh (capital punishment is a bullet in the back of the head) • Human Rights organizations criticize China • Not a rule of law system, rather a rule by law system Judiciary

  16. THE PEOPLE'S LIBERATION ARMY "Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.“ - Mao • The People's Liberation Army encompasses all of the country's ground, air, and naval armed services.  • Important influence on politics and policy.  The second half of Mao's famous quote above is less often quoted: "Our principle is that the party commands the gun, and the gun must never be allowed to command the party."   This propaganda poster represents life in the "Red Army" - the military under Mao before the People's Republic of China was formed in 1949.

  17. During the 1970s and 80s the government didn’t have money to modernize Army so fended for itself • It ran hotels, construction companies, factories that produced pirate copies of everything, satellite dishes • By 1990s government began controlling the Army and its activities PLA continued

  18. Ministry of State Security • Combats espionage and gathers intelligence • People’s Armed Police • Guards public buildings and quell unrest • Ministry of Public Security • Maintenance of law and order, investigations, surveillance • Maintain labor reform camps • No habeas corpus rights Internal Security

  19. Economic reforms • Corruption • Iron rice bowl broken • High unemployment • Inequality of classes • Floating population • Environmental implications • Demand for political power and civil liberties? • Will contact through trade mean that China will become more like their trading partners?  Policies and Issues

  20. International Trade • Hong Kong • Special Economic Zones (SEZs). 

  21. Taiwan • China trades with Taiwan, but the PRC views Taiwan as part of China and Taiwan does not • But they want to benefit from its trade

  22. Democratic reforms can be seen in these ways: • Some input from the National People's Congress is accepted by the Politburo • More emphasis is placed on laws and legal procedures • Village elections are now semi-competitive, with choices of candidates and some freedom from the party's control Political Change Today

  23. During the long process of history, by relying on our own diligence, courage and wisdom, Chinese people have opened up a good and beautiful home where all ethnic groups live in harmony and fostered an excellent culture that never fades.-CCP Chairman XI jinping

  24. Xi was Chosen as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China on Nov. 15, 2012 • Became President of the People's Republic of China on March 14, 2013, following his election by the National People's Congress, thus replacing his predecessor HuJintao. • Although the presidency is officially a ceremonial post, in recent years it has become customary for the general secretary to assume the presidency as confirmation of his rise to power. • Has adopted the theme; “Chinese Dream” Politics Today