Politics in China Y Liu PhD student Politics and International Relations Department Higher Modern Studies Conferences, April 2010
China in brief • Mainland China • Hong Kong, China and Macao, China • Hong Kong (1997) and Macao (1999) are two Special Administrative Regions (SAR) of China • Taiwan, (Republic of China) • One China ? • Two Chinas ? • 1 China + 1 Taiwan? (status quo) • Total size: • 9.6 million squares kilometres = 40 times of the UK’s • Population: • 1.3 billion = 1/5 of the world’s = 22 times of the UK’s • In 2008 urban 45.7% and rural 54.3% (80% in 1978) • GDP per capita: • $3,180 (104th) = 1/12 of the UK’s • Multi-ethnic nation: 56 ethnic groups, Han majority (about 90%) • Multi-religious nation: • Buddhism (200 thousands) • Taoism (25 thousands) • Muslim (18 million) • Catholicism (4 millions) • Christianity (10 millions) (Source: www.gov.cn )
Economic development Political stability Mainland Chinese Politics
30yrs reforms 1978-2008 Imports and exports Foreign direct investment
30yrs reforms 1978-2008 GDP GDP per capita
30yrs reforms 1978-2008 Industrial structure: agricultural/manufacturing/service Urban and rural population Rural Urban
1984, ex-peasants became rural factory workers after agriculture industrialization
30yrs reforms 1978-2008 Personal savings account National foreign exchange reserve Durable consuming goods in city / 100 households Durable consuming goods in township / 100 households TV WashingM Refr AirCond Computer Car TV Refr WashingM Motorbike
The party system Mainland China • Multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the CPCis the basic political system in China. • the ruling party: the Communist Party of China (CPC) > 70 million members • the eight registered non-Communist parties, all together > 600, 000 members • 1) Revolutionary Committee of the Kuomintang • 2) China Democratic League • 3) China Democratic National Construction Association • 4) China Association for Promoting Democracy • 5) Chinese Peasants' and Workers' Democratic Party • 6) China Zhi Gong Party (Returned overseas Chinese, relatives of overseas Chinese, and noted figures and scholars with overseas ties) • 7) September 3 Society (intellectuals of science, technology, education, culture and medicine) • 8) Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League. • Statistics show > 140, 000 elected as deputies to people's congresses at various levels. > 8, 000 held leading posts in governmental and judicial departments above county-level. • The relationship between these parties and the CPC is based on political cooperation rather than political competition aimed at assuming State power. (Democratic centralism & socialism with Chinese characteristics) Hong Kong and Macao, China (SAR) Taiwan (the Republic of China) • The ruling power at present Kuomintang (KMT) favours closer links with mainland China; the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party lost power in last election and seems not to be able to win the next one. source: www.gov.cn
The Constitution – some major political principles (1) • The fundamental task and goals of the state: • To concentrate on socialist modernization; buildsocialism with Chinese characteristics; work on socialist road; improve socialist system in all aspects. • persist in the reform and opening up program; develop market economy. • expand democracy, improve the rule of law; • to be self-reliance, build China into a strong and democratic socialist country with a high degree of cultural development. • “Democratic centralism” • To govern the country through the rule of law (judicial democracy) • The system of ethnic regional autonomy: • All ethnic groups are equal. All prejudice and oppression against any ethnic group is forbidden. All behaviours harmful to ethnic unity and aimed at ethnic separation are forbidden.(Xinjiang; Tibet…) • All citizens are equal before the law. • The right to vote and stand for election: • All citizens who have reached the age of 18 have the right to vote and stand for election, regardless of ethnic status, race, sex, occupation, family background, religious belief, education, property status or length of residence, except persons deprived of political rights according to law. source: www.gov.cn
The Constitution – some major political principles (2) • The freedom of speech and thought: • All citizens enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, or assembly, ofassociation, of procession and of demonstration • The freedom of religious belief: • Citizens enjoy the freedom of religious belief. No state organ, public organization or individual may compel citizens to believe in, or not to believe in, any religion. • Inviolable freedom of the person: • No citizen may be arrested except with the approval or by decision of a people’s procuratorate or by decision of a people’s court, and arrests must be made by a public security organ. Unlawful detention or deprivation or restriction of citizens’ freedom of the person by other means is prohibited, and unlawful search of the person of citizens is prohibited. The personal dignity of citizens is inviolable, so are their residences. • The right to criticize and make suggestions: • Citizens have the right to criticize and make suggestions regarding any state organ or functionary. They have the right to make to relevant state organs complaints or charges against, or exposures of, any state organ or functionary for violation of the law or dereliction of duty. • The right to welfare for old, ill, disabled, or handicapped source: www.gov.cn
The National People’s Congress • China’s fundamental political system • the highest organ of state power (legislation) vs. the CPCPolitburo Standing Committee and the State Council (governance) • Composition: • deputies elected from the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government and deputies elected by the armed forces, “responsible to and supervised by the people” • Functions and power • to amend and to supervise the enforcement of the Constitution; to enact and amend basic laws; to elect the President and the Vice President of China; to elect the President of the Supreme People’s Court; to examine and approve the state budget; to decide on questions of war and peace; right to remove functionaries such as the Chairman and Vice Chairman … • 5 yrs/term; normally meets in session once a year source: www.gov.cn
The election system: 2 ways & 3 levels • The election of deputies to the people’s congresses • Indirect election: • deputies at the next higher level are elected by deputies at the next lower level. • Direct election: • voters directly elect deputies to the people’s congresses by casting their votes. • Deputies to the NPC • elected by the people’s congresses of the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government and by the armed forces. • Deputies to the people’s congresses of the provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the Central Government and cities divided into districts • elected by the people’s congresses at the next lower level. (in essence) • Deputies to the people’s congresses of counties, cities not divided into districts, municipal districts, townships, ethnic townships and towns • elected directly by the electorates. (fundamental) source: www.gov.cn
Social and economic issues: • “san nong”: problems of the peasants, the countryside, and agriculture • “ruoshi qunti”: disadvantaged groups, the poor and powerless, e.g. migrant workers, mining disasters • East-West gap: the imbalanced development between inland and costal China • High GDP vs. low GDP per capita by international standard • Land economy and “national” land capitalization: • £200K = 90 m² flat Beijing outer 5 rings April 2010 • The Constitution has been revised to protect private property while the land remains owned by the state, 70 years using rights. • Remove and rebuild issues • Investment fever vs. Individual savings heat • The sustainability of Chinese economic growth: hot money investment or technology R&D (GDP < 6% = company lose) • Education reform: expansion of universities vs. severe unemployment: graduated = unemployed + family debts – accommodation – bf/gf • Social and economic inequalities: east-west inequality; peasants-citylings inequality (“hukou”); privileged ethnic minority on certain matters - ethnic majority inequality • The contradictory roles played by media in society: distribute propaganda and form public opinion vs. supervise and exposing problems by public opinion; making money and competing in an increasingly crowded market. • Political reform, democracy, human rights.
Problems between central government and local governments: • Central government intends to expand and protect workers’ and peasants’ rights, the legitimacy of the power. (Trade Union) • Regional and local governments need to look after economic growth and government revenue. • The central leadership’s attention to the problems of the disadvantaged will clash with local government’s continuing focus on economic and development goals, in terms of both investment flows and tax receipts.
Demands for change: • The internet has gradually become an influential channel for open criticism via such as chat rooms, blogs, electronic bulletin boards; • Expanded public role in policymaking: localities and individuals are given more opportunities to ‘suggest, vote, or comment’ on certain issues, and they sometimes have means to force officials more accountable and less corrupted; • Township elections have been attempted in several regions, local city council elections have become more open and meaningful, and a number of elections for local people’s congresses in Beijing and Shenzhen have seen living competition featuring candidate posters and campaign speeches; • The Hu-Wen administration sets willingness and demands in improving governance, including experiments with more responsive, transparent, and accountable local governments; the idea of inner-party democracy as an alternative to an effective multiparty system and also a way to combat corruption among party leaders and provide a greater degree of supervision and oversight over party behaviour (Regulations of the CPC on Internal Supervision were enacted in Dec 2003); • Hu in 2004 pointed out the direction in which political reform is headed: toward greater consolidation of party rule through more effective governance and internal controls, staying firmly away from experiments with Western-style multiparty democracy. (There’s no road at the beginning, until someone walked it out. - socialism with Chinese characteristics)
Challenges ahead: • Internally, the government's role and degree of intervention in social issues has not weakened, even with the attempts to make governance more effective, transparent, and service-oriented. (e.g. internal supervision vs. judicial credibility; Trade Union function) • Externally, facing international competition, reputation, and responsibility.
1979，the 1st commercial advertisement 1980,people interested in foreigners than the tourist attraction in Beijing
Thank you! Questions?