Presentation Outline • Sovereignty, Authority, and Power • state, regimes, and nations • sovereignty • sources of legitimacy • political culture
I. a) state, regimes, and nations Review: What is the difference between state, regime, and nation? • The Chinese state has been around in one form or another for well over three thousand years • It is one of the oldest continuous states in the world
Territorial Evolution of the Chinese state Ming Dynasty Circa 1415 Song Dynasty Circa 960 Qing Dynasty Circa 1820 China since 1949
Regimes There are three distinct regime periods in Chinese history: • Dynastic rule (*each dynasty itself was a new regime), 1000 C.E.- 1911 • Republican rule, 1911-1949 • Communist rule, 1949-present For furthering reading into Chinese dynasties and regimes see: http://www.chinaknowledge.de/History/history.htm
The People’s Republic of China Current Features of the Regime: • Authoritarian • One-Party state (Communist Party) • Limited political reforms/major economic reforms (we will discuss these later) Left: Mao Zedong formally announces the establishment of the People’s Republic of China
Nations China has 56 officially recognized nations The dominant nation is the Han which compromises over 90% of the population. Most political scientists would consider China a nation (Han)-state Breakdown: Han: 91.9% Minorities: 8.1% Uyghur, Tibetan, Hui, Zhuang, Mongolian, Korean, Miao... Source: CIA Factbook (2012)
What connection can you make between China’s population density and the location of its ethnic minorities?
I. b) Sovereignty • Sovereignty has long been an important concept and theme in Chinese politics and history • The current regime can boast that it is the only one in the last several hundred years which has held full sovereignty over the mainland Chinese territory/state • Before the establishment of the People’s Republic of China many foreign states had carved out spheres of influence in China thereby challenging the sovereignty of the Qing and Republican regimes
China is a unitary state with no devolved powers to the regions. • China has 33 provinces/administrative/autonomous regions • Each province/administrative region has a Communist Party, local government, and reports directly to Beijing • China also has five autonomous regions. These are regions where a substantial proportion of the population consists of a particular minority nation such as the Tibetans. Autonomous regions are nominally autonomous, have limited legislative powers , but do have some latitude in minority language education rights.
Hong Kong and Macau • Hong Kong (British) and Macau (Portuguese) were former European colonies that were returned to China near the end of the twentieth century. • They are both considered special administrative zones. They have a great deal of autonomy under the One Country Two Systems policy. They still exist at the will of the mainland. • The mainland only controls defence and foreign affairs. • Macau and Hong Kong have their own monetary, legal, and government systems, and control over their own immigration
China is a strong state • The activities of NGOs and supranational organizations are circumscribed (limited) by the Chinese government • Nevertheless, China has joined the WTO (2001) and thus must comply with WTO trade regulations • China has also been under pressure to revalue and appreciate its Yuan currency How is China similar to Russia in this regard of being a strong state?
Chinese influence • China has tremendous influence on the world stage. • Like Russia and the United Kingdom, it is a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council • China has the second largest economy in the world and is a major trading partner with many states. China has used its economic influence for political/diplomatic purposes by forcing its trading partners to accept the One China policy, further marginalizing Taiwan
China’s Claim over Taiwan Is Taiwan a state? The official stance of the government of the People’s Republic of China is that there is only one Chinese state and that Taiwan is a province of China, and does NOT constitute a separate state. There are two rival theories on the definition of statehood which are worth considering: Source: http://www.lawnotes.in/Recognition_of_a_State
I. c) Sources of Legitimacy • Traditional:dynastic rule • Charismatic:Mao Zedong’s period, 1949-1976 • Legitimacy Today: • attempts at rational-legal legitimacy • economic stability and prosperity
Traditional Legitimacy How would you define traditional legitimacy? • Based on the mandate of Heaven, the emperor was said to have the divine right of kings. • He was considered the Son of Heaven. • The emperor was to be obeyed because his authority, it was believed, came from Heaven.
Charismatic legitimacy How would you define charismatic legitimacy? Mao Zedong created a cult of personality and huge following among the Chinese peasantry, from the Long March through the Cultural Revolution. Cultural Revolution, 1966 Long March, 1934
Legitimacy TodayAttempts at rational-legal legitimacy • 1982 Basic Law (Constitution) • 1979 Legal Code • semi-competitive village elections Villagers vote for members to the Local People’s Congress
Legitimacy TodayEconomic Stability and Prosperity • Since Deng Xiaoping’s economic reforms in the early 1980s China’s GDP and living standards have increased at an exponential rate. The regime is quick to credit itself for China’s recent economic success.
I. d) Political Culture • Confucianism • Guanxi • Restricted but active civil society
Confucianism • Deeply rooted philosophical tradition of respect for authority, within the family, within a company, and within the state. • Confucianism does not mean blind obedience, but rather a reverence and respect for authority and authority figures. • Authority figures, in turn, should act with honour, virtue, and compassion • Regimes throughout Chinese history have used or manipulated Confucianism to ensure compliance and deter criticisms Chinese Philosopher Confucius: 551-479 B.C.E Japan and South Korea were also influenced by Confucian values. Yet these two states developed democracies. Does Confucianism encourage or hinder democratization?
Guanxi • Guanxi has no direct English translation. The best definition which approximates the concept is relations or connections • Guanxi centers around building a network of relationships which will bring economic, political, and status “face” gains. • This has also created a patron-client system in China and fostered corruption. • The more a patron helps a client, the more the client is expected to provide and vice versa • Guanxi may also be considered a form of social capital • The more guanxi one has obtained, the more opportunities one will have in China
Guanxiexplained: Typical Example: The Patron and Client now have guanxiwith each other. 10,000 Yuan bribe or “gift” Communist Party Official “Patron” Chinese businessman and citizen “Client” Zoning permit granted to build large apartment complexes
Restricted but active civil society • The Chinese are not apathetic. • They have organized religious, cultural, anti-government, and environmental groups. • They are also known for spontaneous uprisings to make their voices heard. • Their actions, however, are heavily restricted by the Communist Party • China has on average 500 protests a day, most in the countryside, and most on a small scale. Source: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/01/how-china-stays-stable-despite-500-protests-every-day/250940/
Tiananmen Square Student Demonstrations, 1989 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners in Beijing, 1999 Wukan villagers protest corruption in Southern China, 2011 Young residents in Dalian protest a chemical leak from a factory and demand that the government take action, 2011 Protestors demanding the release of democracy activist Liu Xiaobo in Beijing, 2010 Sad and angry mothers mourn the loss of their children and demand that officials be held accountable for faulty construction in the wake of the Sichuan earthquake, 2008
Discussion Questions • China and the U.K. Are both unitary states. In which ways are they similar and different with respect to state power? • Why has the concept of sovereignty been central to the Chinese political discourse? • China is attempting rational-legal legitimacy. To what extent have these attempts been successful? • Compare and Contrast Chinese and Russian political culture. Would Democracy work in China? How would it look, function?