China: Political Institutions
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China: Political Institutions

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China: Political Institutions




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Presentation on theme: "China: Political Institutions"— Presentation transcript:

Slide1

China: Political Institutions

AP Comparative government

Slide2

Political Institutions

China’s political regime is best categorized as authoritarian

Decisions are made

by political

elites, or those that hold political power, without much input from the citizens

Leaders are

promoted through the ranks of government through informal ties with others and

through personal

relationships

In recent years there has been a push to go towards a more market based

economy,

which has put strain on the centralized control of the government

Because of these

conflicts,

there has been a push towards greater

decentralization

within the government

There has been a greater push by local governments to defy or ignore the central government by setting their own tax rates or initiating building projects

As with the Soviet Union,

political elites

control government structures, but China also integrates the use of the military into the political hierarchy

The head of the Central Military Commission is often the most power leader in China

Slide3

The Chinese Communist Part (CCP)

The

Chinese Communist Party

is the heart of the Chinese political system

The legitimacy of the government lies in the historical concept that the party knows what is best for the people

It is believed that society is best led by an elite

party,

with superior understanding of the Chinese people

and

their needs (democratic centralism)

Slide4

Organization of the CCP

The CCP is organized hierarchically by levels:

Village/township, county, province, and nation

Until 1976 Mao was the Chairman

The title chairman was abandoned after Mao’s death and the head of the party is now called the general secretary

Slide5

Organization of the CCP

The party

has

a separate constitution from the constitution of the country. The party has separate central bodies which

are the:

National Party Congress:

This body consists of more than

2,000 delegates,

chosen primarily from congresses on lower levels

This body meets every 5 years, so

it is not important in policy making

The

main power

of this body is

to elect members to the Central Committee

Central

Committee:

The Central

Committee has about

350 members, who

meet annually for about a week.

Their meetings are called

plenums

and are important in that they are a gathering of the political

elites.

The

Politburo and the Standing Committee are chosen from these members

Politburo/Standing Committee:

These

are the most

powerful political organizations

and are

at the top of the CCP structure

They are chosen by the Central Committee and their decisions dictate government policies

There are

25

members in the

Central Committee. The seven members of the Politburo are chosen from among the 25 members of the Central Committee.

These organizations meet in private and the balance of power reflects the power among factions in the government

Slide6

Non-Communist Parties

The CCP does allow the existence of eight “democratic” parties, even though China is a one party system

There are only about a half million members of these parties and they do not challenge the CCP for authority

Their main role is in giving advice to the CCP

Attempts to form democratic parties outside the control of the CCP have been

crushed, with reformers serving severe prison sentences

Slide7

Elections

The PRC holds elections in order to legitimize the government and the CCP

The party controls the commissions that run elections, and it reviews draft lists of proposed candidates to weed out those it finds politically objectionable

Direct elections are only held at the local level, with voters choosing deputies to serve on the county people’s congress

Slide8

Political Elite

The Long march helped create much of the political elite under Mao

These people networked with one another for many years under a system called

guanxi

, also known as personal connections

These personal connections are still extremely important in Chinese culture

Like the USSR, China recruits is leaders through the use of

nomenklatura

This is a system of choosing cadres from lower levels of the party hierarchy for advancement based on their loyalty and contributions to the well being of the party

These leaders communicate with each other through a

patron-client network

called

guanxi

These systems work very similar to the patronage systems in the west

Slide9

Factionalism

There are a variety of factions that exist throughout China. They are:

Conservatives:

They fear that the power of the party and the central government has eroded too much.

They fear a move toward democracy and generally support crackdowns or organizations and individuals who act too

independently

Chinese Communist Youth League:

This faction is led by former President Hu Jintao.

This party is supposed to recognized Chinese youth from ages 14-28.

It is also recognized as a advocate for the urban and rural poor.

Slide10

Factionalism

Liberals:

This faction has been out of power since the Tiananmen Square

incident (1989)

They

were

more accepting of political liberties and democratic movements than are other factions

Princelings:

These leaders come from the aristocracy of families with revolutionary credentials

that date back to the days

of Mao Zedong

They are not always clear on their policy

preferences

Some princelings have benefited greatly from the move towards a more market based economy, while others think the move towards a market economy has been a betrayal of China’s socialist principles

The factions follow the process of

fang-

shou

,

or a tightening

up and

loosening up

cycle of government power

The power structure of the parties change with the economy and the fortunes of the country

Slide11

Interest Groups

Interest groups are not permitted to influence the political process unless they are under the party-state authority

In order to allow for people to display their displeasure the

government, the party

organizes

mass demonstrations where people are

allowed to voice their opinion according to very strict rules

Urban areas are socially controlled through

danwei

, or social units usually based on a person’s place of work.

People depend on danwei for food, income, jobs, promotion, medical care, housing, daycare, and

recreation

Citizen dependence on this welfare means that people are very unwilling to speak out against the state

NGO’s and other interest groups, even though they number close to 2 million, have little to no influence on policy decisions

Slide12

Interest Groups

The

relationship between organizations

and the

state is characterized by a system of

state

corporatism

Just as with Lenin in the USSR, organizations are created or approved by the state, and have government officials as their leaders

The state only allows one organization for any given profession or

activity

The organization receives beneficial treatment in the government in exchange for absolute loyalty to the leader and the party

Slide13

Media

Between 1949 and 1980, almost all media were state run

There are a few independent media organizations in existence now, but they have very little power

Xinhua

is the official press agency of the government and they employ 10,000 people

Independent newspapers depend on Xinhua for many of their stories

The Central Committee of the CCP also depends on Xinhua for much of its information

China also has a closed caption television system called

Chinese Central Television

(CCTV)

All

media

outlets,

including the internet, are heavily censored by the government

This has been challenged as content has been harder to block

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