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The Chinese government is one of the most important actors in international affairs today. China’s global economic and diplomatic presence is challenging the earlier dominance by the Western powers. To thoroughly understand how the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has grown in power requires a careful analysis of its political system. What contribution has the political system and government activity made in respect to China’s economic transformation? What consequences will the economic modernisation and world-economic integration have on the political system? Is the political system able to adapt to changing economic, technological, and international conditions? Which potentials and risks will shape the mid-term development of the political system?

The book offers a differentiated understanding of the conditions, potentials and risks of the political development in China. It is based on a comprehensive of analysis of Chinese resources and gives readers the most current overview of international China research.

"China's political system" published by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers is available on Amazon.

The German version of the book is available in bookshops or online at:

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Updates on China's Political System

We constantly update all chapters. You can browse all updates on China's Political System by key word or chapter of the book. 

2.5 Provincial- and municipal-level governments

Beijing launches mass eviction of migrant workers

After fires in parts of Beijing on November 18, government authorities launched a 40-day-campaign to demolish unauthorized housing and evict migrant workers without a Beijing resident permit from the city. As part of its urbanization plans, the central government has promised to extend 100 million urban residence permits to rural migrants until 2020, but it wants them to channel migration towards smaller cities rather than places such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangdong, where it is impossible for most migrants to meet the conditions to obtain an official residence permit. The ruthlessness of the forced evictions and the term used in official documents to refer to migrant workers – “low-end population” (低端人口) – has caused many Beijing residents and members of the middle class to speak out against the move.

Source EN, Source CN

2.6 Special Administrative Regions: Hong Kong and Macau

National People’s Congress extends law on national anthem to Hong Kong

A law passed in September 2017 mandating prison sentences for those “disrespecting” the Chinese national anthem is now included in the annex of Hong Kong’s basic law. The move has caused backlash in the Special Administrative Region, where many view it as another sign of Beijing’s heightened intervention.

Source EN, Source CN

2.8 Public finance

China's debt is growing at a faster pace despite years of efforts to contain it

Debt in the real estate sector skyrocketed over the last five years, followed by debt in the industrial sector. China's central bank governor, Zhou Xiaochuan, warned that relatively high corporate debt and the fast-growing household lending could aggravate debt levels in China. Chinese firms’ debt level has been climbing to a record-high. At the end of September, it grew at the fastest pace in four years.

Source EN, Source CN

2.9 The cadre system and public administration

Chinese government looks for public solicitation on new draft of anti-corruption law

During the period from November 7 to December 6 2017, China solicited public comments on a draft of law that seeks to improve its anti-corruption system. The proposed law would establish a new “National Supervision Commission” as an overarching institution of supervisory bodies that operate alongside the legislative, executive and judicial branches. Under previous regulations, disciplinary organs of the Party may impose the system of “Shuanggui” (双规) as an internal disciplinary process only on members of the Party who are suspected of “violations of disciplines.” A new disciplinary system would replace Shuanggui and be applicable for investigating all civil servants and public service employees. Suggestions for revising the draft law can be made online via the homepage of the NPC (全国人大法律草案征求意见管理系统). Currently (30/11/2017), 11,191 people proposed changes or made comments.

Source EN, Source CN

2.10.2 The People’s Congresses

Pilot project of establishing the National Supervision Commission

On November 7, the Standing Committee of the NPC published the draft National Supervision Law to solicit public opinions. The Standing Committee also adopted a decision on carrying out a pilot project of the National Supervision Committee across the country.

Source EN, Source CN

2.11.3 Courts and judges

Applying artificial intelligence in judiciary

On November 24, Zhou Qiang, president of the Supreme People’s Court, said it was important to use artificial intelligence in courts to enhance the quality of judicial work. In the past months, courts across China have started to use robots to give guidance or help writing indictments.

Source EN, Source CN

2.11.6 Criminal law and the penal system

Criminalizing disrespect of national anthem

On November 4, the Standing Committee of the NPC passed amendment of China’s Criminal Code, inserting a new provision on the crime of “insulting the national anthem”. A suspect of such a crime may be sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.

Source EN, Source CN

2.12 The military and politics

PLA pledges total loyalty to Xi Jinping and the Party

On November 5, the Central Military Commission (CMC) issued a new guideline reaffirming the absolute leadership of the Party over the armed forces, and requiring that troops be loyal to Xi. The guideline called for the implementation of a chairman-responsibility system, by which the chairman of the CMC has overall responsibility for the military. This system was also added to the CCP Constitution during the 19th Party Congress.

Source EN, Source CN

4.4 The political initiation and implementation of economic reform

China steps up deleveraging campaign as super regulator is launched

Faced with high levels of debt and the risk of financial meltdown the government has stepped up efforts to reign in credit and speculative investments. Following the 19th Party Congress numerous efforts by regulatory bodies including the People's Bank of China (PBOC), the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) and the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC). The latest efforts coincide with the official launch of the Financial Stability and Development Committee under the direct control of the State Council.

Source EN, Source CN

4.5 Government involvement in the Chinese economy

Three-year action plan for manufacturing upgrade plan announced

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced an action plan for the industrial sectors outlined within the Made in China 2025 strategy. Between 2018 and 2020 the NDRC aims to achieve key technological breakthroughs in these sectors. Although the plan remains vague on details it underlines the state driven ambitions for industrial upgrading.

Source EN, Source CN

Editor and principal author