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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:

AmazonThaliaBücher.deWeltbild, Springer

China's Political System cover

Updates on China's Political System

We have updated all chapters until May 2018. You can browse all updates on China's Political System by key word or chapter of the book. 

1.2 How China is portrayed in Western media

Chinese propaganda on Western media platforms

Chinese party-state media is increasingly using Western online platforms (e.g. YouTube or Twitter) to present an official view on Chinese affairs to an international audience. Latest examples include videos presented by China Daily in which an US-American dad explains the benefits of the “Belt and Road initiative” to his daughter and a German young professional explaining the progress of China and his admiration and love for the country.

1.4 Utilizing information and data from China

China revised regulations of its Law of Statistics

In an ongoing effort to improve the reliability official statistical data China revised regulations of its Law of Statistics. Signed by Premier Li Keqiang the new regulations took effect in August. The new regulations establish standards for designing and carrying out surveys.  Penalties for falsification and manipulating survey data aim to act as an deterrent and should improve data quality.

Source EN, Source CN

4.5 Government involvement in the Chinese economy

Communist party expands its presents in companies, including foreign owned

The CCP has increased efforts to strengthen its position within companies. Following establishing CCP committees into corporate governance in state enterprises listed in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the Party building efforts have been expanded into the private sector. The efforts have expanded in tech companies as well as foreign owned companies including joint-ventures.

Source EN, Source CN

5.1 Political control and “social management”

New rental policy might bring access to local schools for migrant children

Governments in first tier cities Beijing und Guangzhou issued draft polices at the end of August to grant children of migrant workers who rent flats access to local schools. Previously, only home-owners would be eligible. The governments have yet to specify criteria that would make applicants qualify. These measures are also taken to cool down real estate prices.

Source EN, Source CN

5.3 Rural society

Schools for migrant children vanishing as Beijing combats population growth

A campaign to tear down improvised buildings in Beijing’s outskirts led to an abrupt end of the education of thousands of migrant workers’ children. During the municipal government’s crackdown on impoverished towns in the city’s periphery, many schools for migrant children face demolition because they are run illegally or operate in illegal constructed buildings.

Source EN

5.6.3 Media control and “guidance” of public opinion

Cambridge University Press censors articles on its Chinese site

On August 18, renowned journal The China Quarterly published a letter from Cambridge University Press (CUP) in which the publisher admitted to having censored a list of articles following a request made by Chinese authorities. The articles in question, which appear to have been compiled based on a list of title key words (including “Tibet,” “Xinjiang,” and “Cultural Revolution,” among others), were still available elsewhere, but CUP blocked access on platforms in China. On August 21, after protest from academics, CUP reversed course and announced it would make all its articles accessible in China again.

Source EN, Source CN

6.4 Media policy: Controlling social media

China’s cyber administration enforces real-name registration for online comments

According to China’s cyber administration (CAC) from October 1, all IT and tech companies will have to verify the identities of all registered users before they can comment anything on their platforms. Similar plans have been issued before, but this one aims at enforcing it, probably also due to the upcoming 19th party congress. China’s IT companies have been under scrutiny for violations of user regulations.

Source EN, Source CN

6.7 Public budgets: The role of local-government financing platforms

State Council introduced measures to increase foreign direct investment

Entry barriers are to be reduced, supportive tax policies are to be introduced, investment environment in national development zones is to be improved, and visas for foreign workers are to be facilitated.

Source CN

NDRC and MOFCOM are increasingly scrutinizing overseas acquisitions by Chinese firms

The commissions are reviewing overseas deals in minute details. Firms engaged in ODI must provide clear motivations of purchases.

Source EN

6.11 Environmental policy: Curtailing urban air pollution

New literature

“Implementation of Pollution Control Targets in China: Has a Centralized Enforcement Approach Worked?”: Zhang Xuehua finds that the national pollution reduction target system established in 2007 has reduced the overreporting problem with emission data, enhanced local monitoring and enforcement capacity. To some degree, the more frequent inspections, deterred violations. However, verification remains highly resource intensive, involves little external oversight and public participation.

Editor and principal author