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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. 

6.14 Foreign and security policies: Maritime rights and interests

China officially opens its first overseas military base in Djibouti

Beijing insists that the facility is merely a logistical support base, but live-fire drills held in September point in a different direction.

6.18 Mega-projects: China’s South-to-North Water Transfer Project

To improve the water quality of the Danjiangkou Reservoir, numerous large-scale farms have been closed

Hubei’s provincial government closed 134 large-scale farms. The reservoir is a key source for the SNTWP because its middle route starts here.

2.6.2 Hong Kong’s political trajectory

Xi Jinping sets harsh tone at the twentieth anniversary of the Hong Kong handover

In his speech, he stressed that anything that could “endanger China’s sovereignty and security” or challenge the central government in Beijing was “absolutely impermissible.” Calls for more autonomy from the central government have been gaining traction in Hong Kong since the Occupy Movement of 2014.

Source EN, Source CN

2.6.3 Constraints on democratization

Four lawmakers disqualified from Hong Kong’s Legislative Council

The Hong Kong High Court ruled on July 14 that the oaths the four pan-democratic lawmakers took to be sworn in in October 2016 were invalid. Two lawmakers from the new party Youngspiration were previously disqualified. With the additional disqualifications, the pan-democratic bloc has lost its veto power in Hong Kong’s parliament. The disqualification follows a controversial interpretation of Hong Kong’s Basic Law by the National People’s Congress, which ruled that deviations from the standard oath should be punished with disqualification.

Source EN, Source CN

2.12 The military and politics

Private companies to play a stronger role in China’s defense industry

A jointly released document by the Central Committee, the State Council and the Central Military Commission called for a stronger cooperation between the military and civilian sectors to develop advanced weapon technologies (21 July). This strategy highlights China’s efforts to reduce barriers between the civilian and military sectors and to increase the role of market forces in its ambitious PLA reform program.

Source EN, Source CN

Xi Jinping surprises the world with a strong display of China’s military prowess

On the eve of the 90th anniversary of the PLA’s founding, China held a massive military parade at China’s largest military training base in Zhurihe in Inner Mongolia. Donning a camouflage uniform, Xi categorically said that the PLA is capable of defeating China’s enemies. China’s Ministry of Defense emphasized that all shown military gear was indigenously developed while half of it being displayed for the first time.

Source EN, Source CN

4.4 The political initiation and implementation of economic reform

Mixed-ownership reform to expand in Q3 2017

A number of additional mixed-ownership reforms of State-owned enterprises (SOEs) are in the pipeline following the initial implementation at China Unicom involving private sector technologic giants such as Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu. Plans have been drafted for mixed-ownership structure for China National Aviation Holding Co, Power Construction Corp of China, and China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corp.

Source EN, Source CN

China with ambitious targets in becoming leading AI power by 2030

The State Council announced a roadmap with a general outline of which targets China’s capabilities in the area of artificial intelligence (AI) should achieve by 2030. Guided by government finance AI industry should strengthen in areas including semiconductors, super computers, and software. With economic as well as defense interests involved in gaining technological leadership in the field, the government is also engaging with the countries tech companies.

Source EN, Source CN

5.6.4 The Internet and political communications

Chinese government reportedly orders ban on unlicensed VPNs for individuals by February 1, 2018

Citing internal sources, Bloomberg reported that Chinese government bodies had ordered China’s big telecommunications companies to fully block individual VPN use by February 1, 2018. According to Chinese media reports, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has denied issuing such an order, stating that only “unlicensed” VPNs were affected by regulations curtailing VPN use. While the exact specifics of this particular order remain unclear, Chinese government bodies have been moving more aggressively against VPN use in recent years.

Source EN, Source CN

5.7 Ethnic and religious groups

Government threatens to punish cadres that hold religious beliefs

Party cadres should stick to atheist Marxism, otherwise they face the consequences of violating political discipline, said Wang Zuoan, director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) in Global Times. His remarks indicate that cadres religious commitment is still a big problem with the party-state.

Source EN

Editor and principal author