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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. 

6.4 Media policy: Controlling social media

Beijing partly blocked messaging service WhatsApp

Photo, video, and voice messages of the Facebook-owned app couldn’t be delivered for the first time. Pure text messages haven’t been affected. Netizens, especially citizen lawyers and journalists who have used WhatsApp as a rather safe communication channel, criticized the move. For now, the messaging service seems to mainly work well.

Source EN

VPN users need to acquire licenses

The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology replied to several reports on VPN usage by saying that based on new regulations issued in January, only users with a license would be able to use it. Further elaborations on who will be eligible and why, and what kind of companies will be able to obtain a license, were not given.

Source EN

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

Local governments are now allowed to issue special bonds to fund toll roads

Local governments which were previously not allowed to borrow funds directly can now do so when constructing roads with toll booths.

Source CN

Chaired by Xi Jinping, the conclusion of the Financial Work Conference lead to the introduction of several policies intended to promote financial stability

Plans to curtail outward investment were introduced, deepening of financial system reform to continue, financial stability and development committee which will supervise regulatory commissions was established.

Source EN

Chongqing issues document which cuts ties with local government financing vehicles (LGFVs), central government will likely follow

Chongqing restricts funding of public interest projects such as infrastructure and public utilities through LGFVs. The policy is intended insure local government only borrows for profitable projects.

Source CN

6.14 Foreign and security policies: Maritime rights and interests

China and Russia conduct joint naval exercise in the Baltic Sea

Three Chinese and ten Russian ships took part in the joint drills off the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. The exercise was part of the “Joint Sea”-series that previously saw the two navies meeting in the South China Sea.

6.16 Internet security: National IT independence and China’s cyber policy

Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) is leading a cross-departmental effort to examine data privacy standards at digital platforms

The new campaign, announced on July 27, will focus for now on China’s ten most popular digital service providers: WeChat, Sina Weibo, Taobao,, Alipay, AMAP, Baidu Maps, DiDi, Umetrip and Ctrip. Recent developments suggest though that authorities will get more closely involved in influencing the data privacy and cybersecurity policies of private enterprises.

Source EN, Source CN

6.9 Industrial policy and investment catalogs in the automotive sector

Updated investment catalog lifts some restrictions on foreign investment

NDRC and MOFCOM have jointly released the 2017 Foreign Investment Catalog (外商投资产业指导目录) which entered into force on July 28. For the first time, the catalog abolishes the requirement to establish a joint venture with a Chinese partner for the manufacturing of motorcycles. Moreover, international car manufacturers are now allowed to establish more than two joint ventures for producing e-cars with Chinese partners.

Source EN, Source CN, Source CN

6.11 Environmental policy: Curtailing urban air pollution

The State Council decided to establish green finance and innovation experimental zones (绿色金融改革创新试验区)

The pilot zones are in Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Guangdong, Guizhou and Xinjiang. The goal is to encourage loan providers to incorporate ecological concerns into their considerations.

For the first time, the Ministry of Environmental Protection releases national standards on environment and health

The “Technical Guideline for Deriving Water Quality Criteria for the Protection of Human Health” and the “Technical Regulation of Field Investigation for Environment and Health” helping to enforce the Environmental Protection Law have been released.

Editor and principal author