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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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China's Political System cover

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. 

6.14 Foreign and security policies: Maritime rights and interests

White Paper on Maritime Cooperation along the Belt and Road

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and State Oceanic Administration (SOA) prepared this document, which makes maritime security cooperation central to the ‘Maritime Silk Road’ (MSR). The White Paper also lays out three distinct ‘passages’ for the MSR: the one commonly referred to via the Indian Ocean to Europe, the ‘China-Oceania-South Pacific’-passage, and an Arctic Ocean-passage again towards Europe.

2.9 The cadre system and public administration

“Demotion guidelines” taking effect

First case of a demotion of high level official due to negligence of this duties. Li Chaoxing, head of the Tianjin Municipal Commission of Industry and Information Technology and NPC delegate, was removed from his post for not delivering on a key project of the provincial level city. The guidelines that define the criteria for cadre promotion and demotion were passed in 2015.

Source CN

2.11.3 Courts and judges

CCP advocates nationwide campaign of legal education

On May 17, the General Office of the Central Committee of the CCP and the General Office of the State Council issued a document to urge all Party members to study law and practice according to law. The document followed Xi Jinping’s visit to China University of Politics and Law and his advocacy of governing the country according to law.

Source EN, Source CN

2.11.5 Attorneys

China dismisses UN criticism of detaining human rights lawyers

On May 8, the spokesman of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs dismissed criticism from the UN over the detention of Chinese human rights lawyers as an “interference” in the country’s domestic affairs.

Source EN, Source CN

2.11.6 Criminal law and the penal system

Shandong High Court reviews murder sentence in loan shark killing case

On May27, Shandong High Court reviewed the controversial sentence in which a man was jailed for life after killing a loan shark who had sexually assaulted his mother. The case ignited public anger over police incompetence so that the Supreme People’s Procuratorate sent attorneys to Shandong to investigate the case.

Source EN, Source CN

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

Auditing of state owned enterprises’ overseas investments to be improved

With the intention of limiting capital flight, overseas investments by SOEs will be more closely inspected. On-site visits to confirm the validity of investments will be carried out both domestically and abroad.

Source EN

New guidelines for the administration of collateral with regards to commercial banks were released

Citing a need to effectively prevent and resolve credit risk, the CBRC released new guidelines for commercial banks’ management of collateral. The new guidelines aim at improving accountability and reducing liquidity risk.

Source CN

2.7 Local governments at the county, township, and village levels

Chinese senior official highlights need to strengthen poverty alleviation in old revolutionary base areas

During a tour of Jiangxi Province, the head of the United Front Work Department of the CCP, Sun Chunlan, stressed the need for poverty reduction in China’s revolutionary base areas. Despite their historical importance to the CCP, many counties and villages in these areas are still impoverished. Lifting them out of poverty is important for China’s development goals until 2020.

Source EN, Source CN

2.8 Public finance

New central government guidelines to monitor local debt

In May, six central level organs, including the Ministry of Finance and NDRC, jointly issued guidelines to monitor on-budget and off-budget debt. A special focus of the guidelines are the criteria for the establishment and operation of Public Private Partnerships (PPP).

Source EN, Source CN

2.12 The military and politics

China launches its first homemade aircraft carrier

The unnamed vessel, launched on April 26, will become operational by 2020—seven years after development work has begun. The type 001A aircraft carrier will become China’s second; its first was based on a Soviet-build ship which China bought from Ukraine back in 1998. It is widely expected that China will construct additional aircraft carriers in the near future to cement its geostrategic ambitions.

Source EN, Source CN

Editor and principal author