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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. 

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

Leverage ratios of state owned enterprises asked to be cut

In the State Council’s guidelines for economic reform in 2017 leverage ratios of firms were asked to be reduced. The request is related to China’s ongoing attempt to reduce economy-wide leverage.

Source EN

2.5 Provincial- and municipal-level governments

CCP Central Committee and State Council announce plans to establish Xiong’an New Area

The plans were announced on April 1 as part of the overall regional integration of Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei (京津冀). The New Area will span the three counties of Xiongxian, Rongcheng, and Anxin in Hebei. Among other things, it will serve as an experiment for sustainable urban development.

Source EN, Source CN

New literature

Cheng Li and Lucy Xu. “The Rise of State-Owned Enterprise Executives in China’s Provincial Leadership.” February 21, 2017, China-US Focus.

1.4 Utilizing information and data from China

New supervision team to ensure accuracy of statistics

Following a string of events questioning official Chinese economic data, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has announced the establishment of a team to improve reliability of official data. The development has been complemented by increased efforts by the NBS to reform the rules and regulations for collecting statistics for the central government.

Source EN, Source CN

2.10.1 Regulation and law-making

Codification of Civil Law

On March 15, the National People’s Congress approved the general provisions of the Civil Code. The NPC Standing Committee is now tasked with amending a number of existing pieces of legislation and passing the entire code by 2020.

Source EN, Source CN

2.8 Public finance

Local government debt on the rise despite an increase in central government transfer payments

In March, the Ministry of Finance presented the budget report for 2016 and the draft for central and local budgets for the fiscal year 2017 at the annual NPC plenary session.

In 2016, the central government raised the ceiling for local government debt by 1.18 trillion CNY. Local government bonds issued to replace outstanding debt reached another record high of 4.9 trillion CNY. The value of such bonds issued over the past two years totaled 8.1 trillion CNY.

In 2017, central government transfer payments to local governments are projected to amount to 5.65 trillion CNY, up 7 percent over 2016. Additional funding is supposed to contribute to equalizing access to basic public services, financial subsidies to poor regions, and investments in helping local governments further strengthen areas of weakness.

Source EN, Source CN

Ministry of Finance announces deepening of tax reform in 2017

At the same occasion, the ministry presented a number of clues for the direction of tax reform in 2017. First of all, the trials to replace business tax with value added tax (VAT) will be expanded to all sectors. Furthermore, the government plans to develop resource taxes, piloting with water resource tax in more areas. Furthermore, they prepare the drafts of the tobacco leaf tax law, the tonnage tax law, and the tax law on farmland used for non-agricultural purposes.

Source EN, Source CN

2.6 Special Administrative Regions: Hong Kong and Macau

Carrie Lam selected as Hong Kong’s new Chief Executive

On March 26, Beijing-backed candidate Carrie Lam was selected by a 1,200-person election committee to become Hong Kong’s new Chief Executive. She received 777 votes. Her main opponent, former finance secretary John Tsang, received only 365 votes. Lam was widely expected to win the race.

Source EN, Source CN

2.6.1 Hong Kong’s economic role

State Council publishes plans for closer integration between Hong Kong and Macau and nine mainland provinces

Among others, the plans for the enlarged Greater Pearl River Delta Region include infrastructure projects as well as common market standards. Closer integration is supposed to mitigate rivalry between Hong Kong and southern metropolises such as Guangzhou on the one hand while tying the two SARs closer to the mainland on the other.

Source EN, Source CN

2.11.7 Judicial reform

The SPC issues White Paper on Judicial Reforms

On February 27, the SPC released a White Paper on Judicial Reforms and delivered a positive assessment of the reforms presided over by the SPC in the past three years.

Source EN, Source CN

Editor and principal author