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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 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. 

2.5 Provincial- and municipal-level governments

Liaoning admits to falsifying economic data between 2011 and 2014

The admission came from the governor after a series of low growth figures reported by the Northeastern province, including negative growth during the first quarter of 2016. The figures raised suspicions that economic data was falsified by provincial leaders for political gain.

Source EN, Source CN

2.6.3 Constraints on democratization

Former Chief Executive Donald Tsang found guilty of misconduct, sentenced to 20 months of jail time

Tsang, who served as Hong Kong’s Chief Executive from 2005 until 2012, was convicted on February 22, 2017 of two accounts of misconduct. His sentence was reduced by the judge from 30 to 20 months.

Source En, Source CN

Chinese-born billionaire Xiao Jianhua taken to China from his Hong Kong hotel

Xiao, who has Canadian citizenship, was taken across the border by Chinese police. The tycoon had business dealings with relatives of high-ranking Chinese leaders, including Xi Jinping’s brother-in-law. Xiao’s disappearance is part of a series of possible cross-border abductions that have raised concerns about the SAR’s autonomy and the safety of Hong Kong’s residents.

Source EN, Source CN

2.3.2 Party congresses and ballots

Responsibilities of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) has been redefined

The establishment of a new national anti-corruption commission by the NPC paves the way for limiting the areas of responsibilities of the CCDI. In future, the CCDI will be primarily responsible for investigating corruption cases of CCP members. The instruments of the CCDI to discipline individual cadres will be limited to verbal warnings and criticism, demotion and other disciplinary actions. The new working areas of the CCDI has been documented in the regulation on intra-party inspection (中国共产党党内监督条例) passed at the 6th Plenum of the 18th Central Committee in October 2016.

Source EN, Source CN

2.11.3 Courts and judges

Chief justice rejects an independent judiciary

On January 14, Zhou Qiang, president of the SPC, openly denounced the idea of an independent judiciary and other liberal principles long cherished by many Chinese lawyers, warning judges not to fall into the “trap” of “Western” ideology. Lawyers and observers both at home and abroad were shocked.

Source EN, Source CN

2.11.6 Criminal law and the penal system

Torture of detained lawyers

On January 28, the EU issued an open statement calling on China to investigate the reported torture of three mainland human rights lawyers. The three lawyers were detained in July 2015 in a nationwide campaign known as the “709 crackdown on lawyers”. They face trials on subversion charges and were reported to be subject to various forms of torture in residential surveillance.

Source EN, Source CN

2.12 The military and politics

China creates new commission for advancing civil-military integration

The Politburo has decided on January 22 to set up a new Central Commission for Integrated Military and Civilian Development (中央军民融合发展委员会). The new body will be headed by Xi Jinping. Exploiting cutting-edge technologies, like artificial intelligence, robotics, big data and nanotechnology, is viewed by the Chinese leadership as crucial for modern warfare. The new commission is expected to facilitate the transfer of innovative developments from technology companies and national research institutes to the military.

Source EN, Source CN

1.4 Utilizing information and data from China

National Bureau of Statistics vows to improve data quality and reduce reliance on provincial statistic bureaus

Following the latest blow to the reliability of Chinese statistical data, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announces that it will introduce steps to reduce the reliance on provincial level statistical bureaus. Among other steps NBS employees will no longer work within provincial level statistics bureaus and move into separate facilities. Under the proposed changes, the NBS will expand its own capacity to collect and verify data.

Source EN, Source CN 

Liaoning province admits to cooking its books

The provincial government of Liaoning admitted that it falsified data on fiscal revenue between 2011 and 2014. Governor Chen Qiufa admitted that revenues were inflated by up to 20 percent. Without going into the specifics, it was also revealed that other economic data had been inflated. Liaoning’s economy has been amid the worst performing provinces in China in recent years, registering negative quarterly GDP growth in 2016.

Source ENSource CN

2.1.2 Ideology and legitimation in transition

Party members should counter „Western ideology“ in private chatrooms

The Xinhua News Agency published “Guidelines for party members and cadres on using WeChat” (党员干部微信朋友圈使用指南) on January 22. In these guidelines, private circles of friends on WeChat are declared as part of the “public space.” Party members are encouraged to “employ their red beliefs as weapons to counter the diffusion of Western ideology,” to push back against “negative” and “black” energy and to educate their friends accordingly.

Source EN, Source CN

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