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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

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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. 

2.10 Legislation, the People’s Congresses, and the Political Consultative Conferences

Member of the Political Consultative Conference criticized China’s public confession practice and got censored

Zhu Zhengfu, deputy chairman of the All-China Lawyers Association and a delegate to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, criticized the recent spate of instances where people have appeared on state television to express their remorse for crimes they’re accused of. However, the interview with Zhu conducted by, a Chinese financial website, which revealed Zhu’s opinions, was censored during the Political Consultative Conference.

Source CN, Source EN

The NPC announced the codification of China’s first Civil Code

According to the NPC, China is drafting a fundamental Civil Code, with the draft’s general rules expected to be submitted to the top legislature in June. This is a symbol that China is making remarkable progress in the legislation of civil laws.

Source CN, Source EN

2.11.6 Criminal law and the penal system

Cases of violent terrorism and jeopardizing the national security doubled in 2015

According to Zhou Qiang, president of the Supreme People’s Court, the number of cases of terrorism and jeopardizing national security amounted to 1.084 in 2015, twice as many as in 2014. In the SPC’s Working Report this year, Zhou revealed a series of statistics that show more stringent imposition of criminal sanctions by courts on the political dissidents.

Source CN, Source EN

2.12 The military and politics

Military budget 2016

China’s military spending will rise by 7.6 percent in 2016. This low increase can be attributed to slowing GDP growth. Some experts predicted a budget increase of 20 percent. They argued that Xi’s military reforms had created many powerful enemies. To assuage them Xi would have to boost military spending substantially. Yet a sober analysis shows the opposite: PLA reforms are designed to increase the overall effectiveness of the army. Thus, PLA generals are likely support it.

Source EN, Source CN

2.7.2 Village self-governance and village elections

CCP Center demands strict supervision of local elections in 2016

The Central Organization Department has issued a document demanding strict supervision of village elections scheduled to take place in 2016. The document’s main focus is on preventing corruption and the formation of cliques. 

Source EN, Source CN

2.8 Public finance

Fiscal deficit set to rise to 3 percent of GDP in 2016

According to the Ministry of Finance’s Budget Report, presented during the National People’s Congress in March 2016, the fiscal deficit of the central government will rise to 3 percent of GDP in 2016. At a press conference during the NPC, Finance Minister Lou Jiwei explained that the central government was planning to expand its deficit and resume more responsibility for the financing of stimulus measures to reduce the financial burden of local governments.

Source EN, Source CN

2.6.3 Constraints on democratization

Polarization over political future of Hong Kong intensifies as Hong Kong government condemns SAR’s first pro-independence Party formed by Occupy Central activists

Occupy Central activists have announced the formation of the Hong Kong National Party, a new political party that advocates the establishment of an independent “Hong Kong Republic.” Mainland media and SAR lawmakers have slammed the new party as illegal. It is the first party in the SAR to make independence its official goal.

Source EN, Source CN

Most violent clashes in decades erupt between police and Hong Kong localists on the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year

Tensions escalated in Hong Kong over the Lunar New Year as violent clashes erupted in the district of Mongkok on February 9 after police announced they would remove unlicensed vendors and localists rallied behind the vendors. The level of aggression was very unusual for Hong Kong: People hurled bricks at police, and police fired live bullets into the air.

Source EN, Source CN

1.5 Analytical approaches to Chinese politics

New literature

China’s future” by David Shambaugh (2016) combines a diverse set of analytical perspectives to argue why several pathways for China’s future are still possible and how they depend on key decisions by China's leaders, different pressures from within Chinese society, as well as actions taken by other nations. Underpinning his analysis is the assumption that China is in a state of “atrophy” and “decline”, which will continue if no major political reform takes place in the near future.

2.11.7 Judicial reform

Regional courts of the Supreme People’s Court released statistics since establishment in 2015

Both regional courts of the SPC released statistics concerning the number of cases tried (more than 1.600 altogether) and the number of petitioners (more than 40.000) for the first year after its establishment. The statistics show a successful complementary role of the new regional courts in local court system.

Source CN, Source EN

Editor and principal author