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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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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. 

2.9.3 New approaches in public administration

Experts call for the modernization of the public sector to be linked with the “Internet+” initiative

In July 2015, Ma Jiantang – the Vice Director of the National Academy of Governance – has called for orienting public administration more toward the latest IT solutions. The initiative to modernize the public sector should be linked with the government’s “Internet+” (互联网+) initiative.

Source CN

2.11.6 Criminal law and the penal system

New Security Law

In July 2015 the NPC Standing Committee passed a new National Security law (full text: CN, EN). The legislation declared both cyberspace and outer space part of China’s national security interest, and it is couched in general terms, with few exact details. This leaves the authorities ample room for interpretation.

2.5 Provincial- and municipal-level governments

Beijing city government announces plans to relocate offices to Tongzhou

In July 2015, the city government of Beijing announced that its administrative offices would be moved to the eastern district of Tongzhou. This plan is part of a closer coordination and integration of administrative services in the new urban area called Jing-Jin-Ji (“Jing” for Beijing, “Jin” for the provincial level city of Tianjin, and “Ji” for Hebei Province).

Source EN, Source CN

2.9.1 The nomenklatura system for senior cadres

Demotion of public officials shall become easier

In June 2015, the Politburo approved a trial run of a system that facilitates the promotion and demotion of officials. It is the first time that structures have been put in place to easily reposition or even demote those officials who do not perform well in their positions.

Source EN, Source CN

2.8 Public finance

Banks instructed to maintain support for LGFPs’ ongoing infrastructure projects

In May 2015, in an effort to prop up economic growth, MOF, PBOC and CSRC instructed the banks to maintain their support for LGFPs’ ongoing infrastructure projects.

Program for local government debt restructuring launched

In March 2015 a program for local government debt restructuring was started (see Naughton for details).

2.3.5 Overlap between party and state bodies

New document about party leading group

In May 2015 the Party Politburo passed a “Provisional regulation on the work of party groups of CCP”. It is the first published document to confirm the leadership of these kinds of CCP groups in government and mass organisations, as well as economic, cultural and social groups.

2.11.3 Courts and judges

Rules against officials who interfere in judicial cases

In March 2015, the General Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CCP) and the General Office of the State Council issued regulations against interference in judicial cases by officials (full texts: CN, CN, EN, EN). Judicial personnel are required to keep records of interference from officials and submit them to their superior judicial organ, as well as to the CCP's political and legal affairs commissions at the same level.

Supreme People’s Court issues 4th Five Year Reform Plan

In February 2015 the Supreme People’s Court’s 4th Five Year Reform Plan was published (full text: CN, EN). It contains specific deadlines for judicial reforms, steps for greater transparency in a broad range of procedural areas and measures to cut back local protectionism. The Supreme People’s Court clearly rejected the notion of “Western style” judicial independence.

2.11.2 The police

Public Security Reform Plan

According to the public security reform plan, police forces are obliged to record every interrogation and face unlimited liability for mishandled criminal cases (full text: CN).

Editor and principal author

Coauthors