MERICS China's Political System header


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 constantly update all chapters. You can browse all updates on China's Political System by key word or chapter of the book. 

2.12 The military and politics

Xi unveils new vision for the PLA during Party Congress

While delivering his work report to the CCP’s 19th Party Congress on October 18, Xi outlined the path forward for the PLA. Within three years, the armed forces will make significant progress towards mechanization and informatization, and they will complete the process of modernization by 2035. Xi also expects the PLA to be a “world-class force” by 2050.

Source EN, Source CN

Central Military Commission reform

On October 25, after the 19th Party Congress, the CCP announced the new line-up of the Central Military Commission (CMC). The CMC will now be led by seven members – Xi as the chairman, two vice-chairmen and four other members – down from the previous 11 members. The commanders of the PLA’s military services, as well as the directors of the Logistic Support Department and the Equipment Development Department will no longer be part of the CMC leadership. And, for the first time, the chief of the CMC’s Discipline Inspection Commission will be a member.

Source EN, Source CN


4.4 The political initiation and implementation of economic reform

Xi Jinping announces start of “new era” for China

During the 19thParty Congress Xi Jinping declared China was entering a new era. The term reflects strengthening self-confidence it’s the country’s ability. This includes its economic ambitions to establish a strong, innovative and globally leading economy. In line with the ambition was the CCP’s declared goal of establishing a moderately prosperous society under socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Source EN, Source CN

4.6 The role of government in the banking and financial systems

People’s Bank of China cuts reserve requirement ratio

Banks who meet certain requirements will have their reserve requirement cut from 20 to 15 percent. In reality almost all banks qualify.

Source EN

The deposit requirement on currency forwards was removed

In order to cap the yuan’s strength, the central bank lifted the reserve requirements on currency trades.

Source EN

Mixed rules for investment

Outbound investment into gambling and entertainment industries will be banned, property investments restricted, while investment related to the Belt and Road Initiative will be encouraged. At the same time foreign direct investment into the country will be encouraged.

Source EN

5.1 Political control and “social management”

New literature

New study in Science magazine gives merit to China’s previous One-Child policy.

5.6 The media and public opinion

Cyberspace Administration of China issues "Security Assessment and Management Regulations concerning New Technologies and New Applications in Internet News Information Service"

On October 30, 2017, China’s top cyberspace regulator published new regulations mandating a security assessment for new technology-based information products or applications, screening them, among others, for their potential to shape public opinion and mobilize the population. The regulations came into effect on December 1, 2017.

Source EN, Source CN

6.11 Environmental policy: Curtailing urban air pollution

Environmental protection at the 19th Party Congress

Xi Jinping announced new regulatory agencies to manage state-owned natural resources. Besides that, the CCP charter puts more emphasis on environmental protection: “raise awareness that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets” was added to it.

2.10.1 Regulation and law-making

Codification of National Anthem Law

On September 1, the Standing Committee of the NPC approved the National Anthem Law. The NPC Standing Committee further extended the law to Hong Kong in November.

Source EN, Source CN

Editor and principal author