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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. 

5.6 The media and public opinion

State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television disbanded

As part of the overall State Council reshuffle announced at the National People’s Congress (NPC) in March 2018, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) was disbanded. SAPPRFT, a government organ, was previously responsible for the administrative side of media control such as issuing and revoking licenses. The Central Propaganda Department was put directly in charge of supervision of press, publication and film. For radio and television, a new administrative body is to be formed directly under the State Council.

Source EN, Source CN

2.3.2 Party congresses and ballots

A new nameplate for CCDI

With the newly established National Supervisory Commission (NSC), which is institutionally and personally integrated into the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), the CCDI is indeed getting a new nameplate. There are no renewals in terms of missions for CCDI. However, the NSC is a constitutional body, while the CCDI has no comparable legal status. The NSC can therefore lawfully investigate into cases of corruption, without facing the criticism due to extra-judicial investigating methods, as the CCDI had previously done.

Source EN, Source CN

4.4 The political initiation and implementation of economic reform

National rejuvenation plans announced during NPC

During the National Peoples’ Congress plans to build a great modern socialist country were announced. For 2018 the policy focus would be on the “three critical battles”: reducing financial risk, poverty and pollution. The plan commits China to rebalancing its economy, boost industrial upgrading and build an innovative and competitive economy. Promises for new efforts in structural reform and opening further areas of the economy to foreign investment were also made. However, the government continued to announce a GDP growth target, of “around 6.5 percent”.

Source EN, Source CN

2.12 The military and politics

Military budget increases by 8.1 percent

According to the budget report submitted to China’s National People’s Congress on March 5, China will raise its defense budget for 2018 by 8.1 percent, up from last year’s 7 percent and 2016’s 7.6 percent. The 2018 defense budget will thus reach 1.11 trillion CNY.

Source EN, Source CN

4.6 The role of government in the banking and financial systems

Insurance providers to be graded

The CIRC, the insurance watchdog will now grade insurers from A to D based on their performance. Low graded providers will be subject to more oversight.

Source EN

New rules for debt-to-equity swaps were issued

The NDRC issued new rules which relaxes the restrictions on who can participate in DES transactions. Third-party companies can now inject capital into banks’ private equity funds.

Source CN

4.5 Government involvement in the Chinese economy

Chinese government takes control over Anbang Insurance Group

Having identified Anbang as a financial risk the government took effective control over the company. The company was heavily involved in selling risky wealth management products as well as engaged in a global investment spree. Its activities alerted financial regulators and led to the disappearance of its Chairman Wu Xiaohui in June. He was formally charged with economic crimes following the governments take over. Officially the government will limit the takeover to one year, maximum two years before divesting again.

Source EN, Source CN

5.3 Rural society

National Bureau of Statistics reports on advances in fighting extreme poverty in 2017

According to the figures of the National Bureau of Statistics, 12.8 million rural Chinese have been lifted out of poverty in 2017. Still 30 million lived under the national poverty line at year´s end. In poverty-stricken areas, the income of people has increased by an average of 10.5 percent.

Source CN

Number of migrant workers stagnated around 286 million individuals in 2017

2.6 Special Administrative Regions: Hong Kong and Macau

Hong Kong Bar Association denounces power of election officials to politically vet candidates

In a statement issued on February 14, the Hong Kong Bar Association has condemned the process by which election officials can vet candidates and determine their eligibility to run in Hong Kong elections. The statement followed a February 14 ruling against pro-independence activist Andy Chan Ho-tin, who was banned from running in the 2016 LegCo elections and had appealed the decision in court. The ruling affirmed the power of election officers to check the candidate’s intent to uphold Hong Kong’s Basic Law. The Hong Kong Bar Association called the vetting criteria “vague and imprecise” and the vetting process the “equivalent to the introduction of a political screening process.”

Source EN, Source CN

Editor and principal author