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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. 

4.6 The role of government in the banking and financial systems

The State Council’s annual work report identified financial de-risking as a major task for 2018

Three main tasks were included in the report. One of them: “Preventing major risks (in the financial system)”.

Source CN

2.12 The military and politics

New CMC regulation establishes full-time inspection teams for the PLA

In a continuation of Xi’s anti-corruption campaign, a new military regulation issued on January 16 announced that senior Party members inside the PLA, with the rank of military corps leader and above, will be overseen by full-time inspection teams. These teams are expected to “expose flaws and weaknesses concerning Party leadership, the management of Party organizations, and the implementation of discipline within the armed forces.”

Source EN, Source CN

People’s Armed Police brought under sole control of the CMC

On December 27, shortly after the conclusion of the CCP’s 19th Party Congress, the Chinese government announced that it would bring the People’s Armed Police (PAP) under the direct control of the Central Military Commission (CMC) from January 1, 2018. Previously, the PAP reported to both the CMC and the State Council.

Source EN, Source CN

6.11 Environmental policy: Curtailing urban air pollution

New environmental protection laws went into effect

Environmental protection tax, water pollution prevention and control law and the compensation reform plan on ecological and environmental damage.

Source EN

Implementation of nation-wide emissions trading scheme started

The NDRC announced the introduction of quotas in the power generation sector.  

Source EN

2.7 Local governments at the county, township, and village levels

Document calls for establishment of village affairs supervision commissions

On December 4, 2017, the General Office of the Central Committee of the CCP and the General Office of the State Council issued a joint document calling for the establishment of village affairs supervision commissions. The commissions, which are to consist of three to five people, are to oversee the work of village-level governments, including, among others, decision-making, financial matters, and implementation, with the intent to curb corruption and improve governance at the village level.

Source EN, Source CN

6.16 Internet security: National IT independence and China’s cyber policy

China emphasizes cyber-sovereignty at World Internet Conference

At the annual World Internet Conference, which started in Wuzhen on December 3, Politburo Standing Committee member Wang Huning defended China’s vision of cyber-sovereignty and announced that China is ready to develop new internet governance systems that will “serve all parties and counteract current imbalances”.

Source EN, Source CN

2.5 Provincial- and municipal-level governments

Beijing launches mass eviction of migrant workers

After fires in parts of Beijing on November 18, government authorities launched a 40-day-campaign to demolish unauthorized housing and evict migrant workers without a Beijing resident permit from the city. As part of its urbanization plans, the central government has promised to extend 100 million urban residence permits to rural migrants until 2020, but it wants them to channel migration towards smaller cities rather than places such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangdong, where it is impossible for most migrants to meet the conditions to obtain an official residence permit. The ruthlessness of the forced evictions and the term used in official documents to refer to migrant workers – “low-end population” (低端人口) – has caused many Beijing residents and members of the middle class to speak out against the move.

Source EN, Source CN

2.6 Special Administrative Regions: Hong Kong and Macau

National People’s Congress extends law on national anthem to Hong Kong

A law passed in September 2017 mandating prison sentences for those “disrespecting” the Chinese national anthem is now included in the annex of Hong Kong’s basic law. The move has caused backlash in the Special Administrative Region, where many view it as another sign of Beijing’s heightened intervention.

Source EN, Source CN

2.8 Public finance

China's debt is growing at a faster pace despite years of efforts to contain it

Debt in the real estate sector skyrocketed over the last five years, followed by debt in the industrial sector. China's central bank governor, Zhou Xiaochuan, warned that relatively high corporate debt and the fast-growing household lending could aggravate debt levels in China. Chinese firms’ debt level has been climbing to a record-high. At the end of September, it grew at the fastest pace in four years.

Source EN, Source CN

Editor and principal author