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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

New rules improving oversight of policy banks have been introduced

The three banks, China Development Bank, Export-Import Bank of China, and the Agricultural Development Bank will face mechanisms intended to make sure they won’t lend more cash than they can afford.

Source EN

The Financial Stability and Development Commission (FSDC) held its first meeting

The commission is tasked to coordinate reforms and regulations between existing regulators and hold regulators and local governments accountable for failure to enact policy.

Source CN

4.9 Decentralized economic policies and regional disparities

State Council announces establishment of Made in China 2025 demonstration zones

In a further push to advance targets for industrial upgrading, the State Council released a circular to establish regional Made in China 2025 demonstration zones. The circular calls for cities and regional clusters to improve innovation and industrial upgrading. To achieve national targets cities or regions are also encouraged to make use of flexible micro policies.

Source EN, Source CN

Shanghai port to experiment with financial deregulation

The State Council has announced new financial experiments within the Shanghai port following disappointment in how policies in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ) introduced in 2013 worked out. The newly introduced policies in the port area include eased capital controls, removal of customs duties and fewer clearance procedures compared to the Shanghai FTZ.  

Source EN, Source CN

5.1 Political control and “social management”

Child care abuse and migrant evictions create public outrage

On November 22, various Chinese news outlets have reported about child abuse at a nursery in Beijing’s Chaoyang district catering white collar employees. Chinese authorities were quick to clamp down on widespread online outrage. A 40-day campaign of Beijing’s city government to evict migrant workers from “unsafe” houses launched after a fire killed 19 people on November 18, was met with criticism from China’s Central Television as well from public intellectuals who addressed an open letter to the government.

5.3 Rural society

Thousands evicted in Beijing crackdown after fatal fire

Shortly after a fatal fire in a Beijing outskirt, the municipal government ordered a 40-day crackdown of buildings with potential fire hazards, according to a directive issued by the Beijing Work Safety Committee. Thousands of Beijing tenants, mostly migrant workers, are being evicted from their homes as a result.

Source EN, Source EN, Source CN, Source CN

6.2 Administrative modernization and economic deregulation

Recommended literature:

The Modernization of China’s State Governance.  Hu, A., Tang, X., Yang, Z., Yan, Y.; Springer Verlag 2017.

China plans to transfer state assets to social security funds to make up for shortage of money

Facing an increasing demographic challenge with its aging population, China will set aside state-owned enterprises’ assets to make up for the shortage of money in the nation’s pension funds. On November 18, the State Council issued a plan envisaging the transfer of ten percent of such assets into social security funds. The process will start with a rather small-scale pilot project involving three to five state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and two financial institutions administered by the central government. Some provinces will also tentatively implement the program, the statement said. Based on the experimental results, more SOEs and financial institutions will be added in 2018.

(see also  MERICS China Update Nr. 19/2017)

Source EN, Source EN, Source CN

6.7 Public budgets: The role of local-government financing platforms

The Financial Stability and Development Commission (FSDC) held its first meeting

The commission is tasked to coordinate reforms and regulations between existing regulators and hold regulators and local governments accountable for failure to enact policy

Source CN

6.8 Infrastructure policy and the high-speed rail network

Snapshot November 2017: Chinese companies are involved in 20 railway projects overseas

At the end of November, China’s railway authorities report that Chinese companies are involved in more than 20 railway projects overseas, with a total investment of over 100 billion RMB. All projects are said to be linked to the Belt and Road Initiative with the aim to promote cooperation along the new Silk Road.

Source EN, Source CN

Editor and principal author