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Political Implications of Economic Reform in China

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					    Chinese Communist Party parallels and
    dominates all other state institutions
1



    Communist Party           legislature            executive

    General Secretary         Chairman               Premier

        (Hu Jintao)         (Wu Bangguo)          (Wen Jiabao)

       Politburo of       National
    Central Committee People’s Congress           State Council

       party structure      Traditionally a      implements party
        parallels and      rubber stamp for           policy;
    dominates all other     party decisions;        oversees all
    elements of the state nominally elected         government
        bureaucracy       but party supervises    ministries, state-
                             nomination of        owned factories,
                               candidates          schools, etc.
Political Implications of Economic
Reform in China
Totalitarianism                         Authoritarianism

charismatic leader                     more routinized succession

single dominant party                  single dominant party

utopian, forward-looking ideology      economic performance/nationalism

state control over all                 emergence of non-political private
organized activity                      sphere

arbitrary terror                       end of arbitrary terror,
                                        but no overt challenge
                                        to regime allowed

mass mobilization                      apathy okay
Perspectives on the potential for democracy 
today “not free”


   Civic culture
       Survey data
   Civil society
       Interest groups
   Existing institutions
       Traditionally “rubber-stamp legislature”
   Rule by law
       Changing role for courts
5
World Values Survey
People’s Republic of China, 2001

A165.- Generally speaking, would you say that most people
can be trusted or that you need to be very careful in dealing
with people?

   1 Most people can be trusted

   2 Can´t be too careful
World Values Survey
People’s Republic of China, 2001

A170.- All things considered, how satisfied are you with your life
as a whole these days?

   1 Dissatisfied
   2
   3
   4
   5
   6
   7
   8
   9
   10 Satisfied
                       World Values Survey
                              China

A173.- Some people feel they have completely free choice and
control over their lives, while other people feel that what they do
has no real effect on what happens to them. Please use this scale
where 1 means "none at all" and 10 means "a great deal" to
indicate how much freedom of choice and control you feel you
have over the way your life turns out.
   1 None at all
   22
   33
   44
   55
   66
   77
   88
   99
   10 A great deal
World Values Survey
People’s Republic of China, 2001

E110.- On the whole are you very satisfied, rather satisfied, not
very satisfied or not at all satisfied with the way democracy is
developing in our country?

   1 Very satisfied
   2 Rather satisfied
   3 Not very satisfied
   4 Not at all satisfied
World Values Survey
People’s Republic of China, 1990, 2001

E070.- I am going to name a number of organizations. For each one,
could you tell me how much confidence you have in them: is it a
great deal of confidence, quite a lot of confidence, not very much
confidence or none at all?

The armed forces

   1 A great deal
   2 Quite a lot
   3 Not very much
   4 None at all
Perspectives on the potential for democracy 
today “not free”


   Civic culture
       Survey data
   Civil society
       Interest groups
   Existing institutions
       “rubber-stamp legislature”
   Rule by law
       Changing role for courts
Perspectives on the potential for democracy:
Civil Society

     Definition of civil society
         a sphere of independent group activity
          autonomous from the state and free from
          state domination


     Definition of pluralism (U.S.)
         a system of interest representation in
          which any group can freely form to express
          interests autonomous from state control
Perspectives on the potential for democracy:
Civil Society


     Definition of state corporatism (P.R.C.)
         a system of interest representation in
          which only certain groups are
           licensed by the state and
           accept limitations on their expression of interest
Perspectives on the potential for democracy:
Civil Society

    State corporatism
       The authoritarian state uses a corporatist
        approach to
             Pre-empt the formation of unapproved interest groups
                   NO duplicates allowed (state occupies existing “space”)
             Coopt the interests expressed by approved groups
                   Official recognition in exchange for limits; state sponsor
             Repress the expression of interests outside the control of
              the state.
        1998 “Regulations on the Registration and
         Management of Social Organizations”
           implemented by the Ministry of Civil
         Affairs
Perspectives on the potential for democracy:
Civil Society

   Civil society
       More than 200,000
        registered social
        organizations
       Others repressed
          Tiananmen
           Square,
           Autonomous
           Student Union
           1989  violently
           suppressed
          China Democracy
           Party 1998 
           leaders
           imprisoned
Perspectives on the potential for democracy:
Civil Society


       Internet
        “Virtual civil society”
        or “Great Firewall”
        Can the state
          control 400 million
          Internet users,
          instant messaging,
          etc.?




                              Xiamen Protest against Parazylene Chemical Plant
     Media expansion
23




        TV and radio
            Approx. 1,000 TV stations
        Print
            2,035 newpapers (2003)
        Internet
            300 million internet users (1 in 4 Chinese) as
             of 2008
              Increase of 42% over 2007

              Largest # of users in world as of 2008

              400 million users as of 2010

              World’s largest internet market
    China’s Internet:
    A Virtual Civil Society?
                                   Internet
                                       “God’s present to China”
                                       “The internet has made it easier
                                        to obtain information, contact
                                        the outside world and submit
                                        articles to overseas media. It is
                                        like a super-engine that makes
                                        my writing spring out of a well.
                                        The internet is an information
                                        channel that the Chinese
                                        dictators cannot fully censor,
Liu Xiaobo                              allowing people to speak and
Nobel Peace Prize Winner                communicate, and it offers a
Currently serving prison sentence       platform for spontaneous
                                        organisation.”
China’s Internet:
Subject to corporatist controls
   Standard controls
           Registration
                  Internet Service Providers personally responsible
                         Provide identity papers at registration
                  Self monitoring
                         Must monitor content, prevent publication of prohibited
                          material, remove and report any prohibited materials
           Government sponsor required
                  Government sponsor—held responsible
   Party “propaganda circulars”
           Specific instructions on how to handle sensitive topics
   Special Internet Police
           More than 60 Chinese serving prison sentences for
            Internet-based political crimes (HRW ’05)




        A public security official examines the identity of a Chinese surfer
        at an internet café (Lagerkvist 2010)
Bringing Evidence to the Debates

Case: Shanghai Maglev Extension
Shanghai Maglev Extension Case
   Citizens protest maglev
    extension January 6, 2008
      Middle class
       homeowners
   Texting: collectively
    taking a walk 集体散步
   Blogging
   Video posted on internet
      Subsequently banned
       by Internet police
   Southern Metropolis Daily
    (newspaper)
      only Chinese media
       that reported this
       incident
           Shanghai Maglev Extension Case
   Citizen blog post
       Mr. Zhou [a member of
        Shanghai government's
        evaluation team] mentioned
        ICNIRP (International
        Commission on Non-Ionizing
        Radiation Protection) and said
        that this organization has
        reported that this is harmless
        and that is harmless. This is
        really strange. We ordinary
        citizens can also read English.
        What we have seen in ICNRP
        documents details all kinds of
        harmful effects of electric and
        magnetic radiation. A lot of
        research, including biological
        research and volunteered
        human subjects research, all
        showed enormous risks in such
        an environment.
Shanghai Maglev Extension Case

   Southern Metropolis
    Daily
       ‘Two days ago, the plan
        for the western extended
        line of the Maglev project
        began to be publicized. In
        order to peacefully
        express themselves,
        residents along the line
        came to People’s Square
        and expressed their
        opinion about Maglev line
        passing through their
        own neighborhood using
        the method of “taking a
        walk” and “shopping.”
        Citizens say: this is one
        way to express opinions.’
Shanghai Maglev Extension Case

   Shanghai
    government’s
    official media site:
    EastNet
       “There are people who
        want Shanghai in chaos.
        Now, some foreigners are
        playing up the Maglev
        project, spreading some
        malicious rumors. Some
        domestic people also
        follow them to make a
        fuss. Goodhearted people
        must not to fall into their
        trap.”
Shanghai Maglev Extension Case

   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=
    mUXGiuydqiM&feature=player_emb
    edded

   Project withdrawn
       Also resisted by Ministry of Railways
Perspectives on the potential for democracy:
Institutions

        Existing institutions and rules
            National People’s Congress
              legislature indirectly elected from local
             People’s Congresses
Perspectives on the potential for democracy:
Institutions

      National People’s
       Congress
           Evolving beyond
           “rubber stamp”
                  Three Gorges Dam
                   Project
                      first “no” votes

                  Revision of the
                   Marriage Law
                      public
                       participation 
                       led to domestic
                       violence clause
                  Labor Contract Law
                      public
                       participation 
                       gained greater
                       labor
                       protection
Perspectives on the potential for democracy:
Rule of Law

   Rule of law
       State introduced “rule by law”
            To underpin economic growth, control lower
             level officials
       Examples
            Labor Law
                 Workers can sue employers in court for violations
                     Workers win ~40-50%, but hard to enforce

                 Independent trade unions prohibited
            Administrative Litigation Law
                 Private entrepreneurs can sue if denied license
                  unfairly

				
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posted:5/21/2012
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