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China's Political Development

Chinese and American Perspectives

edited by Kenneth G. Lieberthal, Cheng Li, and Yu Keping

Publication Year: 2014

China's path to political reform over the last three decades has been slow, but discourse among Chinese political scientists continues to be vigorous and forward thinking. China's Political Development offers a unique look into the country's evolving political process by combining chapters authored by twelve prominent Chinese political scientists with an extensive commentary on each chapter by an American scholar of the Chinese political system. Each chapter focuses on a major aspect of the development of the Chinese Party-state, encompassing the changing relations among its constituent parts as well as its evolving approaches toward economic gorwth, civil society, grassroots elections, and the intertwined problems of supervision and corruption.

Together, these analyses highlight the history, strategy, policies, and implementation of governance reforms since 1978 and the authors' recommendations for future changes. This extensive work provides the deep background necessary to understand the sociopolitical context and intellectual currents. behind the reform agenda announced at the landmark Third Plenum in 2013. Shedding light through contrasting perspectives, the book provides an overview of the efforts China has directed toward developing good governance, the challenges it faces, and its future direction.

Published by: Brookings Institution Press

Front Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Table of Contents

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

This volume reflects an unusually wide-ranging collaborative effort, and we are deeply grateful to the many people whose support made it possible and whose determination and understanding have resulted in both Chinese and English editions. We want to express our special appreciation to the following. ...

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pp. ix-xiv

Political science is a relatively new discipline in China. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, this nascent discipline was first criticized as a pseudoscience, then reorganized along Soviet lines, and ultimately entirely abolished. Only in the wake of the Cultural Revolution was it established anew as one of the consequences of Deng Xiaoping’s policy of reform and opening up. ...

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Introduction: Toward Good Governance in China: Perspectives of Chinese and American Scholars

Yu Keping

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pp. 1-38

China’s continued development over the past three decades since its reform and opening up and its rapid rise on the international stage have generated heated discussion and debate in Chinese and international academic circles, especially regarding political change.1 Many questions have been raised: How should China’s political evolution be viewed? ...

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1. The People's Republic of China's Sixty Years of Political Development

Yu Keping

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pp. 39-72

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) overthrew the rule of the Kuomintang and founded the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, marking the transition of the CCP from a revolutionary party to a ruling party, a substantial change of far-reaching significance for both the CCP and China. ...

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2. Transition from a Revolutionary Party to a Governing Party

Wang Changjiang

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pp. 73-102

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is the core actor in China’s political system. This premier position is stipulated in the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China and is the reality on the ground in today’s China. Any change in the CCP will, therefore, inevitably exert deep influence on the country’s development. The CCP is now undergoing a transition. ...

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3. The People's Congress System and China's Constitutional Development

Shi Hexing

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pp. 103-135

In contemporary China, the National People’s Congress (NPC) is the highest organ of state power, the source of power of all other organs of state power, and the core of the country’s political system. The NPC and the local people’s congresses together constitute the people’s congress system (PCS). ...

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4. Political Consultation and Consultative Politics in China

Lin Shangli

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pp. 136-164

Modern politics is structured around two spheres: the individuals and the state. On one hand, it stresses the rights and free development of individuals, and on the other, it emphasizes the holistic integration of the state, which provides the space for the development of individuals and ensures their safety. ...

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5. The Rise of Civil Society in China

Wang Ming

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pp. 165-191

In 2008 a large signboard bearing the words “Civil Society, Grow Together” appeared in Shenzhen. According to the Publicity Department of the Shenzhen Municipal Party Committee, building “civil society” (公民社会, gongmin shehui) is one of the goals of Shenzhen’s social and urban development now and for the next several decades, ...

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6. China's Experiments in Social Autonomy and Grassroots Democracy

Yan Jirong

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pp. 192-220

Changes in wealth accumulation, governance, and social life are indispensable indicators of a country’s development. Changes of these sorts have taken place in China since the reform and opening-up period began in 1978. These changes can be examined and explained from different perspectives. ...

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7. China's Public Service System

Yu Jianxing

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pp. 221-253

With China’s great increase in government fiscal revenue over the past three decades of economic reform, there has been far more government spending on public services and a significant improvement of the country’s public service system compared with the era of planned economy.1 ...

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8. Decentralization and Central-Local Relations in Reform-Era China

Yang Guangbin

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pp. 254-281

China’s reforms began with decentralization and eventually fundamentally changed the country’s political ecology and political process. From the reform of the rural land system in 1978 to the reform of the urban economic system in 1984, China’s moves to separate the economy from politics have begun in the rural areas and worked their way to urban areas. ...

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9. China's Grassroots Democracy

Huang Weiping

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pp. 282-307

The institutional development of China’s grassroots democracy is an important embodiment of Chinese-style democratic politics. Since the reform and opening-up period began, China’s grassroots democracy has undergone a multifaceted transition from the countryside to the cities, from extraparty democracy to intraparty democracy, and from democratic elections to democratic governance. ...

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10. China's Interest Coordination Mechanism

Jing Yuejin

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pp. 308-339

Since the reform and opening-up period began, both China’s social structure and interest structure have undergone major and profound changes, and contradictions and conflicts of interest have since become a constant of social life. How to view this phenomenon, and how to coordinate these conflicts of interest, is an important subject in the study of contemporary Chinese politics. ...

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11. Contemporary China's Decisionmaking System

Zhou Guanghui

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pp. 340-365

Although the reform and opening up has brought extensive and profound changes to Chinese society, the basic pattern of state-led social development has not changed. The state’s leadership is basically realized through public policy formulation and implementation. ...

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12. Building a Modern National Integrity System: Anticorruption and Checks and Balance of Power in China

He Zengke

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pp. 366-396

Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. The possibility of the abuse of power for private gain exists as long as the principal and the entrusted agent are kept separate. The prevention of abuse of public power cannot go without supervision of power and restrictions on that power. ...


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pp. 397-400


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pp. 401-417

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780815725367
E-ISBN-10: 0815725361
Print-ISBN-13: 9780815725350
Print-ISBN-10: 0815725353

Page Count: 417
Publication Year: 2014