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Political Institutions of the People’s Republic of China

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Presentation on theme: "Political Institutions of the People’s Republic of China"— Presentation transcript:

1 Political Institutions of the People’s Republic of China
SOSC 152

2 Military Legislature Executive CCP Judicial

3 Key Characteristics of Political System
Political system dominated by the CCP Highly bureaucratized—”the permanent bureaucratic society.” Power based partly on “power of posts” Highly centralized system, with top leaders wielding enormous power; “Mao in command” model.

4 Unstable Institutions and Importance of Personal Power
But (1) power also based on personal relations—”guanxi”—who is your political network? Deng Xiaoping mobilized whole country to speed up reforms in 1992 when his only formal post was President of Chinese Bridge Association.

5 Deep State Penetration into Society
2. CCP penetrated down to village level through party committees (1,000 people). In Qing Dynasty, county government was lowest level of state power (200,000 people). In cities, CCP has penetrated down to neighborhood committees

6 Horizontal Control by CCP Committees at all Levels of Hierarchy
3. Every level of government or administrative hierarchy has party committee which can monitor the government at that level. Party committees tend to dominate local decisions—can intervene in economic decisions.

7 The Structure of Political System
administrative hierarchy of government, legislatures, courts and the CCP. Running from Central government in Beijing, to provinces, municipalities (district), county, township, administrative village, natural villages. But today, Communist Party dominates all aspects except the economy.

8 Party Executive Legislative Judicial
National Party Congress Central Committee Politburo Secretariat Central Discipline Inspection Commission Organization Dept Rural Work Dept Propaganda Dept Provincial-level Party Committees Municipal Party Committees County-level Party Committees Township Party Committees Village Party Committees Military Affairs Commission Standing Committee of the Politburo Executive Ministries and Commissions Provincial-level Bureaus County-level Bureaus Prefecture Bureaus Provincial-level Government Prefecture Governments County-level Governments Township Governments Village Committee Prime Minister Vice Premier President & Vice President State Council State Councilors Legislative National People’s Congress NPC Standing Committee Provincial-level People’s Congresses County-level People’s Congresses Township People’s Congresses Representative Village Committee CPPCC Judicial Supreme People’s Procurator Supreme People’s Court Intermediate & Lower Court & Procurators

9 Party National Party Congress Central Committee Politburo Secretariat
Central Discipline Inspection Commission Organization Dept Rural Work Dept Propaganda Dept Provincial-level Party Committees Municipal Party Committees Country-level Party Committees Township Party Committees Village Party Committees Military Affairs Commission Standing Committee of the Politburo

10 Standing Committee of Politburo (SC-PB)
Most powerful people in China! Controls all aspects of political system Currently 9 members—has been as few as 5 most members control one of key SIX “systems” party affairs—relations with other CCPs and party life. organizational affairs—allocates all party positions propaganda and education-education, news, colleges political and legal affairs—responsible for courts, police, “strike hard campaign” finance and economics—led by Prime Minister Military—CCP tries to maintain civilian control of army

11 You’re Nobody if you’re not on the Central Committee!!
All key power brokers either full or alternate members of CC-CCP. Meets in Plenary Session about twice a year to approve important policy decisions, can totally redirect previous policy and take China in new direction: - Reform era began in with 3rd Plenum of Eleventh CC in December 1978, Deng overturned strategy outlined by Hua Guofeng in July 1977 at 11th PC.


13 Party Secretariat and Its Key Departments
Organizational Dept.— responsible for all party posts, key government posts, and is a key position to affect succession. Propaganda Dept.—monitors press, tv, organizes ideological study campaigns. Rural Work Dept.—makes rural policy. People’s Daily— top CCP newspaper and editorial board making public policy

14 Executive Organizations (the government)
President & Vice President Prime Minister Executive Organizations (the government) Vice Premier State Councilors State Council Ministries and Commissions Provincial-level Bureaus Provincial-level Bureaus Prefecture Governments Prefecture Bureaus Country-level Governments Country-level Bureaus Township Governments Village Committee

15 State Council High degree of overlapping directorship —Prime Minister often 3rd ranking member of SC-PB. Some Vice Premiers are members of PB-SC or Politburo. Prime Minister needs support of General Secretary of CCP to push policies.

16 Legislature (makes the laws) Legislative National People’s Congress
NPC Standing Committee Provincial-level People’s Congresses Country-level People’s Congresses Township People’s Congresses Representative Village Committee CPPCC

17 China’s Parliament: National People’s Congress
Meets every 5 years to elect government leaders--President, PM, Vice Premiers, all approved before by PB-SC. Also, meets yearly to address key issues related to legal affairs, financial affairs, etc. Mostly rubber stamp, as laws or key decisions originate with CCP, approved by CCP’s committees. During NPC, top leaders visit provincial delegations, discuss regional problems. Centre for popular input into laws and economy through its committees; professionals may work with committees. Major event in 1987 when only 2/3 of NPC members supported Three Gorges Dam, 1/3 abstained.

18 Military Affairs Commission
Mao: “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun” Directly under Standing Committee of Politburo. General Secretary of CCP usually Chair of MAC Vice-Chair may be civilian, other posts belong to military. Jiang Zemin held this post 1 year after giving up head of CCP, hoping it would provide leverage over Hu Jintao.

19 How does the CCP Control the Military?
Mao: “The Party must always control the gun, the gun must never control the Party.” Military Affairs Committee (MAC) budgetary allocations from State Council and Ministry of Finance Political Commissars--every military unit has CCP official who maintains party authority. Overlapping membership in CC-CCP and Politburo, but no member of PB-SC for many years.

20 Power of PLA Ebbs and Flows
Military has power to speak out on Taiwan issues and perhaps Sino-US relations. Chaos of Cultural Revolution forced Mao to call in army in 1968, army had influence for many years. Military failure in war with Vietnam in 1979budget cuts until 1989, when it saved CCP by attacking students in Tiananmen Square on Deng’s commands. 12-14% annual increase in spending; official defense budget--US$30 billion, foreign estimates--US$90 billion.

21 Map of China

22 Administrative Village
Center Province and Provincial Level Cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Tianjin) Municipality Rural Urban County Township Administrative Village Natural Village Residence Committee Urban Distinct

23 Party Penetrates the Government
Every government office, university department, or enterprise, has a party branch and party secretary. Province, has governor and party secretary -- latter has greater authority. In state-owned factory, party secretary wields greater power than manager. Politics permitting, the Party Secretary will try to intervene in economic decisions.

24 Territorial Party Committees
Party Committee at each level of administrative hierarchy dominates. Often interferes in government decisions. Members responsible for education, industry, agriculture, population control, propaganda, and selection of key government officials at next level down through Organizational Department.

25 Nomenklatura System and the Power of Appointment
Central Committee Nomenklatura System and the Power of Appointment Secretariat Organizational Department Lists of Post: Chinese Academy of Science LIST: President Vice President Members of Party Core Group Head of Discipline Inspection Group Ministry of Education LIST: Minister Party Secretary Members of Party Core Group Beijing University LIST: Party Secretary President of University Key to party control over personnel appointments and source of its power over government

26 Overlapping Hierarchy
County Level Guangzhou Party Organization Department Guangzhou Municipal Government Guangzhou Municipal Energy Department Zhongshan County Government Zhongshan County Energy Department Zhongshan County CCP Committee CCP County Organization Department

27 No Independent Judiciary
Personal power dominates China--”rule of man” over the “rule of law.” Officials like it this way, enhances their authority. all lower levels judges appointed and paid by county party committee. Outsiders rarely win in another city—Chongqing firm won’t sue Shanghai for IPR infringement because it cannot win in Shanghai.

28 Politics of the Courts Older judges ex-officers with no judicial training. Crimes deemed sensitive or impacting social order can be judged purely on political terms. Forced confessions acceptable, defendants have great difficulty proving police made false arrest. New generation of judges, some with foreign education Case of young judge ruling for Central government against local People’s Congress led to political attack on her (NYT).

29 Comparing Political Institutions in Socialist Countries
SOSC 152

30 A. Introductory Comments:
1. Unstable political institutions despite totalitarian image, major shifts in power among major political institutions. despite rules outlining when organizations will meet, rules often broken, party congresses often did not meet low level of political institutionalization Why?

31 1. Unstable political institutions
a. Charismatic leadership, where individual power often more important than formal political position. b. constant political competition without institutionalized succession procedures leads individuals to try to control organizations which they use to advance their own power.

32 1. Unstable political institutions
c. Result is "Shifting Locus of Authority" shifts among State Council, Politburo, Party Secretariat, Military Affairs Commission Mao's big push for collectivization not made in Politburo or Central Committee Deng's recreation Secretariat in 1981 to undermine Hua Guofeng's posts of Party Chairman and prime minister. d. very limited role for Constitution which is often revised Constitution seen more as benchmark for shifts in historical periods than as unchanging document which has legitimacy or which divides power or authority among institutions.

33 2. Efforts to ensure party control over army
occurs through budgetary control, dual penetration, overlapping authority 3. Overlapping rulership and overlapping authority people wear several hats, military, party, government same decision often open to influence by competing organizations and individuals

34 4. Unclear and weak property rights
allows for competing claims to industry and goods allows political power, rather than clear contractural agreements, to determine control over resources. 5. Heavy bureaucracy due to planned economy central planning created large economic bureaucracy party efforts to control the economy created parallel structure heritage of central

35 B. Three Main Organizations: Party, Government, and Military
1. Organizational Principles a. Hierarchical top down system, local organizations as policy implementors lower levels report to upper levels, elections from bottom up usually predetemined by next higher level b. Democratic Centralism lower levels obey upper levels, minority must obey majority, debate possible until decision made, then everyone must obey.

36 1. Organizational Principles
c. Dual Hierarchy of Party committess for all government and military organizations primary party organization wherever 3 members in an organization party group in all organizations to insure following party policy d. Nomenklatura: key control structure "list of names" or positions Organizational Bureau responsible for all key positions in government and party

37 party congresses occur at all levels of the system
rally of the faithful to elect party committees which are full-time representatives between Party Congresses a. National Party Congress, elects Central Committee, which elects Politburo and Standing Committee of Politburo (most important organization) each member of Standing Committee or Politburo sits atop one of 5 "KOU" industry, agriculture, public security and law, foreign affairs, culture and education.

38 2. Party Congresses b. Party Secretariat
core center of party bureaucracy, parallel structure for all functional arenas or KOU power shifts over time, strong under Deng in 1950s, closed during Cultural Revolution Stalin used it to control party local elections which allowed him to control membership in Central Committee, which allowed him to carry out purges Central Committee meets in Party Plenum to map out major policies between congresses c. Military Affairs Commission Party committee to control the army top military leaders also members, so reverse penetration can occur leads General Political Department, responsible for party and ideology in military

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