File - AP Comparative Government

Report
China: Citizens, Society, and
the State
AP Comparative Government
Intro
 As changes in leadership in China have occurred, so have the relationships between
leaders and the people
 Under Mao, virtually no civil society was allowed
 With a more market based economy, relationships had to be better established
 This is especially true as citizens lose sight of the value of communism in their daily lives
 The CCP now appeals to patriotism and to the traditional pride of being Chinese to pull citizens
together
Ethnic Cleavages
 China’s ethnic population is primarily Han Chinese
 These are the people who historically formed the basis of China’s cultural identity and established
the empire and the country
 Minority groups comprise 8% of the PRC’s population, but area’s such as Tibet and Xinjiang have
major minority populations that make up over 60% of China’s territory.
 These regions have a long history of resistance towards the Chinese government
 There are currently 55 officially recognized minority groups in China, but none of them are very
large
 The majority of China’s minorities live on the borders of the country and in sparsely
populated areas
 Because of the distance from major cities, it is feared that these area’s may try and join
neighboring countries or revolt against the Chinese government
Ethnic Cleavages
 The government’s officals policy towards minorities is to support and encourage the
economic development of these groups, but to suppress expressions of dissent
 Most Chinese minorities reside in five autonomous regions known as Guangxi, Inner Mongolia,
Ningxia, Tibet and Xinjiang.
 The Chinese constitution grants autonomous areas the right of self government in matters such as cultural
affairs, but their authority is extremely limited
 Many of these groups appear to be content to be a part of the Chinese empire
Ethnic cleavages

Tibet:
 Tibet has a long history of separate ethnic identity
 The former government of Tibet never recognized the authority of the Chinese government
 The Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet, fled after a failed revolution in 1959
 The Dalai Lama then set up what is referred to as the Tibetan Government in exile, inside of the borders of India.
 This government has never been recognized as a legitimate government
 There were protests in 2008 protesting Chinese control of Tibet, but little has changed with Tibetan sovereignty over the last 50
years
 In 2011, the Tibetan Government in exile elected a prime minister, who took over government control from the Dalai Lama
 IN 2013, the Chines government announced a greater crackdown on Tibetan publications that promoted sovereignty

Uyghurs:
 This group of Muslims, who are of Turkish descent, live very close to Afghanistan and Pakistan
 There has been some violence in the region and there is major ethnic tension, as the Uyghurs want to establish an independent state
Urban-Rural Cleavages
 The majority of economic growth throughout China has taken place in the cities
 This disproportionate growth has redefined the meaning of “Two Chinas”
 There are both economic and social differences that exist between these two regions
 Rural areas have more protests because it is often believed that the government is not trying to protect the
peoples interests
 Due to these protests, former Prime Minister Wen Jiabao announced a new government emphasis on “a
new socialist country side.” This was instituted in 2006, and was a program designed to lift the rural
economy and close gaps between rural and urban quality of life
Political Participation
 Prior to 1949, it was Chinese tradition for people to be subjects of the government, not
participants within the government.
 This lack of participation was redefined through the use of mass line
 Even with the use of mass line, traditional relationships and beliefs continue to shape the political
process of China
 Pushes for democracy, an increase in religious freedom, and community ties over nationalism have also
influenced Chinese politics
Party Participation
 The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is the largest political party in the world in terms of
total formal membership, with about 58 million members
 They make up only about 8% of the Chinese population over the age of 18
 Only those who are of age, are able to fully commit to the ideals of communism, and are willing
to devote a great deal of time and energy to the party are allowed to join
 Party membership is growing in part because of the creation of the Youth League
 73 million youths belong to the youth league
Party Participation
 During the Maoist era, revolutionary cadres ruled the entire government
 These cadres depended on the loyalty and the ideological purity of the party
 After Deng Xiaoping took control of the government, technocrats began to take an ever
increasing role within the government
 Currently all seven members of the current Standing Committee have academic and professional
backgrounds in technical fields and five of them were trained as engineers
 40% of the CCP is made up of members of the peasantry, but they are the single largest group
 The fastest growing membership category consists of officials, intellectuals, technicians and other
professionals
 In 2001, under president Jiang Zemin, capitalists were able to join the CCP for the first time
 Between one quarter and one third of the CCP membership are now entrepreneurs, therefore
changing the idea of what a cadre is
Civil Society
 With modern technologies infiltrating Chinese culture, it has become harder for the Chinese
government to stop the flow of information
 There has been an increase in the number of private organizations that exist to help fix social problems
 There are also some organizations designed to fight the government when the people are being
harmed
 This is seen in protests to stop government-sponsored dam projects that would have flooded farmlands and
peasant homes
 There have also been efforts by the government to be more transparent, but the government is often
criticized for discussing their plans after it is to late to change anything
 There was an increase in the number of NGO’s that existed in the 1990s
 These helped religious and non religious groups institute themselves as part of the society
 These organizations were however strongly curtailed between 1999 and 2001
Protests
 Tiananmen square massacre (1989)
 This incident occurred when students pushed for government reform and an increase in civil liberties
 These protests were violently put down by the Chinese government
 Tibet (2008)
 These riots took place to commemorate the failed revolutionary uprising in 1959
 The riots became violent after monks demanded the release of other monks who had been detained for
several months
 This turned into fighting and riots
 Many of these riots took place on the route of the Olympic torch during the 2008 Summer games
 Xinjiang (2009)
 These riots were sparked by Uyghur dissatisfaction with the Chinese central government’s handling of the
deaths of two Uyghur workers during previous disruptions
 Protestors fought with police and the riot had to be put down by the government

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