China, state society relations



There will be no assigned topics; instead, you will use your own discretion in selecting paper topics, so long as they respond to the readings in some way. Your essay may be explanatory (focusing on some aspect of Chinese politics and policy making); theoretical (focusing on the utility of one or more approaches to the study of Chinese politics); or policy-specific (focusing on a specific policy or set of policies, the context in with it was adopted, its consequences, its lessons or legacies, etc.)

your paper should start with a strong intro paragraph. I should know by the end of the first paragraph what the paper is about, and what your key argument is.

you paper should have an original argument, not just a descriptive summary of the readings. After doing the readings, what is YOUR perspective on the issues under discussion?

A good paper should do the following things:

• it may compare and contrast several of the readings, or provide an in-depth critique of just one of the readings. Your papers do not have to cover all the readings in a particular week, but should address main themes.
• it should analyze and critique the readings, not simply summarize them. Your paper should make an argument and convey a point of view. You should provide your own analysis of the events or issues discussed in the readings, or provide an alternative argument not offered in the readings.
• it should give credit where credit is due: always cite your sources of information. This includes facts and figures, direct quotes, and paraphrased wording.
• it must be double spaced, use 12 point font, and be no more than five pages long.



China, State society relations

The government must maintain crucial relationships with the society. The leaders uphold the people’s basic rights by guaranteeing their security and equitable distribution of resources. The congresses in China are representatives. They are expected to better the lives of the people through the introduction of various policies. They participate in the government to introduce policies intended to strengthen the political position of the ruling government. China has implemented several policies in the country intended to cement relationships with the people at the grass root level. The 1990s developments have seen the state form close relationships with the society and introduce policies directed towards the well-being of the society.

The 1990s developments allowed the congressional representatives to work as the delegates for the people and not as Leninists agents of the party (Manion, p. 312). The congressional representatives direct their actions towards giving people the vital services needed. The leaders always ensure the delivery of the public goods. For instance, the local people’s congresses elected directly by the citizens prioritize on the equitable distribution of the public goods as the key strategy to remain in power. The new Congress representatives serve differently from those who served in the Maoist era. The Cultural Revolution introduced by Mao Zedong led to the disappearance of Chinese Congresses. After his death in 1976, huge campaigns began in the effort to ensure maximum political participation and ended the regime of central concentration when Mao was in power. The reforms show the congresses acts as channels to link people’s interests and the government agendas and promote the stability of the authority (Manion, p. 315).

Manion (p. 316) argues that the only way the congresses can show that they are providing the services to the people is through parochialism. In the other democratic nations, each political power has to come with its policies and manifestos. The parties vow to implement the manifestos and policies after they get into power. Nevertheless, in the Chinese politics conflicting policy preferences is not revealed. The party members are required to refrain from the views that are against the decisions made by the Communist Party. The party does not reveal any ideologies or any policies to be implemented. The matters of the ideologies remain the secretive matters of the party. Therefore, the Congress contestants cannot be involved in any competition related to the ideologies or policies. The Congress representatives win the hearts of the voters by involving themselves in parochialism. The law requires them to maintain very close relationships with the people who elected them (Manion, p. 317).

To cement the relationship with people, the Chinese Communist Party has allowed the formation of social organizations that have great autonomy from its structure. The social organizations have the capability to bring into the consideration the social interests during the process of formulating policies. The social organizations represent the interests and the needs of the members. Although the government appears to exact control in the social organizations, their relationships are said to be symbiotic. The social organizations always find ways to negotiate with the government on how to meet the interests of their members (Saich, p. 125). The government is making efforts to involve the society in the developments through the social organization. The social organization ensures that people are adequately involved in major decisions and activities of the government.

Despite the strict control of the political parties and leaders, the powers of the social organizations work to ensure the government works for the interests of the community. The increased number of the social organizations has gained the power to negotiate with the government the application and the necessity of policies. The government has significantly encouraged the autonomy of the social organizations. In 1993, 1500 and 180 000 independent social organizations existed at the local and national levels respectively. In 1996, the statistics released by the Ministry of the Civil Affairs revealed 186 666 and 1845 social organizations at the national and local levels respectively (Saich, p. 126). It is factual that China has a huge number of social organizations (Teets, p. 22). The increased social organization has the capability to exert control on the government rather than the political leaders. In the 1980s, the government enacted measures intended to make organization dependent on the state. Nevertheless, the government is currently enhancing its relationship with the society by integrating the society in the making of major decisions. The government has made more routes for its influence on the society.

Thorton (p. 4) noted that the relationship between the government and the civil societies had been largely misunderstood. The theory that was unfolding at that time explained that the government had exerted huge control on the civil society. Nevertheless, Thorton’s observation was contrary to the trending theory. The policy implementers use the nongovernmental organizations in the participation spaces created by the authoritarian government. There is increased formation of NGOs in China. These NGOs have a crucial role in assisting in the developments. They safeguard the social stability, bridge leadership gap and help the government reduce the cost of governing. Crucially, the formation of the PONGOs has enhanced social-state independent interactions. Local committees run the PONGOs with their registration being initiated locally. They crucially support the governance through patriotism education, sponsoring community events and enhancing the people support on the leadership (Thorton, p. 10).

The government involves the people in funding the public institutions through taxation. The taxes collected by the government are utilized in the development of the projects that enhance the industrialization and economic developments (Tsai, p. 7). The government from national to the local level cooperates to ensure the funding of the operations in all the regions in China. For instance, the county and town governments pay the salaries of the primary schools located in the village. The maintenance of stable education workforce in the primary schools is crucial for the quality of education in China. Since the government works for to better the well-being of the people, there is maximum adherence to equity. Nevertheless, the wealthier villages have the probability to supply quality services than the poor villages due to their influence in government. The village officials ensure the adequate utilization of the available resources. Besides, the villages with more vigilant leaders in the town governments have the capability of developing quickly. On the other hand, villages dependent on democracy in making decisions experience the delayed developments (Tsai, p. 10). Nevertheless, most of the village’s chiefs follow the directives from the authoritarian government top leaders.

China has had various reforms. The reforms aim at helping China regain from the previous negativities done by former governments. The reforms are traced back in the 1990s. Since then, the authorities made efforts to introduce strategies that the previous government avoided. The government faced challenges dealing with the people’s unrests created by the previous governments. The government had to involve the society in the major decisions and respond positively to the social unrests that emerged during that time. The government had to adopt new ways of implementing the development projects. The crucial responsibility of the Chinese government has been to respond to the needs of stability. The increasing social unrest is a force generated from the communist rule (Wang & Carl, p. 347). There is increased demand for the government to respond to people’s needs. Such response will be achieved through the establishment of policies necessary for the developments.

The Chinese government reforms introduced in the 1990s has enhanced a close relationship with the government while promoting the development of policies relevant to the people’s well-being. The major development includes the social organization that enhances the control of the government. They have the power to negotiate with the government on the needs of their members. The leaders cannot be involved in the competitive ideological politics since the China Communist Party restricts them. The leaders act as the delegates for the people. They are always determined to ensure equitable distribution of public goods. The China Communists Party has rejected competition of political ideologies, but the social organizations ensure the control. The control attained by the use of the social organizations makes the China among the most peaceful countries as well as among the super powers despite having an authoritarian system of government.

Works Cited

Manion, Melanie. “Authoritarian Parochialism: Local Congressional Representation in China.” The China Quarterly 218 (2014): 311-338.

Saich, Tony. “Negotiating the state: The development of social organizations in China.” The China Quarterly 161 (2000): 124-141.

Teets, Jessica C. “Let many civil societies bloom: The rise of consultative authoritarianism in China.” The China Quarterly 213 (2013): 19-38.

Thornton, Patricia M. “The Advance of the Party: Transformation or Takeover of Urban Grassroots Society?.” The China Quarterly 213 (2013): 1-18.

Tsai, Lily Lee. “Cadres, temple and lineage institutions, and governance in rural China.” The China Journal (2002): 1-27.

Wang, Yuhua, and Carl Minzner. “The Rise of the Chinese Security State.” The China Quarterly (2015): 1-21.

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