Xi’s Chinese Dream: collective strength for national rejuvenation

Xi Jinping meets with the press after his ascension to the presidency in November 2012. Since assuming the top job Xi has urged his people to follow the Chinese Dream (Photo: AAP).

Author: Brendan Forde, ANU

With each Chinese leader a new ideological formulation is added to the regime’s canon of guiding principles.

Above all are the theories of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, but leaders in recent years have also made contributions. Read more…

Political reform in China: the way to go

People watch a speech by Xi Jinping, the new head of the Communist Party of China, on 15 November 2012 (Photo:AAP).

Author: Hu Shuli, Caixin Media

In the 18th Party Congress report, the single area that has justifiably generated the most attention is references to political reform.

But, in fact, views on this report will rely entirely on initial expectations.

Read more…

Chinese economic reform: how the US should prepare

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton discusses the future of US-China relations at an event held to celebrate the anniversary of the state visit paid by Richard Nixon to China in 1972. The event was co-hosted by the US Institute of Peace (USIP) and the Richard Nixon Foundation, at USIP in Washington, DC, on 7 March 2012. (Photo Flickr user: US State Department)

Author: Derek Scissors, Heritage Foundation

The US government suffers from understandable but harmful confusion concerning Chinese economic reform.

Market reforms have been most often implemented gradually, and that slowness is misperceived to be moderation. In fact, when market reforms have occurred, they have been clear and powerful. Read more…

China’s big economic and political choices

A photo taken on 11 March 2012 of Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Dejiang, vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission Xu Caihou and then-Chongqing party leader Bo Xilai at a plenary session at the National Peoples Congress in Beijing, China. The Communist Party of China on 15 March 2012 said it had replaced the party leader of Chongqing city, Bo Xilai, with Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang after recent scandals over an anti-crime drive and the downfall of its police chief. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, Editor, East Asia Forum

There were more than a few surprises in the events that surrounded the Chinese National People’s Congress in Beijing last week.

All of them underline the stark economic and political choices that the new Chinese leadership will face in dealing with the next phase of national development. Read more…

China’s hukou system impinges on development and civic rights

A heavy loaded migrant worker starts the journey home for Chinese New Year, in Shenzhen on February 4, 2010. (Photo: Flickr user 'dcmaster')

Author: Jason Young, Victoria University of Wellington

Since the early 1980s, hundreds of millions of migrants have entered urban areas without full urban status. In conjunction with local industries these migrants put increasing pressure on the state to abolish the hukou system, which requires Chinese citizens to hold a valid residency permit. The state has responded by liberalising two key areas of hukou management but failed to address the fundamental issue of civic inequality.

Today, hukou remains an important governing instrument to promote economic development, maintain social stability and manage migration and urbanisation but these blunt development tools increasingly threaten to dampen the growing dynamism of Chinese society and economy. Read more…

Is China returning to old ideas?

China's pavilion on the opening night of the World Expo in Shanghai. (Photo: Flickr user 'Meiguoxing')

Author: Edward Kus

China is obviously a nation grappling with the contradictions embodied by its desire for development and its recent (and more ancient) past. The recent school stabbings highlight some acute social issues in China, but reactions among my acquaintances demonstrate how China increasingly seems to be looking in on itself for answers rather than to the rest of the world.

Two historically important aspects of Chinese thought are finding new footing in contemporary Chinese society. The first concept is Sino-centralism and the second is known as the Sino-‘barbarian’ dichotomy. Read more…

Politics, ‘guanxi’ and the rule of law

Forty-six year-old 'Godmother' Xie Caiping (L), is led from court after her sentencing in southwest China's Chongqing municipality on November 3, 2009. (Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Author: Jerome Cohen, NYU

The most formidable challenge to China’s establishment of a credible ‘rule of law’ is neither the quality of its legislation nor the professional competence of its judges, prosecutors, lawyers and police. Laws and the skills of those who apply them have both witnessed substantial progress in the People’s Republic during the past three decades.

The real challenge to the administration of justice in China is, rather, the undue intrusion of politics and, even more broadly, of ‘guanxi’, the network of interpersonal relations of mutual protection, benefit and dependency that is one of the enduring hallmarks of Chinese society. Read more…