Constitutional Provisions
  • Brief History
    • In the year of 1949, the Chinese Civil War was showing great favor to the Chinese Communist Party. The Chinese Communist Party organized a Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) that would begin to prepare for the new regime. The initial CPPCC acted as a Constitional Convention. An interim constitution, known as the Common Program, was approved in the meeting. The Common Program determined the government structure, symbols, and names for the new state. The end of the conference began proclamation of the People's Republic of China. Five years after the Common Program was initiated into the new state, China was still following its decree, which included democracy and an inclusion that has yet to be reinstated into the country. At the 43rd meeting of the CPPCC, Premier Zhou Enlai proposed the drafting of a new. permanent constitution. In 1953, the proposal was approved, and a 30 person drafting committee was appointed. Exactly 5 years after passage of the Common Program on September 20, 1954, the new constitution was approved. It has been known as the 1954 Constitution. Between 1966-1976, the Cultural Revolution occurred, which strongly disrespected the Constitution. Following this disregard for the written guidelines in 1975, Mao Zedong and his supporters sought to formalize power through the promulgation of a new constitution. This Constitution was then referred to as the 1975 Constitution. The following year in 1976, Mao Zedong died, and so did his lingering power. By 1978, a new constitution was promulgated under the chairmanship of Hua Guofeng. Within this constitution, the 1954 system of government was reinstated, and the ideological tone of the 1975 constitution was also implemented. Deng Xiaoping was confirmed as the new paramount leader of China in 1978 and along with this new postition he introduced a politial reform agenda. Within this agenda, was a promulgation for a new constituion. This constitution was known as the 1982 constitution.
  • Government Constitution Of China
  • CCP Constituional
  • Constitutional Placed Government
    • Based on China's Constitution, a Communist government has been established. The authoritarian based rule has been implemented in structure and in ideology, which gives Communism a strong platform on which to stand. Historically, transparency has been limited, but the government has been listening more to the voices of the citizens.
  • The Executive Branch
    • Within the executive branch of China's government is the head of government, the head of state, and the cabinet. The head of state represents the country at official engagements and ceremonies, but is not involved with the day-to-day activities of the government. He is symbolically the official chief of the state. The Constitution provides for a president to act as the head of state. The head of government, who is the prime minister, does not obtain the "chief" title, but is involved with the day-to-day activities of the government. This position is designed to work through the government's duties and oversee other branches. The cabinet of the Chinese government is comprised of high ranking advisors, who stand true to their name. Their job is to simply advise the president.
  • The Legislative Branch
    • Within China's legislative branch of government, there are 4 bodies. The lowest body is the local level People's Congresses, which include cities, counties and townships. Next in power is the Provincial People's Congresses, above from that is the National People's Congress. The very last body is the Standing Committee. Despite the many bodies within this branch, the National People's Congress (NPC), has power to enact and amend laws, approve and monitor state budget, and declare and end war. The Constitution grants the NPC this power.
  • The Judicial Branch
    • Within the judicial branch of government, China obtains a four-tiered people's court system. The system begins with the Supreme People's Court, then goes down to the provincial level, then works to the city level, and finally to the county and township level. Despite the fact that the Supreme People's Court obtains the power to oversee the smaller courts and apply the country laws, the court only hears very few cases. Judicial review is not exercised over government policies.
  • Diffusion of Power
    • China is a unitary system which means that the central government has supreme power over subunits
    • China does allow some power for subnational governments
      • Subunits have a representative people's congress but it meets infrequently and power is limited
      • They manage local economic affairs under supervision by the CCP and the central governments
      • Many rural villages are self-governing allowing some grassroot democracy in China (Kesselman)
Constitution in Reality
  • The Chinese Constitution is followed in terms of governmental structure and the power of the party.
    • The NPC has far less power than is constitutionally provided them.
    • Power is consolidated in the Politburo and Standing Committee.
    • Non-independent judiciary
      • Rules as dictated by the government
  • Rights of the citizens that are guaranteed by the Constitution are violated.
    • Internet use and private phone calls are monitored
    • Public dissent against the government results in individuals disappearing to prison or possibly execution
      • Reeducation camps teach Chinse citizens to love the Party and its practices.
      • Freedom of speech and the right to protest are "guaranteed" by China's constitution.
    • The way the constituiton is different from what actually goes on is simple. China's government is greedy and nosey. They moniter internet use and even private phone calls. If you go against the government in public, your probably never going to be seen or heard from again. The government is strict about its rules and policies. Those who don't follow and/or speak out will most likely get taken to a reeducation camp, where they teach you how to love and embrace Chine, or else. The constitution of china talks about how the people have freedoms of speech and rights to protest and all the good stuff, but when people talk do they have to feel the need to look over their shoulder to see if the officails are there? The government operates like a totatlitarianism and authoritarianism. It's not lassez-faire at all. The governmeny, namely the CCP has it's hand in everything and has to know everything that goes on in that country. Freedom is a myth in China.
Executive
  • The current head of state and the current leader of the CCP or Chinese Communist Party in China is Hu Jintao. Hu was born in 1942, into a family of tea merchants. While growing up he went to great schools such as Qinghua University, which is China's best school for technology. Whenthe Cultural Revolution rolled around, Hu did not take part in the Red Guard but witnessed the effects of it first hand. Through connections or guanxi, Hu slowly but surely made his own path to the top of the Central Party School, which is a school that trains young people to become the future CCP Elite. Elected in 2003 and again in 2008 and currently is the President of China, Hu Jintao wants to follow Deng Xioping and Jiang in moving faster towards further economic growth in China. Also Hu envisions a harmonious socailist society.
external image hu_jintao.jpghttp://connect.in.com/hu-jintao/profile-120429.html

    • The current head of government is the premier, Wen Jiabao. Wen Jiabao was born on the 15th of september in 1942. He is the sixth and current premier or pirme minister as other countires call it. He is the Party Secretary of the State Councils of the People Republic of China. He also holds a seat in the Politburo of the CCP.
external image P200710231016413203040193.jpg
http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90776/6288496.html
    • The President, Hu Jintao, and the Premier, Wen Jiabao, faced the biggest problem of their administration when the 2008 summer Olympics were held in Beijing. To prepare for the games, the government shut down factories and removed nearly 2 million cars from the streets of Beijing. These measures were taken after athletes complained about the possible effects of pollution They silenced all dissenters in order to promote the image that all Chinese citizens are happy and satisfied with their government.
    • Other Excutives that shaped China
      • Mao Zedong
        • Junior founder of the CCP
        • Created a cult of personality that gave him the support of the people
        • Policies
          • Collectivized agriculture and industry
          • Hundred Flowers Movement (1956-1957)
            • Citizens allowed to express discontent about policies
          • Anti-Rightist Movement (1957-1958)
            • Backlash against the Hundred Flowers Movement
            • Criticizers punished and sent to reeducation camps
          • Great Leap Forward (1958-1960)
            • Attempt to rapidly industrialize China
            • Citizens were encouraged to produce ridiculous amounts of food to meet their quotas while spending all of their time working on creating an infrastructure for industry.
            • Created the greatest man-made famine in history
          • Cultural Revolution (1966-1976)
            • The Red Guard tried to purify China of Western/Capitalist influences
          • Mao died in 1976 at the age of 82.
      • Deng Xiaoping
        • Policies
          • Pushed China from a command economy to a free market economy
            • Belief that all economic policies are good as long as they cause growth
          • Four Modernizations
            • Industry
            • Agriculture
            • Science
            • Military
        • Position
          • Highest rank was Head of the Military Commission
    • Cabinet
    • Type of Bureaucracies in China
      • In the past, during the time of dynasties, the emperors would alway surrounded by scholar- bureacrats. These scholar officials would help out in the community teaching morals to the people helped the government out with collecting taxes and maintained order and law in the community. To day these people don't have an officail name but could be called Junzi. Junzi means "lords son". People who are junzi like, were basically seen as saints and very virtuous. The opposite of a junzi is xiaoren or a small person. In some cases it's being said that the chinese bureacrats are corrupt....
Legislative
  • Fragmented authoritarianism
    • China has authoritarian rule with no democracy but has spread the power out to more people. All of the power is not consolidated with one individual like in the days of Mao.
  • The 25 members of the Politburo are also leaders of the CCP. Together, they have uncontested legislative powers.
    • This legislative control is exerted through controls over the bureaucracy and parallel agencies within the national government and the party to hold officials (most of whom are also party members) in check.
  • Leadership small groups
    • "Flexible issue-specific task forces" - Kesselmann
    • Unite top members of different ministries, commissions, and agencies in order to coordinate policy that crosses boundaries of jurisdiction.
  • National People's Congress
    • Theoretical duties:
      • Enacts and amends country's laws
      • Approves and monitors the budget
      • Ends wars
    • This is all theoretical as the Congress uses its powers at the discretion of the party. The real power remains consolidated in the Politburo and Standing Committee.
    • Rubber Stamp Legislation
  • The top party officials are effectively the leaders of the Politburo and thus the legislature. There is no true separation of powers as a small group of individuals hold all the power.
Other
  • China's People's Liberation Army
    • World's largest military force with 2.3 million personnel on active duty
    • Conscription is legal but unnecessary as it is viewed as a prestigious job option
    • It is controlled by the Military Commission and unswervingly serves the government.
  • People's Armed Police
    • 1.5 million employees
    • Duties include protecting public officials and buildings and doing partial border regulation.
    • Another duty is the prevention of civil unrest be that by stopping protests or dealing with outspoken individuals.
Comparative Context
  • China is unique in that it has a dual system in which the pary and the national government have parallel structures. Two constitutions also make it different from any other country we study in Comparative Government.
  • The amount of party domination of the government can be compared to the PRI's past domination in Mexico and even more the past domination of the Communist party in Russia.
Level of Democracy
  • Democracy is next to non-existent in China.
    • Democratic elections exist only at the local level and no popularly elected officials are involved in national policy making.
    • Civil unrest or protests against the party's decisions are met with harsh consequences and violence.
  • China is viewed as undemocratic by the majority of countries in the world.
  • Freedom House Scores
Legitimacy
  • The PRC gains its legitimacy from a history of serving the people's best interests.
  • In the past, charismatic legitimacy was the norm as Mao operated as a cult of personality.
  • There is some Rational-Legal legitimacy as the PRC has two constitutions.
Transparency
  • China is not know for its transparency. The government controls the media, limiting the diffusion of information about government activities and the proliferation of ideas that contradict the party line. The Politburo and Standing Committee operate in complete secrecy. In fact, they operate from a secret compound called Zhonghanhai on a small island in the middle of a lake in Beijing that is not identifiable on a map.
  • According to Transparency International's Corruption Index, China is the 78th most corrupt nation in the world out of 178 countries.
    • It was ranked on a scale of 1 to 10 as a 3.5
    • This is a drop from last year where China was ranked a 3.6