Jie Chen and Bruce J. Dickson draw on extensive fieldwork as they explore the extent to which China’s private sector supports democracy, surveying more than 2,000 entrepreneurs in five coastal provinces with over 70 percent of China’s private enterprises.The authors examine who the private entrepreneurs are, how the party-state shapes this group, and what their relationship to the state is. China’s entrepreneurs are closely tied to the state through political and financial relationships, and these ties shape their views toward democracy. While most entrepreneurs favor multi-candidate elections under the current one-party system, they do not support a system characterized by multi-party competition and political liberties, including the right to demonstrate. The key to regime support lies in the capitalists’ political beliefs and their assessment of the government’s policy performance. China’s capitalists tend to be conservative and status-quo oriented, not likely to serve as agents of democratization.This is a valuable contribution not only to the debates over the prospects for democracy in China but also to understanding the process of democratization around the globe.
China has always viewed itself as a vulnerable underdeveloped country. In the 1990s, it began negotiating economic agreements and creating China-centric institutions, culminating in the 2000s in numerous institutions and ultimately the Belt and Road Initiative. The authors analyze China’s political and diplomatic, economic, and military engagement with the Developing World and discuss specific countries that are most important to China.
Edited by Joseph P. H. Fan and Randall Morck University of Chicago Press, 2012 Library of Congress HC427.95.C365 2012 | Dewey Decimal 330.951
China’s economic boom over the last two decades has taken many analysts by surprise, given the ongoing role of central government planning. Its current growth trajectory suggests that the size of its economy could soon surpass that of the United States. Some argue that continued growth and the expanding middle class will ultimately exert pressure on the government to bring about greater openness of the financial market.
To better understand China’s recent economic performance, this volume examines the distinctive system it has developed: “market socialism with Chinese characteristics.” While its formal institutional makeup resembles that of a free-market economy, many of its practices remain socialist, including strategically placed state-owned enterprises that wield influence both directly and through controlled business groups, and Communist Party cells whose purpose is to maintain control of many segments of the economy. China’s economic system, the contributors find, also retains many historical characteristics that play a central role in managing the economy. These and other issues are examined in chapters on China’s financial regulations, corporate governance codes, bankruptcy laws, taxation, and disclosure rules.
Most discussions of the global financial crisis take the United States as their focus, both for analyzing what went wrong and for making plans to avoid similar mistakes in the future. But that may not be the case next time: as Minq Li argues convincingly in China and the Twenty-first-Century Crisis, by the time of inevitable next crisis, China will likely be at the epicenter.
Li roots his argument in an analysis of the political and economic imbalances in China that would exacerbate a crisis, and possibly even precipitate a full collapse—and he shows in detail the reasons why that collapse could happen much more quickly than anyone imagines. Writing from a Marxist and ecologically oriented perspective, Li shows unequivocally that the limits to capitalism are fast approaching, and that events in China—essentially the last great frontier for capitalist expansion—are likely to be pivotal.
Since becoming president of China and general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi Jinping has emerged as China's most powerful and popular leader since Deng Xiaoping. The breathtaking economic expansion and military modernization that Xi inherited has convinced him that China can transform into a twenty-first-century superpower.
In this collection, leading scholars from the United States, Asia, and Europe examine both the prospects for China's continuing rise and the emergent and unintended consequences posed by China's internal instability and international assertiveness. Contributors examine domestic challenges surrounding slowed economic growth, Xi's anti-corruption campaign, and government efforts to maintain social stability. Essays on foreign policy range from the impact of nationalist pressures on international relations to China’s heavy-handed actions in the South China Sea that challenge regional stability and US-China cooperation. The result is a comprehensive analysis of current policy trends in Xi's China and the implications of these developments for his nation, the United States, and Asia-Pacific.
“Cuts through the cacophony of information, misinformation, and nonsense on China that circulates in our modern world to give us reliable answers to crucial questions… Should be on the shelf of anyone seeking to understand this fast-rising superpower.” —Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China
After years of isolation, China is now center stage as an economic and global power, but its rise has triggered wildly divergent views. Is it a model of business efficiency or a threat to American prosperity and security? Thirty-six of the world’s leading China experts from Harvard University’s renowned Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies answer key questions about this new superpower, distilling a lifetime of scholarship into short and accessible essays about Chinese politics, culture, history, economy, approach to the environment, and foreign policy. Their contributions provide essential insight into the challenges China faces, the aspirations of its people and leaders, its business climate, and the consequences of its meteoric ascent. Many books offer information about China, but few make sense of what is truly at stake.
“Impressive… A highly informative, readable collection for scholars and nonscholars alike.” —Publishers Weekly
“Provides a more nuanced and accessible perspective on the issues China is facing.” —South China Morning Post
“Erudite yet accessible… The topical reach is impressive.” —Jeffrey Wasserstrom, author of China in the 21st Century
When Deng Xiaoping launched China on the path to economic reform in the late 1970s, he vowed to build “socialism with Chinese characteristics.” More than three decades later, China’s efforts to modernize have yielded something very different from the working people’s paradise Deng envisioned: an incipient kleptocracy, characterized by endemic corruption, soaring income inequality, and growing social tensions. China’s Crony Capitalism traces the origins of China’s present-day troubles to the series of incomplete reforms from the post-Tiananmen era that decentralized the control of public property without clarifying its ownership.
Beginning in the 1990s, changes in the control and ownership rights of state-owned assets allowed well-connected government officials and businessmen to amass huge fortunes through the systematic looting of state-owned property—in particular land, natural resources, and assets in state-run enterprises. Mustering compelling evidence from over two hundred corruption cases involving government and law enforcement officials, private businessmen, and organized crime members, Minxin Pei shows how collusion among elites has spawned an illicit market for power inside the party-state, in which bribes and official appointments are surreptitiously but routinely traded. This system of crony capitalism has created a legacy of criminality and entrenched privilege that will make any movement toward democracy difficult and disorderly.
Rejecting conventional platitudes about the resilience of Chinese Communist Party rule, Pei gathers unambiguous evidence that beneath China’s facade of ever-expanding prosperity and power lies a Leninist state in an advanced stage of decay.
The rise of China as a great power is one of the most important developments in the twenty-first century. But despite dramatic economic progress, China’s prospects remain uncertain. In a book sure to provoke debate, Minxin Pei examines the sustainability of the Chinese Communist Party’s reform strategy—pursuing pro-market economic policies under one-party rule.
Pei casts doubt on three central explanations for why China’s strategy works: sustained economic development will lead to political liberalization and democratization; gradualist economic transition is a strategy superior to the “shock therapy” prescribed for the former Soviet Union; and a neo-authoritarian developmental state is essential to economic take-off. Pei argues that because the Communist Party must retain significant economic control to ensure its political survival, gradualism will ultimately fail.
The lack of democratic reforms in China has led to pervasive corruption and a breakdown in political accountability. What has emerged is a decentralized predatory state in which local party bosses have effectively privatized the state’s authority. Collusive corruption is widespread and governance is deteriorating. Instead of evolving toward a full market economy, China is trapped in partial economic and political reforms.
Combining powerful insights with empirical research, China’s Trapped Transition offers a provocative assessment of China’s future as a great power.
China's Urban Transition
John Friedmann University of Minnesota Press, 2005 Library of Congress HT384.C6F75 2005 | Dewey Decimal 307.760951
Though China's urban history reaches back over five thousand years, it is only in the last quarter century that urbanization has emerged as a force of widespread social transformation while a massive population shift from country to city has brought about a dramatic revolution in China's culture, politics, and economy. Employing a historical perspective, John Friedmann presents a succinct, readable account and interpretation of how this transition - one of the most momentous phenomena in contemporary history - has occurred. China's Urban Transition synthesizes a broad array of research to provide the first integrated treatment of the many processes that encompass the multi-layered meaning of urbanization: regional policy, the upsurge of rural industries, migration, expanding spheres of personal autonomy, and the governance of city building. John Friedmann's detailed analysis suggests that the nation's economic development has been driven more by social forces from within than by global capital. This leads directly to the epic story of rural migration to major urban regions, the policies used to restrain and direct this "avalanche" of humanity on the move, and the return of many migrants to their home communities, where the process of urbanization continues. Focusing on everyday life in cities, he also shows how this social transformation extends to the most intimate spheres of people's lives. In conclusion, the author raises the question of a "sustainable" urban development and its relation with China's own past, values, and institutions. Friedmann predicts that within ten years China - already the most powerful country in East Asia - will have become a major power in the world. With historical depth, interpretive insight, and interdisciplinary breadth, this book offers an unparalleled introduction to China's transformation.
This report assesses Chinese investment in U.S. aviation from 2005 to 2016. It provides context in China’s demand for aviation products and aviation industrial policies, while assessing technology transfers and impact on U.S. competitiveness. Chinese investment in U.S. aviation over the past decade has primarily involved lower-technology general aviation manufacturers that do not affect U.S. competitiveness.
In the midst of China’s post-Mao market reforms, the old status hierarchy is collapsing. Who will determine what will take its place? In Creating Market Socialism, the sociologist Carolyn L. Hsu demonstrates the central role of ordinary people—rather than state or market elites—in creating new institutions for determining status in China. Hsu explores the emerging hierarchy, which is based on the concept of suzhi, or quality. In suzhi ideology, human capital and educational credentials are the most important measures of status and class position. Hsu reveals how, through their words and actions, ordinary citizens decide what jobs or roles within society mark individuals with suzhi, designating them “quality people.”
Hsu’s ethnographic research, conducted in the city of Harbin in northwestern China, included participant observation at twenty workplaces and interviews with working adults from a range of professions. By analyzing the shared stories about status and class, jobs and careers, and aspirations and hopes that circulate among Harbiners from all walks of life, Hsu reveals the logic underlying the emerging stratification system. In the post-socialist era, Harbiners must confront a fast-changing and bewildering institutional landscape. Their collective narratives serve to create meaning and order in the midst of this confusion. Harbiners collectively agree that “intellectuals” (scientists, educators, and professionals) are the most respected within the new social order, because they contribute the most to Chinese society, whether that contribution is understood in terms of traditional morality, socialist service, or technological and economic progress. Harbiners understand human capital as an accurate measure of a person’s status. Their collective narratives about suzhi shape their career choices, judgments, and child-rearing practices, and therefore the new practices and institutions developing in post-socialist China.
Through window displays, newspapers, soap operas, gay bars, and other public culture venues, Chinese citizens are negotiating what it means to be cosmopolitan citizens of the world, with appropriate needs, aspirations, and longings. Lisa Rofel argues that the creation of such “desiring subjects” is at the core of China’s contingent, piece-by-piece reconfiguration of its relationship to a post-socialist world. In a study at once ethnographic, historical, and theoretical, she contends that neoliberal subjectivities are created through the production of various desires—material, sexual, and affective—and that it is largely through their engagements with public culture that people in China are imagining and practicing appropriate desires for the post-Mao era.
Drawing on her research over the past two decades among urban residents and rural migrants in Hangzhou and Beijing, Rofel analyzes the meanings that individuals attach to various public cultural phenomena and what their interpretations say about their understandings of post-socialist China and their roles within it. She locates the first broad-based public debate about post-Mao social changes in the passionate dialogues about the popular 1991 television soap opera Yearnings. She describes how the emergence of gay identities and practices in China reveals connections to a transnational network of lesbians and gay men at the same time that it brings urban/rural and class divisions to the fore. The 1999–2001 negotiations over China’s entry into the World Trade Organization; a controversial women’s museum; the ways that young single women portray their longings in relation to the privations they imagine their mothers experienced; adjudications of the limits of self-interest in court cases related to homoerotic desire, intellectual property, and consumer fraud—Rofel reveals all of these as sites where desiring subjects come into being.
China is emerging as a truly global economic and political power. China's impact on Latin America and the Caribbean region is mixed, however--fostering a trade market for some countries, but creating competition for others.
This pioneering volume, produced by the Inter-American Development Bank's Integration and Regional Programs Department and Research Department, provides a comprehensive overview of China's economic policy and performance over recent decades and contrasts them with the Latin American experience. What are the underlying factors behind China's competitive edge? What are the strategic implications of China's rise for growth and development in Latin America? These questions open new avenues for thinking about revitalizing development strategies in Latin America in the face of China's successful development and reduction of poverty. This insightful report is a must-read for analysts, policymakers, and development practitioners, not only in Latin America and the Caribbean, but wherever China's presence is being felt.
Rapid social economic changes, the transition from a planned economy to a market economy, or even economic liberalization can lead to political instability and the collapse of authoritarian regimes. Despite experiencing all of these unprecedented changes in the past forty years, China under the Chinese Communist Party’s leadership has so far successfully transformed and improved both its governance capacity and its ruling capacity. Governing and Ruling addresses this regime resilience puzzle by examining the political logic of its taxation system, especially the ways in which taxation helps China handle three governance problems: maneuvering social control, improving agent discipline, and eliciting cooperation. Changdong Zhang argues that a taxation system plays an important role in sustaining authoritarian rule, in China and elsewhere, by combining co-optation and repression functions. The book collects valuable firsthand and secondhand data; studies China’s taxation system, intergovernmental fiscal relationships, composition of fiscal revenue sources, and tax administration; and discusses how each dimension influences the three governance problems.
Neoliberalism is commonly viewed as an economic doctrine that seeks to limit the scope of government. Some consider it a form of predatory capitalism with adverse effects on the Global South. In this groundbreaking work, Aihwa Ong offers an alternative view of neoliberalism as an extraordinarily malleable technology of governing that is taken up in different ways by different regimes, be they authoritarian, democratic, or communist. Ong shows how East and Southeast Asian states are making exceptions to their usual practices of governing in order to position themselves to compete in the global economy. As she demonstrates, a variety of neoliberal strategies of governing are re-engineering political spaces and populations. Ong’s ethnographic case studies illuminate experiments and developments such as China’s creation of special market zones within its socialist economy; pro-capitalist Islam and women’s rights in Malaysia; Singapore’s repositioning as a hub of scientific expertise; and flexible labor and knowledge regimes that span the Pacific.
Ong traces how these and other neoliberal exceptions to business as usual are reconfiguring relationships between governing and the governed, power and knowledge, and sovereignty and territoriality. She argues that an interactive mode of citizenship is emerging, one that organizes people—and distributes rights and benefits to them—according to their marketable skills rather than according to their membership within nation-states. Those whose knowledge and skills are not assigned significant market value—such as migrant women working as domestic maids in many Asian cities—are denied citizenship. Nevertheless, Ong suggests that as the seam between sovereignty and citizenship is pried apart, a new space is emerging for NGOs to advocate for the human rights of those excluded by neoliberal measures of human worthiness.
In recent years, China 's leaders have taken decisive action to transform information, communications, and technology (ICT) into the nation's next pillar industry. In Networking China , Yu Hong offers an overdue examination of that burgeoning sector's political economy. Hong focuses on how the state, in conjunction with market forces and class interests, is constructing and realigning its digitalized sector. State planners intend to build a more competitive ICT sector by modernizing the network infrastructure, corporatizing media-and-entertainment institutions, and by using ICT as a crosscutting catalyst for innovation, industrial modernization, and export upgrades. The goal: to end China's industrial and technological dependence upon foreign corporations while transforming itself into a global ICT leader. The project, though bright with possibilities, unleashes implications rife with contradiction and surprise. Hong analyzes the central role of information, communications, and culture in Chinese-style capitalism. She also argues that the state and elites have failed to challenge entrenched interests or redistribute power and resources, as promised. Instead, they prioritize information, communications, and culture as technological fixes to make pragmatic tradeoffs between economic growth and social justice.
A scholar and activist tells the story of change makers operating within the Chinese Communist system, whose ideas of social action necessarily differ from those dominant in Western, liberal societies.
The Chinese government has increased digital censorship under Xi Jinping. Why? Because online activism works; it is perceived as a threat in halls of power. In The Other Digital China, Jing Wang, a scholar at MIT and an activist in China, shatters the view that citizens of nonliberal societies are either brainwashed or complicit, either imprisoned for speaking out or paralyzed by fear. Instead, Wang shows the impact of a less confrontational kind of activism. Whereas Westerners tend to equate action with open criticism and street revolutions, Chinese activists are building an invisible and quiet coalition to bring incremental progress to their society.
Many Chinese change makers practice nonconfrontational activism. They prefer to walk around obstacles rather than break through them, tactfully navigating between what is lawful and what is illegitimate. The Other Digital China describes this massive gray zone where NGOs, digital entrepreneurs, university students, IT companies like Tencent and Sina, and tech communities operate. They study the policy winds in Beijing, devising ways to press their case without antagonizing a regime where taboo terms fluctuate at different moments. What emerges is an ever-expanding networked activism on a grand scale. Under extreme ideological constraints, the majority of Chinese activists opt for neither revolution nor inertia. They share a mentality common in China: rules are meant to be bent, if not resisted.
In 2009, to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies convened a major conference to discuss the health and longevity of China’s ruling system and to consider a fundamental question: After three decades of internal strife and turmoil, followed by an era of reform, entrepreneurialism, and internationalization, is the PRC here for the dynastic long haul?
Bringing together scholars and students of China from around the world, the gathering witnessed an energetic exchange of views on four interrelated themes: polities, social transformations, wealth and well-being, and culture, belief, and practice. Edited and expanded from the original conference papers, the wide-ranging essays in this bilingual volume remain true to the conference’s aim: to promote open discussion of the past, present, and future of the People’s Republic of China.
The unexpected insurrection of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation in 1994 toppled the notion that the triumph of neoliberalism represented the end of history. In the clamor that followed, a masked, pipe-smoking horseman appeared as the spokesperson for the indigenous rebels.
In this book, Nick Henck provides a concise and accessible overview of the life, thought, and achievements of the professor-turned-guerrilla Subcomandante Marcos. Through his academic exodus and immersion in the indigenous communities of the Lacandon jungle, to his participation in a guerilla army, to his eloquent articulation of the struggles of oppressed peoples around the world, Marcos became a revered and inspiring enigma. Henck explores Marcos’s considerable accomplishments in four main fields: his role as spokesperson for the Zapatistas; his contribution to Latin American literature and a new political language for the left; his work in making Mexico a more democratic, inclusive, and just nation; and his role as an inspirational international political icon. Published for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Zapatista uprising, this book is not just a biography but also a reminder that there are alternative ways of doing politics: that another world is possible.
Unlikely Partners recounts the story of how Chinese politicians and intellectuals looked beyond their country’s borders for economic guidance at a key crossroads in the nation’s tumultuous twentieth century. Julian Gewirtz offers a dramatic tale of competition for influence between reformers and hardline conservatives during the Deng Xiaoping era, bringing to light China’s productive exchanges with the West.
When Mao Zedong died in 1976, his successors seized the opportunity to reassess the wisdom of China’s rigid commitment to Marxist doctrine. With Deng Xiaoping’s blessing, China’s economic gurus scoured the globe for fresh ideas that would put China on the path to domestic prosperity and ultimately global economic power. Leading foreign economists accepted invitations to visit China to share their expertise, while Chinese delegations traveled to the United States, Hungary, Great Britain, West Germany, Brazil, and other countries to examine new ideas. Chinese economists partnered with an array of brilliant thinkers, including Nobel Prize winners, World Bank officials, battle-scarred veterans of Eastern Europe’s economic struggles, and blunt-speaking free-market fundamentalists.
Nevertheless, the push from China’s senior leadership to implement economic reforms did not go unchallenged, nor has the Chinese government been eager to publicize its engagement with Western-style innovations. Even today, Chinese Communists decry dangerous Western influences and officially maintain that China’s economic reinvention was the Party’s achievement alone. Unlikely Partners sets forth the truer story, which has continuing relevance for China’s complex and far-reaching relationship with the West.
A well-known novelist and journalist from the coastal city of Jableh, Samar Yazbek witnessed the beginning four months of the uprising first-hand and actively participated in a variety of public actions and budding social movements. Throughout this period she kept a diary of personal reflections on, and observations of, this historic time. Because of the outspoken views she published in print and online, Yazbek quickly attracted the attention and fury of the regime, vicious rumours started to spread about her disloyalty to the homeland and the Alawite community to which she belongs. The lyrical narrative describes her struggle to protect herself and her young daughter, even as her activism propels her into a horrifying labyrinth of insecurity after she is forced into living on the run and detained multiple times, excluded from the Alawite community and renounced by her family, her hometown and even her childhood friends. With rare empathy and journalistic prowess Samar Yazbek compiled oral testimonies from ordinary Syrians all over the country. Filled with snapshots of exhilarating hope and horrifying atrocities, she offers us a wholly unique perspective on the Syrian uprising. Hers is a modest yet powerful testament to the strength and commitment of countless unnamed Syrians who have united to fight for their freedom. These diaries will inspire all those who read them, and challenge the world to look anew at the trials and tribulations of the Syrian uprising.