Alyssa Morgan Intro to Comparative Politics Ritu Dhungana September 8, 2012 China: Authoritarian Regime According the text, Hague and Harrop, Authoritarian rule is any form of non-democratic rule. Although authoritarian, there is broad aspect of the term. Many countries can be considered authoritarian or non-democratic through one party rule, military junta, and presidential dictatorship (Hague and Harrop, “Authoritarian Rule”). One party, the Communist party, rules China.
There are three reasons as to why China is considered to be governed by an authoritarian regime: The Communist Party seeks to maintain their own control; corruption, and the absence of constitutional restraint and clear legal framework (Hague and Harrop, “Authoritarian Rule”). Liberal democracy serves as a way to steer from instability though checks and balances. However communism, a form of authoritarian rule, is defined as a system of social organization where all property is controlled by the overall community in which each person contributes and receives in accordance to their ability and need (Oxford Dictionaries, “Communism”).
China’s communist party maintains control over the wealth and prosperity formed throughout the People’s Republic of China, making it an authoritarian state. However, China is growing economically and vibrantly, climbing the ladder in becoming one of the world’s superpowers. China as a whole has prospered from this authoritarian regime and over three hundred million Chinese have sought benefit from this but over one billion have had little or no advantage (Project Muse, “A Rising, Emboldened China”). There are always pros and cons to any form of government.
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As part of the their way of maintaining control, the government limits local elections and the press and any and all political mentions is strictly controlled. Any criticism about the government, online or in newspapers is dealt with harshly and swiftly (The Democracy Journal, “China and East Asian Democracy”). The restriction of open ideas on the Internet and in the newspapers makes the task of voting extremely difficult for there are no opposing arguments in the media or elsewhere to derive an opinion from. (The Democracy Journal, “China and East Asian Democracy”).
The main question remains that, although this country is economically prosperous, can the Communist party of the People’s Republic of China maintain this type of authoritarian regime without inevitable civil unrest and perhaps a revolution. The lack of constitutional restraint and unclear legal framework is apparent while reading about The People’s Republic of China. It is hard to criticize the Chinese government and their form of authoritarian regime for they are fast becoming a leading nation in this world.
The Chinese Communist Party, (CCP) however restraining, has evolved to become very complex and adaptable (Journal of Democracy, “China and East Asian Democracy”). Many authoritarian regimes require succession within the family, (monarchy) but China has term limits and invests its power in one single party, thus making China a modern authoritarian regime. Corruption will inevitably be found within any communist country. Many who hold high positions in the government of China are due to their prestigious or wealthy family backgrounds.
Many officials apart of the CCP enjoy various perks and wealth in their jobs. It is assumed that early China had less corruption due to fewer resources and ones fight to rise to power (Journal of Democracy, “China and East Asian Democracy”). Corruption is most common in the lower administrative branches of government in China. Lower level officials are cooed to compete with one other to achieve higher personal status as well as promotion within the government (Journal of Democracy, “China and East Asian Democracy”).
The simple characteristics of an unclear legal framework or constitutional restraint, corruption, and preservation of power makes China an authoritarian government no matter how adaptive, prosperous, or beneficial. China has undoubtedly grown in terms of the economy and is making strides to becoming one the world’s superpowers, making an analysis of the government in China difficult. There are pro’s and cons when dealing with the highly adaptive and complex governmental regime in this country, but above all the Peoples Republic of China is Communist, therefore supporting the main topic that China stands under an authoritarian regime.
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