Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Concentrating power in China

In China, the seven guys on the Communist Party's Politburo Standing Committee pretty much make the macro level decisions for the country.

However, a new bit of governing organization concentrates even more power in the presidency.

New Chinese Panel Said to Oversee Domestic Security and Foreign Policy
President Xi
China’s new national security committee is mainly based on the Washington model. It will put at the disposal of the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, a highly empowered group of security experts who can work the levers of the country’s vast security apparatus — and presumably respond more nimbly than the country’s multilayered party, police and military bureaucracies have been known to do…

The Chinese version will have dual duties with responsibility over domestic security as well as foreign policy, Chinese experts say.

That means the new body will deal with cybersecurity as well as the unrest in China’s Tibet and Xinjiang regions, where resistance against the Han majority population is continuing, according to Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University in Beijing…

The decision by Mr. Xi to push ahead with the national security committee drew special attention because although two of his predecessors, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, had contemplated forming such a coordinating policy group, bureaucratic resistance, particularly from the military, had prevented its creation, the experts said…

It seemed clear from the Chinese announcement that Mr. Xi would head the new Chinese agency and that his position at the helm would serve to increase his already firm grasp on power

Another obvious difference between the American model and the new Chinese agency is the dominant role of the Communist Party in China. “The Standing Committee will still be king for all important things,” said Mr. Shi, referring to the seven men, including Mr. Xi, who are decision makers of the Politburo…

Mr. Xi would dominate the new national security committee and would add the title to the three major responsibilities he already holds: general secretary of the Communist Party, head of the People’s Liberation Army and head of state…

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