China Politics

China Politics

The constitution adopted by the People’s Congress on December 4, 1982 (amended several times, most recently in 2018) is based on the 1954 constitution. The readjustment to the constitution of 1954 concerns v. a. the specific provisions on the structure and powers of the constitutional bodies, regional administrative bodies and the judiciary. According to the Constitution, the People’s Republic of China is a socialist state led by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

The constitution contains a list of fundamental rights and obligations of various kinds, as well as certain forms of control over state administration. A general principle of equality precedes the catalog of fundamental rights; There is active and passive right to vote regardless of gender, religion, level of education and the like. In addition to the CCP and the United Front organizations, groups of at least three citizens also have the right to make nominations for the candidate lists. Votes are cast in an »anonymous voting form«. Freedom of opinion, of the press, of assembly and of religion as well as the inviolability of the home should be guaranteed, provided that they do not conflict with the interests of the state, society and the collective as well as the freedoms and rights of other citizens. In practice, fundamental rights are therefore restricted. The protection of human rights is only guaranteed after the constitutional revision in 2004. The right to work corresponds to an obligation to do so. In 1993, the economic reforms initiated at the end of the 1970s and the opening up of foreign policy were enshrined in the constitution, as were the socialist market economy named as a national goal. The right to private property and its protection (also for foreign private property) were enshrined in the constitution in 2004.

The highest state and legislative organ is the National People’s Congress, which is indirectly elected for a period of 5 years and whose around 3,000 members are elected by the parliaments of the provinces, autonomous regions and cities directly under the government, as well as by the army units. The National People’s Congress is responsible for legislation (including approval of the state budget and the national economic plan) as well as the appointment of the Prime Minister and the State Council. In addition, he can assume responsibility for government tasks of any kind. A Standing Committee (175 members) conducts its business between the sessions, which take place only once a year.

The head of state is the president elected by the National People’s Congress for 5 years, since 2013 Xi Jinping . With the constitutional amendment of 2018, the term of office was no longer limited to two five years. The president essentially performs representative tasks. The command of the armed forces lies with the Central Military Commission, but in fact they are subordinate to the CCP Military Commission under the leadership of the party’s general secretary, also Xi Jinping(since 2012).

The central executive body is the State Council (government), which consists of the prime minister (since 2013 Li Keqiang ), his deputies, the ministers and commission chairmen as well as the president of the central bank and the audit office. In his capacity as the central people’s government, he heads the administration. It issues ordinances and resolutions, draws up the national economic and budget plan and performs all the tasks assigned to it by the People’s Congress. The permanent working body of the government is the Permanent Conference of the State Council. The National Supervisory Commission established in 2018 controls government employees and has extensive powers to take action against corruption, among other things.

In 2018, the “Xi-Jinping thinking for a new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics” was anchored in the constitution. This cemented the dominance of the CCP in politics (including the military), economy and society and set essential development goals: China should be a prosperous, technically advanced, socially balanced and politically powerful state in the middle of the 21st century. With the constitutional amendments, head of state and party leader Xi had the greatest power since Mao Zedong . This went hand in hand with efforts to strengthen the authority of the state and the party domestically. In this context, repression in the non-state area has increased. This also included individual control with the help of extensive data collection, for example with projects for a »social credit system«. Relations with Muslims, especially the Uyghurs, have been narrowed down to fighting separatism and extremism. Re-education camps were set up in Sinkiang(Xinjiang) and the security forces there began to monitor “suspects” across the board. Strict social surveillance also characterized the politics in Tibet, especially towards Tibetan Buddhism. In the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region , the central government tried to restrict internal autonomy, which led to major protests there in 2019.

In terms of foreign policy, China’s position is highlighted by its permanent membership in the UN Security Council (United Nations). With the APEC and Shanghai Cooperation Organization , the People’s Republic is a member of regional organizations. Taiwan is seen as a “breakaway province”, and “reunification” is seen as an urgent national task. There have been territorial conflicts with India in the Himalayas since 1956, which also led to military clashes, including in 1962 and in May / June 2020: in Ladakh and Kashmir and around areas of the Indian states of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.

From the mid-2010s onwards, China abandoned its long-established foreign policy restraint and now clearly demonstrated its strategic interests: as a pre-eminence and order power in East Asia and Southeast Asia, including a stronger military presence in the South China Sea with claims on various island groups (e.g.. Spratly Islands), and as a global financial and economic actor , as expressed above all by the One Belt One Road Initiative (New Silk Road). There was increasing competition towards the USA, which was given a sharper emphasis with the imposition of punitive tariffs by the administration of President D. Trump in 2018/19. Due to the corona crisis In 2020, China came under international pressure to justify itself because the COVID-19 diseases from Wuhan became a pandemic.

National symbols

According to Trackaah, the national flag of China made of red cloth shows the star group from the coat of arms in the Obereck am Liek. The People’s Republic adopted the color symbolism of imperial China for its state symbols: red and gold were considered imperial colors and the embodiment of state power. The coat of arms shows the »Gate of Heavenly Peace«, raised by a large star (symbol for the Communist Party) and four small stars (as symbols for the classes: workers, peasants, petty bourgeois and patriotic capitalists) – all within a frame made of rice and wheat, which stand for agriculture, and your gear decorated with red ribbons as a symbol of industrial progress.

China Politics

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