CCP Internal Resilience – post 3 of 10  

A history lesson

One place to seek answers to CCP stability is within Chinese history. This might contain a key to understanding what forces shape relations between the imperial center and the bureaucracy.  In current form, what binds millions of cadres to the Central Committee, or the Politburo, or the General Secretary? Perhaps dynastic history can be a model.

CCP Internal Resilience – post 2 of 10

CCP intraparty authoritarian resilience - no more

In 2003, Andrew Nathan proposed four reasons for authoritarian resilience in CCP.  The four reasons speak to both forms of resilience – resilience against the people and resilience to disruption from inside CCP.  Nathan was reflecting on political developments during the term of Deng Xiaoping and the more or less orderly transitions since.    

Some Notes on CCP Internal Resilience

“Authoritarian resilience” was the explanation in the west for CCP stability post Tian’anmen.  We can distinguish two meanings of CCP resilience over time.  The first describes resilience with respect to the Chinese people. How does the single party authoritarian, if not autocratic, state maintain legitimacy over time? What keeps angry or dissatisfied people out of the streets?

There is another resilience, and that is resilience internal to CCP. What keeps cadres loyal to the system they joined years ago?

Brief Note on the Trade Shootout

It is no surprise to anyone familiar with Chinese thinking on foreign policy or negotiating practice that China is  balking at changing its laws to reflect what the American negotiators apparently thought had been previously agreed. From the Reuters article -

 In each of the seven chapters of the draft trade deal, China had deleted its commitments to change laws to resolve core complaints that caused the United States to launch a trade war: Theft of U.S. intellectual property and trade secrets; forced technology transfers; competition policy; access to financial services; and currency manipulation.

One can marvel at American stupidity, if that is what is involved; or simply invoke the negotiating principle that no items are agreed to until all items are agreed to. One can call it Chinese perfidy, but that would simply imply that the Americans are so uninformed about Chinese negotiating tactics that they should not be in the same room with their counterparties at all.  To paraphrase Harold Washington on politics, trade negotiations ain't beanbag.

So let's get past the propaganda and posturing. This below is what no negotiating is going to change.  It is at the heart of some American thinking on the trade battle.

When Internet Blocking Fails

 An internet not coming to a computer near you …

CCP gets more paranoid than usual around June 4 of every year, particularly those years a multiple of five from 1989.   This year is 30 years since the Tian’anmen massacre.

I was in Chicago around June 4 of 2009, but I made the 2014 anniversary.  Internet blocking began early in May.  Every foreigner in China gets accustomed to internet and social media blocking, but in 2014 the online ban was nearly total.  It was a lesson in how particular the censorship could be.   You know, it’s China – it’s complicated.

How to End June 4, et al.

 

A Country That Controls the Internet Should be Able to Control the Calendar

A few years ago, it was reported in the Australian Financial Review that senior party members in the Chinese Communist Party were reading deTocqueville’s The Old Regime and the Revolution.  This was at the suggestion of Xi Jinping, who apparently wanted to call attention to the fate of leaders who ignore the people in favor of corruption and the easy life.  The end times of the French monarchy is a good model for what rulers should not do.

Recent

  • For leaders, information does not want to be free - lessons from Wuhan

    For leaders, information does not want to be free - in US or China

    (Note: update at February 13 - Hubei has changed the manner of identifying virus infections, and the new system overnight adds about 15,000 people to the total.  The number of deaths is also changed, but obviously the government will not go back and change death certificates from the last month.  I have no access to the statistics, only reports from Chinese of illnesses and deaths, but an increase in the total of cases seems necessary.  There were just too many stories, too close to home.  The new count coincides with the change of the Wuhan and Hubei CCP leaders.  Politically, it will now be possible to identify the crisis with the former leaders, and the end of the crisis with changes made by Mr. Xi.  This is the China wechat meme of the moment.)

    We should not waste the coronavirus crisis.

    Whether or not it turns into a full-fledged pandemic, surprises and lessons already have emerged that demand attention and need to be learned by Chinese -- also by America and the rest of the world.

    Read more ...  
  • Masks of the Red (Cross) Death

    Masks of the Red (Cross) Death

    You remember the Edgar Allan Poe story - The Masque of the Red Death

    Prospero and 1,000 other nobles have taken refuge in this walled abbey to escape the Red Death, a terrible plague with gruesome symptoms that has swept over the land. Victims are overcome by "sharp pains", "sudden dizziness", and "profuse bleeding at the pores", and die within half an hour. Prospero and his court are indifferent to the sufferings of the population at large; they intend to await the end of the plague in luxury and safety behind the walls of their secure refuge, having welded the doors shut.

    Read more ...  
  • Further to "abandon all hope ..."

    “Abandon all hope” is how I titled a recent post on the response of Wuhan people to the virus.  The title was based on the stories I was hearing, both live and through wechat groups.

    Read more ...  

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