March 09, 2006

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China's coming democracy

To paraphrase a certain Scottish explorer, it's democracy Jim, but not as we know it. As part of a massive re-organisation of officials, the central leadership is introducing new measures:

China is planning a massive reshuffle of local politicians, linking promotions to how well they adhere to the central leadership's efforts to address social imbalances, an official newspaper said. The moves may affect more than 100,000 officials in township, county, city and provincial posts ahead of a party congress next year that is likely to seal changes in the country's ruling circle under President Hu Jintao.

"The criteria for promotion will not [be based only on gross domestic product] growth and other political achievements, it will also [be based on] the level of popular satisfaction with their administration," the People's Daily, the Communist Party's mouthpiece, said Wednesday, citing comments by the party's organization chief, He Guoqiang. It said the decisions about promotions and demotions be made based on the "scientific outlook on development" - the party's catchphrase for balanced economic and social growth that places fresh emphasis on social equality, especially for poor farmers.

Making officials promotion prospects based on "popular satisfaction" begs the question how do you mark popular satisfaction? The ballot box, perhaps?

posted by Simon on 03.09.06 at 08:49 AM in the China politics category.


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"Making officials promotion prospects based on "popular satisfaction" begs the question how do you mark popular satisfaction? The ballot box, perhaps?"

Easy to answer this one. They use the same methods the police use to get innocently accused murderers to confess to their crimes: you beat the citizens until they tell you they're satisfied!

posted by: dezza on 03.09.06 at 09:49 AM [permalink]

Gotta give Hu credit, he doesn't miss a single opportunity.

China is doomed to have a peasant revolution, as Stratfor pointed out, too much debt, too many poor and the Guanxi networks are too embedded in the culture.

But, I have to say, I can't think of anything CPC/PRC could be doing that it isn't already trying in order to delay the inevitable.

It is fascinating to watch, like someone juggling land mines, you know it's gonna end badly, but you can't help enjoying the show while waiting for the first "oops..."

posted by: Randy Gordon on 03.10.06 at 03:16 AM [permalink]

I'd be careful about slinging historical inevitabilities there Gordon. 50 years ago the communists thought they would have triumphed over capitalism by now and the whole world would be awash with grand prolitarien revolutions.

Anyways, Stratfor's garbage.

posted by: Jing on 03.10.06 at 08:47 AM [permalink]

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