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Political_Science - Political Science 219 September 8 2008...

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Political Science 219             September 8, 2008 A. historical echoes -Chinese revolution since 1950s -internal (secular dynastic decline)   nothing new -external political development   new and extremely powerful political powers from the west domestic: -Qing dynasty v. communist parties -tried to combine east and west -wanted to grab the essence of traditional Chinese civilization -socialization with Chinese characteristics effort of the Communist party - will opening up too much hurt the Confucianism / communism? -this concern echoes -intellectuals are sent abroad to learn the advanced western technologies -not only engineers but revolutionaries with the adoption of new ideologies -students sent by the communist party do not want to come back   political fears and limited opportunities foreign: -Chinese relationship with the foreign -20 th  century: victimized by foreigners -never again mentality and sensitivity due to victimization -insistent on fair treatment with Japan, Taiwan, Tibet etc B. why history matters 1. contemporary experience influenced by historical lessons as china sees it -thinking and way of living of politicians and citizens 2. more receptive of some of the policies than others – political choices
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-what circumstances they inherited from the past   what choices they  can  make -Chinese version of capitalism therefore does not equal our version of capitalism, because of different  historical experiences   democracy looks distinctive *China is not just  a  country, but is  a civilization -it is a centralized and confined area whereas western civilization is dispersed 3. three important continuities:     a. population density -feeding the population from limited arable land is the prerequisite of the survival of the regime -only a fraction of the land is arable -political consequences -the inability to feed leads to rebellion -in today’s world, leads to intense debates about child policy and birth control b. town / country division -there are 2 Chinas   cities and countryside -majority still lives in rural areas, though urbanization is happening -still compared to other developed areas, rural population is big, lacking amenities -they all want to move to cities -government was worried about urbanization   hence, the policy of residency permit -i.e. hukou   fear of overcrowded cities led to the policy that limits mobility -people still illegally move c. center / local relations -territorially big countries -difficult to manage with a centralized government and control local affairs -but both imperial / modern China has a unitary political system -not federal like the system of the US -reliance on local elites – people with status and education, or party members -2 problems:
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i. center is not in good touch with the grassroots
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