Context of Chinese Politics

Context of Chinese Politics - The Context of Chinese...

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    The Context of Chinese  Politics
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    Two major issues The concept of “revolution” The sequencing of reform Russian sequence:  political liberalization  first, then economic reform Chinese sequence: economic liberalization  first, to be following by political  democratization? Relevance of modernization theory
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    Geographical factors Slightly larger than US in area Largest population in world—1.27 billion 2/3 live in rural areas 90% of population lives along eastern  coast Much of country is desert or mountain Major cities incredibly crowded—Beijing  has over 11 million inhabitants.
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    Administrative divisions Country divided into 23 provinces, 3  major cities, and 5 autonomous regions  23rd province is Taiwan—still  considered by Chinese to be part of  China Nationalists flee there and take control  at end of Civil War--1949
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    Ethnic composition of country Majority ethnic Han Chinese- (92%) 7% belong to ethnic minority (over 50  recognized groups) 17 million Thais 6 million Mongols 5 million Tibetans On borders—constant threat of  irredentism
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    Important cleavages Ethnic Han vs. other ethnicities The Reformers vs. the Conservatives See the “Tianamen Papers” Generational
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    Chinese history Very long rich history—dates back 3600  years Long isolated from Europe, West Three major revolutions in 20 th  century Revolutions of 1911, 1927-28, 1949 Cultural revolution?   Question:  What is a revolution?
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    Defining “revolution” From Hannah Arendt, “On Revolution:” Bring about “something altogether new,”  with a “complete change in society” the  goal Ultimate aim of all revolutions is freedom All entail “irresistibility” Necessarily have degree of “violence”
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    Three major periods in  Chinese history The Imperial Era (1766 B.C.-A.D. 1911) Nationalism and Revolution (1911-49) The Communist Era (1949-present?)
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    The Imperial Era Importance of ideas of Confucius (551- 479 B.C.) System of ethical and moral rules and  principles Importance of obeying authority of emperor Right to rule based on “goodness” and  strict social roles.
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    The Imperial Era, cont. Social code emphasizes conformism,  the collective, and self-discipline 19 th  century: Period of decline of empire Growing population—need for land/food Wars with Britain and Japan Internal rebellions (Taiping and Nian  Rebellions); Muslim separatist movement  in Xinjiang
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    Nationalism and Revolution –  1911-49 Nationalist revolution, 1911 Led by Sun Yat-sen
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Context of Chinese Politics - The Context of Chinese...

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