Globalization and the Development of Civil Society in China

Joseph Y.S. Cheng Professor of Political Science City University of Hong Kong

Professor (Political Science) Coordinator, Contemporary China Research Project City University of Hong Kong E-mail address: rcccrc@cityu.edu.hk

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I.

Introduction: Globalization and Political Development in China

According to Yu Keping, in the study of globalization, different or even opposing views have emerged in six areas. They are: a) is globalization an objective reality or a subjective construct? b) is globalization a capitalist or socialist process? c) besides economic globalization, is there a political globalization and a cultural globalization? d) for a developing country like China, is globalization beneficial or damaging? e) should China adopt an active or passive approach towards globalization? and f) is globalization equivalent or similar to Westernization, Amercanization, Sinification or i modernization? Most Chinese scholars, however, would probably agree with Yu Keping that globalization in the first place is an economic process; but inevitably, it will generate political and cultural changes. Moreover, the Chinese research community should focus on the concrete impact of globalization on the economy, politics, social life, people’s behaviour patterns and ways of thinking in China, as well as how China should respond to the challenges of globalization. In short, Chinese leaders and the intelligentsia are concerned about the “internal reaches” of globalization. In terms of economic development, China has obviously been benefitting from the globalization process, as reflected by its impressive economic growth rates in the era of economic reforms and opening to the external world since the end of 1978, the considerable improvement in living standards of the vast majority of the population, and its status as the second largest economy in the world today. Zheng Yongnian rejects the notion that “China has only economic reforms and no political reforms”, because if the focus is on “democratization” alone, much will be missed. ii In the past three decades or so, the core of political reforms in China has been the construction of state institutions; and China has not reached the stage when political reforms constitute the key of the reform processes. When this stage arrives depends on the progress of social reforms and further economic reforms; but it will come because economic development demands a minimum of social and
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political order. In the era of economic reforms, there have been many forms of social movements and mass incidents, but the fundamental political and social order has been maintained. Economic development requires effective protection of property rights, and this protection is achieved through political and administrative means in China. Zheng Yongnian considers that sustainable economic development demands basic social justice; but he agrees with the Chinese leadership that without economic development, there can be no social justice. But economic development may not bring social justice; the crucial question is are there effective ways to correct social injustices when they occur. Zheng believes that economic development has promoted social pluralism, which in turn promotes adjustments in China’s political system. China’s economic reforms and opening to the external world meant a gradual embrace of globalization, symbolized by its joining the World Trade Organization (WTO). Even in the 1980s, Chinese leaders already understood that opening to the external world required convergence with international norms. Since then, this opening and the ultimate embrace of globalization have brought continuous reforms of China’s political culture which include: a) the emergence of civil society; b) promotion of the rule of law as an important objective in political development; c) introduction of direct elections at the grassroots level and the acceptance of limited local autonomy; d) separation between the government and enterprises to a considerable extent; and e) encouragement of innovations by local governments.iii In the broad area of governance, the Chinese authorities have accepted the observance of WTO rules though they imply limits on the traditional concept of sovereignty;iv they have also accepted the concept of accountability or accountable government. v In a less significant way, they promote innovative ideas like service-oriented government,vi new public management,vii good governance,viii a certain role for non-government organizations, etc.

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There are obvious limitations too. As spelled out by Wu Bangguo, the Chinese leadership would not accept: a) a multi-party system implying alternating governing parties; b) pluralism in the official guiding ideology; c) separation of powers and bicameralism in the parliamentary system; d) a federal system; and e) a system of private property rights.ix The key issue here is actually Party leadership, i.e., Chinese leaders would not tolerate any reforms leading to the erosion of the Party’s monopoly of political power, hence the rejection of “complete Westernization”. For the same reason, Chinese leaders have also rejected democratic socialism. The debate was initiated by an article by Xie Tao published in the magazine Yinhuang Chunqiu in 2007. Xie Tao argued that through major development in productivity and adjustments in income distribution in mature capitalist countries, the differences between the rural and the urban sector, those between the industrial and the agricultural sector, and those between manual and mental labour have been eliminated; and the capitalist mode of production merges peacefully into socialism. Democratic socialism is in fact orthodox Marxism; and it consists of democratic constitutionalism, a mixed system of ownership, socialist market economy, and a social security system. Xie Tao considers that democracy is the core of democratic socialism; without democracy, the other three elements would degenerate and change.x There are two types of views opposing democratic socialism. One view is total negation of social democracy, rejecting social democracy as socialism as it is not guided by Marxism and denies the leadership of the proletariat.xi Another opposing view also emphasizes that democratic socialism and socialism with Chinese characteristics are two very different paths of development, and that the former does not suit the conditions of China. However, some aspects of democratic socialism like the promotion of social security, social justice and the co-ordinated development of the humankind and mature are good references for China’s construction of socialism with Chinese characteristics.xii

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II.

Civil Society in the Eyes of the Party State According to Jean-Philippe Beja, in the 1980s, the civic organizations that the intelligentsia had set up were fighting for a radical transformation of the Party’s rule and for democracy; and in the 1990s, when civil society was working for the development of NGOs, action by intellectuals took place in a space designed and structured by the Party. In the 1980s, civil society depended on an alliance with the fraction of radical reforms for its possibilities of expression. Since the Tiananmen Incident in June 1989, it had largely restricted its discourse to the one that was officially tolerated by the authorities. Beja considers that if no social group is in a position to overcome these limitations, it will be very difficult for a vibrant civil society to consolidate in China.xiii In the last decade, some indicators of civil society attempting to challenge these limitations have engaged, but a discussion of the limitations first may be helpful. Adapting the concept of institutions as developed by Douglass C. North,xiv Yu Keping, a relatively liberal political scientist of the Party’s Central Compilation and Translation Bureau, explains the institutional environment governing the functioning of civil society organizations in China. The environment is defined by the following five elements: the Constitution; laws and statutes on civic organizations; administrative regulations of government ministers and agencies on civic organizations; relevant Party policies; and the informal rules including the current attitudes of the Chinese authorities towards civic organizations.xv a) Civic organizations in China Within this institutional environment, a distinction has to be made between the Leninist mass organizations and civic organizations. The former serves as transmission belts between the Party and the people and include the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, the Communist Youth League, the All-China Women’s Federation, the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, the Chinese Association of Science and Technology, etc. These mass
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organizations according to the Shehui Tuanti Dengji Guanli Tiaoli (Regulations on the Registration and Management of Social Organizations), belong to the category of social organizations; but according to the Civil Service Law, their cadres are included in the management system of the state civil service. Social organizations should be citizens’ voluntary organizations, they should not display the hierarchical and bureaucratic features of government agencies, and their leaders should not have administrative ranks. But these mass organizations and their leaders enjoy defined administrative ranks and corresponding remuneration packages (for the latter). Besides the above contradictions, the existing official categories are also confusing. In addition to the Regulations on the Registration and Management of Social Organizations, there are also the Minban Feiqiye Denwei Dengji Guanli Zanxing Tiaoli (Temporary Regulations on the Registration and Management of Private-sector Nonenterprise Units) and the Jijinhui Guanli Tiaoli (Regulations on the Management of Foundations). Some academics consider social organizations as organizations with defined memberships serving their mutual interests; and private-sector non-enterprise units as organizations without defined memberships serving the interests of the public. But there are social organizations working for their respective memberships’ interests, and there are those who serve public interests like the Red Cross Society of China. At present, many trade associations and professional associations are categorized as social organizations. They are not citizens’ voluntary organizations. They were mass organizations under the government umbrella, and they are now re-categorized because the government had re-defined its functions. The boundary between private-sector non-enterprise units and foundations is not clear, because many private-sector non-enterprise units use donations from natural persons, legal persons and other organizations to engage in activities serving the public as “nonprofit-making legal persons”. Meanwhile, elected grassroots bodies like villagers committees and residents committees are treated as NGOs according to the law; in fact they are extensions of the basiclevel governments and they do not fit into either of the above three
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categories. From a definition and objective point of view, civic organizations in China should reveal the following four characteristics: a) nongovernmental, i.e., they should not represent the Party state nor toe its line; b) non-profit making, i.e., making money is not their primary goal, usually their principal mission is to serve the public; c) autonomy, i.e., they should have their own organizational and management mechanisms, independent sources of funding, and autonomy from the Party state in terms of political position, management and finance; and d) voluntary, i.e., their members participate purely on a voluntary basis. Recognizing the above perspective, official think-tank researchers in China are ready to admit that obvious differences exist between civic organizations in China and those in Western countries. In the first place, civil society in China is guided and directed by the government, thus revealing a dual official and civilian characteristic. A vast majority of the legally registered civic organizations were established by the Party state and are still guided by it. In recent years, the Party state agrees to enhance the autonomy of civic organizations, and has released several documents stipulating that incumbent leading Party and government cadres should not assume leading positions in various social organizations and private-sector non-enterprise units. Further, these researchers indicate that civic organizations in China are still in a transitional stage, and they are immature in comparison with their Western counterparts. Their autonomous, voluntary and non-governmental characteristics are not prominent, as a vast majority of them only developed since the mid-1980s. While according to the government regulations released in the middle of the previous decade, civic organizations were to be delinked from the Party and government organs, they still have to be affiliated to (guakao) to them thus facilitating the latter to continue to guide civic organizations’ activities. b) Problems encountered by civic organizations in China
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In the beginning of the previous decade, the China Social Organizations Research Centre of Beijing University organized a large-scale questionnaire survey of civic organizations in Zhejiang and Beijing lasting over two years. The survey identified the problems encountered by civic organizations in their development as follows: a) shortage of funding and building space, identified by 40.8% of the social organizations surveyed in Zhejiang, identified by 38.7% of the social organizations surveyed in Beijing; b) administrative system too strict, too confused and too many restrictions, Zhejiang 22.7%, Beijing 33.4%; c) role for social organizations unclearly defined, legal status not clear-cut, and related legislation inadequate, Zhejiang 20.5%, Beijing 22.8%; and d) insufficient priority accorded by the government, Zhejiang 19.9%, Beijing 22%. The NGO Research Institute of Qinghua University also conducted a random sample survey of social organizations on a nationwide basis in 2000. The survey revealed very similar problems faced by China’s civic organizations. They included: inadequacy of funding support, appropriate grounds for activities and office equipment; insufficient support from the government; lack of talents; lack of opportunities for exchange of information and training; inadequacy of relevant laws and regulation; irregularities in the internal management of the civic organizations; too much administrative interferences from the government, etc.xvi It is interesting that Yu Keping offered an assessment of the numbers of various types of civic organizations in China in an article published in early 2006. According to his estimates, in 1989, there were 1,600 national civic organziations, and the number of local civic organizations exceeded 200,000. At the end of March 2005, there were 147,937 registered social organizations in China, 131,322 private-sector non-enterprise units, and 714 foundations. xvii He considered that there were at least more than three million civic organizations of various kinds at that time. Yu Keping also quotes other estimates indicating that in 2003, registered social organizations in China amounted to 142,000, registered private8

sector non-enterprise units 124,000; and unregistered social organizations numbered 40,000, unregistered private-sector nonenterprise units 250,000. Further, orthodox mass organizations at the grassroots level like the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, the Communist Youth League, the All-China Women’s Federation, etc. amounted to 5,378,424; other pseudo-governmental grassroots social organizations like the China Federation of Literature and Arts Circles, the China Disabled Persons Federation, the China Family Planning Association, etc. numbered 1,338,220; and various types of grassroots organizations including student groups, community cultural and entertainment groups, property owners’ committees, Internet groups, etc. amounted to 758,700. Altogether, there were about 8,031,344 civic organizations in China then.xviii Shi Weimin, research fellow of the Institute of Political Science of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and executive editor of the Political Participation Bluebook series, summarized various major opinion surveys on political participation and civil society in China in the period of 1985-2010. According to the assessment index devised, Shi observed that the score for the understanding of policy contents and policy processes rose from 1.5 (within a range of 0 to 5) in 1985-2000 to 3.6 in 2001-2010; that for actual policy participation fell from 2.5 to 1.7; that for the intention of policy participation also declined from 4 to 3; that for the effectiveness of policy participation improved from 1 to 3; and that for the satisfaction over policy also increased from 3 to 3.5. xix Shi believes that the surveys reflected two important features of policy participation in China in this period: a) citizens’ intention of policy participation was relatively strong but actual policy participation was low; and b) citizens relatively neglected the articulation of their own views on policies and the effectiveness of their own policy participation. Various surveys have also revealed a very low participation rate in civic organizations in China. According to the “Comprehensive Social Survey of China” conducted by People’s University of China in 2003-2008, only 1.39% of the respondents had participated in social organizations, clubs or other organizations. In the rural sector, this
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rate was even lower at 0.6%. In 2008, the China National Conditions Research Centre of Beijing University completed a survey on “Civic Consciousness in China”. It similarly showed that only 1.16% of the respondents had taken part in chambers of commerce, trade associations and other associations involving individuals and private citizens; 1.38% had participated in professional associations and academic associations; 1.41% had joined churches or other religious groups; 4.13% had taken part in sports or entertainment organizations; 3.37% had joined neighbourhood or community groups; and 2.2% had participated in other voluntary or social organizations.xx The surveys reported by Shi Weimin also revealed some interesting data on the management of civic organizations in China. The above-mentioned survey of People’s University indicated that for 41.14% the civic organizations surveyed, their responsible persons were internally elected; for 20% of the civic organizations surveyed, they were elected internally, then reported to superior organs for approval; and for 18.86% of those surveyed, they were appointed by superior organs. The same survey of People’s University also reflected that for 43.43% of the civic organizations polled, they raised all the funding needed; for 16% of them, the government was responsible for their total budgets; for 11.43%, the government was responsible for a large part of the funding required; and for 16%, the government offered a small part of the budgetary funds. 29.71% of the civic organizations surveyed indicated that they were not affiliated to any Party or state organs.xxi A poll by the Shengzhen city authorities in 2008 showed that 54% of the civic organizations polled relied on membership fees as the most important source of revenues; 51% of them had offered services to generate incomes; 24% of them had received sponsorships and donations from enterprises; 19% of them managed to generate incomes by selling services to the government; 9% enjoyed direct funding and subsidies from the government; and 16% of them had incomes from interest payments
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from banks. Another survey by the Shanghai municipal authorities revealed that only 8.44% of the civic organizations polled considered that they enjoyed relatively high autonomy; 68.83% of them considered that they enjoyed average autonomy, and 20.13% of them believed that they had relatively low autonomy.xxii III. A New Stage of Civil Society Development a) Growth of civic organizations The development of civil society in China in the era of economic reforms and opening to the external world basically has been a process of liberation of the society from the control of the authoritarian state, a process of demanding for freedom, and an inevitable outcome of social and economic development. The authoritarian state, however, has been unwilling to abandon its control over society. The most fundamental indicator of this control over society has been the strict control over the establishment of civic organizations. Those which have been allowed to secure a legal existence are the corporatist-type social organizations which are not truly autonomous and outside of the state’s control. Kang Xiaoguang and his colleagues in their study of China’s civil society situation observe that the government has developed a strategy to manage civic organizations. To avoid the latter’s challenge of the government’s authority and to maintain its monopoly of political power, it has been implementing a functional substitution strategy. The government exploits civic organizations to satisfy the society’s needs and to maintain its rule; civil society in the context of a liberal democracy has been replaced, and the autonomous, self-generating, self-governing type of civic xxiii organizations has lost their space for existence. Guided by this strategy, the government has been promoting civic organizations offering social services, while citizen participation has been under strict government control. Participation in
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community affairs and public services are allowed, while that involves criticisms of the government are not accepted. This type of participation has no impact or very little impact on government policy, especially important policy.xxiv Kang and his colleagues’ analysis explains the emergence of civic organizations in China since the 1980s. These civic organizations serve the government, and assist the government in service delivery. Among the 0.62 million of registered social organizations in 2008, the vast majority were organizations established by the Chinese authorities, including trade unions, women’s federations, etc. Other categories included those delivery services in the areas of poverty alleviation, environmental protection; peasants associations engaged in co-operation in agricultural activities and marketing work; and interest groups covering a broad spectrum. These were government-organized non-governmental organizations (GNOGOs) or quasi-governmental organizations. These GONGOs would have their own interests, but their organizational interests must be compatible with those of the state, or at least they must not be in conflict with those of the state. However, these GONGOs constitute by one-tenth of the social organizations in actual existence which should amount to seven or eight million. In the first place, there are about one million family churches. There should be another million traditional savings associations, worshipping groups, clan organizations, etc. in the rural sector. There are more modern civic organizations in the rural sector too including those engaged in services for the elderly, poverty alleviation, cultural activities and hobbies; there are also peasant associations mentioned above; and the genuinely autonomous elected village committees which altogether number 0.6 million. These more modern civic organizations probably add up to one million, i.e., there are two million civic organizations in the rural actor. In the past three decades, roughly eighty million people had visited government offices at the county level and above presenting petitions and articulating their grievances; hence one may estimate
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that there are up to one million groups of petitioners. In the urban communities, there are easily one million unregistered interest groups, hobby groups, cultural activity groups, sports groups, etc. In addition, there are numerous property owners committees; and many civic organizations which have not bothered to register with the local civil affairs bureaus at various levels. They include human right groups, poverty alleviation organizations, environmental protection groups, research groups, traditional worshippers groups, student bodies in university campuses, etc., and they should number more than a million. Hence there should be social organizations of various kinds amounting to two or three million in the urban sector. On the Internet, there are all types of virtual organizations which should easily exceed one million. They include various categories of web sites, discussion groups, QQ groups, forums, twitter groups, student groups, migrant workers from the same townships and counties, and so on. Hence altogether there may well be over seven million social organizations in China involving 200 to 300 million people. Many of these social organizations may not be very active; some of them have emerged for specific purposes and disband upon completion of the tasks. Among them, about three million are involved in social movements broadly defined. Viewed from this perspective, civil society in China is a social structure with considerable free space, and not under the control of the Chinese authorities. b) Breakthrough in the recent decade The most serious challenge facing the development of civil society in China has been the Party State’s strict control. But in the past decade and more, the emergence of social movements fighting for freedom and civil rights has been able to support the development of civil society. In some ways, civil society in China has gone beyond its germination stage and entered a more organized and more capable stage with the pursuit of basic civil rights as its
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principle objective. Civil society in China already has the capacity of organizing social movements in a sustainable manner, although they cannot yet make much of an impact. The Internet and the human rights lawyers groups have been two significant pillars of support for the development of civil society so they provide an important social networking structure and the articulation of discourses; and social groups or social organizations can be formed either spontaneously or under some recognized leaders. At the same time, these social groups or organizations offer each other mutual support. Informal social organizations have emerged on a regional, group or social strata basis in China. They are freely organized, sharing common objectives and common space for activities. For example, in a village, villagers share similar interests may get organized to elect the chairman of the village committee. If they succeed, they can use the village committee’s collective decisions to block the abuse of power by the governments at higher levels. If they fail in the electoral process due to obstructions from the Party and government, they can still organize petitions and visits to higherlevel government agencies to articulate and protect their interests. These social groups or organizations can be easily formed in the rural sector; and these organizations in different localities can be connected through the Internet and other networks and can thus engage in larger-scale mobilization and promotion of human rights activities within a larger scope. In the urban sector, workers waiting for employment can be organized, small property owners can be similarly organized to form larger-scale owners associations. Even if they fail to secure approval from the authorities, they can still continue their activities. Hence when people in China encounter infringements of their civil rights by the Party state, they would mobilize and get organized to protect their rights, thus generating social movements incessantly. The above situation reflects the development of civil society in China to a new stage; Chinese people use social movements to articulate their interests and political demands, indicating their potential and capability of getting mobilized and organized at the grassroots level.
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The obvious trend of civil society development in China has been that people demand their rights and are ready to exert pressure on the government, especially local governments close to them. The society which used to be tightly controlled by the Party state, begins to take initiative to confront the Party state; and the latter understands that tactical networks are sometimes advisable, especially at the city/ prefectural government level and below. Admittedly Chinese leaders at this stage are still reluctant to engage in genuine political reforms;xxv the Party state has tremendous institutional and other resources at its disposal. It has no intention of seeking compromise with the civil society; when the opportunity arises, it seeks to suppress the rights-defence NGOs to create a deference effect. The suppression of the Open Constitution Initiative (Gongmeng) and Dr. Xu Zhiyong in 2009 by the Beijing Municipal government was an obvious example. At this stage, when the civil society’s discourse secures the support of the society, and when the issue at stake does not pose a threat to the Party leadership, the local government concerned may be willing to concede, or it may come under pressure from the central leadership to retreat. But the Party state does not accept civil society as an equal partner to engage in a meaningful dialogue. The latter comes under great pressure from the Party state; and it realizes that any mistake on its part may offer the Party state the opportunity to crack down. Perhaps a discussion of the first stage of civil society development in China may be useful to arrive at a better understanding of the characteristics of civil society today. Before the era of economic reforms and opening to the external world, the Party state was almost totalitarian, i.e., it completely controlled society. But with the introduction of economic reforms and the legitimization of the market economy, the Party state gradually transformed into an authoritarian one and considered that social organizations might perform certain functions that it did not have adequate resources to fulfil. At this germination stage, civil society
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might articulate views different from those of the Party state, but it could not do so in a widespread and uninhibited manner. Civic organizations could only be established with the approval of the Chinese authorities; they had to declare their loyalty and readiness to serve the Party state to secure their legal existence. Civil society did not have the resources to organize continuous social movements with clear-cut objectives and increasing scale. As social organizations were willing to co-operate with the Party state and accepted its leadership, the model may be described as corporatist.xxvi Probably the Chinese authorities adopted the principles of corporatism too in determining which NGOs could be granted legal registration. By the turn of the century, social contradictions continued to deteriorate and dissatisfaction with the Party state accumulated. The Sun Zhigang case in the spring of 2003 which led to the termination of the custody and repatriation system was considered a significant victory and breakthrough for the development of civil society in the beginning of the Hu Jintao-Wen Jiabao administration.xxvii The society’s responses probably far exceeded the Chinese leadership’s expectations. Many civic groups were activated; they exploited the social networks offered by the Internet and the services provided by the human-rights lawyers groups. This development coincided with the “coloured revolutions” in the former constituent republics of Soviet Union, i.e., the “rose revolution” in Georgia in 2003, the “orange revolution” in Ukraine in 2004, and the “(yellow) tulip revolution” in Kyrgyzstan in 2005. David Shambaugh believes that the Chinese leadership is very worried about the causes and implications of the “colour revolutions” for Chinese Communist regime. He identifies six major aspects of the Chinese analyses of the “colour revolutions” in his survey; the nature of the “revolutions”, the role of the United States, the role of international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the potential for more “colour revolutions” in Central Asia, the implications for Russia, and those for China.xxviii In response to the “colour revolutions”, the Chinese authorities
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adopted certain measures to limit their potential impact. In general, the Chinese media did not report these events. The Chinese government also suspended a plan to allow foreign newspapers to be printed in China. When George Soros visited China in October 2005, the local media did not cover the event, and his scheduled lectures and meetings were all cancelled.xxix It was also said that President Vladimir Putin warned Hu Jintao at a 2005 Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting about the subversive potential of the international NGOs; and partly as a result of this warning, the Chinese authorities began to scrutinize NGOs operating in China.xxx In this context, the Chinese authorities tended to be even more restrictive in the control of social organizations, and some new policies were implemented to this effect. But various levels of local governments began to squeeze the people more in terms of higher taxation, imposition of new fees, and more land appropriations without adequate compensation. The rampant corruption of the cadre corps generated an increasing number of mass incidents as people in grievances engaged in rights defence and social movements, promoting the development of civil society. The spread and strengthening of social movements rendered the new restrictive policies of the Chinese authorities ineffective as the “public social space” continued to expand and the freedom of association came to be realized at the practical level. In these processes, the Internet assumed a significant role. Since 2008, the Party’s state pressures on the civil society increased. The riots in Tibet in 2008, those in Xinjiang in the following year, and the labour strikes in many coastal cities in the first half of 2010 exacerbated the sense of insecurity on the part of the Chinese leadership. Two reversals served to illustrate these increasing pressures. In the middle of the previous decade, there was a phenomenon of provincial newspapers boldly exposing the “darker sides” of society in other provinces. Since they had to be accountable to their respective provincial Party committees, criticisms of problems of their own provinces were obviously more risky, while the provincial authorities in other provinces would find it more difficult to exert pressure on them or sanction them directly.
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This limited liberation was later stopped by the Party Central Propaganda Department. By the turn of the century, some people’s congresses at the provincial level, especially those of the coastal provinces, gradually became more active in monitoring the work of their provincial governments. There were more serious hearings and more critical questions directed at provincial government officials. At that time, some deputies proudly told visitors that their provincial people’s congresses were not “rubber stamps”, but “wooden stamps” as they were not yet strong enough to claim to serve as “steal stamps”. xxxi But this progress soon stopped and in the recent seven or eight years, provincial people’s congresses had not made much serious efforts to serve as a more effective checks and balances mechanism. While these reversals demonstrated the Chinese authorities’ attempts to tighter control, they did not manage to contribute to the effective suppression of civil society. The latter has been strong enough to say “no” to the Party state, as it has been able to get organized to express its dissatisfaction with the local authorities, or even to confront them. The corporatist model probably has been broken in many areas, and a “harmonious society” as planned by Hu Jintao can no longer be realized. The developing civil society has become more autonomous, more critical, more energetic, and eager to break away from the Party state’s control. The strength and resources of the Party state are not to be underestimated. Civil society does not intend to engage in all-out confrontation with the central governments; it shows its deference to the Party state and indicates its willingness to cooperate. But its demands respect for its interests and dignity, and for fairness and justice. It wants to reason with the Chinese authorities; but it is often prepared to get organized in ways no allowed by the Party state. The most significant development has been the emergence of second-tier civic organizations and their leaders, i.e., those which
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can coordinate the joint actions of small local groups dispersed throughout the country. This is a breakthrough because this was what the Chinese authorities had tried hard to prevent. In the past decades, for example, workers who were made redundant without appropriate compensation often organized demonstrations and protests, and they were usually tolerated by the local authorities which would often try to offer some relief measures. These labour leaders did not come under much pressure as long as the demonstrators and protesters disbanded after mediation by the local officials. However, if they tried to form independent trade unions or engage in liaison with labour leaders in neighbouring cities, they would be arrested immediately. The internet and other communication technologies as well as human rights lawyers groups have now made liaison, co-ordination and joint action possible.xxxii IV. State and Society Relations from the Perspective of Social Movements a) Efforts to maintain social stability In views of the emergence of hundreds of thousands of mass incidents every year, the Chinese leadership is aware of the serious challenge. An important indicator is the expenditure on the maintenance of social stability. In 2010, according to the published budgetary figures, the Chinese authorities spent 533.5 billion yuan on the military, but increased public security appropriations by 15.6% to 548.6 billion yuan.xxxiii At the annual National People’s Congress session in March 2011, the central government released a plan indicating the establishment of a nationwide “rapid-response system for tackling emerging incidents” involving the local police, the People’s Armed Police, and the People’s Liberation Army. This would go hand in hand with a system of “social management offices” to be set up throughout the country at the county, city district and town/township levels.xxxiv Basically the Party state’s legitimacy has been limit on economic growth, plus a social security not covering the entire population and improvement of governance in the absence of democracy. The key
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remains respectable economic growth, which explains the significance of maintaining an annual economic growth rate of seven to eight percent. The Chinese leadership still adopts measures of restricting and suppressing civil society; and has not attempted to engage in serious political reforms to absorb social conflicts. Hence the fundamental relationship between state and society is one of conflict, not negotiation and compromise. The development of the market economy means that almost all relations are based on interests, and interest competition and struggle exist in almost all aspects of the state-society relationship. Hence interest conflicts have emerged in many social spheres and almost everywhere in China. In the rural sector, land and fees imposed by local governments remain significant problems; in the urban sector, real estate development, employment and social services like education and medical care have been generating grievances; and the environment, national minorities, religions all pose serious contradictions. These problems and contradictions have been deteriorating. During the Hu Jintao-Wen Jiabao administration, agricultural taxes were abolished, and the building of a social security net began. But local governments now try to take away the land from the peasants without adequate compensation; and in the eyes of the latter, this is an even more serious problem. Since ordinary people do not enjoy basic civil and political rights, they do not have political power to effectively monitor the work of the Party state, and the latter’s power continues to expand and infringe upon the interests of the people. The kind of political reforms articulated by Chinese leaders and the official think-tanks today does not tackle these basic interests.xxxv The above-mentioned study of Kang Xiaoguang analyzed the Party state’s strategy of managing civic organizations. Chinese leaders realize that the Party state may benefit from the development of civil society which can deliver services contributing to the maintenance of social stability, in line with their objective that it will not become a threat to the Party state’s monopoly of political
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power. Fengshi Wu and Kin-man Chan observe that many new policy ideas have been experimented by local governments in recent years. One line of experiment is to build a linkage between local governments and NGOs through intermediate organizations, and to develop the NGO sector through government-endorsed incubation agencies. Another line of innovation is for government agencies to buy services from social organizations to facilitate the delivery of their essential functions beyond basic services delivery, including specialized services such as legal assistance, policy (legislation) research, policy drafting, organizing hearings and deliberation on policy initiatives.xxxvi The latter model was said to have been borrowed from Hong Kong by the Guangdong authorities. It obviously has its appeal in line with the “small government, big society” philosophy. Moreover, it also represents an absorption of civic organizations through financial support and political/administrative liaison. NGOs may then be reduced to service delivery groups, mainly meeting the needs of the government without having agendas of their own. Chinese leaders’ typical response to the development of civil society has its carrots and sticks elements. b) Future development scenarios Within the framework of corporation, there may be two types of development scenarios. The first is that the authoritarian regime cannot effectively block the development of civil society, and the latter’s development has also broken some of the regime’s restrictions, but the regime continues to exert pressure on civil society to ensure that it functions within the regime’s defined framework. Meanwhile, civil society realizes its relative weakness, and is willing to concede and co-operate with the regime. The second scenario is that in the confrontation between the authoritarian regime and civil society, the former’s position becomes increasingly untenable. It is willing to negotiate with some representative civic organizations to reach compromises leading to co-operation. On some public policy issues, consensus may be reached. The regime avoids confrontation with the majority in the
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society and manages to maintain political and social stability. To some extent, the authoritarian regime and civil society accept a friendly and co-operative relationship between them. The first scenario applies to China today. Since the Party state still refuses to allow genuinely autonomous civic organizations to develop legally, there are no recognized civic organizations which can claim to represent the diverse interests in society. As the Party demands to represent all interests in society, there cannot be a meaningful dialogue between the Party state and civil society, i.e., representative interest articulation, negotiations and compromises. Meanwhile, dissatisfaction with the Party state accumulates, protests and mass incidents spread, but the status quo remains in the absence of serious political reforms. In many spheres, civil society cannot be autonomous and it is ready to co-operate with the Party state. The escalation of criticisms and protests does not amount to a refusal to co-operate. To some extent, modernization theories also apply to the development of social movements in China at this stage. The market economy and economic development have generated space for civil society to grow, which is eager to protect its own interests independent from the Party state. As the Chinese leadership promotes the rule of law, civil society attempts to use legal means to defend its rights, symbolized by the appearance of the human rights lawyers. The rights defence movement has been perceived to overlap with the dissident movement and the pro-democracy movement in China. He Qinglian considers that the rights defence movement mainly demands personal rights, while the pro-democracy movement demands public power.xxxvii Hu Ping offers a more optimistic assessment: “The rights defence movement has increasingly moved from spontaneous to conscious. In today’s China, rights defence activities are drawing ever closer to the pro-democracy movement, the two combined constituting a powerful force promoting political reform.”xxxviii (The authors’ translation) At the end of 2005, Hong Kong’s Yazhou Zhoukan named fourteen “Chinese rights defence
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lawyers” its collective “persons of the year”.xxxix The process of civil society fighting for its rights is also the process of limiting the power of the state. The social movements in China today are mainly fighting against the corruption and abuse of power in the part of the cadre corps. The totalitarian nature of the People’s Republic of China in its early history until 1978 meant that the Party state almost had encountered no limits in its exercise of power until recently; and the machinery of the Party state could easily suppress protects and confrontations. In the economic development processes at this stage, the Party state continues to infringe on the rights of the people who have only started to get organized in the recent decade or so to fight for their rights. In this struggle, the people have found support from the Internet and the human rights lawyers. The Internet allows the people in China for the first time to articulate their views and demands after the brief Democracy Wall episode in 1978-79.xl The emergence of human rights lawyers groups has also encouraged ordinary people to fight for their rights peacefully using legal channels. The so called “public rationality” in the Internet implies that when many netizens, i.e., the public, jointly articulate a demand, this consensus of the community representing people’s Interests sometimes generates a deterrence against the government’s abuse of power. Local governments occasionally realize that under such circumstances, conceding to this “public rationality” would be sensible. This realization of “public rationality” becomes the exercise of the fundamental political right in limiting the Party state’s abuse of power. The local government concerned understands that the exercise of state power has to comply with the demand of civil society to avoid a political or legitimacy crisis. IV. Transforming the Relationship between the Party State and Society a) The Chinese authorities’ concessions In the recent decade, there have been many cases
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demonstrating concessions on the part of the central and local governments to mass protests. These cases indicate that civil society has been strengthening in China, but it is still far from strong enough to limit or restrain the Party state. An analysis of a sample of these cases in this section serves to illustrate the trends of transformation in the relationship between the Party state and society. In 2009, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology proposed to attach a filtering software to every computer on sale after July 11 in the same year.xli This measure vividly illustrates the contradiction between globalization, modernization and the challenge of civil society development. The Chinese leadership decided to embrace globalization, symbolized by China’s joining the World Trade Organizations (WTO). Chinese leaders did not decide to join because of the benefits WTO membership would bring to China. Their decision was mainly based on the realization that unless China opens its doors and accepts global competition, it cannot be an advanced country in the international community. They therefore decided to accept the challenge. Naturally the spread of the Internet has been part and parcel of the globalization and modernization processes. But the Internet as a “liberation technology” has also much facilitated the development of civil society in China. Hence some control of the Internet has to be imposed by the Chinese authorities. There are technical and political/ administrative elements in this control strategy. It is common knowledge that there are various types of filters and firewalls in China imposing a strict censorship on access to Internet information. This censorship often tightens substantially during sensitive times. There are limits to this type of censorship though, as Chinese netizens, especially the younger generation, have developed superb skills of “climbing walls”. For example, the Chinese official media refused to report the massive protest rally in Hong Kong on July 1, 2003 in which more than half a million people participated. Yet within a week or so, this was a hot topic for political discussion among the intelligentsia in China. The orderly and peaceful behavior of Hong Kong protesters soon became
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a model for their mainland China counterparts to emulate. The Green Dam filtering device proposed obviously was a further attempt to strengthen this censorship. The Chinese authorities have been trying to monitor and control the Internet cafes; and in recent years the Communist Youth League has largely taken over the running of Internet café chains in most cities. The Chinese government has also demanded the use of real names in microblogs, etc. Meanwhile, the Chinese authorities have organized teams to monitor public opinion on the Internet, writers to engage in propaganda on the Internet to spread the official line, and spies to trap radical activists by articulating severe criticisms against the Party state to attract enthusiastic responses. Since critics on the Internet have also been prosecuted and sentenced to prison to create a deterrence effect.xlii The Green Dam project aroused a severe outcry domestically and internationally, and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology dropped the demand just before the deadline. xliii The decision was a victory for the protest campaign, but the project reflected the Party state’s intention to control the freedom of information flow and its understanding of the Internet’s significant role in support of civil society development in China. The protests in Wukan, a small village in Guangdong in southern China in the autumn of 2011 is another interesting case. xliv The dispute started in September after village officials sold land to real estate developers without adequate compensation for the villagers who collectively owned the land. There are probably tens of thousands of similar disputes throughout China every year. The real estate developers most likely colluded with officials in Lufeng (county-level city) and Shanwei (prefectural-level city) who sent public security personnel to blockade the village to stop news of the protests spread. These efforts were futile as Wukan was very near to Hong Kong, and the villagers managed to contact the journalists in Hong Kong via cell phones and other means. On September 23, 2011, the South China Morning Post, the
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Financial Times and the Morning Star Online reported the news. In the following days, other international newspaper including The Guardian, The Times, The Irish Times and Waikato Times became interested and helped to spread the story. International media coverage probably alerted the central government officials; and the Guangdong Party secretary, Wang Yang, was under pressure to seek a respectable solution as he was eager to seek promotion to the Party Political Bureau Standing Committee in the coming Party Congress scheduled in the following autumn. He sent Zhu Mingguo, a deputy provincial Party secretary to Wukan to settle the dispute. The provincial authorities acknowledged the villagers’ grievances and demands and punished the officials concerned. They also negotiated with the village leaders elected by the protesting villagers and agreed that new democratic election of the village committee was to be held. The settlement satisfied international public opinion and reaffirmed Wang Yang’s liberal reformer image. The promise of new elections was kept in February – March 2012 in which the protest leaders won. b) Civil society’s evolving tactics Several observations may be made on the incident. The villagers demonstrated a high level of political sophistication and skills, which destroyed the usual argument of denying democracy in China because of the “low quality” of the vast peasants. Initially neighbouring villages with similar grievances were afraid to support the Wukan protesters. In the wake of Wukan’s success, they followed its footsteps; and in fact many villagers involved in similar disputes throughout China came to Wukan learn from its experience. The demonstration effect was impressive. It appeared that the attention of international media played a very important role. Their reports caught the attention of the central movement and the Guangdong leadership had to respond to the satisfaction of domestic and international public opinion. This was sufficient to overcome the resistance of the collusion between real estate developers and corrupt local officials who initially blockaded the village. Advanced communications technology helped and
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Wukan’s proximity to Hong Kong was a distinct advantage as many Western journalists visited Wukan promptly. International public opinion can exert a list of pressure on the Chinese authorities, especially corrupt local officials. Globalization and China’s integration with the international market as well as its desire for a good international image mean that the Chinese leadership is often responsive to international public opinion when the Party’s monopoly of political power is not threatened. The central and provincial authorities basically met the demands of the Wukan villagers, allowing the latter and the civil society movement to claim victory. They were probably alarmed by the absence of the Party organization in the village during the protests as the Party branch leadership fled. Though they kept their pledges, they have also been careful not to allow the Wukan model spread. Basically, the Party organizations at the village, township/town and county levels work hard to ensure favorable village committee elections outcomes, i.e., village committee leaders who are ready to accept the Party leadership and are reluctant to challenge the higher-level governments. The Wukan villagers understood the limits of political confrontations very well. The protesters carried placards articulating their support for the Party when they were in front of television cameras. They asked the central and provincial governments to redress their grievances and focussed a sanctioning the corrupt officials and the free election of their village leaders. These demands in their calculations were not difficult for the provincial and central leaders who were concerned with their national and international images. The intention to avoid violent confrontations gave rise to various strolling and “surrounding gaze (weiguan)” campaigns. In 2007, thousands of residents in Xiamen, Fujian province were mobilized by text messaging to participate in a stroll as a form of street protest opposing the construction of a US$ 1.5 billion xylene plant in the port city.xlv The success of the campaign set a model for subsequent similar cases.
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These limited demands, however, have been challenged by a small segment of academics who consider that serious breakthroughs in political reforms are called for. xlvi Wang Tiancheng, for example, is very critical of gradual reforms and the book (Farewell to Revolution) Gaobei Geming by Li Zehou and Liu Zaifu.xlvii Wang considers that scholars and the civil society movement should abandon the “most realistic”, “most stable”, and “least costly” road to democracy through avoiding the demands of removing the ban on forming political parties, holding national elections, etc. Advocates for gradual reforms, by opposing “radical reforms” for bringing chaos, in fact are obstructing democratization because they promote conservation and depress courage.xlviii Not too many people agree with Wang Tiancheng. In the immediate aftermath of the Arab Spring in 2011, there were appeals for similar assembly as in the Tahrir Square to be held in Beijing and Shanghai. But the public security forces were well prepared, and few people were willing to take the risks. After all, the situation in China differs from that in the Middle East and North Africa. In the former, the vast majority of the population has experienced substantial improvements in living standards since 1979, and they expect further improvements in the years ahead. Grievances have been accumulating, but people see no alternative to the Party regime and are afraid of chaos. Hence the civil society movement concentrates on exerting pressure on the Party state to reform, and to punish corrupt officials at the local level. Civil society maintains the base line of non-violence, and the peaceful, orderly protests in Hong Kong are often accepted as a model. But frustrations have been building, and the base line of nonviolence sometimes fails to be upheld. In many labour strikes, like those in the coastal cities in the spring and summer of 2010, workers damaged factory properties and fighting also occurred. xlix In the recent three or four years, redundant migrant labourers working as hawkers in cities often engaged in violent confrontations with urban management personnel and the police, and sometimes thousands of migrant labourers were involved because they felt
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they had been discriminated against for not having urban residential status. They too felt obliged to support fellow workers from the same region or province who had been harassed.l A dialogue mechanism between the Party state and society is the obvious and the best way to encourage civil society to maintain its base line of non-violence. In fact, the concept was raised in Zhao Ziyang’s report to the Thirteenth Party Congress in 1987, but soon came the Tiananmen Incident in June 1989 and the concept has never been put into practice.li In the final years of the Hu Jintao administration, the concept of “social management” was introduced; and the gist has been the containment of the sharpening social contradictions and conflicts. In November 2008, over 2,000 Party secretaries of county-level Party committees were all called upon to attend a seven-day study course with a series of sessions to learn how to correctly handle contradictions among various interests and cases of emergency. In 2009, the 3,000 county-level public security bureau chiefs, the 3,500 heads of basic-level procuratorates, and the chief judges of the basic-level law courts all had to go through training sessions. The principal purposes of this national training for the responsible cadres of the basic-level law and order organs was to establish a harmonious society, and to learn how to avoid as well as handle mass incidents.lii V. Conclusion It does not appear that the new Chinese leadership is ready to initiate serious political reforms. Even if Xi Jinping is a Mikhail Gorbachev-type of leader (he does not appear to be so), he still needs time to consolidate his power base. This will at least take two or three years; and if he appears to be too aggressive, he may antagonize all other factions promoting then to unite against him. As the core political elites agree on maintaining the Party’s monopoly of power, there is no consensus on political reforms. Many Western governments refuse to tackle their accumulated deficits because tough austerity measures can easily mean their electoral defeats;
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they therefore procrastinate and hope that the crises would come after their respective tenures. Chinese leaders share a similar dilemma. There is a good understanding of the shaping social contradictions and accumulating grievances, but the initiating of political reforms is highly risky and may easily lead to their downfall, they therefore opt to delay the reform process and simply adopt measure to contain the grievances and contradictions. The formula of the Hu Jintao- Wen Jiabao administration to maintain political stability had been economic growth plus a basic social security net covering the entire population plus good governance in the absence of democracy. liii Maintaining an economic growth rare of about seven percent per annum in the coming five years or so should not be too difficult because the central government has ample resources to spend on infrastructural projects and because the economic take-off has been spreading from the coastal to the interior provinces. There is ample room to improve the social security net and again the central government has the revenues and reserves to do so. The new leadership realizes that corruption is a serious threat, and will try to make the cadre corps to be responsive to the people’s needs and grievances. In line with the principle of “small government, big society”, the Chinese authorities will likely considerably expand the service delivery role of NGOs which do not intend to challenge the Party state. These NGOs would be given a respectable place in society, they would have the financial resources from the government to offer needed services, and their leaders would be absorbed into the corporate network with honours like membership of people’s congresses and people’s political consultative conferences at various levels. They will be encouraged to interact and co-operate with their foreign counterparts, as Chinese leaders increasingly appreciate the significant role of international NGOs in the globalization processes. As Western donors working in China have been channeling most of their funds to government-affiliated entities,liv they and the Chinese authorities would be happy to use this funding going to NGOs approved by the Chinese authorities.

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On the other hand, NGOs which are perceived to pose a threat to the Party state will continue to be suppressed. United front tactics would likely be adopted, and leaders of these NGOs will be induced to alter their mode of operation into one acceptable to the Chinese authorities, i.e., both carrots and sticks are applied. The Party first inherited its united front strategy and tactics from the Bolsheviks; but throughout the decades, it has also perfected them. Meanwhile, civil society will continue to grow quantitatively and qualitatively. Li Fen’s optimistic estimates are that at this stage China has about seven to eight million social organizations involving about three hundred million people, i.e., about one fifth of China’s total population; and he considers this “progressive civil society population”.lv This critical mass is still inadequate to exert pressure on the Party state to introduce serious political reforms: but if this “progressive civil society population” expends to 30% or 40% of the entire population in less than ten or ten to fifteen years’ time, then the threshold may be reached. This may not be a very useful way of defining or examining the threshold, but just an interesting illustration. Li Fan’s illustration is based on the impact of the growth of the underground churches in China. Li observes that the political and social ecology of a city or county begins to change when its membership of underground churches has grown to about seven to ten percent of the local population. The local government’s policy of suppression towards underground churches gradually changes to one of benign neglect, tolerance or understanding; the local government would not actively interfere with the affairs of the underground churches, as it is worried that excessive interferences would generate dissatisfaction or even turmoil in the society.lvi In terms of qualitative breakthroughs, the multiplication, consolidation and further development of second-tier civic organizations would be significant indicators. They are based on coordination and co-operation of small, local organizations of a similar nature, and demonstrate a regional or trans-regional characteristic. Yao Lifa, for example, attempted to organize the China Peasants
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Association (in preparation), and this organization has some influence in Hubei. The Rights Defence Association of House Churches in China has managed to organize some trans-regional activities, and appears to have become a pseudo-regional organization. The relief and reconstruction efforts after the Wanchuan massive earthquake in Sichuan in May 2008 reveal impressive nationwide mobilization on the part of civil society, though weaknesses were also apparent.lvii The Chinese authorities are very sensitive to the emergence of nationwide autonomous civic organizations. At this stage, through the Internet, nationwide campaigns can indeed be organized. In 2010, the Nobel Peace Prize for Liu Xiaobo has made him a national leader, at least a spiritual leader while he is in prison. Ai Weiwei certainly has become a national civil society leader and he has the capacity to call national campaigns. In sum, in the coming four or five years, it is difficult to anticipate serious political reforms leading to democratization, and civil society is not likely to achieve significant breakthroughs. But the trend is obvious, civil society in China will continue to expand and strengthen, and pressure will build for a dialogue between the Party state and civil society to avoid crises and violent confrontations.

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i

Yu Keping, 全 全 全 全 全 全 全 全 全 Globalization and Political Development, Beijing: 全 全 全 全 全 全 全 全 全 Social Sciences Academic Press (China), April 2003, pp. 211 -- 223. ii Zheng Yongnian, 全 全 全 全 全 全 全 全 全 全 (The China Model - Experiences and Dilemma), Hangzhou: Zhejiang Renmin Chubanshe, January 2010, pp.1-8. iii Yu Keping, op.cit., pp. 26-40. iv 全全全 , 全全全全全全全全全 (A Comparative Study of Political Modernization), Wukan: Wukan University Press, 2006, pp.484-496. v 全 全 全 , 全 全 全 全 全 1978-2008 全 全 全 全 全 全 全 全 全 全 全 (The Political Way: 1978 - 2008 A Comprehensive Observation of the Theories Concerning China’s Reforms and Opening to the External World), Guangzhou: 中山大學出版社, 2008, pp.179-181. vi 全全全 (ed.), 中國政府發展研究報告 ( A Research Report on the Development of the Chinese Government), Vol. II 服務型政府建設 (The Construction of Service-type Government), Beijing: 全全 人 民 大 學 出 版 社 , 2010, p.46 vii 全全全 and Liu Wenjie, 政府改革:中國的政治改革模式全全全 (Reform of the Government: Models and Experiences of Administrative Reforms in China), Beijing: Xinhua Chubanshe, 2010, pp. 130150. viii 全全全(ed.), 中國政治建設與發展研究 (A Study of Political Construction and Development in China), Beijing 中國人民大學出版社, 2009, pp.174-189. ix See Joseph Y. S. Cheng, “Epilogue”, in Joseph Y.S. Cheng (ed), China – A New Stage of Development for an Emerging Superpower, Hong Kong: City University of Hong Kong Press, 2012, p.612. x Xie Tao, “ 民 主 社 會 主 義 模 式 與 中 國 前 途(The Model of Democratic Socialism and China’s Future)”, 全全全全ed.全 社會主義還是社會民主主義全中國改革中的‘民 主 社 會 主 義 ’ 全 全 (Socialism on Social Democracy – the Ideological Trend of ‘Democratic Socialism’ in China’s Reforms), Hong Kong: Strong Wind Press, 2008, pp. 29-44. xi 全全全, “民主社會主義不是社會主義的 全全全全 (Democratic Socialism Is Not a Model of Socialism)” ; 全全全全 “ 蘇 聯解 體是 民主 社會 主義 的破 產 (Breakup of the Soviet Union Is the Bankruptcy of Democratic Socialism)”; and Liu Guoguang and Yang 全全全”全全全全全全全全全全全全全全 (Upholding the Fundamental Line Has to Clear Erroneous Thinking全”, in ibid., pp.123-155. xii 全 全 , “ 正 確 認 識 民 主 社 會 主 義 , 堅 定 不 移 地 走 中 國 特 色 社 會 主 義 道 路 (Correctly Understanding Democratic Socialism, Steadfastly Follow the Road of Socialism With Chinese Characteristics)”, in ibid., pp. 111-116 xiii Jean-Philippe Beja, “The Changing Aspect of Civil Society in China”, Social Research, Vol. 73, No. 1, Spring 2006, p. 72. xiv Douglass C. North, Structure and Change on Economic History, New York and London: W. W. Norton & Co., 1981, pp. 201 – 202. xv Yu Keping, “ 全 全 全 全 全 全 全 全 全 全 全 全 全 全 全 全 全 (Civil Society in China: Concepts, Classification and Institutional Environment)”, Zhonggui Shehui Kexue (Social Sciences in China), No. 1, 2006, pp. 109 – 122. xvi Wang Shaoguang and Wang Ming, “ 全全全全全全全全全全全全全全全全全全” (Policy Proposal on the Promotion of the Development of Civil Non-Profit-Making Organizations in Our Country”, in Wang Ming (ed.), 中國非政府公共部門 (China’s Non-government Public Sector), Beijing: Qinghua University Press, 2004, p. 73. xvii Ministry of Civil Affairs website, “Minzheng Tongji 2005 全全全全全全 (Civil Affairs Statistical Data for the First Quarter of 2005)”, http://www.mca.gov.cn/mztj/yuebao0503.html. xviii Yu Keping, loc. cit., p. 121. xix Shi Weimin, “政策主導型”的漸進式改革 - 全全全全全全全全全全全全全全全全全 (Gradual Reforms According to the “Policy-Oriented Model” – A Factor Analysis of China’s Political Development in the Era of Reforms and Opening to the External World, Beijing: Zhongguo Shehui Kexue Chubanshe, 2011, pp. 446 – 448. xx Ibid., pp. 493 – 494. xxi Ibid., pp. 495 – 496. xxii Ibid., pp. 495 and 497. xxiii Kang Xiaoguang, Lu Xianying and Han Heng, " 改革時代的國家與社會的關係 (The Relationship Between the State and Society in the Reform Era)”, in Wang Ming (ed.), 中國民間組織 30 全 全 全全全 全 全 全 , 1978-2008 (China’s Civic Organization in the Past Three Decades – Towards the Civil Society, 1978-2008), Beijing: Social Sciences Academic Press (China), 2008, pp. 330-331. xxiv See 全全全 (ed.), 中國公民參與 全全全全全全 (China’s Citizen Participation – Case Studies and Models), Beijing: Social Sciences Academic Press (China), 2008. xxv Joseph Y.S. Cheng, “Challenges for Hu-Wan and Their Successors: Consolidating the ‘Beijing Consensus’ Model”, in Joseph Y.S. Cheng (ed.), China – A New Stage of Development for an Emerging Superpower, Hong Kong: City University of Hong Kong Press, 2012, pp. 10-18.

xxvi

Li fan, 静悄悄的革命 全 中國當代公民社會 (The Quiet Revolution-Civil Society in Contemporary China), Hong Kong: 全全全全全, 1999, p. 333. xxvii See Teng Biao, “Rights Defence (weiquan), Microblogo (weibo), and the Surrounding Gaze (weiguan) – The Rights Defence Movement Online and offline”, China Perspectives, No.3, 2012, p.34. xxviii David Shambaugh, China’s Communist Party – Atrophy and Adaptation, Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson Centre Press and Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 2006, p.88. xxix Ibid., p.91. xxx Ibid. xxxi One of the authors, Joseph Y .S. Cheng, visited Beijing and Guangzhou frequently in the period 2000 to 2003; he met at least thirty deputies to the two provincial-level people’s congresses and most of the deputies offered this type of comments. xxxii Teng Biao, op. cit, pp. 29-41. xxxiii “China’s Spending on Internal Policing Outstrips Defence Budget”, Bloomberg, March 6, 2011, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/. xxxiv Willy Lam, “Beijing’s Blueprint for Tackling Mass Incidents and Social Management”, Jamestown Foundation: China Brief, Vol. 11, No.5, March 25, 2011, pp. 3-5. xxxv See, for example, Hu Jintao’s report to the Eighteenth National Congress of the CPC delivered on November 8, 2012, http://news.sina.com.cn/c/2012-11-18/040425602996.shtml. xxxvi Fengshi Wu and Kin-man Chan, “Graduated Control and Beyond – The Evolving Government-NGO Relations”, China Perspectives, No.3, 2012, pp. 9-17, especially p.16. xxxvii He Qinglian, “Zhengqu Siquanli de Wei Quan Huodong yu Yaoqiu Quanli de Minzhuhua Yundong” (The Right Defence Movement, Fighting for Personal Rights and Interests, and the Democratization Movement, Demanding Power), http://archives.cnd.og/HXWK/author/HEQinglian/kd060604-5.gb.html. xxxviii Hu Ping, “Weiquan yu Minyun” (Rights Defence and Democracy Movement), HRIC Biweekly, No. 12, November 5, 2009, http://biweekly.hrichina.org/article/192. xxxix “Zhongguo Weiquan Lushi Fazhi Xianfeng” (China’s Rights Defence Lawyers, the Vanguard of Rule of Law), Yazhou Zhoukan (Hong Kong), December 25, 2005, Vol. 19, No. 52, http://yzzk.com/cfm/Content_Archive.cfm?Channel=ae&Path=2179987442/52ae1a.cfm. xl Yang Guobin, “The Co-evolution of the Internet and Civil Society in China”, Asian Survey, Vol. 43, No. 3, May/ June 2003, pp.405 – 422. xli South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), June 9, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 21, 24, 25, 26, 27 and 30, 2009. xlii See, for example, Joseph Y .S. Cheng, “The Chinese Authorities’ Control of the Internet and the Challenge of Democratization”, in Caught in the Net? Global Google Cultures Series of Articles based on the 15th Karlsruhe Dialogues, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Centre for Cultural and General Studies, August 2012, pp.1-52, the KIT document server EVA STAR (www.ubka.uniKarlsruhe.de/eva). xliii South China Morning Post, July 2 and August 14, 2009. xliv See Severo Marta, Giraud Timottee and Douay Nicolas, “The Wukan’s protests: from local activism to global media event”, Just-In-Time Sociology, October 28, 2012, http://jitso.org/2012/12/02/the-wukans-protests-just-in-time-identification-of-internationalmedia-events-revised/. xlv For an analysis of the incident, see Li Datong, “ Xiamen: The Triumph of public will?”, Open Democracy, January 16, 2008, www.opendemocracy.net/article/xiamen_the_triumph_of_public_will. xlvi See, for example, Wang Tiancheng, 全全全 全 中國民主化戰略研究框架 (The Grand Transformation – Research Framework for China’s Democratization Strategy), Hong Kong: 全全 Bookstore, 2012. xlvii Li Zehou and Liu Zaifu, Gaobei Geming (Farewell to Revolution), Hong Kong: Cosmos Books Ltd., 1996. xlviii Wang Tiancheng, op. cit., p.295. xlix Qiao Jian, “2010 Nian Zhongguo 全全全全全全全共享經濟發展成果和集體勞權 (The Situation of China’s Working Class in 2010 – Calling for the sharing of Economic Gains and Collective Labour Rights)”, in Ru Xin, Lu Xueyi and Li Peilin (eds.), 2011 Nian: Zhongguo Shehui Xingshi Fenxi yu Yuce (2011 Society of China Analysis and Forecast), Beijing : Social Sciences Academic Press (China), 2011, pp. 245259. l The Chaoan incident and the Zengcheng incident in Guangdong in June 2011 are good examples. See Zhu Huaxin, Shan Xuegang and Hu Jiangchun, “2011 Nian Zhongguo 互 聯 網 輿 情 分 析 報 告 (Analysis on Internet-based Public Opinion in China 2011)” in Ru Xin, Lu Xueyi and Li Peilin (eds.), 2012 Nian: Zhongguo Shehui Xingshi Fenxi yu Yuce (2012 Society of China Analyss and

Forecast), Beijing: Social Sciences Academic Press (China), 2012, p.206 li Zhao Ziyang, “Advance Along the Road of Socialism with Chinese characteristics – Report Delivered at the 13th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on October 25, 1987”, 13th National Congress of the Communist Party of China , Beijing: Beijing Review Publications, 1987. lii Lian Yuming and Wu Jianzhong (eds.), Zhongguo Guoce Baogao 2009-2010 (Report on China’s National Policies 2009-2010), Beijing: Zhongguo Shidai Jingji Chubanshe, 2010, pp.38-39. liii Joseph Y .S.Cheng, “Challenges for Hu-Wen and Their Successors: Consolidating the ‘Beijing Consensus’ Model”, in Joseph Y.S. Cheng (ed.), China – A New Stage of Development for an Emerging Superpower, Hong Kong: City University of Hong Kong Press, 2012, pp.1-53. liv Thomas E. Kellogg, “Western Funding for Rule of Law Initiatives in China: The importance of a civil society based approach", China Perspectives, No.3, 2012, p.53. lv Li Fan, 當 代 中 國 的 自 由 民 權 運 動 (The Rise of Civil Rights Movement in Contemporary China) , Kaohsiung: 全全全全全全, 2011, pp. 391-392. lvi Ibid., pp. 389-390. lvii Jessica C. Tests, “Post-Earthquake Relief and Reconstruction Efforts: The Emergence of Civil Society in China”, The China Quarterly, Vol. 198, June 2009, pp. 330-347.