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"The CCP is fast losing its legitimacy as the ruling party in China today.

" Assess
this view.
After Deng Xiao Ping's opening up of China in 1978, CCP has carried out political
reforms to strengthen CCP's legitimacy in the new socio-economic realities. While there
are still many who are unhappy and do not appreciate CCP's effort at transforming itself,
CCP's attempts at improving its own image through paternalistic governance, promotion
of nationalism and democratization have been arguably successful at lessening popular
opposition to its rule. Therefore, this essay seeks to argue that CCP's legitimacy has been
weakened but it is not fast losing its legitimacy because the socio-economic problem that
CCP faces today have not been serious to the extent that they will endanger CCP's rule.
As long as the party continues to be successful at sustaining high economic growth, it
will continue to have vast support for its monolithic rule.
Ideological justification for CCP's political legitimacy has been challenged by the
market reforms after 1978. Traditionally, socialism involved the public ownership of the
means of production, central planning and equitable income distribution. Three
decades of economic reform have completely defaced socialism. Private ownership
made a momentous comeback since 1978. According to the Census on Private
Enterprise conducted by the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, domestic
privately owned enterprises contributed 49.7 percent to the country's GNP in 2005.
Central planning, once an important feature of socialism, is now restricted to macroeconomic policy and equitable income distribution, another core socialist principle, is
now gone under Deng' s market reforms. As the three basic attributes that once defmed
socialism no longer hold in China, Maoism is dealt almost a fatal blow, giving rise to
the question of why CCP should continue to be the only governing organ in China,
undermining the legitimacy of its monolithic rule.
The party's political legitimacy is threatened by problems stemming from its own
bureaucracy. Many are unhappy with the efforts CCP is putting in to transform itself.
Corruption perpetuates. Power is abused by officials. Income disparity is widespread.
There is a general lack of rule of law, political transparency, accountability, freedom of
expression and individual rights. The party is intolerant of opposition, often displaying
itself capable of clamming down on dissenters mercilessly. Even social media which is
one of the few avenues where the people can express themselves is heavily censored and
propagated by government agents. These problems have seriously shaken the people's
confidence in the moral integrity and competence of the CCP leaders to govern well.
According to a poll conducted in 2009, many even considered prostitutes to be more
trustworthy than government officials and party cadres. Lavish lifestyles led by the
supposedly poorly paid cadres annulled the party's socialist credentials. If these problems
are allowed to worsen, even CCP's renewed political legitimacy which is based on the
establishment of a civil government would be undermined.
Foreign socio-political influences and the rise of a more demanding populace also
undermined the party's political legitimacy. With the influx of modern and foreign ideas
such as freedom of expression and human rights, the better informed populace has

become more vocal and critical of government. Coupled with the Internet, a wave of
dissent is on the rise. As of today, China has 253 million Internet users, the most in the
world. The amount of information the Internet has disseminated, is unthinkable. Despite
the Great Fire Wall and tens of thousands of censors, dissenters still post petitions that
once would have gone unheard. Farmers post videos of demonstrations of Youtube.
Protests have expanded so rapidly that police has to be called in all over China every day
to shut them down. The anger against the government has intensified so much so that
CCP has to hire agents like the "five cent gang" to moderate the tone of online debate. If
such foreign socio-political influences are left uncurbed, and the demands of the people
are continued to ignore, CCP's mandate to rule in the eyes of the people will be severely
Difficulties at sustaining high economic growth have inadvertently affected CCP's
legitimacy to govern. The amount of money stolen through corruption scandals has risen
exponentially since the 1980s. The absence of competitive political process and free
press make it such that even the public sectors are susceptible to fraud, theft,
kickbacks, and bribery. The direct costs of corruption could be as much as $86billion
each year. Foreign investors who risk environmental, human rights, and financial
liabilities have to compete against Chinese rivals who engage in illegal practices.
Scandals of poisoned food and faulty products often caused by poor quality control
processes serve as a disincentive for foreign investors to come into China. Few western
companies are willing to transfer their advanced technology to China for fear of patent
rights infringement by unscrupulous Chinese companies, which have the backing of
corrupted officials. As such, the negative socio-political impact of government
corruption makes it hard for high economic growth to be sustained.
flowever, the party has embarked on ideological modification to salvage its theoretical
legitimacy to monopolize political power. The adoption of new party Statutes and State
Constitution with modification to the state ideology such as Deng' s socialism with
Chinese characteristics, Hu's harmonious society, the scientific concept of development
while downplaying the role of "international class struggle as the latter becomes
increasingly out of touch with the needs of the country. State-directed economic
development and high-growth rate which is formed on the basis of political stability thus
safeguard CCP's position as a centralized and strong party.
Though not entirely successful, measures have been undertaken to contain and limit
problems of governance that can threaten the party's rule. To solve the problem of
corruption, disciplinary and supervisory committees in the CCP and state bureaucracy
have been formed. Harsh punishment and educational campaigns are put in place to
dissuade people from engaging corrupt practices. The state media has also often
trumpeted the death penalties and long jail sentences meted out to corrupt officials who
are caught to put off the thought of engaging in corrupt practices. Experts have called for
the wider enforced use of credit cards in China to allow easier tracing of corporate
expenses. In fact, the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission
(SASAC), which reported directly to the State Council, is founded to stem the
misappropriation of public resources. Measures undertaken by CCP to crackdown on

corruption include the declaration of asset by CCP officials. Larger part of the state
budget is allocated to military so that the PLA has less excuse to engage in business. The
media owned by the Party and the state has also become more commercialized and less
politicized. All these measures are put in place to prevent problems of governance from
affecting the party's rule.
In conclusion, although CCP's legitimacy to rule as the sole political organ in China,
unchallenged and unquestioned has been severely weakened, it is not fast losing its
legitimacy as it has reformed itself enough to keep itself entrenched in power. However,
CCP needs to continue to reform itself in the ever-changing context of the 21st century
should it wish to retain its political power.