Over more than thirty years of reform and opening, the Chinese Communist Party has pursued the gradual marketization of China’s economy alongside the preservation of a resiliently authoritarian political system, defying long-standing predictions that ‘transition’ to a market economy would catalyse deeper political transformation. In an era of deepening synergy between authoritarian politics and finance capitalism, Communists constructing capitalism offers a novel and important perspective on this central dilemma of contemporary Chinese development. This book challenges existing state–market paradigms of political economy and reveals the Eurocentric assumptions of liberal scepticism towards Chinese authoritarian resilience. It works with an alternative conceptual vocabulary for analysing the political economy of financial development as both the management and exploitation of socio-economic uncertainty. Drawing upon extensive fieldwork and over sixty interviews with policymakers, bankers, and former party and state officials, the book delves into the role of China’s state-owned banking system since 1989. It shows how political control over capital has been central to China’s experience of capitalist development, enabling both rapid economic growth whilst preserving macroeconomic and political stability. Communists constructing capitalism will be of academic interest to scholars and graduate students in the fields of Chinese studies, social studies of finance, and international and comparative political economy. Beyond academia, it will be essential reading for anyone interested in the evolution of Chinese capitalism and its implications for an increasingly central issue in contemporary global politics: the financial foundations of illiberal capitalism.
The Chinese political system is the subject of much media and popular comment in part because China supports an economy with an apparently inexorable dynamic and impressive record of achievement. This book provides a comprehensive introduction to China's political system, outlining the major features of the Chinese model and highlighting its claims and challenges. It explores the central role of the Communist Party in the country's politics and the way in which the Party controls most elements of the political system. The collapse of the imperial system in 1911, the subsequent decades of turmoil and war and the coming to power of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 1949 constitutes a truly revolutionary period in Chinese political history. The People's Republic of China (PRC) represents an unanticipated challenge to the logic of history. The key organising principle of the political system of the PRC is the leadership of the CCP. China remains a Leninist party-state. The book also examines the role of the National People's Representatives Congress (NPC) and then the State Council and the associated structures of central government departments. Greater democracy is facilitated, as are other reforms, by the recasting of China's foreign policy to encourage a calmer international environment. China's re-emergence as a major power is the single most important geo-political trend of the early twenty-first century.
in a Chinese Province: Zhejiang, 1966–1976 (Armonk: M. E. Sharpe, 1990).
34 Hans Van de Ven, From Friend to Comrade: The Founding of the ChineseCommunistParty, 1920–1927 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992); Thomas Kampen, Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai and the Evolution of the Chinese Communist Leadership (Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 1999); Maurice Meisner, Mao Zedong: A Political and Intellectual Portrait (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2007); Delia Davin, Mao Zedong (Stroud: History Press, 2009); Andrew G. Walder, China Under Mao (Cambridge
disgusted by this ‘nasty and untrue’ slander which proved that anything
unpleasant ‘about foreigners will be believed’. 22
The 300,000 ethnic Chinese in Burma fared little better. They were
compromised by the activities of the Burmese and ChineseCommunistParties. Two hundred
Chinese workers were dismissed from a shoe factory in June 1962. The Bank of China and the
Bank of Communications were both nationalised. Maoist ideology was prohibited in Chinese-run
schools and leaflets were confiscated from the New China News Agency in
Art Museum, and the privately
funded Rockbund Museum, Long Museum, Shanghai Gallery of Art, and
ShanghART Gallery. The PRC’s central and local governments have invested
heavily in Shanghai’s urban creative zones, including Red Town Sculpture
Park, Taopu Arts District, and Moganshan/M50, while promoting the city’s
contemporary art to international audiences. This chapter analyzes the
vying agendas of such cultural investments and expansions in the context of
the ChineseCommunistParty (CCP)-sponsored 2000 Shanghai Biennial,
mainland China’s premier international
image of the city as a contemporary global capital and rightful heir to its longstanding cosmopolitan legacy.
In Shanghai’s particular urban context, the embrace of old Shanghai also
sheds light on mainland China’s post-socialist (post-1989) economic system,
a highly prevalent but still relatively understudied component of what we
now call late capitalism. The entire Xintiandi project, as a pastiche of semicolonial and pre-socialist Shanghai, reveals how the ChineseCommunistParty
(CCP) no longer promotes national socialism but stands in support of a globally
This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on concepts discussed in the preceding chapters of this book. The book highlights many examples of China's ability to shape the way transnational advocacy is done. China's ability to shape the patterns and pathways of global campaigns has rippling consequences for understanding the full scope of its rise and its role in changing the face of world order. The book argues that forces that lie outside their control shape transnational advocacy network (TAN) campaigns, including the preferences of the very states they seek to change. It presents evidence that states play a central role in the (re)construction of idea-based networks and decisively influence patterns of transnational mobilization. The chapter explains the issue of how China's preferences originate within the context of the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) legitimacy and, by extension, the stability and security of the regime.
The tale of transnational advocacy networks (TANs) is typically one of non-state actors reshaping world politics through the power of persuasion and principled ideas. This book is about the unromantic and often uncomfortable realities of transnational advocacy in a strong authoritarian state and rising world power. Drawing together case studies that span a range of issues, repertoires, and results of advocacy, it elaborates the constitutive role of the state in contemporary transnational activism. Because transnational networks are significant globally and domestically, the book speaks to students of comparative and international politics, bridging what is treated here as a superficial divide between the sub-fields. It discusses the campaigns around justice for Falun Gong and the strengthening of intellectual property rights in China. The book then traces the campaign around HIV/AIDS treatment, and the effort to abolish capital punishment in China. In the campaign for Tibetan independence, Chinese intransigence on the matter of national sovereignty for Tibet produced a split within the TAN. The book argues that that TANs can be effective when a legitimacy-seeking state deems the adoption of new policy positions in a given issue area to be critical for the preservation of its own moral authority and power monopoly. The key to working more effectively in China, therefore, is to recognize the source of Chinese Communist Party legitimacy and the connectedness of an issue to it. Those wishing to approach China recognize and take seriously the Chinese power to shape global issues and campaigns in support of them.
, carry forward the fine traditional culture of the Chinese nation, and develop a thriving socialist culture.
It is this understanding that allows the Party to see itself as the ‘missing link’ between the past and the future and the broker between ‘traditional’ and ‘advanced’ culture. 24 Under Xi Jinping, there has been an increasing emphasis on the CCP as the natural successor of traditional Chinese rule. ‘The ChineseCommunistParty is the successor to and promoter of fine traditional Chinese culture’, Xi said in 2014. 25 The idea that the Party
of Resistance superseded the ongoing conflict between the GMD and the ChineseCommunistParty (CCP) and gave birth to the Second United Front (1937–1946). The CCP's Red Army was officially reorganised as part of the National Revolutionary Army. While the GMD engaged the Japanese in conventional battles, the CCP preserved its military strength, yet proved to be quite efficient in reorganising the Political Department of the Central Military Command: an agency in charge of political education, media relations, and propaganda.