Breaking News – A Warning for the CCP from Premier Wen Jiabao

March 14, 2012

The BBC World reported that China’s premier Wen Jiabao said China urgently needs to press on with political and economic reforms but added that reforms had to be “gradual and orderly” and were essential for the country’s economy.

“This was the last NPC meeting before a leadership transition begins later this year,” the BBC report continued. “The once-in-a-decade transfer of power will begin in October. Vice-President Xi Jinping is widely expected to take over the party leadership from President Hu Jintao, and Vice-Premier Li Keqiang is tipped to succeed Mr. Wen… He is seen as the people’s champion and is known – in public at least – for his humility, says our correspondent.”

In addition, Xinhua Net.com reported, “Premier Wen Jiabao said Wednesday that China needs not only economic reform but also political structural reform, especially the reform of the leadership system of the Party and the government…”

“Wen warned at a press conference after the conclusion of the annual parliamentary session that historical tragedies like the Cultural Revolution may happen in China again should the country fail to push forward political reform to uproot problems occurring in the society,” Xinhau said.

Time Magazine’s Global Spin added, “The content was similar to that of the past nine times Wen has addressed the media at the end of the NPC, but this time the tone was sharper.

“He warned, for instance, that further delays in political reform increased the risk of Cultural Revolution-type upheavals.

“It was the rhetoric of a man who knows his days in the bully pulpit are numbered… And he expressed hope that the rewards of China’s economic growth could be more evenly spread to poorer regions in the country’s interior, a goal he and President Hu Jintao have advocated since they came to power a decade ago.”

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

About iLook China


Is China a Republic? – Part 4/4

January 25, 2012

In China, the power of legislation is not held by a single power organ or one particular person.

China’s legislative power is carried out by two or more power organs, which means the country has multi-legislative powers, including at national level, that for administrative laws and local laws, each subject to different organ authority.

However, unlike the United States, the structure of China’s government is not one of checks and balances, where the legislation, administration and court stand independently to restrain one another, but more like the democratic parliamentary system [seventy-seven countries such as the UK, Spain, Canada, Germany, Thailand, Japan, etc.] which also offers few effective checks and balances so China is not alone in this regard.

The National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee make state laws; the State Council and its relevant departments draw specific regulations respectively; and relevant authentic organs of ordinary localities and governments formulate local regulations.

China’s current legislation structure is deeply rooted in the specific conditions of the nation. First, China is a country where the people are their own masters, so laws should reflect their will [should does not mean the will of the majority automatically leads to new laws—that is what happens in a true democracy but not in a republic].

Then on December 31, 2011, in another post, I had this comment from Alessandro about China’s political system.  He is an Italian married to a Chinese citizen, and they live in China.


Online Democracy in China

Are Chinese citizen entitled to vote?

“Yes,” Alessandro said, “my wife and her family just did it less than a couple of months ago.

“Was that how the communist party’s secretary Hu Jintao got his position?

“Yes,” Alessandro said, “Hu Jintao was voted in by the people entitled to do that, the National People’s Congress (全国人民代表大会), which in turn has been elected by the people’s congresses of the lower level, and so on down to the lowest levels.

“At a grassroots level in villages, village chiefs are directly elected by the residents. That is how the people’s congresses system works…

“People directly elect the people’s congresses at the local level, which in turn elects the congresses of the superior level, to arrive at the top level (after scrutiny and evaluation of their preparation by their peers).”

Before you judge China, and answer the question, “Is China a Republic?” here are a few definitions of dictatorship.

According to Webster’s Online Dictionary.org, a dictatorship is an autocratic form of government in which the government is ruled by a dictator. In contemporary usage, dictatorship refers to an autocratic form of absolute rule by leadership unrestricted by law, constitutions, or other social and political factors within the state.

In fact, a dictator is a ruler with total power over a country, typically one who has obtained control by force. Source: Oxford Dictionaries.com

People’s democratic dictatorship [sounds like an oxymoron] is a phrase incorporated into the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China by Mao Zedong. The phrase is notable for being one of the few cases in which the term dictatorship is used in a non-pejorative manner, which means not in a negative, disparaging or belittling manner.

By saying “People’s Democratic Dictatorship”, the CCP meant that the people rule. However, that would be incorrect since even in all three types of democracies, the people do not rule. The people elect those that rule—well, at least some or most are elected.


PBS Documentary: China from the Inside (Power and the People)

Over at William Meyers.org, you may learn more about how the United States was born as a republic and over the course of one hundred and fifty years, step-by-step, became what Meyers calls a “true representative democracy”.

Meyers says, “Democracy means rule of the people. The two most common forms of democracy are direct democracy and representative democracy. Representative democracies are, therefore, a kind of republic. Self-appointed governments such as monarchies, dictatorships, oligarchies, theocracies and juntas are not republics. However, this still allows for a wide spectrum.

“The classic is the Roman Republic, in which only a tiny percentage of citizens, members of the nobility, were allowed to vote for the Senators, who made the laws and also acted as Rome’s supreme court.

“Most people would say that Rome was a Republic, but not a democracy, since it was very close to being an oligarchy, rule by the few. Although the Roman Republic was not a dictatorship (until Augustus Caesar grabbed power), it did not allow for rule of the people.

“In both theory and practice the Soviet Union, that late evil empire, was a republic (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) because the lawmakers were elected, if only by the Communist Party members…”

“But,” Meyers says, “the main Amendment that tipped the scales from the national government of the United States being a mere republic to being a true representative democracy was the often-overlooked Seventeenth Amendment, which took effect in 1913.

“Since 1913, the U.S. Senate has been elected directly by the voters, rather than being appointed by the state legislatures. That makes the national government democratic in form, as well as being a republic.”

Now, if you have read this far, you may answer the question — is China a Republic?

Return to Is China a Republic – Part 3 or start with Part 1

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

Subscribe to “iLook China”
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page.

About iLook China


Is China a Republic? – Part 2/4

January 23, 2012

It appears that democracies come in several types. According to Democracy Building.info, there are three basic types of democracy—the Direct Democracy [ex. Switzerland], the Presidential Democracy [ex. USA, France] and the Parliamentary Democracy [ex. UK, Germany, Spain, Italy].

As for checks and balances, the parliamentary system offers few effective checks and balances [remember that China doesn’t offer checks and balances either].

In the UK, the Prime Minister, as head of state, is not elected. He or she is the leader of the majority party and may stay in power as long as his or her party is the majority. One of the main criticisms of many parliamentary systems is that the head of government is in almost all cases not directly elected by the people.

There are two types of parliamentary systems.  One is the unicameral system, which means it only has one single house or parliament. Forty-four countries fit this description. Examples are Denmark, Finland, Greece, Israel, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Sweden and Turkey.

Then there is the bicameral system [thirty-three countries] of a parliamentary government, which has two houses, an upper and a lower chamber. Examples of this form of democracy are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the European Union, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, South Africa, Spain, Thailand and the United Kingdom.

Let’s see how China’s type of government compares and decide if it is a democracy, republic or a dictatorship.


Democracy From the Bottom Up (The Carter Center)

The Carter Center says, “More than 600,000 villages across China are participating in a national movement toward meaningful democracy—democracy from the bottom up—in a communist nation of 1.3 billion people. For more than a decade, at the invitation of the Chinese government, The Carter Center has aided this effort by helping to standardize election practices among villages and by promoting good governance and citizen participation.”

According to Rural Life in China at Facts and Details.com, “the 2010 census [reported that], 51.3 percent of China’s population lives in rural areas. This is down from 63.9 percent in the 2000 census, which used a different counting system, and over 95 percent in the 1920s. There are around 800 million rural peasants and migrant workers—roughly, 500 million farmers and 300 million to 400 million excess unskilled rural laborers… There are around 1 million villages in China, about one third of the world’s total.  Each village has an average of 916 people.”

That means about 549.6 million rural Chinese vote in democratic village elections every three years.

By contrast, in the 2010 US national election 37.8% (90.6 million) of the voting-age population turned out, and in 2008 only 56.8% (132.6 million) did.  In 2008, the voting age population was 231.2 million and in 2010, it was almost 236 million.  If the majority of people do not vote in an election, does that mean the democracy is broken?

I recommend reading Rural Life in China at Facts and Details.com.  It is well balanced and points out the way it was and the way it is.  Although I did not read every word, I didn’t see any China bashing going on. It was not an indictment of China. However, I am sure a critic [read that enemy] of China could easily cherry pick this article and select a few pull quotes to support more misleading mudslinging at the CCP while ignoring what life was like in rural China before 1949.

Continued on January 24, 2012 in Is China a Republic – Part 3 or return to Part 1

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

Subscribe to “iLook China”
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page.

About iLook China


Is China a Republic? – Part 1/4

January 22, 2012

The reason for this post is due to a recent comment made by Troy Parfitt in another post. “You’re a mythomaniac, a propagandist, and endorser of one of the most repressive regimes in the world [Mr. Parfitt is talking about me]. And your website is a series of disconnected nonsense decorated by retarded videos. You can’t construct an argument to save your life, and the sycophants who show up here saying, ‘Yes, Lloyd, I agree with you,’ belong in Sgt. McGillicuty’s Travelling Nutbar Show.”

If Mr. Parfitt is nothing else, he is creative.

It is true that at one time a strong case could be made that during Mao’s Cultural Revolution, China had one of the most repressive regimes in the world but that claim is questionable today and has been since the 1980s regardless of what some say happened in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

To discover an answer to see if China is qualified to be called a republic instead of a dictatorship, I will provide information and let the reader decide.

The Oxford English Dictionary says a republic is “a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch.

Then Albatrus.org says that in 1928, the US Army provided a more succinct definition of a republic: Authority is derived through the election by the people of public officials best fitted to represent them. Attitude toward property is respect for laws and individual rights, and a sensible economic procedure. Attitude toward law is the administration of justice in accord with fixed principles and established evidence, with a strict regard to consequences.

A republic is the “standard form” of government throughout the world.

A republic is a form of government under a constitution, which provides for the election of:

  1. an executive and
  2. a legislative body, who working together in a representative capacity, have all the power of appointment, all power of legislation, all power to raise revenue and appropriate expenditures, and are required to create
  3. a judiciary to pass upon the justice and legality of their governmental acts and to recognize
  4. certain inherent individual rights

Continued on January 23, 2012 in Is China a Republic – Part 2

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

Subscribe to “iLook China”
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page.

About iLook China


The “BRICS” Emerging Powers Summit

June 22, 2011

On April 14, 2011, Chinese President Hu Jintao and leaders from Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa (countries now known as the BRICS) met on the far southern Chinese island-province of Hainan Island.

The most telling result of the summit was the decision to refuse mutual payments in US dollars. This means that the BRICS countries will give credits to one another in their national currencies and the development banks of these countries have signed an agreement about a further gradual withdrawal from loans in American dollars.

The move opened lines of credit in these countries national currencies in order to dilute their overreliance on the U.S. dollar as the BRICS seeks more independence from American political influence.

In addition, China and India agreed to reestablish defense ties and initiate closer border cooperation. China also agreed to deepen its “strategic partnership” with Russia. The biggest gains to come out of this summit may be the BRIC access to Africa due to its newest member, South Africa.

The BRICS nations now accounts for over 40% of the world’s population, but only 18% of its GDP in 2010 and the IMF says the BRIC nations will account for 21.6% of the world’s GDP by 2015, while the International Business Times reports that these nations are expected to represent 47% of the world’s GDP by 2030.


Aljazeera English says, “While many developed nations are struggling with the aftermath of the global recession, the economies led by the leaders of the BRICS nations are still booming.”

Another way to look at this is to compare the BRICS with the GDPs and labor force of the European Union and the United States.

We often hear that the United States has the largest GDP in the world, which was $14.72 trillion in 2010 with a labor force of 154.9 million as estimated by the CIA World Factbook.

The CIA World Factbook listed the European Union (probably due to the Euro) as the world’s largest economy at $14.89 trillion with a workforce of 225.2 million (2009 est.).

When we combine the GDPs and the labor force of the BRICS nations, we see a combined GDP of $21.079 trillion and a labor force of almost 1.5 billion people.  If the BRICS developed a standard currency as the European Union has done that would create the largest economy on the planet with largest work force.

The BRICS is also calling for a greater say on the UN Security Council, which only China and Russia have a permanent seat on now.

Goldman Sachs investment banker Jim O’Neill to highlight Brazil, China, Russia and India’s similarities in terms of their potential for development and growth, created the term BRIC. South Africa was not a member at the time.

To discover more about the BRIC/S see Move Over America, the BRIC is Coming, The Growing BRICs, Brazil’s Growth Depends on China and China Reaching out to South Africa

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


China Following Tradition — Part 4/4

November 6, 2010

Deng Xiaoping was China’s George Washington. What he did was what Dr. Sun Yat-sen wanted. China is a republic that combines Western thought with Chinese tradition.

However, the task to create China’s Republic fell to the Communist Party so China is a Socialist Republic.

In China, Piety is important and advice from elders is often followed as if it is law. Due to this, elder statesmen such as Jiang Zemin have great power in the government even after they no longer have a political title.

After all, this is Chinese tradition.

The Economist mentioned disagreements among Chinese leaders over what the country’s priorities should be—both on the economy and on political reform.

Whatever the final decisions will be after 2012, the consensus will allow Chinese tradition to guide them and not Western thought.

The changes “some” want will not arrive in a hurry if the wisdom of the I-Ching, The Book of Changes, is followed, which says change should come slowly.

In fact, China has proven it is a republic because none of China’s first four presidents are the sons of previous presidents and eventually death removes the elders. China’s presidents did not inherit that title due to heredity as kings do or the leader of North Korea.

As Deng Xiaoping died, so will Jiang Zemin, who is the elder statement today.

If Hu Jintao lives longer than Jiang Zemin, he will be the elder statesmen offering advice from behind closed doors, which Deng Xiaoping must have done up until his death.

Return to China Following Tradition — Part 3

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


China Following Tradition — Part 3/4

November 6, 2010

In Part 2, I explained why China was not a monarchy or a dictatorship. In this post and the last one in this series, I will show why China is becoming a republic as Dr. Sun Yat-sen wanted by combining Western thought with Chinese tradition.

After Mao died, The Communist Party worked for several years to draft the 1982 Constitution, which included term limits of two five-year terms.

If you have read the Chinese Constitution carefully, it is obvious that America’s Constitution was used as a model.

However, these two documents are not the same as many Western critics and Chinese activists claim regarding freedom of the press, speech and religion.

If the Party leadership is not happy with China’s president, he can be removed after one five-year term. There is even an article of impeachment in the Constitution.

China’s first president was Li Xiannian (1983 to 1988). He served one, five-year term. Then he stepped down.

From 1988 to 1993, Yang Shangkun would be China’s president for one five-year term. Deng Xiaoping (born 1904 – died 1997) was the Chairman of the Communist Party from 1983 to 1993, which was ten years—what China’s 1982 Constitution calls for.

Due to how the Tiananmen Square incident in 1989 was handled, Yang had to step down at the end of his first, five-year term. The only other way to remove him would have been through impeachment.

In 1993, Jiang Zemin became President and Chairman of the Communist Party.

Then in 2003, Hu Jintao became President and Chairman of the Party. His term ends in 2012.

China has now had four presidents serve out their terms according to China’s 1982 Constitution.

Return to China Following Tradition — Part 2

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 10,130 other followers