Politics in China, 2nd Edition, (PDF) is an authoritative introduction to how the world’s most populous nation and rapidly rising global control is governed today. Written by leading China scholars, the ebook’s chapters provide accessible overviews of major periods in China’s modern political history from the mid-nineteenth century till present-day, key topics in modern Chinese politics, and developments in four significant areas located on China’s geographic border: Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
On October 1, 2009, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) observed the 60th anniversary of its founding. And what a tumultuous and eventful six decades it had been. During that time, under the control of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), China was changed from one of the world’s underprivileged countries into the world’s fastest-growing major economy, and from a weak state hardly able to govern or protect its own territory to a growing power that is challenging the United States for global power.
In those same years, the PRC also experienced the most lethal famine in human history, caused largely by the inactions and actions of its political leaders. Not long after, there was a failure of government authority that pushed the country to the edge of (and in some places actually into) anarchy and civil war.
Today, China is, for the most part, prospering, peaceful, and proud. This is the China that was on for the world to see during the Beijing Olympics in 2008. The CCP maintains a firm hold on power through a combination of popular support largely based on its current record of promoting quick economic growth and harsh repression of political opposition. Yet, the country and the party face serious challenges on many faces, including a slowing economy, pervasive corruption, environmental desecration, extreme inequalities, and a rising tide of social protest.
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