01 October 2012

Is Communist China Resilient Enough to Endure?

Despite the many proclamations that the 21st century will be "the China century," China's communist party government (the CCP) is facing a growing number of challenges -- economic, demographic, political, and international. There is no guarantee that the present form of government in China will survive the next decade, let alone the next century.
Having governed China for 63 years, the party is approaching, within a decade, the recorded longevity of the world's most durable one-party regimes — the former Communist Party of the Soviet Union (74 years), the Kuomintang (73), and the Revolutionary Institutional Party of Mexico (71). Like a human being, an organization such as the CCP also ages.

...China's rapid economic development has thrust the country past what is commonly known as the "democratic transition zone" — a range of per capita income between $1000 and $6000 (in purchasing power parity, PPP). Political scientists have observed that autocratic regimes face increasing odds of regime change as income rises. Chances of maintaining autocracy decrease further once a country's per capita income exceeds $6000 (PPP). China's has already reached $8500 (PPP). And nearly all the autocracies in the world with a higher per capita income are petro-states. So China is in an socioeconomic environment in which autocratic governance becomes increasingly illegitimate and untenable.

...Since the fall of the Soviet Union, top CCP leaders have resolved not to repeat the Soviet tragedy. Their policy has been, therefore, resisting all forms of political reform. The result is, unfortunately, an increasingly sclerotic party, captured by special interests, and corrupt and decadent opportunists like Bo. It may have over 80 million members, but most of them join the party to exploit the pecuniary benefits it provides. They themselves have become a special interest group disconnected with Chinese society. If the fall of the Soviet Communist Party (CPSU) offered any real lessons, they are definitely not the official Chinese narrative that Gorbachev's political reforms brought down the party. The sad truth is: the Soviet regime was too sick to be revived by the mid-1980s because it had resisted reforms for two decades during the rule of Brezhnev. More importantly, the CCP should know that, like the millions of the members of the CPSU, its rank and file are almost certain to defect in times of a regime crisis. When the CPSU fell, there was not a single instance of loyal party members coming to the defense of the regime. Such a fate awaits the CCP. _Minxin Pei_in _the Diplomat
Of course, it is not clear that Communist China is technically a "communist" nation, as envisioned by Karl Marx. Referring to China as communist is largely an acknowledgement of how the very corrupt Chinese government chooses to designate itself. But China's government is essentially a "totalitarian" government:
The difference between a totalitarian party and an authoritarian party is that the former is far more deeply and extensively embedded in the state and the economy. The CCP controls the military, the judiciary, the bureaucracy, and the economy to a far greater extent that the KMT or the PRI. Extricating a totalitarian party from a state is far more difficult. In fact, such a feat has never been tried successfully. In the former Soviet Union, it led to regime collapse. In Eastern Europe, democratic revolutions did not give such regimes a chance to try.

So the task for China's new rulers is truly daunting. _Minxin Pei
Daunting? Closer to impossible, in the long run, given the corrupt intransigence of China leadership from the military to Beijing to local governments.

Gold is pouring into China as a repository of wealth. Well-placed Chinese who are able to move capital out of China, are doing so. If China ever allows the ordinary Chinese person to freely invest his assets overseas, watch out for an explosion of capital flight from the middle kingdom.

China is increasingly balanced on the razor's edge. The CCP had best take care not to give the tightly coiled internal unrest and frustration inside the country even the slightest opportunity or excuse to spring forth.

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Blogger kurt9 said...

Perhaps the CCP dynasty is loosing the Mandate of Heaven.

Monday, 01 October, 2012  
Blogger al fin said...

Then the CCP had best invent a communist god, so that they can get it back. ;-)

Tuesday, 02 October, 2012  
Blogger kurt9 said...

No. They just need to shuffle off the stage and join Mao and Marx in communist heaven.

Tuesday, 02 October, 2012  
Blogger kurt9 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Tuesday, 02 October, 2012  
Blogger kurt9 said...

Dynastic life-cycle and Mandate of Heaven



Tuesday, 02 October, 2012  

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