The collapse of communism in the Soviet Union in 1989 was thought to be inevitable by most people.
The Chinese regime cracked down on dissidents in an effort to fix what was lacking in the communist economy.
The modern-day Chinese state is a one-party authoritarian one that gives economic freedom to the new urban middle class.
With the world's second largest GDP and an aggressive military posture, China is seen as a rising superpower.
There are paradoxes in China.
Economic freedom is mixed with political oppression.
More than two-thirds of the people still live in poverty, despite the fact that the economic superpower has a lot of statistics.
An aggressive military posture and reach into the West's sphere of influence is mixed with an open embrace of globalization and cooperation on all manner of economic and humanitarian concerns around the world.
China has more than one billion people, making it the largest country in the world.
During its ancient history, the population enjoyed geographic protection and isolation.
Large mountain ranges, deserts, and the ocean prevented foreign influences from entering.
Most of the people in China live in the east, especially in regions close to the coast.
The large rivers that travel back and forth across China allowed for the mixing of people and culture from within.
The Han people, who make up over 90 percent of the population, were the result of geographic protection and the expansion of a single dominant ethnicity.
There is a cultural divide between north and south because of the climate and terrain.
The people of the west don't fit in with Chinese society because they aren't of the Han ethnicity.
The Chinese political culture is shaped by ancient and modern traditions.
China developed systems to place people in bureaucratic authority based on merit, rather than on their ability, and social promotion based on scholarship.
The idea of Chinese cultural superiority is still expressed in the context of China's rise to superpower status as a kind of destiny for the Chinese people to achieve.
Chinese citizens have a deep sense of pride in their country.
Tibetans and Uighurs in the west of China resent Chinese rule and the sense of Han superiority.
Chinese labor and resources were used to make huge profits for national corporations.
Chinese nationalists took control of the country after expelling the "foreign devils".
Ancient geographic isolation and China's experiences of imperialism have left Chinese people suspicious of international actors.
His contributions to Chinese politics will be addressed in greater detail in the next section, but some of his influence on political values include individualism, self-reliance, collectivism, and the idea of leaders.
A good cat is not a black cat or a white cat according to him.
He points out the effectiveness of policies that may seem to be against the ideals of communism.
Despite the obvious contradiction, China has modernized to embrace the globalized market economy as the path to development.
The leadership of the CCP is known for pragmatism.
A political actor's ability to achieve a political goal is based on personal connections to those in power.
A mayor once promised to build a swimming pool for the athletic coaches at a school in his city.
After two years of struggle, he was never able to get funding for the pool.
The staff was told by coaches from another city that they need a new mayor.
The good of the group over the individual is what Chinese political culture emphasizes.
China is one of the world's oldest civilizations, and while many of China's ancient practices are still visible today, China experienced a series of major upheavals in the twentieth century that brought about the modern Chinese state.
The system of Chinese politics was very similar to European feudalism.
The mandate of heaven was claimed by a powerful ruling family with a large army.
Positive results were seen as an assurance from the ancestors that the current dynasty still held the mandate, and power would pass down peacefully, while droughts, famines, or military failures were viewed as a "loss" of the mandate, and another powerful family with a large army would challenge.
The system was basically intact until European intervention in the late 19th century.
The Qing Dynasty was overthrown by revolutionaries in 1911 because of its inability to resist foreign influence.
The Opium Wars against Britain and the First Sino-Japanese War led to uprisings against the Qing Dynasty, and the 1911 Revolution established a new republic led by Sun Yat Sen.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) led by Mao Zedong was one of the two rival political movements that formed the early republic.
Sun's good relationship with the CCP was not maintained by Chiang Kai-Shek, who became president of China in 1928.
After outlawing the CCP, he waged a military campaign with KMT forces to root them out of the country.
As Mao's forces retreated across the country to escape the KMT, they engaged in a propaganda war to spread the values of Maoist communism to the peasant villages they traveled through.
The Long March of retreat from 1934 to 1936 was a turning point in the history of the Chinese People's Republic and was the basis of Mao's future vision for a Chinese People's Republic.
After Japan's invasion of Manchuria in 1937, the two sides agreed to a truce and Mao became a national hero.
When the fighting between the KMT and the CCP resumed, Mao's forces were victorious, and the KMT's leader, Chiang Kai-Shek, and his supporters were forced to flee to the island of Taiwan off the mainland.
The formation of the People's Republic of China was declared by Mao in 1949, while the KMT nationalists in Taiwan were seen as the legitimate rulers of China by the international community.
For much of the twentieth century, there were two Chinas.
Taiwan is still seen by China as an important part of a unified China.
The political culture and party built by Mao was based on the principles he preached in his writings.
The leaders were expected to act in the best interests of the people of the countryside.
The connection the leadership must always maintain to the people is described in the mass line.
Everyone was expected to do his or her part.
The central role of peasants in the revolution was emphasized by Mao as opposed to urban elites and industrial workers who had originated most of the previous revolutions in the world.
People were expected to sacrifice their own interests for the sake of society.
The peasants' wisdom could be used by urban elites.
Mao followed the Soviet model of land reform through collectivization and redistribution of property.
Civil reforms ending class distinctions and granting women new legal rights, such as the right to leave an unhappy marriage, were initiated.
ambitious agricultural goals were put into place as part of the five-year plans.
Mao encouraged intellectuals and leaders to speak openly and independently about the country's problems, and so let "a hundred flowers bloom, and a hundred schools of thought contend."
The Great Leap forward was a name that did not match the results of Mao's break from the Soviet Union.
China's transition from an arable society to a utopian socialist economy was attempted by the Great Leap forward.
The state would now force the collectivization of all agriculture because farmers were previously only encouraged to combine their property.
People in the countryside were forced to stay at "struggle session" meetings and lectures until they volunteered to give up their property and join a collective.
All traditional religious practices were banned and replaced with ideological lectures that attempted to inspire activism against all manner of social "evils," including opium addiction and "counterrevolutionaries" who resisted the Great Leap forward, but also "evils" like the Four Pests Campaign, which sought to eradicate The Great Leap forward and its associated cultural campaigns were a disaster.
Agricultural workers who were relocated to cities for industrial work had no training or knowledge for factory work.
The Great Chinese Famine was caused by the loss of workers from the countryside and the laws passed by the CCP, which mandated unproven agricultural practices.
Between 1949 and 1985 there was only one economic recession.
The Great Leap forward led to an inquiry about how to fix the economy.
Mao was marginalized by the leadership at Party conferences.
Mao believed that China was abandoning his egalitarian vision because the Politburo members implemented market-oriented policies to end the food shortages.
The Cultural Revolution was launched to rid the Chinese society ofbourgeois elements.
Senior officials were removed from leadership.
The violent class struggle against all capitalist elements was revived by activists, who subjected them to public humiliation, confiscation of property, arbitrary imprisonment, and even torture.
Posters celebrating Maoist ideology adorned all areas of Chinese society, with the image of Chairman Mao being built into a personality cult.
Bureaucrats with technical expertise at government management were replaced with low-level workers who could show their devotion to Mao by motivating the workers they oversaw to work hard and increase production.
The "Gang of Four" made up Mao's wife, Jiang Qing, and three other senior Politburo members.
They were in favor of opening China for limited contact with other countries to bring investment to China.
Deng Xiaoping, who had been removed from Party leadership during the Cultural Revolution, was one of the prominent voices in the group led by Zhou Enlai.
Mao had once identified Lin Biao as his preferred successor.
Lin died in a plane crash in 1971 amid rumors that he and other military officials were planning a coup.
China moved from authoritarianism to totalitarianism during the Cultural Revolution, trying to control the daily activities of the Chinese people.
The "Gang of Four" was arrested after the death of Mao after he led moderates to control the Communist Party.
Deng Xiaoping was the leader of the CCP by 1978.
Deng's economic program was based on pragmatism and effectiveness of policies to produce growth.
Deng said that a good cat is not a black cat or a white cat.
Ideological purges were ended and people were placed in positions of bureaucratic management based on their expertise and effectiveness rather than their ideological loyalty to the socialist vision.
The goals of Deng's program were to make China a modern society in agriculture, industry, national defense, and science and technology.
College graduates rose from 25 percent of the Party membership in 1974 to 50 percent in 1984.
Millions of Chinese were employed by these small enterprises a few years after the reform.
Deng Xiaoping enacted a number of reforms to liberalize and grow the Chinese economy while maintaining strict political control under the Chinese Communist Party.
Deng's reforms led to rapid economic growth in China, and lifted millions of people out of poverty, in addition to setting China on a course to become a global economic power.
GDP per capita increased from under $300 in 1979 to over $2,100 in 1997.
Since Deng's death, GDP per capita has increased by over $13,000.
There are new challenges for China, including rising inequality between the new urban middle class and the poorer rural countryside.
Reform did not happen on the democratic front.
In 1978, during Deng Xiaoping's rule, a movement grew in Beijing known as the Democracy Wall Movement, in which activists freely expressed their desires to modernize China with democracy through big-character posters displayed close to the offices of The People's Daily, an official Party newsletter.
A person who wrote that democracy was the fifth modernization was jailed for fifteen years.
The Tiananmen Square massacre in China was the most notorious example of China's suppression of dissent, but it was a "miracle year" for democracy in the rest of the world.
In April of 1989, students from Beijing's elite universities occupied a space in Tiananmen Square, a massive public space between China's most important government buildings, demanding civil liberties and democratic reform.
They were joined by civil society actors from all walks of Chinese professional life, each with their own demands, but united by the idea of democratic reform.
After initial toleration of the protesters, the Party decided to crack down with a military assault on the Square, as well as hundreds of similar protests across the country.
According to the Chinese Red Cross, the number of killed could be as high as 1,000.
Power transitions in communist parties used to occur through internal party conflicts that led to instability, and often to temporary power vacuums such as the one between Mao and Deng from 1976 to 1978 in the Soviet Union.
The Party has instituted rules and practices to organize the transfer of power since Deng's death in 1997.
The transfer of power from Jiang Zemin to Hu Jintao from 2003 to 2005 was one of the easiest in the history of the communist country.
The Party has great legitimacy among the Chinese people because of its stable politics and continued economic growth.
Though it remains firmly in control of an authoritarian one-party state, the Party has implemented limited democratic reforms and has relaxed many of its restrictions on expression of dissent in response to public concerns about corruption and mismanagement.
Since the days of Mao, Chinese society has changed a lot.
While there was no independent civil society to speak of during the Maoist era, market reforms under Deng and beyond have given rise to affluence, inequality, and access to technology, which has made the diverse interests of citizens and their ability to organize and express those differences a regular part of Chinese political The Party's ability to control certain ideas has eroded over time, but there remain substantial controls on the expression of certain ideas.
The majority of the population in China are Han Chinese.
The Chinese borders have extended into territories of other ethnicities due to historical conquest.
Fifty-six minority ethnic groups are recognized by China.
The ethnic minorities only make up 8 percent of the population of China, but they are given regional autonomy in some matters, such as the use of a local language, and exceptions to the one-child policy.
Ethnic minorities living in relative isolation in China are not integrated into the modern economic and political structure of the country.
There is a concerted effort to bring minorities into leadership at the regional level.
For the first time, the governors of all the minority regions were of a different race.
Their power is limited compared to the Party secretaries who oversee them.
The Chinese approach to minority groups is to suppress dissent and encourage economic development.
While most minority groups in China do not display any organized ambitions to secure independence from China, China has particular concerns about the Tibetans in Tibet and the Uighurs in Xinjiang.
The Han people of China have virtually all of the political and economic power in the country.
Minority groups are usually located in distant and remote parts of the country.
Tibet was conquered by China in the 1950s, but the government of Tibet led by the Dalai Lama refused to recognize it.
The Chinese military intervention in 2008 resulted from regular uprisings and calls for Tibetan independence.
The Dalai Lama is the leader of the Tibetan people and lives in exile.
The Uighur people are predominantly Islamic, and while some of them are comfortable with their place in the Chinese empire, others support the creation of a new "Uighurstan" or unification among other Muslims.
Many Uighurs are wary of becoming "too Chinese" culturally, and resent that the Han living in the area have the best job opportunities despite their minority status.
Some Chinese policies are seen as anti-Islamic by the Uighur people.
The Chinese government often responds with a concerted effort to populate the area with Han people after street riots and terrorist activity result in bloodshed against the Han.
Hundreds of millions of Chinese people have been lifted out of poverty as a result of the economic reforms that have taken place.
The new middle class of more than 700 million people is concentrated in the cities, and their concerns are similar to people in developed countries.
They want their children to be able to afford to attend top universities.
They want to move up the social ladder by securing nice apartments and homes in safe neighborhoods.
They are concerned about getting good health care as they age.
They worry about the long-term effects of the poor air quality in the cities.
Leaving the cities for a visit to some of the one billion people living in the Chinese countryside would cause a person to wonder if any of these supposed economic changes are actually happening.
Many people in rural China have no access to electricity, plumbing, modern roads, the Internet, or telecommunications, even though they lived hundreds of years ago.
The movement of people from the Chinese countryside to the cities for factory work is sometimes referred to as the largest migration event in human history.
The Chinese government regulates migration with strict laws about how long and under what conditions migrants may remain in the city, and urban residents are suspicious of the effects that this wave of poor laborers moving into their neighborhoods will have.
Rural peasants have to contend with being forced off of their land by real estate developers in some cases, and corruption among Party officials is often cited in their complaints about the process.
The nationalist republic in Taiwan and the mainland People's Republic are still referred to as " Two Chinas", but now also refer to the big cities with skyscrapers and modern lifestyles, and the rural countryside where over two-thirds of the population live.
The emergence of the new Chinese middle class of more than 700 million people is creating new political conflicts and policy concerns for the state to consider.
The Chinese Communist Party tried to control the political life and social life of its citizens during Mao's rule.
In the early 2000s, a pseudo-religious group called Falun Dafa was harshly persecuted by the state for no apparent reason other than the demonstration of their ability to group and organize 70 million Chinese practitioners without the support of the state.
After 10,000 people gathered outside a government office to demand official recognition and an end to government harassment, the government imposed a major crackdown and arrested many of them.
More than 2,000 people are thought to have died in Chinese custody.
The Chinese civil society is growing as an independent force in the new economically liberalized China.
The power to shape the direction of state policy has been demonstrated by popular social movements in support of religious freedom, democratic reform, and other causes.
technological is the biggest reason for this transition.
The growth of the modern economy has provided millions of Chinese with access to cell phones, laptops, satellite dishes, and other technologies that make it difficult for the Party to control access to information the way it could through propaganda in the early days of the People's Republic.
The approach of the CCP has been to crack down on any organizations or individuals who challenge the Party's right to rule exclusively, but to allow, for the most part, voices that call for attention to a particular social problem or perceived need for reform.
There are many civil society organizations in China.
Groups with political causes, charitable causes, religious causes, and even recreational groups like Ping Pong clubs are easily visible all over the country.
China has begun to encourage organizations to register and give official recognition to groups that were once forbidden.
Since 2005, the number of officially registered NGOs in China has doubled to over half a million.
Given China's history, this may be the Party's attempt to keep the energy of these movements, or it may be a legitimate attempt to liberalize the freedom of association.
That question is still unanswered.
Protests are a common method of political participation in China and are not seen as evidence of the state's intolerance of protest.
In 1993, the number of mass group incidents was 8,700, in 2005, it was 87,000, and in 2010 it was 180,000.
Most of the demonstrations are not threats to the CCP as they only target perceived local corruption, environmental damage, or other issues they hope the national leadership will address.
The Party's response to these protests can often be sympathetic to their complaints.
suppression and censorship of their ideas to imprisonment and forced labor in "reeducation" camps are some of the responses against organizers when the Party sees a broader threat to their rule.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is the central component of the Chinese political system.
The right to rule is not based on the free choice of the people, but on the Party's history of governing in the best interests of the Chinese population.
The only party allowed to contend for and win national office in China is the CCP, which doesn't mean everyone in the country is a part of it.
It is the second largest political party in the world with 89.5 million members.
Only about 6 percent of the Chinese population are affected by this.
The application process for joining the Party is very complex and very secretive.
Jiang Zemin, the leader of the Chinese Communist Party, took the radical step in 2001 of allowing even business owners to join the party in order to better reflect reality of Chinese society.
Anyone with ambitions for high-profile public service must join the Party if they want to be in top administrative and bureaucratic positions.
Party membership is an excellent way to move up the social ladder into a good middle-class job for many Chinese, even though some still join out of a sense of patriotism.
The local village officials are the ones who decide who goes to the county assembly, the county assembly is the one who decides who goes to the provincial assembly, and the provincial assembly is the one who decides who goes to the national assembly.
The center of the Chinese state is where the leaders of the party are located.
The structure of the Chinese Communist Party is based on a geographic hierarchy, with the lowest level followed by the county, the region, and the central national party at the top.
One example is that some cities are not formally organized into counties or provinces.
Each level of Party leadership is governed by a Party Congress, which is supposed to approve all major Party decisions, including the central leadership at each level.
The People's Congresses approve of decisions made by central leaders of the Party.
The Politburo Standing Committee and the members of the central committee are chosen by the Party Congress at each geographical level.
The Chinese Communist Party Constitution explains a power hierarchy with the Congress at the top, but the process actually works in reverse.
In China, members at higher levels of leadership designate which lower-level members they would like to call up, and lower levels approve their decisions without dispute.
It also applies to moving up into a higher geographic level.
The power is most concentrated in the inner group of central leaders at the top of the national Party, the standing committee, which chooses one of their members to act as general secretary of the Communist Party.
The general secretary is the chairman of the Central Military Commission and the president of the People's Republic.
After being chosen as general secretary in 2012 and then chosen as president by the National People's Congress in the same year, Xi was reelected as president in the same year.
The formal institutions of the Chinese state are parallel to the Party structure.
In the section on state institutions, this parallel structure will be explained.