Chinese Politics essay
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Last two decades of the twentieth century were the period when we witnessed the spectacular rise of China’s global policy and economy. Such achievements are of particular interest, because they are largely related to the governmental policies, which appeared to be alternative to open and liberal models of some developing countries.
The important tool for the national development strategy was China's foreign policy. Such policy is often qualified as conservative. Indeed, many of the fundamental principles of foreign policy remain unchanged for 50 years (they deal mainly with the country's sovereignty recognition and the foundations of cooperation between states). It is clear that all the significant changes distinguish the International Course of China after the reforms of the late 70's and early 80’s from the political line, held during the “Cultural Revolution" (1966-1975). The current foreign policy of the PRC continues its updating, although, it is still based on the development of conceptual approaches of the eighties (Carter & Perry, 2007).
It is remarkable that even before the collapse of socialistic system and disintegration of USSR, the Chinese government had already worked out quite productive paradigm of relations between China and other countries, which justified itself under the dramatic circumstances of the 90’s. The process of modernization of China's policy during the 90’s was a gradual process, which was also typical for Chinese reforms. It was the completion of the construction, consisting of time-tested components and elements. In order to understand the development of China’s policy, it is essential to trace it beginning from the revolution in China. In the late 80's and early 90's the major changes in China’s domestic and foreign policies resulted in necessity of holding qualitatively new, more open and balanced, policy towards neighboring countries. China stood for prevention of new conflicts and solution of the existing ones with a help of various political method by avoiding direct involvement in conflict situations. The main goal of the Chinese leadership was ensuring stability within the country and on its borders in particular. Therefore, China was very interested in improving relations with India. On this basis, China and India signed two agreements in1993 and 1996.
These two agreements were more preventive measures taken to avoid any conflicts, rather than to create the atmosphere of trust. Nevertheless, these documents served as the political and legislative basis for further negotiations concerning boundary issue and development of bilateral international relations. The consensus achieved made its positive contribution to peace and stability in the South Asia.
The key point in the relations between CPR and India was the Declaration on Principles for Relations and Comprehensive Cooperation, signed in 2003.
It should be noted, that China has got better relations with its neighbors, than they have with each other. The brightest illustration of the given fact is a tension between India and Pakistan.
Sino-Japanese relations are an outstanding example of how tight economic cooperation does not guarantee overcoming disagreements. The governments of both countries took lots of pains to establish strong economic ties. The work done was fruitful. Japanese investments played a significant role in unprecedented rise of China's economy, but, nonetheless, political situation almost constantly remained tense. There were systematical conflicts and collisions, sometimes, they were very insignificant pretexts. Due to the conception of separation of politics from economics, worked out by both countries, these contradictions became easy to extinguish, without any damage to economic cooperation. Obviously, the Sino-Japanese relations will play an important role in the development and integration of the APR.
After normalization of relations with India, China took affords to normalize the relations with Vietnam. These relations were complicated with Sino-Vietnam conflict and disputes on the ownership of the ParacelIslands and the SpratlyIslands.
In 1991, such normalization was regarded as ineffective by both sides.
In the end of September, 2000 the Prime-minister of Vietnam Pham Van Khoa paid a visit to China. During this visit, President Jiang Zemin stated that both countries had identical views and positions regarding the construction of socialism suitable to domestic realities. After the summit of China and the Republic of Korea, their relations reached a new stage of cooperation. In 2002, China strongly supported the bilateral relations with North Korea.
The revolution in China is a very controversial issue. Lots of historians try to analyze and assess the significance and consequences of the policy launched by an odious personality in China’s history Mao Zedong. Still, a profound historian and journalist John Gittings suggests the idea that the role and impact of Cultural Revolution on modern China’s economy is underestimated or even neglected. Gittings cites the World Bank report on China: during the period between 1957 and 1977, GDP growth was directly proportional to population growth, the literacy level was also significantly increased, the mortality rate decreased. Moreover, there were some improvements performed in the sphere of healthcare (Pfaff, 2008). The industrial production of the country grew at almost 11 per cent. Thus, the goal of Cultural Revolution was to combat the “sedition”, which occurred in artistic and intellectual environment. According to Mao, this “sedition” could prevent him from implementation of the reforms aimed to recover country’s economy. Philip Pan’s essay focuses on the negative consequences of Cultural Revolution. Chongqing cemetery is a memorial to the victims of political repressions, held during the Cultural Revolution. The cemetery contains 131 tombstones under which a total of 537 bodies lie buried. Now, China is trying to forget about the events of Cultural Revolution. Pan is convinced that people should look back and remember about the price paid for dictator’s ambitions. Pan, unlike his colleague John Gittings, stresses that it was Mao Zedong’s goal to eliminate the resistance to his political course imposed on a number of senior party leaders, who stuck the "pragmatic" positions. Cultural Revolution served the ambitions and interests of Mao’s and his party. Their main goal was to get rid of their rivals, hiding behind the high ideology (Pan, 2008).
There is no need to prove that any intervention of foreign powers is always fraught with resistance of local population. So, the similar events took place in China, 1899-1901, when the people of this country rose to fight for freedom. Patriotic Chinese sought to disseminate the ideas put forward by Sun Yat-sen in 1894, on "nationalism", "democracy", and "national prosperity". The concept of "nationalism" was reduced to the struggle of the Chinese people for their own state without the Manchus, the Japanese, and Europeans. Ordinary, Chinese were particularly insulted with European contempt to their customs and the desire to impose Christian faith by force. In 1899, a popular uprising, known as the “Yihetuan rebellion” or “Boxer Rebellion” broke in China. The reason for the rebellion was a conflict in one of the Shandong villages, where a dispute over local temple ownership between the Catholic mission and the local population took place. The court ruled in favor of the Catholic Church, then, people rebelled under the Yihetuan leadership (Yi He Tuan – nationalist organization “Fist in the name of justice and harmony”). Even the name of the uprising had the nationalist orientation. This uprising is better known under the name of "Boxer Rebellion", as Chinese, when trying to achieve their own goal of a national state, used close combat skills, magic ceremonies and amulets, tried to develop supernatural powers and to achieve invulnerability in battle with their well-armed enemies (Zhang, 1999).
During the period between 1911 and1913, there was Chinese Revolution that led to the overthrow of the Manchu Qing Dynasty and the proclamation of the republic. Republican China needed its own state symbols. In 1911, the imperial flag (rectangular yellow flag with a blue dragon and the sun) was replaced with a new republican flag, designed in accordance with the tradition of the Kuomintang. It is believed that the blue flag with white sun in the middle was created by a Chinese democrat Lu Hao-tung (1867-1895). It was used as the national symbol during anti-Manchu uprising led by Sun Yat-Sen. After the defeat of the Chinese people in the war with the French, the blue flag became a symbol of anti-French forces (Perloff, 2009). In 1900, the flag was used by the uprising of a secret society Yi-He-Quan. Around 1906, Sun Yat-Sen, the predecessor of the Kuomintang and leader of the "Tun-Monch" (Federal League) party, proposed to add the red color to the flag. As a result, the flag became red, and blue rectangle with a white sun was replaced into the canton of the flag, in the upper corner. Red color symbolizes the blood of freedom fighters and revolutionary struggle. After the October uprising in 1911, troops of the South China used a variety of flags: for example, a flag with 18 golden stars, which symbolized the number of administrative units of China, Shanghai army used the flag with five horizontal stripes: red, yellow, blue, white and black. Stripes symbolized the nation of China: the Manchus, Chinese, Mongols, Muslims and Tibetans. A blue flag with the white sun was traditionally used by the armies in such provinces as Kvantun, Yunnan, and some others. The debatable theories of Asian racism and Chinese nationalism were manifested in the symbolism of the new flag. In December 1911, Sun Yat-Sen formed the first Provisional Government. State flag was five-band, the army used the flag with 18 stars, and the blue flag with white sun was used officially by the navy since 1912 (Boyd, 1962).
Fred Wakeman begins with a survey of the class structure in imperial Chinese society: peasants, gentry, merchants (Erard, 2006). Driving forces of the Chinese revolutionary movement in the late XIX - early XX century were the Chinese national bourgeoisie (gentry) and the peasantry. Until it came to the fight against foreign intervention, particularly sharp differences in the actions of the patriots were not observed. When the question of ownership was raised, the apparent sharp antagonisms between these two classes became clear. After the victory over the Manchus, which was a result of the Xinhai Revolution, there was a clash of the armies of Yuan Shik, defending the interests of the bourgeoisie and new gentry, and troops of Sun Yat-Sen, advocating the socialist principle of property and land distribution. It is not surprising, the peasants fought mainly on the side of the Sun Yat-Sen. The last was an adherent of the republican system in China, unlike Yuan Shik, who wanted to establish a national Chinese of the monarchy (in contrast to the Manchurian) (Erard, 2006).
In the late 80's and early 90's, the major changes in China’s domestic and foreign policies resulted in necessity of holding qualitatively new, more open and balanced, policy towards neighboring countries. China stood for prevention of new conflicts and solution of the existing ones with a help of various political method by avoiding direct involvement in conflict situations (Wakeman, 1977). The main goal of the Chinese leadership was ensuring stability within the country and on its borders in particular. Therefore, China was very interested in improving relations with India. On this basis, China and India signed two agreements in1993 and 1996 (Hunt, 1996).
These two agreements were more preventive measures taken to avoid any conflicts, rather than to create the atmosphere of trust. Nevertheless, these documents served as the political and legislative basis for further negotiations concerning boundary issue and development of bilateral international relations. The consensus achieved made its positive contribution to peace and stability in the South Asia (Lampton, 2000).
Taking into consideration all the facts stated above, it is clear that China holds firm, independent, peaceful policy; the state stands for multipolarity in the world environment, actively adapts its economy to the globalization, participates in regional cooperation, takes all pains to promote the creation of just, rational politically, and economically new international order. The important tool for the national development strategy is China's policy. Such policy is often qualified as conservative. Nowadays, China stimulates just cause of peace and human development (Politzer, 2008).
China has passed along the path of political reforms and effective bureaucracy. This achievement is not less significant than the modernization of the economy. A wide diversity of opinions, appearing during the discussion of various national issues, political economy of development, and changes in the modern world can help this country continue its rapid progress and strengthen its international positions.
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