Decentralization of Power in China: A Failure?

When and Where

  • 06/12/2017
    7:30 pm-9:00 pm

  • Residence of the Emabssy of New Zealand
    3 Sanlitun East 3rd St, Chaoyang Qu
    (get map)

Event Details

Join us for a talk with Dr. Susan Shirk on the outcome of the 19th CCP Congress and Xi’s rise to power.

Less than 4 years after Mao Zedong’s death, Deng Xiaoping wrote an important essay and declared that China needed to move away from an “overconcentration of power” by an individual leader to establish a more institutionalized system of governance and collective leadership.  Deng and his colleagues set about establishing some institutional rules to decentralize authority, regularize political life, and check autocratic power to help the CCP survive in power. These political reforms developed alongside the economic reforms during the administrations of Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao.  Yet today, under Xi Jinping, we see China appearing to move back to highly concentrated personalistic leadership after decades of collective leadership.

The outcome of the 19th CCP Congress that Xi intends to stay on after he completes his two terms in 2022.   It’s surprising and puzzling to see a country with a growing middle class and a modern market economy open to the world returning to autocratic rule. How could this happen? Why didn’t the institutional reforms prevent it?

Dr Susan Shirk has been cited as one of the most influential experts working on Chinese politics and the U.S.-China relations. She is Director of the 21st Century China Center at the University of California, San Diego, and her book “China: Fragile Superpower” (published in 2007) has be referenced as helping to frame the policy debate on China in the U.S. and other countries. She is also the author of “Changing Media, Changing China” (published in 2010) and her work has been featured in leading academic publications in the fields of political science, international relations and China studies. From 1997-2000, she served as deputy assistant secretary of state, responsible for U.S. policy toward China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mongolia. She founded and continues to lead the Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue, an unofficial forum for discussions of security issues. She gained her PhD in Political Science at MIT in 1974.

Entrance fee: 60 RMB (30 RMB for students)

Passport required. No registration necessary.


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