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Peoples Republic of China

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People’s Republic of China

The People’s Republic of China: Who is in Charge

SOC 315 Cross-Cultural Perspectives

Instructor: Randall Norris

June 21, 2012

People’s Republic of China
My paper will focus on the People’s Republic of China. I will explain how the Communist Party of China came into power. While researching the Chinese Government I found the biggest problem is the government itself is based on a lie. The supreme ruling body that elects officials and makes laws is nothing more than a figure head with over 2000 members. Real power lies not with elected officials but with members of the communist party, many of whom are not in the public eye or are retired. A country would have to have been beaten down and kicked to allow this type of government to take root. In China’s case that is exactly what happened. To understand how The People’s Republic of China, or the PRC, came into power we must first look at the “Century of Humiliation”. This was a period that started with the first Opium War and continued until the end of WWII. Over this period the Chinese suffered at the hands of other countries (Mislan 2012). The Chinese were exploited by the British looking for a way into Chinese trade they offered up a highly addictive Narcotic. When the Emperor finally banned the importation of Opium half the country was addicted (Brook 2000). The British with the help of corrupted Chinese government officials won the war even against a Chinese army with superior numbers. The next insult, and more foreign transgression, came in 1856 with the Second Opium War. Imperial Britain again felt it their right to have open trade with all ports in China, Legalization of Opium, and the abolishment of import taxes on British goods in China just to name a few demands (Brook 2000). In present day terms I believe this would be like Britain telling the United States they shouldn’t have to pay any taxes on goods they ship to our country, because they profit from Heroin it should be made legal, and their
People’s Republic of China citizens should be allowed entry into our country whenever and wherever they like. These demands came at a time when Imperial Britain needed Chinese trade, the Chinese were working to abolish the large rate of addiction in their country, and the Chinese were trying to stabilize the economy in their country (Brook 2000). To add to the growing dislike of foreign governments France took up arms to ally themselves with the British. Although the United States and Russia did not join the war they supported the British as well. The Opium Wars were just the first of many events that lead to Chinese defeat by foreign powers and unbalanced treaties. By the end of WWII China had been exploited by the British, French, Japanese, Americans, and even communist Russia. China had been forced to go to war numerous times, been subjected to unequal trade agreements, lost the right to many of its lands, and even forced to endure Britain “pushing” drugs onto its citizens with no legal recourse (Brook 2000). During WWII the Chinese also suffered at the hands of the Japanese. Citizens were treated as enemies of Japan and executed, raped, and tortured. Not only were the Chinese suffering indignities in their own country they were not tolerated in other countries either. The Chinese Exclusion Act put severe restrictions on Chinese Immigration to the United States for a period over 60 years (Young 2012). At this point in history the Chinese had to feel a touch of Xenophobia. It was time for a strong nationalist party to step up. The current Communist Party attached itself to this nationalist movement, the KMT, and became known as the First United Front (Young 2012). With the kind of history China has with foreign countries there is little question why a dictatorial government could take power. The history China has with foreign powers and the abuse its people have suffered has left them wary of any kind
People’s Republic of China of foreign assistance.
The People’s Republic of China as it is known today took power shortly after WWII. On October 10, 1949, The People’s Republic of China was founded when the Civil War that arose from the split of the First United Front ended (Louisa 2012). The communist leaders who had fled the cities during an anti-communist purge had taken advantage of the fighting with Japan that arose during WWII. The Chinese Communist Party, or CCP, offered poor peasant farmers land in exchange for their loyalty (Louisa 2012). While the KMT fought the Japanese in the cities the Chinese Communist Party waited to take power from the KMT army. They used the fighting during WWII to build their power in the countryside and capture Japanese weapons (Louisa 2012). The fighting between the KMT and communist lasted for 3 years after WWII with over 1 million loyal party members finally winning and the KMT leaders fleeing the country to Taiwan (Louisa 2012).

China runs its government similar to the Nazi Germany Propaganda Machine. Although the National People’s Congress is the top branch of government it is nothing more than a “rubberstamp” and all decisions about constitutional law and leadership is made before it convenes (Bernstein & Xiaobo 2003). The real decision makers in China may not even hold office in an official capacity. The Chinese Communist Party elders are the true leaders of China. The Politburo is an elected, or chosen, group of higher up Party leaders who come together to make policy and deal with constitutional issues (Bernstein & Xiaobo 2003). The membership totals 24 men who represent China’s entire
People’s Republic of China population which is 1.4 billion (Bernstein & Xiaobo 2003). That’s 1 constituent for every 58 million people. In the United States larger states complain about their representation being equal to smaller states in the Senate. Maybe these citizens should visit China. All decisions are safe guarded from controversy by secret delegations and the appearance of uniformity. Dissent is met with swift discipline. Whenever there is significant disagreement, or rivalry, a reallocation of power and removal of the members on the “losing” side is sure to follow (Bernstein & Xiaobo 2003). The first leader and father of the Chinese Communist Party, Mao Zedong, said,” Every Communist must grasp the truth. Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun” (Cohen 2008). Looking at politics in China this quote speaks like a teacher to his students since the majority of party leaders seem to follow this as truth.

I compared the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda to that of the NAZI Party in Germany. Both hid their atrocities from the public especially the rest of the world. Both would spin events so as not to tarnish their illusions of perfection. Anyone within the group that did not agree to the majority consensus was treated as an enemy.

The Tiananmen Square Protests came in 1989. It was a buildup of conflicting ideas and desire for an end to the secret dealings and untouchable corruption that had come to represent Chinese Politics. That year became known as “Revolutions of 1989” or ”The Fall of Communism” many countries abandoned Communism and many declared an “End to the Cold War.” With this happening in the rest of the world it isn’t
People’s Republic of China surprising that China’s students and intellectuals stood up united (Mislan 2012). Political reformist Hu Yaobang was not popular among Communist Party old guard members. He was outspoken against corruption and favored a democratic government system. His death was what the Chinese government blamed for setting off the protests. Do to this the government censored the use of his name and any public mention of his name is not permitted (Cohen 2008). Zhao Ziyang, who was a supporter of Hu Yaobang, tried to resolve the conflict before it escalated. He gave a speech to the gathered protesters which promised a reconciliation and talks to commence. This would be his last public appearance he was placed on house arrest and stripped of all power shortly after the incident. Zhao like Yaobang has been removed from Chinese media, erased from their history (Cohen 2008). The day after he made his plea for the protesters to disperse Martial Law was declared and the Military was sent in. A famous picture “The Tank Man” sums up what the protesters were up against (Cohen 2008). A lone student faces down a Chinese tank refusing to move out of the way (Cohen 2008). He has never been identified (Cohen 2008). The exact number who lost their lives in the days that followed is not known, it could be in the thousands. Again the outside world punished China with trade embargos and some countries even denounced the protesters for fear of upsetting the Chinese Government.

In conclusion, Zhao Ziyang said to the protesters,” We are already old, it doesn’t matter to us anymore” (Sen & Li 2003). If he proves right and the Communist Elders allow the youth to take the reigns China may have a hope for Democracy. China needs a

People’s Republic of China new generation unrelated the past to come in and take the example of Hu Taobang and Zhao Ziyang. The children of China’s communist elite may have a different agenda than their parents. One criticism of Hu Yaobang was his tenacity in holding the children of the ruling elite responsible for their actions (Sen & Li 2003). Many Chinese Party leaders send their children to Western Universities. Children of the Elite, Princlings or the “Crown Prince Party,” have recently had to answer for transgressions. One Xi Jinping criticized the west saying, ”some foreigners with full bellies have nothing better to do than engage in finger pointing. First, China does not export revolution; second it does not export famine and poverty; and third, it does not mess around with you. So what else is there to say?” (Sen & Li 2003 p. 94). Not a very Nationalist friendly statement to make to foreign press. As Propaganda motivated as China is, I am surprised he hasn’t been held accountable. Maybe “Clown Prince Party” would have a been a better term. Maybe the children educated in our Universities will take home the ideals of freedom and democracy.

People’s Republic of China
References
Bernstein, T. & Xiaobo, L. (2003). Taxation Without Representation in Rural China. Retrieved from: http://site.ebrary.com/lib/ashford/Doc?id=10070336&ppg=67

Brook, T. (2000). Opium Regimes : China, Britain and Japan, 1839-1952. Retrieved from: http://site.ebrary.com/lib/ashford/Doc?id=10058831&ppg=46

Cohen, M. (2008). Political Philosophy: From Plato to Mao (2nd Edition).London, GBR: Retrieved from: http://site.ebrary.com/lib/ashford/Doc?id=10480004&ppg=22

Kahn, J. (2005). China to Give Memorial Rite to Hu Yaobang, Purged Reformer. Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/15/international/asia/15china.html

Lim, L. (2012). A Pragmatic Priceling Next in Line to Lead China. Retrieved from: http://www.npr.org/2012/02/14/146815991/a-pragmatic-princeling-next-in-line-to-lead-china

Mislan, D. (2012). Cross-cultural perspectives. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
China : Major Events (1978-1991). Retrieved from: http://site.ebrary.com/lib/ashford/Doc?id=10449914&ppg=121

Young, M. (2012). Structure of the State. Retrieved from: http://www.china.org.cn/english/features/state_structures/64401.html

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