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Will Maoist totalitarianism return to China?

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Title:
Will Maoist totalitarianism return to China?
Creator:
Yang, Huaizhi Wyatt ( author )
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
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University of Colorado Denver
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English
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Master's ( Master of arts)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
Department of Political Science, UC Denver
Degree Disciplines:
Political science
Committee Chair:
Thomas, Steve
Committee Members:
Spehn, Thorsten
McGuffey, Lucy

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Politics and government -- China -- 1949-1976 ( lcsh )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Abstract:
This thesis argues that Maoist totalitarianism will not return to China based on three reasons: First, it is not the interest of Chinese government to retrieve Maoist totalitarianism in ideological and particle aspects; second, the institutionalization of Chinese politics prohibits the revival of Maoist totalitarianism; third, current Chinese society is no longer mobilizable. The violation of civil and political rights remains a political issue in China today. However, the current Chinese political and social context does not offer the hotbed for the revival of Maoist totalitarianism. Indeed, totalitarianism is the enemy of authoritarianism since the former highlights on mass movements and radicalism and the latter focuses on stability and pragmatism. Meanwhile, in the time of globalization, Chinese people are not interested in participating political campaigns anymore. This qualitative study borrows insights from scholars of mainland China, Taiwan, and the West (mainly the U.S. and Britain), analyzing perspectives from inside and outside of China. The pursuit of an overall and correlative understanding of Chinese politics is the underlying value of my research.
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Includes bibliographic resource.
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n3p
Statement of Responsibility:
by Huaizhi (Wyatt) Yang.

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University of Colorado Denver
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Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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on10204 ( NOTIS )
1020494960 ( OCLC )
on1020494960
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Full Text
WILL MAOIST TOTALITARIANISM RETURN TO CHINA?
by
Huaizhi (Wyatt) Yang
Bachelor of Social Sciences, Hong Kong Baptist University 2012
A thesis submitted to the
Graduate School of the University of Colorado at Denver In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Political Science
2017


2017 by Huaizhi (Wyatt) Yang
All rights reserved


This thesis for the Master of Arts
degree by
Huaizhi (Wyatt) Yang has been approved for the Department of Political Science by
Steve Thomas
Thorsten Spehn
Lucy McGuffey
Date


Huaizhi (Wyatt) Yang (M.A., Political Science)
Will Maoist Totalitarianism Return to China?
Thesis Directed by Professor Steve Thomas
ABSTRACT
This thesis argues that Maoist totalitarianism will not return to China based on three reasons: first, it is not the interest of Chinese government to retrieve Maoist totalitarianism in ideological and particle aspects; second, the institutionalization of Chinese politics prohibits the revival of Maoist totalitarianism; third, current Chinese society is no longer mobilizable. The violation of civil and political rights remains a political issue in China today. However, the current Chinese political and social context does not offer the hotbed for the revival of Maoist totalitarianism. Indeed, totalitarianism is the enemy of authoritarianism since the former highlights on mass movements and radicalism and the latter focuses on stability and pragmatism. Meanwhile, in the time of globalization, Chinese people are not interested in participating political campaigns anymore. This qualitative study borrows insights from scholars of mainland China, Taiwan, and the West (mainly the U.S. and Britain), analyzing perspectives from inside and outside of China. The pursuit of an overall and correlative understanding of Chinese politics is the underlying value of my research.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidate’s thesis. I recommend its publication.
Signed____________________________
Steve Thomas


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Writing Thesis is like a long march, especially to a second language speaker of English. In this long march, I am sincerely thankful to the following people:
Dr. Steve Thomas, my research advisor, with whom I deepened my understanding of Chinese politics. His advice is a firm help to my writing. Every time I talked with him, I felt intellectually stimulated and motivated.
Dr. Lucy McGuffey, my committee member, with whom I learned the theory of Hannah Arendt. More importantly, I learned from her appreciation of the beauty of the world and her value of social justice.
Dr. Thorsten Spehn, my committee member, with whom I trained my mind with comparative thinking. His mentorship pacifies me when I encounter puzzles and adversities in my life.
Dr. Kathryn Cheever and Dr. Michael Berry, with whom I learned research methods of political science.
Finally, my mother, Ms. Liu Xiyuan, who passed away in 2014. She might not agree with my criticism about Chairman Mao Zedong, but she loved and supported her naive son unconditionally.
Of course, I am the only one who is responsible for all mistakes in this paper.
IV


CONTENTS
Chapter Page
1. INTRODUCTION: PROFESSOR FUKUYAMA'S LUNCH 1
2. LITERATURE REVIEW: TOTALITARIANISM, AUTHORITARIANISM AND
CHINESE POLITICS 3
3. THE UNLIKELIHOOD OF THE REVIVAL OF MAOIST TOTALITARIANISM IN
CONTEMPORARY CHINA 10
4. THE GOVERNING GUIDELINES OF THE POST-MAO CPC LEADERS 14
5. THE CPC'S IDEOLOGICAL SHIFT 21
6. THE INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF CHINESE POLITICS 29
7. THE CURRENT CHINESE SOCIETY IS NO LONGER MOBILIZABLE 35
8. CONCLUSION: WHERE IS CHINESE POLITICS HEADING? 44
REFERENCES 46
v


CHAPTER 1
PROFESSOR FUKUYAMA’S LUNCH Introduction
In 2012, the American political scientist Francis Fukuyama visited China and he had a lunch with an official of the Communist Party of China (CPC). During the lunch, Fukuyama remarked that the official’s generation, born before the 1970s, still have personal experience living in the time of Mao Zedong, whose policy caused grievous humanitarian disasters in China, but the post-1970 generations do not possess those pieces of miserable memory. Fukuyama then questioned the official: when the younger generations become the mainstream of China’s government and society in the future, how can China protect itself from the revival of Maoism, if the legacy of Mao is not completely reflected and criticized, and the country’s political system has no checks and balances of power and the rule of law? The official was momentarily rendered speechless.
Fukuyama’s concern is widely shared among the experts in the field of China study. We all know that the governments of Nazi Germany, militarist Japan and Maoist China were responsible for millions of civilian deaths in the 20th century. After the World War II, Germany and Japan were forced by the United States to build democratic systems and they confessed and apologized for their crimes against humanity. However, China’s one-party system survived after Mao’s death in 1976. Despite that the CPC acknowledges that the Great Leap Forward (1958-1960) and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) were triggered by Mao’s serious mistakes in his late life, it has not informed the Chinese people with the details about the humanitarian disasters, it has not allowed independent research and press on these dark pages of
1


the history of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and it has not accepted the notion that the absence of checks and balances of power and rule of law, which are the indispensable components of liberal democracy, was the main cause of those disasters.
2


CHAPTER 2
TOTALITARIANISM, AUTHORITARIANISM AND CHINESE POLITICS
Literature Review
Many scholars have attempted to answer whether China will be transformed to a democracy. However, the objective of my paper is to respond to Fukuyama’s concern, examining if totalitarianism would be brought back to China and discussing whether the current authoritarian system of China would be the hotbed of the recovery of Maoist totalitarianism. To define the concepts of totalitarianism, Maoism and authoritarianism, I start by introducing the study of Hannah Arendt (1994). Based on her theory, a totalitarian state has the following characteristics:
1. State power is centralized in the hands of a national leader, with a personality cult.
2. The state is ruled by terror and political dissidents are extensively persecuted.
3. The state relies on popular mobilization via ideology.
4. The state has a powerful thought control over its people and the boundary
between the public and private spheres is unclear.
When The Origins of Totalitarianism was first published in 1951, China had not been trapped into totalitarianism and Arendt was criticizing Nazi Germany under Hitler and the Soviet Union under Stalin. However, from 1957 to 1976, the Chinese politics under Mao was transformed to totalitarianism. Mao was a charismatic and absolute leader. “Long Live, Chairman Mao” was a political slogan to express the Chinese people’s reverence to him. Indeed, the longdive vocabulary was often used by subjects in dynastic China to worship the emperor. This is in accordance with the first Arendtian characteristic of totalitarianism.
A crucial piece of Maoism is endless class struggle and revolution. In 1957, more than 500,000 intellectuals were ruthlessly purged for their criticisms against the CPC (MacFarquhar
3


1974). Besides the intellectuals, Mao, as Stalin and Hitler, repeatedly purged the CPC elites who lost his trust. The sufferers included Peng Dehuai, a senior CPC general who contributed his entire life to the communist revolution before 1949 and firmly supported Mao’s decision to fight the Korean War (1950-1953), Xi Zhongxun, the Vice Premier of the PRC State Council from 1959 to 1965 and the father of the current Chinese leader Xi Jinping, Liu Shaoqi, Mao’ s long-time advocate and the President of the PRC from 1959 to 1968, and Lin Biao, another senior CPC general who backed Mao’s repression of Peng Dehuai and got appointed as Mao’s successor in 1969. Therefore, in the Maoist period, no one dared to question Mao’s words because Mao used terror as a means to punish and isolate dissidents both inside and outside of the Party. Genuinely or not, CPC officials, intellectuals, workers and peasants were all competing to demonstrate their loyalty to Chairman Mao. This corresponds to the second Arendtian characteristic of totalitarianism.
Mao launched two nationwide mass movements via ideology. The first movement was the Great Leap Forward (1958-1960), aiming to build communism in China rapidly. It forced peasants to give up their lands and join the People’s Communes to farm and to eat collectively. This collectivist movement initiated the Great Chinese Famine (1958-1962), which is also the greatest famine in human history. In five years, roughly 36 million people died due to the shortage of food (Yang 2013). The Great Leap Forward and the Famine will be further discussed in Chapter IV. The second movement was the Cultural Revolution, calling for the Chinese people to exterminate capitalism and feudalism. Anyone labeled as capitalist or feudalist could be humiliated, beaten or murdered by fanatical Red Guards - the young believers of Maoism. This matches up with the third Arendtian characteristic of totalitarianism.
The unusual deaths in the disastrous decade were estimated between 2 to 10 million (VOA 2016). Moreover, during the Cultural Revolution, Chinese society, with its conventions, customs
4


and traditions, was falling apart. A son or daughter could inform against his or her parents, for not being respectful to Mao or the CPC’s doctrine (MacFarquhar 1999). In such an Orwellian state, privacy could not be preserved; an individual’s relationship with the Party was higher than his or her relationship with the family. This is consistent with the fourth Arendtian characteristic of totalitarianism.
In comparison with totalitarianism, authoritarianism is a soft form of dictatorship. In an authoritarian state, the political system is still monopolized by a single ruling party, but the party no longer relies on ideology, personality cult, secret police and mass movements as the primary ruling means, despite that they are still indispensable. Instead, an authoritarian regime tends to adopt pragmatic techniques to legitimate itself, including but not limited to, co-optation, to absorb people from different backgrounds into the ruling party, and spoils sharing, to improve the living standard of the people (Gerschewski 2013). For the most part, the people of an authoritarian state are left with a larger space for private life. It is possible for the rulers to conduct themselves, as Frederick the Great once claimed in a more tolerant mode: “I have an agreement with my people. They can say what they like and I can do what I like” (McLean & McMillan 2009, 30).
Mao governed China from 1949 to 1976. Deng Xiaoping, another CPC elite who rose to power in 1978, successfully ended the Maoist totalitarianism along with his colleagues (Vogel 2011).1 The second-generation rulers (Deng’s words) relaxed the state control over the society, focused on economic building and encouraged entrepreneurship, developed technocratic institutions, and opened the door to the world and placed China in the contemporary liberal
1 Hua Guofeng, the transitional CPC leader of 1976-1978, who was sidelined by Deng via an intraelite power struggle, should also be included in this group of colleagues. According to Vogel (2011), many reform and opening up policies were initiated by Hua, but Deng’s leadership ensured the success of these policies later.
5


international system. This historical turning point is named reform and opening up. Meanwhile, although accompanied by the economic and social loosening, Deng never appeared to have the idea of democratization. For his whole life, he kept his appreciation of authoritarianism. In Deng’s view, “only an authoritarian organization such as the CPC could implement the policies necessary for China’s development” (Knight 2012). Deng wanted reforms directed by pragmatism and open-mindedness, but he also held firm to his belief in the one-party system. This is the reason why he clamped down on the Tiananmen Square movement with military force and he never doubted the necessity of doing it (Vogel 2011). Since the year of 1978, the political system of China has been an authoritarian one shaped by Deng.
In addition, some China experts might not agree with my discussion about the definitions. Tsou Tang (1993) put forward that Chinese politics, either in the Maoist or post-Maoist period, should be categorized as totalism; totalitarianism and authoritarianism are not proper terms. He argues that totalitarianism and authoritarianism refer to regime types while totalism focuses on state-society relations. In a totalistic state, “there are no legal, moral or religious constraints preventing the state from intervening in any sphere of social and individual life. This does not mean that the totalistic state always penetrates into every sphere of social and individual life. Rather, the point is that the state can, when and where its leaders choose, intervene in society” (Cui 2000, 197). According to Tsou (1993), the Maoist government maintained an omnipresent control over Chinese society, and post-1978 government has never given up this penetrating power even after the reform and opening up. Thus, Tsou accentuates the political consistency between the Maoist and post-Maoist period.
From my perspective, on one hand, Tsou simplified the Arendtian theory of totalitarianism. To Arendt (1973), totalitarianism comprises both regime type and state-society relations. In fact,
6


astonishing parallels can be found in the state-society relations of Nazi Germany and Maoist China. For instance, both governments shut down private schools for the purpose of thought control; both governments propagated a discriminatory division of its people and excluded the discriminated from humanity - under the Nazis the victims were the Jews and Gypsies and under the Maoist the victims were the “capitalists”, “anti-revolutionaries” and “feudalists”; atomized people under both governments could inform on their relatives, friends and colleagues for political disloyalty. On the other hand, although Tsou is insightful to designate the post-Mao government still possesses a formidable power to control Chinese society, it is evident that the capability, the scale, the frequency and the will of using this power have declined. Tsou’s deliberation of totalism does not thoroughly specify this sharp difference. After the reform and opening up, the Party kept its communist name, but changed its governing guidelines. A detailed discussion about the governing guidelines will be unfolded in Chapter III.
Another expert, Stein Ringen (2016) considers that authoritarianism is too soft to delineate the CPC’s dictatorship in the post-1978 period. He indicates that the Chinese party-state structure has its particularity: “The state controls society and the party controls the state...control is this state’s nature” (Chapter 1). To Ringen, the term authoritarianism can mislead those who are interested in the Chinese affairs, harboring the illusion that the CPC may liberalize Chinese politics someday. Indeed, Ringen and Tsou share the emphasis of the CPC’s controlling power, which is a crucial point to understand Chinese politics. Compared to its current authoritarian counterparts in Latin America, the Chinese government is far more sophisticated by exerting its influence over society, with its branches in each community, each school and numerous companies. In my point of view, the CPC’s adeptness at controlling does not differentiate itself from the authoritarian family. Actually, control is for stability and stability is the pursuit of authoritarian governments.
7


With stability, authoritarian systems can be perpetuated and the vested interest of authoritarian rulers and their collaborators can be protected. All authoritarian governments want stability and the question is if they are capable enough to realize what they want.
Wang Shaoguang (2014) is also critical about the usage of totalitarianism and authoritarianism in his discussion of Chinese politics. In his opinion, Western intellectuals zoom in on the form of government, especially on the representativeness of government:
A government is legitimate only when it is democratically elected.
An undemocratic government is illegitimate.
The undemocratic government must transform to democracy in order to get its legitimacy.
With this paradigm, governments are categorized into two groups - democratic and undemocratic, and the latter group is further divided into totalitarian and authoritarian. To Wang, neither totalitarianism nor authoritarianism is able to explain Chinese politics; post-1978 China is not an authoritarian state. Alternatively, Wang asserts that current China is developing a new type of political system which serves people’s needs better than liberal democracy. The Chinese-style democracy, argued by Wang, is not representative but representational: In Chinese language, democracy, minzhu, means that people own the country. This ownership does not mean universal suffrage since an elected politician may not be willing or able to govern the country in accordance with the people’s interest and need. The measure of the ownership should be the responsiveness of government and the quality of national leaders (Lee 2015). Chinese leaders, mainly the members of the Politburo Standing Committee, are selected through a rigorous process, from the lowest level to the highest and from the regional to the central, after proving their competence and sense of responsibility. Therefore, Chinese leaders are more reliable than their democratically elected equivalents who may lack political experience. Derived from this logic, Wang argues, Chinese
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people enjoy more democratic rights than the Westerners since their government is more proficient in addressing their issues and fulfilling their needs.
To my mind, Wang’s narrative is accurate in terms of the effectiveness and efficiency of the Chinese government, but his assertion of a Chinese-style democracy is open to doubt. The post-1978 government is authoritarian, not merely because of it prohibits true elections and party rotation, but also due to its repression of human rights. Without the safeguard of checks and balances of power and the rule of law, people are always under the threat of governmental misconduct. For example, Liu Xiaobo, the Nobel Peace Prizer of 2010, is still in jail, owing to his drafting of and his call for public signatures on Charter 08, a document which tries to persuade China’s government to democratize itself; the Tiananmen Square Massacre of 1989, which will be further discussed in Chapter III, also remains a political taboo in China.
In short, I am aware of the reality that there exists disagreement and dissatisfaction about the application of totalitarianism and authoritarianism in the analysis of Chinese politics, but the terms are still widely accepted in today’s academia. By and large, Maoist China is compatible with the Arendtian account of totalitarianism and post-1978 China is appropriate to my illustration of authoritarianism. It is very important to bear in mind that Chinese politics has its idiosyncrasy as well as commonality compared to other authoritarian states, as summarized by a well-known scholar: “China is distinct but not unique” (Shambaugh 2016). Therefore, to discuss the idiosyncrasy and commonality with a fair-mindedness, this qualitative study borrows insights from scholars of mainland China, Taiwan, and the West (mainly the U.S. and Britain), analyzing perspectives from inside and outside of China. The pursuit of an overall and correlative understanding of Chinese politics is the underlying value of my research.
9


CHAPTER 3
THE UNLIKELIHOOD OF THE REVIVAL OF MAOIST TOTALITARIANISM IN
CONTEMPRARY CHINA
No states, democratic or non-democratic, are immune from the threat of totalitarianism forever. The danger of totalitarianism is always lurking in human societies because of our imperfect nature - our ferocity, our fear of loneliness and our impulse to dominate others. As the British philosopher Bertrand Russell (2009) said half a century ago, “although our manner of life and our institutions and our knowledge have undergone profound changes, our instincts for both good and evil remain very much what they were when our ancestors’ brains first grew to their present size” (26-27). Even in the U.S. today, there is a possibility that some of Mr. Donald Trump’s radical proposals against ethnic minorities and women may drive the American democracy on the way of populism and totalitarianism (L. McGuffey, personal communication, 2016).
In the case of China, I cannot arbitrarily make a categorical judgement about whether the country would be totalitarian or not in the following years. What I argue in this paper is the unlikelihood of the totalitarianization of Chinese politics. It is true that the CPC’s governance limits certain civil and political rights of the Chinese people, but there exists an immense gap between the current Chinese authoritarianism and Maoist totalitarianism. My study will show the difficulties for the return of the Maoist totalitarianism.
In the first place, the CPC leaders do not have a rational motive to bring back totalitarianism. Chinese people suffered tremendously from Mao’s endless class struggles and political campaigns. On the one hand, the people’s suffering is not wanted by the CPC since it
10


undermines the regime’s legitimacy. On the other hand, the CPC itself was a victim of totalitarianism. As pervasively mentioned, the CPC elites, such as Liu Shaoqi and Lin Biao, lost their lives under Mao’s ruthless purges; Deng Xiaoping and Xi Zhongxun, were sidelined and removed from power. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of CPC officials were disgraced by the Red Guards. The government collapsed and the country was ensnared by chaos. Hence, totalitarianism was not only a disaster to the Chinese people, but also a nightmare for the CPC. It is irrational for the current Party leaders to re-embrace totalitarianism.
Next, although the current Chinese government refuses to accept the value of liberal democracy, it is alert to totalitarianism as well. What the CPC wants is the political and social stability on which the one-party system is founded. In the social aspect, the Party does not tolerate any chaos that interrupts economic development. In the political aspect, the Party is sharp-eyed for any risk that might diminish the solidity of its regime. Many China experts merely focus on the Party’s repression against political dissidents, like the case of Liu Xiaobo. Nevertheless, they may neglect the fact that the CPC’s government also takes strict control over the followers of Maoism. September 09, 2016 was the 40th anniversary of the death of Mao. Chinese government did not organize any remembrance on that day; for the moment, it also forbade the advocates of Maoism to hold a public commemoration (VOA, 2016). Let me emphasize the theory of Hannah Arendt again: totalitarian leaders rely on mass movements to perpetuate their personality cult and popular support, like Mao did in the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. Stability cannot satisfy the ambition of totalitarian leaders nor meet the totalitarian ideology. Therefore, the stability-maintenance principle of the CPC is incompatible with totalitarianism.
Thirdly, the contemporary political and social context in China is not congruous with the growth of totalitarianism. Mao’s formal and informal power grew out of wartime. He led the CPC
11


to defeat the Japanese invaders and the Chinese Nationalist Party.2 Mao was venerated as the savior of the Party and the visionary leader of the PRC. Thus, many of his orders, reasonable or unreasonable, were thoroughly carried out by his colleagues and followers. Those who did not agree with Mao were persecuted in their political lives. Today, however, no leaders in China today are able to grasp such formidable power. A peaceful time does not offer them enough opportunities to build their charisma as Mao did, unless China was trapped in an international war or a catastrophic economic crisis. Furthermore, Chinese people are too much interconnected with the world today. Urban Chinese have gotten used to western technology, entertainment and to some extent, values. In addition, even most of the young Party members are not familiar with the Party’s constitution. They joined the CPC because they think the identity can help them in job seeking. De facto, these Party members do not believe in the official ideology anymore (Dickson 2016). In 2015, President Xi Jinping tried to encourage young Party members to study the creed of the CPC more often, but the social feedback was indifferent and perfunctory (Shambaugh 2016).
In the time of globalization, the proliferation of the Internet and social media contributes to the rapid flow and diversification of information and the emergence of entertaining ethos. The former breaks the propaganda system of the CPC and enriches the people’s minds and the latter nurtures the prevailing political indifference. Current Chinese, including many of the Party members, are no longer as mobilizable as thirty or forty years ago. It is very difficult to deploy them, particularly those who were born after 1980, to devote themselves to political campaigns. The online censorship system, established by the CPC, is still working, but educated Chinese, such as businessmen, white-collar workers, college professors and students, can overcome the censorship system by purchasing the Virtual Private Networks (VPN) from IT companies. Also,
2 Also known as Kuomintang (KMT) or Guomindang.
12


the Internet of some governmental departments does not have the censorship system for the sake of searching information abroad. The censorship system is to keep the majority of Chinese ignorant about certain information that may undermine the government’s legitimacy, but the CPC wants to know about the outside criticism against itself. As an active participant in the global economy, China cannot sustain its development if it does not understand what is going on in the world. The situation of current Chinese society will be further examined in Chapter VI.
Fourthly, the government of China has a series of institutions and mechanisms to forestall the emergence of totalitarianism. The first institution is the term and age limits and collective leadership. Most top positions in the government, including the President and Premier of the PRC, are available for the same person for two 5-year terms. Meanwhile, the collective leadership requires the CPC leaders to have thorough discussions and debates before a critical policy is made (Lampton 2014). The second institution is the selection and promotion system of CPC officials. The officials are trained to be well-behaved authoritarian bureaucrats instead of erratic rule breakers. The institutionalization of the CPC will be elaborated in Chapter V.
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CHAPTER 4
THE GOVERNING GUIDELINES OF THE POST-MAO CPC LEADERS,
As mentioned previously, the political campaigns and mass movements in Mao’s time brought severe traumas to the Chinese people and the CPC’s government. Do the post-Mao leaders recognize that it is not in the interest of Chinese government and society to revive totalitarianism? From my perspective, they do understand the dangers of totalitarianism. My reasoning is based on an analysis of the governing guidelines put forward by the post-Mao leaders.
In China, every leader proposes a governing guideline to illustrate his grand plan of administration. These guidelines are meticulously studied by the Party members of all levels of government (Guo 2013). As the leaders of a pro-active government, it is important to raise their guidelines concisely to let the government and society understand their ideas, values and ambitions. Therefore, the governing guidelines are decisive resources to analyze the conceptual world of the post-Mao leaders, examining if they are vigilant to the precariousness of totalitarianism.
After Mao’s death, Deng Xiaoping seized power in two years. Before the founding of the PRC, Deng was one of the military commissars and established his personal networks among the CPC generals. He further gained the experience of working in the State Council between 1949 and 1976 as the Vice Premier. Therefore, when the Party oligarchs Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai passed away, Deng was the only CPC elite who had experience and authority both in administrative and military affairs (Vogel 2011). This explains why he could become the de facto leader of the PRC without possessing any official title, such as the President of PRC or the General Secretary of the CPC.
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To Mao, states are the instruments for class struggles and the communist state of China had to stimulate the proletarian class to relentlessly beat down the capitalist class, both spiritually (in terms of propaganda, literature and art) and physically (with violence). Hence, Mao’s governing guideline was summarized as “class struggle is the key link” (the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, 1962).3 In contrast to Mao’s emphasis on class struggle, Deng’s pragmatism focuses on economic development. Deng thought that the Cultural Revolution disrupted China’s modernizing process and the CPC’s regime should make efforts to enhance the materialistic well-being of its people. In order to achieve the modernization of industry, agriculture, national defense and science and technology,4 Deng called for “taking economic construction as the central task” (Vogel, 2011).5 It is evident that Deng’s guideline is against the Maoist totalitarianism.
In the 1980s, Deng prepared to raise his two proteges, Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang, to be his successors. However, both of them were removed from power later on. Until 1987, Hu Yaobang was the General Secretary of the CPC, the de jure chief of the Party as well as the state, but he had no influence in military. Hu was respected as an open-minded leader who endeavored to protect political dissidents from being purged by Deng and Deng’s colleagues. In 1986, Chinese college students began to protest for anti-corruption and democratization. Deng considered this movement a threat to the stability of the regime, but Hu was tolerant to the students. In that case, Hu lost the trust of Deng and was forced to “voluntarily retire” from the Party’s leadership (Yang 2004).
3 Yi Jieji Douzheng Weigang
4 Sige Xiandaihua
5 Yi Jingji Jianshe Weizhongxin
15


Zhao Ziyang replaced Hu in 1987. Hu’s downfall did not scare the student protesters. Indeed, it strengthened their discontent. In the Summer of 1989, a social movement swept the whole country and students in Beijing chose to use hunger strike to force the CPC to accept their appeal for democratization. With the help of media, the hunger strike pressured and embarrassed the government in front of the world. Deng and several other CPC leaders decided to enact martial law to crack down on the protestors, but Zhao firmly refused to maneuver tanks to kill civilians. Finally, Zhao could not prevent the massacre from happening on June 4th. Shortly after the Massacre, Zhao was imprisoned by Deng and spent the rest of his life under house arrest (Tsou 1993).
Following the deposition of the two transitional CPC leaders, Jiang Zemin, who was selected by Deng as the successor, formally began his presidency in 1993. In 1993, Deng was 90 years old and his health worsened. On that account, he no longer acted as China’s back-stage ruler. Jiang consolidated his power effectively and rose as the third-generation leader of the PRC. He was entitled as the President of PRC (the head of state), the General Secretary of CPC (the head of the Party), and the Chairman of the Central Military Commission (the head of military). Jiang proposed the Three Represents6 as his governing guideline:
1. The Party must represent the requirements for developing China’s advanced productive
forces.
2. The Party must represent the orientation of China’s advanced culture.
3. The Party must represent the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people. (People’s Daily, 2002).
6 In Chinese, , Sange Daibiao.
16


The definition of the Three Represents is vague and the vagueness was intentionally created by Jiang and his cabinet. The definition needs to be interpreted carefully. The “productive forces” is Marxist jargon for the economy. Hence, the First Represent, “the Party must represent the requirements for developing China’s advanced productive forces”, indicates that the CPC under Jiang’s leadership would adhere to Deng’s principle of economic development.
In Mao’s time, traditional Chinese culture and western liberal thought were labeled as feudalism and capitalism; the study of feudalism and capitalism would lead to harsh punishment. According to Jiang, any school of thought, no matter whether it is from ancient China or the West, would be considered advanced, as long as it is constructive for the government and society to better the political and economic condition of China (Guan, 2003). Thus, the Second Represent, “the Party must represent the orientation of China’s advanced culture”, serves as an implicit criticism of Maoism and encourages Chinese people to learn from the past and the West.
The Third Represent, “the Party must represent the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people”, seems like a cliche on the surface, whereas it has an unspoken meaning. Entrepreneurs were victimized under Mao’s government, since Mao claimed that the bourgeois were the enemies of the people. Deng allowed the Chinese to operate business and rehabilitated the entrepreneurs, but the entrepreneurs were still excluded from the Party’s membership. Contrary to Mao and Deng’s policy, the Third Represent of Jiang invites the entrepreneurs and businessmen to join the Party, because they are included in the “overwhelming majority of Chinese people” (Su 2001).
When Jiang Zemin finished his two 5-year terms as the President, Hu Jintao succeeded him in 2003. According to many commentators, Hu was a weak leader during his presidency, largely due to the fact that Jiang, through his personal connections, was exerting his durable influence on
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China’s politics after his retirement (Lampton 2003). However, Hu still proposed his own governing guideline as the Scientific Outlook on Development. In Hu’s opinion, China’s government should commit itself not only to promote the materialistic well-being of the people, but also to foster the growth of education, healthcare and any other field regarding national happiness (People’s Daily 2016). For instance, in 2006, China’s government repealed the agricultural tax and invested to enhance the education standard in countryside (Chamberlain, 2006). Therefore, Hu’s guideline reveals that his governance was to promote some aspects of social justice in China, not to retrieve totalitarianism.
Xi Jinping, the current President of the PRC, came to power in 2013. Mr. Xi’s governance is controversial and many of the controversies are still ongoing among politicians and scholars. Critics of Xi worry that his centralization of power in domestic politics and his assertiveness in foreign policy imply that he is moving toward the Maoist totalitarianism (Yu, 2016). Xi’s supporters claim that it is necessary for him to be rigorous, because his ambitious anti-corruption campaign requires solid power. Moreover, many of these supporters believe that Xi will carry out groundbreaking reforms and liberalize the political system of China, after he knocks down all of his opponents within the Party. They think Xi will learn from Chiang Ching-kuo, who ruled Taiwan during 1978-1987 and ended the dictatorship of the Chinese National Party with his absolute power (Xin2016).
Xi’s governing guideline is known as the Chinese Dream. In his words, he wants to build a “strong (economically, politically, diplomatically, scientifically, militarily), civilized (equity and fairness, rich culture, high morals), harmonious (amity among social classes) and beautiful (healthy environment, low pollution)” China (Kuhn, 2013). The latter three pieces, regarding the civilization, harmony and beauty of China, are essentially to respond to the present symptoms of
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the country - income disparity, environmental pollution and intellectual emptiness. No one would deny the necessity of addressing these compelling issues. However, as brought up earlier, Xi’s highlight on the strength of China’s power, has triggered the international concern.
In terms of foreign policy, the pivot of concern is China’s military expansion in the South China Sea. Some commentators perceive the expansion as a threat of international security and a signpost of totalitarianism (Clark 2016). From my perspective, this consternation is overstated. On one hand, military expansion is not a criterion to judge whether a country is moving toward totalitarianism or not. Totalitarian regimes, like Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union, were eager to capture territories, whereas democratic states can be offensive as well, in the way of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.
On the other hand, China certainly wants to assure its own interest and diminish the American influence in Asia, but it does not intend to kindle a war. Instead, China is open to the bilateral negotiation of territorial disputes. After the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte expressed his favor to China via media and visited Beijing in October 2016, China relaxed its control over the contested waters of the Scarborough Shoal and Philippine fishermen were allowed to return the region for operation (Rauhala 2016). As Robert Daly (2016) points out, historically, China is not a colonial and militarist power. China’s show of muscle in the South China Sea is likely to gather more chips for itself on the negotiating table.
With regard to domestic policy, international concern centers on Xi’s anti-corruption campaign. The scale and degree of this campaign are unparalleled in the history of the PRC. By the end of 2015, over 100,000 cadres have been disciplined, among whom are Zhou Yongkang, a retired member of the 17th Politburo Standing Committee (PSC), China’s highest decision-making body, and Xu Caihou, the former Vice-Chairman of the Central Military Commission (Leng &
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Wertime 2015). Zhou and Xu were top CPC elites who were capable of endangering Xi’s political life and personal safety. To knock them down, Xi must concentrate power in his hands, for himself as well as for realizing his governing guideline. Evidently, Xi is more powerful compared to his predecessors Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, but he cannot be the second Mao. A recent document of the 6th Plenum of 18th Central Committee names Xi the core leader of the Party, but the principles of collective leadership and anti-personality-cult are also emphasized at the same time (China TV 2016).7
In short, the post-Mao leaders do not abide by Maoist totalitarianism. Mao was the founder of the PRC and his leadership was crucial for the CPC’s regime-building. The successors of Mao profess their regards for Mao superficially because denying Mao would erode the legitimacy of the Party’s dictatorship. However, their disagreements with Maoist totalitarianism are reflected in their governing guidelines. The guidelines of Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin focus on economic construction and development while Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping’s guidelines underline social and political justice. None of them is in accordance with the Maoist principles of mass movements and class struggle. In the context of China, intentional neglect is the typical wisdom or strategy of implicit renunciation.
7 Core leader is a term raised by Deng. The term indicates the power of the CPC top ruler. Deng said that Mao was the first-generation core leader, himself was the second-generation core leader, and he further appointed Jiang as the third generation core leader. However, Hu Jintao did not possess such the core-leader title since his power was limited by the retired Jiang. Then, Xi received this title after he defeated his rivals with the ongoing anti-corruption campaign.
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CHAPTER 5
THE CPC’S IDEOLOGICAL SHIFT
Human activities are driven by ideas. A set of ideas which are mutually consistent can be defined as ideology. In a neutral sense, an ideology “needs to provide some explanation of how things have come to be as they are, some indication of where they are heading (to provide a guide to action), criteria for distinguishing truth from flashed and valid arguments” (McLean & McMillan 2009). Furthermore, political ideology is the sine qua non of totalitarianism, through which a totalitarian regime could claim that it grasps the ultimate and universal truth. As pointed out by Arendt (1973), “The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between true and false no longer exists.” In China, the Maoist ideology was the keystone of the Maoist totalitarian regime. In present days, the revival of totalitarianism relies on two preconditions: On one hand, the CPC must reembrace the Maoist ideology; on the other hand, the Chinese society must re-believe in the Maoist ideology. This section aims to discuss the CPC’s ambivalent attitude towards Maoism.
The essence of the Maoist ideology is the mass line. To elaborate, firstly, Mao claimed that the Party committed itself to working for the interest of the masses, the majority of the Chinese common people. According to Mao (1945),
“[A] hallmark distinguishing our Party from all other political parties is that we have very close ties with the broadest masses of the people. Our point of departure is to serve the people whole-heartedly and never for a moment divorce ourselves from the masses, to proceed in all cases from the interests of the people and not from the interests of individuals or groups, and to understand the identity of our responsibility to the people and our responsibility to the leading organs of the Party” (Section V).
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Secondly, Mao valued the masses as the means for seizing power. In the 1920s, when the CPC was young and weak, its labor upheavals were suppressed by the Chinese Nationalist Party (CNP), the temporary controlling authority of China, which had a vigilant eye regarding the diffusion of communism. It was Mao who raised the conception of peasant revolution, professing that peasants, the mass of Chinese population could be educated, organized and then become the pivotal force of a Chinese revolution. Thereafter, the Communist triumph over the CNP was largely ascribed to this conception (Fairbank 1987).
Thirdly, Mao encouraged and manipulated mass movements for his ruling. This point differentiates Mao from the rulers before him, such as Chiang Kai-shek, the actual governor of mainland China from 1926-1949, Yuan Shikai, the first former president of the Republic of China (1911-1915), and even the emperors of dynastic China. The mentioned authoritarian rulers wanted order and stability, but Mao desired continuous revolution via mobilizing the masses. As previously introduced, the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution were overwhelming mass movements as well as unprecedented humanitarian tragedies in the history of China. In the opinion of Henry Kissinger (2012), “Mao’s China was, by design, a country in permanent crisis; from the earliest days of Communist governance, Mao unleashed wave after wave of struggle. The Chinese people would not be permitted ever to rest on their achievements” (93). Herein, the precariousness of the Maoist ideology emerges.
When Deng Xiaoping and his colleagues initiated political and economic reforms and opening up policies in 1978, they definitely understood the danger and damage of the personality cult and the Maoist ideology. However, after a series of complicated discussions, Mao’s historical role was officially written as overall positive and Mao Zedong Thought remained as an ideological guideline of the CPC. According to the Resolution on Certain Questions in the History of Our
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Party since the Founding of the PRC (1981), a principal document adopted by the Sixth Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee of the CPC:
Comrade Mao Zedong was a great Marxist and a great proletarian revolutionary, strategist and theorist. It is true that he made gross mistakes during the ‘cultural revolution’, but, if we judge his activities as a whole, his contributions to the Chinese revolution far outweigh his mistakes. His merits are primary and his errors secondary (Article 27).
In reality, many of the post-1978 leaders, including Deng Xiaoping himself, were sidelined, punished and purged under Mao’s tyranny. It is reasonable to speculate that they did not have regard for Mao in private. But Mao’s leadership was crucial for the CPC to take over China and build the party-state of the PRC. The denial of Mao is equivalent to the invalidation of the regime’s legacy. Therefore, genuinely or not, Deng and his colleagues chose to pay respect to Mao and his thought, despite the fact that the 1981 Resolution also specifies that personality cult and the violation of collective leadership must be forbidden in the future.
This appeasing evaluation of Mao has a hangover - the Maoist ideology survived in the period of reformation and opening up and it still has a group of believers in China today.8 The majority of them are lower-class workers and labors, who do not receive fair benefits and care, or even political and social attention in the country of the Chinese “economic miracle”. Also, some scholars and officials can be categorized in this extremist group. It is true that China became a middle income country and its GDP per capital was 7,590 US Dollars by the end of 2014 (Eckart 2016). Nonetheless, the data from the IMF also shows that China is in the club of the most unequal countries (Talley 2016). The gap between the rich and poor has been enlarging in the past forty years and many of the Chinese are facing unemployment. Ren Jiantao (2014), a political scientist
The believers are called the Maoist leftists. In Chinese “ hLi ” , Mao Zuo.
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at the Remin University of China, points out that the recent development of Chinese Maoism is a facet of the world populist movement, which is a response to the growing economic inequality elicited by globalization.
In the present climate, the CPC’s attitude towards Maoism is subtle. Officially, the Maoist ideology is still preserved in the Constitution of the PRC and the 1981 Resolution, but post-1978 leaders chose to oppose it secretly. As illustrated by the last section, the policy guidelines proposed by Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao and Xi Jinxing all eschew the Maoist heritage of mass movement and instead call for economic building and stability. Furthermore, under Xi Jinping’s leadership, the Party is seeking to use Confucianism as an ideological substitute to legitimize itself. A series of Confucian Institutes are founded all over the world, many public universities in China are financially supported by the government, and President Xi publicly summoned the Party and the society to learn from Confucianism (People’s Daily 2014). Compared to the totalitarian Maoism, the Confucian ideology favors a open-minded style of governance.
Confucianism was a school of thought originally established in the 5th Century B.C.9 Started from the Han Dynasty (202 B.C.-220 A.D.) till the end of Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Confucianism had been politicized and enshrined as the official ideology of China. Dynastic changes took place, but the position of Confucianism persisted, and even the Manchurian rulers of the Qing Dynasty exhibited their reverence to it.10 In the dynastic age, Confucianism was the main part of the civil service examination system; officials, ministers and emperors quoted Confucian texts to discuss political issues (Qian 2013). In spite of the fact that Confucianism has been
9 the Spring and Autumn Period.
10 During the two thousand years, only Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), founded by Mongolians, did not respect Confucianism.
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continuously re-interpreted, enriched and developed since its establishment, its nucleus is about political and moral philosophy, teaching people to cultivate their personality, to deal with interpersonal relationship and to govern a state.
During the second half of the 19th century, China lost its sovereign integrity due to its failure in the wars with Western colonial powers and Japan. Many visionary Chinese began to learn from the West, firstly for its technology and industry and later for its political and economic thoughts. In the early 20th century, some intellectuals, such as Chen Duxiu (1879-1942), the founder of the CPC, Hu Shi, a renowned philosopher and essayist (1891-1962), and Lu Xun (1881-1936), a leading writer, were attempting to reform the traditional Chinese culture. They all agreed that China needed a diversified realm of thought and Confucian dominance should be broken apart. Therefore, Confucianism was removed from its spiritual sanctum. Nevertheless, it was still a powerful branch of thought in the 1911-1949 period. Even Chiang Kai-Shek considered and portrayed himself as a Confucian believer (Hahn 2015). The situation was reversed when the CPC occupied the territory of China. Mao became the first ruler since the 2nd Century B.C. to “tear apart Chinese traditions as a deliberate act of state policy” (Kissinger 2012, 93). In the Cultural Revolution, Confucianism was defamed as the feudalist ashes which poisoned people’s mind. Confucian classics were banned; Intellectuals were forced to criticize Confucianism and to confess if they had the “feudalist thought”. Interestingly, history repeats itself. 40 years after Mao’s death, the CPC re-invited Confucianism to the house of Chinese politics, as the Manchurians did in the 17th century.11
11 In the early time of the Manchurian conquest over China, the Manchurian rulers were antagonistic to the culture of Han nation, including Confucianism. Later, when they established the Qing Dynasty and consolidated their ruling, they started to honor Confucianism in order to get
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Confucianism is an evolving and complicated school of thought. Currently, scholars do not agree with each other on the relationship between Confucianism and politics. From a liberal perspective, Tu Weiming (1999) argues that Confucian classics, such as Great Learning, the Analects, Mencius, and Doctrine of the Mean, incorporate the essential notions of human rights -the respect of human dignity, the value of reason and conscience, the freedom of thought and speech, equality before the law, the right to rebel against tyranny and oppression, and so on. Although the ancient Chinese philosophers did not use the vocabulary “human rights”, the principles and spirituality of Confucianism are absolutely compatible with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Based on this cultural compatibility, Tu further specifies that democracy is not impossible in China and Confucianism is an indispensable theoretical resource for China’s future democratic reforms. As a matter of fact, the Taiwanese democracy proves the validity of Tu’s argument - an Asian and Confucian society can build and maintain a political system of liberal democracy.
From an illiberal perspective, Jiang Qing (2008) contends that democratization should not be the future of Chinese politics. In his view, political reforms must be led by a powerful central authority dominated by elites. Elites, defined by Jiang, are not those who are bom in upper-class families, but those who demonstrate their virtue and competitiveness in educational system and public affairs. Jiang does not deny that men are naturally equal with regard to human dignity and freedom, and a legitimate government must protect and respect individual dignity and freedom. But he further points out that men are socially unequal in terms of morality, sense of responsibility, talent, experience, knowledge, and so on. Thus, to Jiang, one-person-one-vote is unreliable and
the support of the Han nation which consisted of more than 90% of Chinese population. See Jonathan Spence, the Search for Modern China.
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healthy politics ought to be handled by elites who are responsible and capable and educated by Confucian doctrine. With his interpretation of Confucianism, Jiang constructs an image of open-minded authoritarianism - the rulers are accountable, responsive, and tolerant to dissents, but people should obey this patriarchal authority.
The current leader Xi Jinxing often quotes from Confucian classics to explain his ruling philosophy. Through a series of speeches, Xi showed his loyalty to both the Party and the Chinese tradition and his interest to search for common ground between authoritarianism and Confucianism (Tatlow 2014). As he said, “Several thousand years ago, the Chinese nation trod a path that was different from other nations’ culture and development” (ibid.). This “Chinese exceptionalism” offers a justification for the one-party system of China - if China is such a culturally special country, it does not have to follow the liberal democratic model. In order to manifest the cultural specialness, the illiberal Confucianism is the best supportive theory.
However, the illiberal Confucianism is fundamentally non-totalitarian. Firstly, Maoism backs mass movements and continuous revolution, but illiberal Confucianism emphasizes stability and gradual reformation. Secondly, the Maoist government depended on terror and propaganda to maintain its legitimacy, whereas the illiberal Confucianism takes the quality of governance as the decisive criterion.. Thirdly, Mao was the absolute ruler of China who believed in “what I say goes”, yet the illiberal Confucianism asks rulers to be open-minded and humble to criticisms. Finally, Maoism deprived basic rights of many Chinese people, conversely illiberal Confucianism esteems human dignity and freedom.
Ezra Vogel characterizes Deng Xiaoping as “nationalistic, pragmatic and authoritarian” (Knight 2012). In my point of view, this is also the best depiction to the CPC’s governance in the post-1978 period. Mao was ideological and the Maoist ideology pushed China to the brink of ruin;
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Deng was practical and he redirected the country on the way of modernization, but he did not raise any persuasive system of ideas to legitimize the Party’s dictatorship. The Party relies on economic development and the living standard improvement to buy the support of Chinese people. This pattern is definitely unsustainable. Once the Party can no longer pay its bills, it might lose popular advocacy. Meanwhile, the recent slowdown of Chinese economy probably strengthened the legitimacy concern in the mind of the Party leaders. Therefore, in such a condition, it is a compelling task for the nationalistic, pragmatic and authoritarian Party to find a theoretical resource to justify its governance. Among different ideologies, the Marxist is not nationalistic, the Maoist is not pragmatic, and the liberal democratic is neither nationalistic nor authoritarian. The choice left is Confucianism with the illiberal interpretation. For the evolution of Confucianism, it remains unclear whether the CPC’s admiration is constructive or destructive. This is because, when a school of thought is politicized, it will inevitably face distortion and manipulation, as Lenin and Mao did to Marxism. However, to the political system of China, the restoration of Confucianism is unequivocally positive since it wards off the threat of totalitarianism.
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CHAPTER 6
THE INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF CHINESE POLITICS
A prevailing standpoint about Chinese politics holds that few significant political reforms have been achieved since the Tiananmen Square Massacre of 1989, despite the fact that the country has experienced substantial socioeconomic transformations (Peng 2015). This standpoint is inaccurate since it views the CPC as a static power. Certainly, the post-1978 CPC leaders, from Deng Xiaoping to Xi Jinping, have no intention to democratize Chinese political system.12 However, the Party’s governance has been evolving. New institutions have been developed and adopted to improve the Party’s ruling capacity, as stated by Zeng Jinghan (2014):
In the Chinese context, political reform represents a much broader spectrum - it refers to any kind of reform in the field of political systems, including administrative reforms and the institutionalization of elite politics (297).
While scholars argue if the CPC’s institutionalization, in the name of authoritarian resilience (Nathan 2003) or authoritarian adaptability (Shambaugh 2008), can reinforce its legitimacy and consolidate the one-party system, this chapter of my paper discusses how institutionalization prevents the rise of totalitarian leaders.
The first decisive institution is the term and age limits of national leaders. The current Constitution of the People’s Republic of China (RPC) states that the President and Vice President of the PRC, Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the National People’s Congress, and Premier and
12 Hu Yaobang was a liberal leader, but he did not clearly put forward that the CPC should give up the one-party system. Zhao Ziyang, during his late years under house arrest, he said that democracy was the most practical and least evil political system in human history, but when he was in office, he was an advocate of Lee Kuan Yew’s neo-authoritarianism. See Prisoner of the State: The Secret Journal of Premier Zhao Ziyang in the reference list.
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Vice-Premier of the State Council can only serve for two 5-year terms. In comparison, Vladimir Putin has governed Russia since 1999, switching positions between Prime Minister and President. Bashar al-Assad was “elected” three times as the President of Syria since 2000. The term-limits institution is a crucial element which distinguishes Chinese political system from many other authoritarian states. It aims at forestalling Maoist leaders from dominating Chinese politics again. Totalitarian leaders, like Mao, Hitler and Stalin, all ruled their countries until death. In 1979, Deng Xiaoping visited the U.S. and expressed his amiability in front of American media. Three years after, he orchestrated the term-limits institution in China. It is reasonable to surmise that Deng learned the wisdom from American politics: the longer a person holds power, the more likely he would be corrupted by his power.
There were guesses whether the term limits would be followed by Deng’s successors or not. Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao proved that they were loyal to this institution. Currently, some commentators are also doubting that Xi Jinping, the most powerful CPC leader after Deng, may break this institution and seek for prolonged terms via amending the Constitution (BBC 2016). I do not buy this comment. My outlook is that Xi will imitate Jiang and Hu and hand over his power in 2022. His anti-corruption campaign is a means not only to defeat his rivals within the Party, but also to restore the Party’s reputation in the mind of Chinese people, by wiping out “tigers” (a metaphor used to indicate the corrupt officials in the top level of government) and “flies” (a metaphor used to indicate the corrupt officials in the lower level of government). The campaign suggests that Xi is deeply concerned with the Party’s legitimacy. Therefore, he has no rationale to betray the term-limits institution set by Deng, which wins applause for the CPC.
Age limits is a supplementary institution to the term limits. The development of Mao’s ruthless personality was primarily due to his long-lasting power, but age mattered as well.
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According to Mao’s personal physician, Doctor Li Zhisui (1994), the older Mao became, the more paranoid he turned to be. Mao’s paranoia largely led to his purge of his successors, Liu Shaoqi and Lin Biao, who had been his political allies over 30 years. Hence, Deng Xiaoping launched the age-limits institution in the 1980s. In his words, young cadres are more open-minded, more flexible and more energetic than the elders. In order to “make way” for the youth, elder officials need to retire on schedule (Vogel 2011). Under Deng’s leadership, With a few exceptions in the Politburo, all CPC officials must retire before 65 years old. Soon after, to the Standing Committee of the Politburo, the central decision-making agency of Chinese government, Jiang Zemin put forward a custom of “67 stay and 68 retire”. Those who are 68 must leave office and those who are 67 can serve for another 5 years term (Li 2012). There existed skepticism about the retirement age set by Jiang. Some scholars contend that Jiang set 68 as the retirement age because several of his rivals within the Party were above 68 and several of his supporters were under 67. This custom was a product of political tactic and it had no ground for justification (Shirk 2012). However, In spite of a few exceptions, the institution and custom of retirement are effectively implemented so far.
The second decisive institution is the meritocratic selection of the CPC officials. Kou Jianwen (2004), a Taiwanese scholar, specifies that the CPC officials are promoted gradually and cautiously in the post-1978 China, examined by opinion surveys, administrative evaluations, recommendations from superiors and intra-party elections. Although nepotism is still an important factor which influences political appointments in Chinese government today, promotion must follow a series of thorough evaluations. By contrast, before the reform and opening up, Mao’s personal impression could determine an official’s political life. Mao’s wife, Jiang Qing,13 who was
13 Different from Jiang Qing, ^fk , The Chinese Confucian intellectual, Jiang Qing, y I* rf, also translated as Chiang Ch'ing, was Mao’s wife. The two names sound similar and share same pinyin alphabets, but their Chinese characters are different.
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inexperienced in politics, got enormous power in the 1960s and 1970s because of her marital relationship with Mao. An American author Roxane Witke (1977) wrote a biography of Jiang Qing, called her “the Queen of the Red Capital”. Jiang’s arrogance and high-handedness left her a piece of negative fame. Moreover, she assisted Mao to persecute many CPC elites during the Cultural Revolution (MacFarquhar 1999). When Mao was alive, no one dared to disobey Jiang, even Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping had to be appeasing to her requests. However, in 1976, one month after Mao’s death, Jiang was arrested for her crimes made in the Cultural Revolution. Hua Guofeng, another example, was originally a county commissioner in Hunan Province. In eight years, he was elevated as the provincial leader because of Mao’s appreciation.14 His sudden climb caused doubtfulness and envy among the temporary provincial leaders. In 1973, Hua was raised by Mao to the central government and succeeded Mao in 1976. Compare to Jiang Qing, Hua was a low-profile leader and he jointly initiated policies for rehabilitation and economic reform. Nonetheless, as previously discussed, he could not keep his power after the demise of Mao, since he did not have his personal networks in the central government. As a result, his leadership was quickly replaced by Deng Xiaoping.
The swift elevation of Jiang Qing and Hua Guofeng are impossible in post-1978 China. Today, exceptional promotion is rare and Chinese officials have to prove themselves level by level in government. The promotion and retirement institutions work effectively and efficiently in contemporary China. Zeng Jinghan (2014) compares the turnover rate of the Chinese Central Committee (CCC) and Politburo with that of the U.S. Congress from 1973 to 2012.15 His research
14 Usually, it takes 15 years or more for a county-level leader to be promoted to the provincial level in the current political system of China.
15 In China, the top decision-making agency is the PSC (7-11 members), then the Politburo (around 25 members), and then the CCC (200-250 members). The CCC functions similarly as the U.S Congress for debating about policies.
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shows that the turnover rate of the CCC and Politburo is at least 40% higher than that of the U.S. Congress. For example, in 2012, the starting year of Xi Jinping’s Presidency, the turnover rate of the U.S. Congress was roughly 10% and the same index was 56% of the CCC and Politburo. In addition, analyzed by Zhang Weiwei (2012), a scholar at the Fudan University, the Standing Committee of the Politburo picks its members in the following criteria:
Virtually all the candidates for the Standing Committee of the Party, China’s highest decision-making body, have served at least twice as a party secretary of a Chinese province or at similar managerial positions. It takes extraordinary talent and skills to govern a typical Chinese province, which is on average the size of four to five European states...
[For example], Xi Jinping served as the governor of Fujian Province, a region known for its dynamic economy, and as party secretary of Zhejiang province, which is renowned for its thriving private sector, and Shanghai, China’s financial and business hub with a powerful state-sector.
In other words, prior to taking his current position as the heir apparent to President Hu Jintao, Xi had in fact managed areas with total population of over 120 million and an economy larger than India’s” (para.13-15).
Evidently, the promotion and retirement institution diversifies Chinese politics and adds fresh blood to the circle of CPC elites. However, there is a further point that Zhang and many other political scientists may not realize: through the institutionalization of the promotion and retirement, the value of government officials is also shaped; their mind is bound up with the Chinese political system. They are trained to be, as mentioned before, nationalistic, pragmatic and authoritarian bureaucrats, highlighting economic development and political and social stability. Their main concern is their careers in government and the continuation of the one-party system. In Max Weber’s depiction (2013), they are self-perpetuating. This characteristic is against the rise of totalitarian leaders like Mao.
Totalitarian leaders function as the motors of political movements. They are “to drive the movement forward at any price and if anything to step up its speed” (Arendt 1973, 375). Their
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pursuit is instability since the stabilization and institutionalization of politics create normalized and plural ways of life and the normalized and plural ways of life “ipso facto refutes every contention that any specific form of government is absolutely valid” (391). In this case, the supremacy of political ideology can no longer be kept alive and totalitarian leaders cannot maintain their charisma. This is why Hitler and Stalin relentlessly encouraged mass movements and launched party purges.
In China, the failure of the Great Leap Forward demonstrated that Mao was not always correct and he was actually ignorant about economy. Mao felt that his words were not sincerely respected by his followers as before. Many of the CPC officials turned to ask Liu Shaoqi for pragmatic advice on state affairs. Mao decided to destroy this potential threat. Moreover, Mao’s paranoia made him believe that the whole bureaucratic system betrayed him and this betray meant that the Party was not revolutionary anymore. He wanted to prompt an unprecedented mass movement to wreck the corrupt Party in order to rebuild great harmony in China. Henry Kissinger (2012) and Roderick MacFarquhar (1999) both note that on the eve of Cultural Revolution, Mao held deep cynicism and disappointment towards the Party, which he spent most of his life leading. In contrast, a post-1978 CPC elite cannot have Mao’s charisma and paranoia. It is because his or her power is limited by term and age limits and his mind is tamed by the gradual and cautious promotion system.
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CHAPTER 7
THE CURRENT CHINESE SOCIETY IS NO LONGER MOBILIZABLE
In the past four decades, the PRC has been one of the major participants and beneficiaries of globalization. Globalization refers to “the expansion and intensification of social relations and consciousness across world-time and world-space” (Steger 2013, 15). As a result, Chinese society has also been influenced by globalization in a conspicuous way. To be specific, the Internet is a key driving force as well as prime trait of globalization. The proliferation of the Internet generates two effects on Chinese society: the rapid flow and diversification of information and political indifference. Both effects are incompatible with totalitarianism.
In the Maoist age, the flow of information was completely handled by the government. As stated before, Mao highly rated the power of masses. In order to control the masses, one has to control their thought; in order to control their thought, one has to control the flow of information. The Maoist government monopolized all newspapers and broadcasts; people read and listened to homogenous propaganda day in and day out. Media was a window-dressing agency, filled with fake information. For instance, the People’s Daily, the largest newspaper in China, reported that the county’s grain production was boosted 30 times after the application of collectivist farming policy in 1959. This exaggeration was to extol Mao’s Great Leap Forward, intending to verify that Maoist communism was the best system in human history (Yang 2013). This flurry of falsification swiftly swept every comer of China. However, Instead of increasing agricultural output, the collectivist farming diminished the enthusiasm and efficiency of peasants since their fruits of labor only belonged to the state. Concurrently, another keystone of Mao’s communist experiment, the Communal Kitchens, collected all agricultural products; peasants were forbidden to cook by themselves and they were forced to eat in the Kitchens.
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The food supply could not fulfill the demand of Mao’s communist experiment. When the Great Chinese Famine emerged, peasants were starving to death and yet the media was still fabricating illusive information of harvest. It was not just a crime of the Chinese media, but a crime of the Maoist totalitarianism. Yang Jisheng (2013), a Chinese intellectual who lost his father due to the Famine, received the Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism for his research about the disaster. In the year of 1999, nearly four decades after the tragedy, Yang interviewed a retired journalist who watched the miserable picture of the Famine: “One corpse after another in the ditches along the roadway” (38). Yang questioned the retired journalist: As a member of the Xinhua News Agency, which was directly responsible to the State Council of the PRC, why had he not informed the central government with honesty? The journalist replied, “After I personally witnessed how people who spoke the truth were brought to ruin, how could I dare to write an internal reference report? (39)” Given this answer, Yang writes his reflection in the Tombstone: the Great Chinese Famine, 1958-1962:
Dread and falsehood were thus both the result and the lifeblood of totalitarianism: the more a person possessed, the more he stood to lose. Possessing more than the average person, officials and intellectuals lived in that much greater fear, and demonstrated their “loyalty” to the system through virtuoso pandering and deceit. The lies they spun in official life, academia, and the arts and media enslaved China’s people in falsehood and illusion (18).
In juxtaposition, post-1978 China has a more loosened atmosphere for information flow, although traditional media is still publicly funded and operated. Today, Chinese media can somewhat criticize the government regarding corruption, administration and economy, as long as it does not question the one-party system. Additionally, the scale of news reporting has also been expanded in the post-1978 era. In the Maoist time, the media focused on domestic news, propagandizing Beijing’s policy and mobilizing the masses. Foreign affairs were seldom publicized and people did not know the truth about the world. For instance, before 1971, the U.S.
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was demonized and the media propagandized that the American people were living under the tyranny of capitalists (Tang 2005). On this account, the Chinese, like the people of the Oceania in George Orwell’s 1984, believed that they had a cheerful life. After the reform and opening up, the media was allowed to depict an authentic world. The Chinese got to know that they were the poor people under the Maoist totalitarianism: In 1978, China’s economy was much more backward compared to the Four Asian Tigers - South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, not to mention the Western countries such as the U. S. or UK. Today, despite the fact that China’s freedom of press is ranked as 176 out of 180 countries by Reporters without Boarders (2016), Chinese journalists and reporters are left with some space to speak and write based on evidence and rationality. In these days, many Chinese have gotten used to talking about American presidential elections, the Syrian refugee crisis, and Brexit.
Younger Chinese generations bom after 1980 rely on the Internet and social media to gather information. In 1998, there were only about 70,000 to 80,000 Internet users in China, out of 1.2 billion population. Today, among its 1.4 billion population, China has more than 600 million netizens (Economist 2013). The prevalence of the Internet and social media facilitates the flow and diversification of information. Unlike the Maoist period, the Chinese government can no longer dominate the interchange of information. Without the domination of information interchange, thought control is an impossible mission, and without thought control, totalitarianism does not have the ideological soil to thrive.
Someone may challenge my point by arguing that the online censorship system which blocks the sensitive information pertaining to the legitimacy of Chinese government, includes but not limited to, the calls for social movements in China, the criticisms against the dictatorial one-party system of China, scandals of the CPC leaders, and independent research on the dark pages
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of the PRC’s history. If a Chinese Internet user logs onto Baidu, the most popular search engine in the country (China’s Google), trying to find articles and videos about the Tiananmen Square Massacre, he would be informed that all related web pages “cannot be found” or “are in error” -these pages are filtered by the censorship system and the censorship system is assisted by the Baidu Inc. Nonetheless, if these web pages are opened overseas, they are “correct” and can be found.
This censorship system, called the Great Firewall, is truly powerful, whereas it is not a monolithic fortress. On one hand, compared to the Maoist media which aimed to brainwash Chinese people, the purpose of the Firewall is to keep them ignorant about certain information. The key difference is that the Maoist media creates illusions, but the Firewall deletes some facts. On the other hand, the Firewall has technological loopholes. Many information technology companies are providing Virtual Private Network (VPN) service in China. A person can pay roughly 40-50 USD a year to buy the VPN service.16 To most of the urban Chinese, this is an affordable price. The VPN is a software that helps its users to cheat the Firewall, by changing their Internet Protocol Address (IP). Therefore, VPN users can pretend to be overseas netizens when they are using the Internet in China. Statistics shows that roughly 20% of the netizens in China have the experience of using the VPN software (Globalwebindex 2015). Even to the non-VPN users, they may still have an opportunity to read some sensitive information since it takes time for the Firewall to respond. Before it is blocked, an article can be forwarded thousands of times among the 600 million netizens.
Except with the abundance of information, our time has another feature - the ethos of entertainment, which is probably more important to preclude the regeneration of totalitarianism in
16 There are also some free VPN softwares in China, but the quality is not as well as the paid ones.
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China. In Mao’s time, the artistic and recreational activities, such as music, drama, opera, and novels, were supervised by the government to praise the Chinese communist revolution and the Maoist mass movements, as indicated by Mao’s words (1966):
In the world today all culture, all literature and art belong to definite classes and are geared to definite political lines. There is in fact no such thing as art for art’s sake, art that stands above classes, art that is detached from or independent of politics. Proletarian literature and art are part of the whole proletarian revolutionary cause; they are, as Lenin said, cogs and wheels in the whole revolutionary machine (86).
In sharp contrast, the Internet age presents the Chinese with dazzling fashions of amusement: American movies and video games, Korean soap operas, Japanese animations, Taiwanese TV shows, and so on. Also, China itself is a productive country of recreation. The Maoist China was Orwellian, whereas the current China is Huxleyan.17
The Huxleyan state, in the words of Neil Postman (1986), is where people “adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think” (39) and society “would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumble-puppy” (40). According to Postman, from the seventeenth to the late nineteenth century, printed matter was the medium of communication and reading was the foremost leisure activity, people relied on their rationality to understand books without the assistance of image. However, as a new medium, television does not invite people to think. It provides redundant and irrelevant information based on image and its objective is to entertain audiences. It asks people to feel and accept, but not to reflect and contemplate.
Postman was discussing the ascendency of the “television span” which has undermined the American people’s will and capability to think. From my perspective, the Internet age is an
17 Aldous Huxley, the author of Brave New World.
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extension of the “television span”. The symptoms of television culture, pointed out by Postman, are more severe today. Presently, Chinese society is saturated with superficiality and people are fascinated by entertainment. This ethos of entertainment creates massive indifference to politics. In the Fall semester of 2015, I sat in the class of Chinese Politics, instructed by my advisor Professor Steve Thomas. The majority of the class was American students but there were also several Chinese undergraduates who were born around 1995. One day, Prof. Thomas showed his students a video about the Tiananmen Square Massacre. The Chinese undergraduates had never heard of this tragedy, because of the media control in China. My shock was not originated from their lack of information, but their disinterest to this video: The placards appealing for democracy, the agitated crowds, the anguished faces, the relentless tanks and the strident shout, scream and cry, did not evoke their emotion and reflection about Chinese politics. At least none of them joined the class discussion after the video display. All comments and questions in that class came from the American students. I was sad about the fact that the young Chinese today were apathetic to the politics of their own country. Later, after I talked to one of them after class, I realized that, although they were not concerned themselves with democratization and human rights, they were not interested in the Maoist ideology as well. They just do not care about politics. They are more excited to discuss entertainment rather than tedious politics.
My observation is not an isolated case. Jiang Xueqin (2010) tells a similar story. One of Jiang’s students organized a discussion among his Chinese classmates at the University of Illinois, about the case of Liu Xiaobo. Nobody was willing to share his or her comments. After a long time of silence, one of the classmates replied, “I didn’t come to America to learn their politics. I came here to get my diploma. Then I’ll (go home, and) get a nice job” (para. 14). In 2009, the American news media CNN launched a series of interviews of the Chinese under the age of 30. It came to
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the same conclusion of political indifference. Both Jiang and CNN blame China’s censorship system for erasing the sensitive topics in Chinese politics. In my point of view, the censorship system is more of a catalyst and the cardinal reason is the ethos of entertainment which I already identified. As demonstrated earlier, the Chinese censorship system is not invincible. The problem is that people do not want to look and think about the world outside of the Great Firewall any more, like Postman (1986) writes about the Huxleyan fear, “there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one” (36).
Besides the ethos of entertainment, another important factor that can lead to political indifference is the lack of agency. Western political science already proves that people would feel powerless and apathetic when they cannot find appropriate agency to convey and express their voice about politics (De Luca 1995, Snell 2010). In liberal democracies like the United States where people can vote, a large proportion of apathetic adults tend to think politics is the game of powerful and wealthy elites: the rules of the game will never be changed, and even if they could be changed, the apathetic do not believe themselves are the group of people who can bring the change. In the context of China, this atmosphere of powerlessness is prevailing and political indifference is worse compared to liberal democracies, because an authoritarian state does not have a de facto election.
According to the Constitution of the PRC, Chinese people have the right to elect and be elected as members of the People’s Congress. The People’s Congress functions similarly as the U.S. legislature on paper. However, three reasons make the Chinese elections insignificant. First, the People’s Congress has five levels - the national (central), the provincial, the prefectural, the county and the rural township. The national, the provincial and the prefectural levels apply indirect election, which means that the representatives of the NPC are voted on the representatives from
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the lower rank. For instance, the members of the Hunan Province People’s Congress are “elected” by the members from all prefectures. The Peoples’ Congress of counties and rural towns take direct election, which means all adults with legal Chinese citizenship can directly vote and be voted as representatives. Nevertheless, most of the candidates are recommended by the government and the counting of votes is nontransparent. In addition, some Chinese are trying to be independent candidates without the Party’s recommendation, since the Constitution states that any Chinese citizen who is older than 18 with the endorsement from 10 other citizens can be a candidate in direct elections. The efforts are always bankrupt because of administrative intervention. They government would inform the independent candidate that his or her behavior is inappropriate. If the “persuasion” does not work, the government may tell the 10 supporters not to endorse the independent candidate or use some administrative means to harass the candidate (Sudworth 2016).
Second, in order to be recommended as the candidates by the government, a person must have solid relations with the CPC. He or she needs to be a Party member, a government official, a successful entrepreneur, or an influential public figure such as a movie or athlete star. Most of the representatives are not professional politicians, they therefore do not have enough time for law making and public hearing. What they usually do is to raise their hands to “approve” the bills drafted by the government and to discuss some issues which have triggered social concern, such as environmental protection, social welfare, medical care system, and school violence (Deng 2014). Nonetheless, because of its affiliation with the government, the proposals made by the People’s Congress to address social concerns have to be compatible with the one-party system. In short, the People Congress cannot check and balance the administrative power of government. It, along with the Political Consultative Conference, serves to communicate the government with the
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society, and the majority of Chinese do not have the opportunity to join the communicators. They are “represented” but they cannot select their representatives.
In the meantime, the CPC forbids NGOs to get involved in politics and the censorship system squeezes the space for political discourse online. Consequently, Chinese do not have agencies to complain and criticize politics. For them, the helpless choice, or maybe the passive resistance, is to be apathetic to politics and “amuse themselves to death”.18 As indicated by an ancient maxim came from Confucius: “Do not plan the policies of an office you do not hold” (Ames & Rosement Jr. 1998, 141-142).
Political indifference is not a positive attribute. It decreases people’s inclination to think about politics. In China, political activists like Harry Wu, who wrote and compiled critical documents about the Chinese labor prison camp system, and Liu Xiaobo, who drafted and called for public signature of Charter 08, have not received enough social attention and support. Meanwhile, Chinese society is experiencing the symptoms of intellectual emptiness and superficiality. Nevertheless, it is important to point out that a society that is cold to politics is difficult to mobilize as well. A Maoist mass movement is unlikely to rise in this context, because people are no longer politically enthusiastic.
18 Neil Postman’s book is named Amuse Ourselves to Death.
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CHAPTER 8
WHERE IS CHINESE POLITICS HEADING?
Conclusion
In the beginning of this paper, I addressed Fukuyama’s concern about Chinese politics. To many of the Western political scientists, the future return of Maoist totalitarianism in China is not unimaginable. Their apprehension is based on two reasons: First, the Maoist legacy has not been completely eliminated; second, the Chinese political system is authoritarian. My paper is probably the one of the original researches which systematically discusses the unlikelihood of the revival of totalitarianism in China. By examining the governing guidelines put forward by the CPC leaders, the ideological shift of the CPC, the institutionalization of Chinese politics, and the social condition in the age of Internet and entertainment, I summarize that Maoist totalitarianism does not have its breeding ground in current China.
Mao mobilized the masses to achieve his ideal of great harmony while Taiwan’s social movements in the 1980s brought democracy to the Chinese society. The post-1978 Chinese government does not want either of these movements. The Party regards stability as its ruling principle. Up to this point, under the one-party system, China does not have another well-organized political power that can challenge the CPC; the Party is the synonym of Chinese government. In this case, democratization is difficult in the following decades. As Li Cheng (2012) and Yu Keping (2003) point out, the only predictable way of democratization in China is let the CPC establish its intra-Party democracy first. Considering the political, economic and social condition of China today, a radical movement for democratization is not in accordance with the interests of the Chinese people. The country may either get lost in chaos, as many of the Arabian countries are still struggling with, or face another humanitarian tragedy as the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
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However, the difficulty of democratization does not mean that China will return to the Maoist totalitarianism. Scholars like David Shambaugh (2015) and Pei Minxin (2015) state that the twilight of the CPC’s ruling is coming. They are using other Leninist states, most of which did not last more than 70 years, as references to analyze Chinese politics, so that they come to the conclusion that the CPC’s regime, which approaches its 70 years anniversary in 2019, is also on the way of gradual decline. Nevertheless, I think their conclusions are inappropriate. From my perspective, the CPC’s authoritarianism is more similar to the governments of dynastic China rather than Leninist states.
In general, the lifecycle of a normal China’s dynasty is between 200-270 years and the regimes of these dynasties start to degenerate after a 100 years after their establishments. For instance, the Tang Dynasty was built in 618 A.D. and its decline emerged 120 years later. The Qing Dynasty was built in 1644 and it took roughly 91 years for the decline to appear (When the Qianlong Emperor was in charge of the state). Moreover, there is still a long distance between the decline and collapse of the two dynastic regimes (over 100 years). Therefore, if we view the CPC’s regime as a “dynasty”, its decline and collapse might not be imminent. In short, my speculation is that the CPC’s dynasty will last longer than expected as long as China does not encounter serious disasters such as international war or economic depression. To the CPC, both totalitarianism and democratization are the enemies of authoritarianism. For the Chinese people, they may live with authoritarianism, but I do not think they will endure totalitarianism again.
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WILL MAOIST TOTALITARIANISM RETURN TO CHINA? by Huaizhi (Wyatt) Yang Bachelor of Social Sciences, Hong Kong Baptist University 2012 A thesis submitted to the Graduate School of the University of Colorado at Denver In partial fulfillment o f the requireme nts for the degree of Master of Arts Political Science 2017

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i © 2017 by Huaizhi (Wyatt) Yang All rights reserved

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ii This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Huaizhi (Wyatt) Yang has been approved for the Department of Political Science b y ________________________________________ Steve Thomas ________________________________________ Thorsten Spehn ________________________________________ Lucy McGuffey ________________________________________ Date

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iii Huaizhi (Wyatt) Yang (M.A., Politic al Science) Will Maoist Totalitarianism Return to China ? Thesis Directed by Professor Steve Thomas ABSTRACT This thesis argues that Maoist totalitarianism will not return to China based on three reasons: f irst, it is not the interest of Chinese government to retrieve Maoist totalitarianism in ideological and particle aspects ; second, the institutionalization of Chinese politics prohibits the revival of Maoist totalitarianism; third, current Chinese society is no longer m obilizable . The violation of civil a nd political rights remains a political issue in China today. However, the current Chinese political and social context does not offer the hotbed for the revival of Maoist totalitarianism. Indeed, totalitarianism is the enemy of authoritarianism since the former highlights on mass movements and radicalism and the latter focuses on stability and pragmatism. Meanwhile, in the time of globalization, Chinese people are not interested in participating political campaigns anymore. T his qualitative study borrows insights from scholars of mainland China, Taiwan, and the West (mainly the U.S. and Britain), analyzing perspectives from inside and outside of China. The pursuit of an overall and correlative understanding of Chinese politics is the underlying value of my research. This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidate's thesis. I recommend its publication . Signed ________________________ Steve Thomas

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iv ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Writing Thesis is like a long march, especially to a se cond language speaker of English. In this long march, I am sincerely thankful to the following people: Dr. Steve Thomas, my research advisor, with whom I deepened my understanding of Chinese politics. His advice is a firm help to my writing. Every time I talked with him, I felt intellectually stimulated and motivated. Dr. Lucy McGuffey, my committee member, with whom I learned the theory of Hannah Arendt. More importantly, I learned from her appreciation of the beauty of the world and her value of social justice. Dr. Thorsten Spehn, my committee member, with whom I trained my mind with comparative thinking. His mentorship pacifies me when I encounter puzzles and adversities in my life. Dr. Kathryn Cheever and Dr. Michael Berry, with whom I learned resea rch methods of political science. Finally, my mother, Ms. Liu Xiyuan, who passed away in 2014. She might not agree with my criticism about Chairman Mao Zedong, but she loved and supported her naive son unconditionally. Of course, I am the only one who i s responsible for all mistakes in this paper.

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v CONTENTS Chapter Page 1 . INTRO DUCTION: PROFESSOR FUKUYAMA'S LUNCH 1 2. LITERATURE REVIEW: TOTALITARIANISM, AUTHORITARIANISM AND CHINESE POLITICS 3 3. THE UNLIKELIHOOD OF THE REVIVAL OF MAOIST TOTALITARIANISM IN CONTEMPORARY CHINA 10 4. T HE GOVERNING GUIDELINE S OF THE POST MAO CPC LEADERS 14 5. THE CPC'S IDEOLOGICAL SHIFT 21 6. THE INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF CHINESE POLITICS 29 7. T HE CURRENT CHINESE SOCIETY IS NO LONGER MOBILIZABLE 35 8. CONCLUSION: WHERE IS CHINESE POLITICS HEADING? 44 REFERENCES 46

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1 CHAPTER 1 P ROFESSOR FUKUYAMA'S LUNC H Introduction In 2012, the American political scientist Francis Fukuyama visited China and he had a lunch with an official of the Communist Party of China (CPC). During the lunch, Fukuyama remarked that the official's generati on, born before the 1970s, still have personal experience living in the time of Mao Zedong, whose policy caused grievous humanitarian disasters in China, but the post 1970 generations do not possess those pieces of miserable memory. Fukuyama then questione d the official: when the younger generations become the mainstream of China's government and society in the future, how can China protect itself from the revival of Maoism, if the legacy of Mao is not completely reflected and criticized, and the country's political system has no checks and balances of power and the rule of law? The official was momentarily rendered speechless. Fukuyama 's concern is widely shared among the experts in the field of China study. We all know that the governments of Nazi German y, militarist Japan and Maoist China were responsible for millions of civilian deaths in the 20th century. After the World War II, Germany and Japan were forced by the United States to build democratic systems and they confessed and apologized for their cr imes against humanity. However, China's one party system survived after Mao's death in 1976. Despite that the CPC acknowledges that the Great Leap Forward (1958 1960) and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966 1976) were triggered by Mao's serious mistakes in his late life, it has not informed the Chinese people with the details about the humanitarian disasters, it has not allowed independent research and press on these dark pages of

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2 the history of the People's Republic of China (PRC), and it has n ot accepted the notion that the absence of checks and balances of power and rule of law, which are the indispensable components of liberal democracy, was the main cause of those disasters.

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3 CHAPTER 2 TOTALITARIANISM, AUTHORITARIANISM AN D CHINESE POLITICS Literature Review Many scholars have attempted to answer whether China will be transformed to a democracy. However, the objective of my paper is to respond to Fukuyama's concern, examining if totalitarianism would be brought back to Ch ina and discussing whether the current authoritarian system of China would be the hotbed of the recovery of Maoist totalitarianism. To define the concepts of totalitarianism, Maoism and authoritarianism, I start by introducing the study of Hannah Arendt (1 994). Based on her theory, a totalitarian state has the following characteristics: 1. State power is centralized in the hands of a national leader, with a personality cult. 2. The state is ruled by terror and political dissidents are extensively persecu ted. 3. The state relies on popular mobilization via ideology. 4. The state has a powerful thought control over its people and t he boundary between the public and private spheres is unclear. When The Origins of Totalitarianism was first publi shed in 1951, China had not been trapped into totalitarianism and Arendt was criticizing Nazi Germany under Hitler and the Soviet Union under Stalin. However, from 1957 to 1976, the Chinese politics under Mao was transformed to totalitarianism. Mao was a c harismatic and absolute leader. "Long Live, Chairman Mao" was a political slogan to express the Chinese people's reverence to him. Indeed, the long live vocabulary was often used by subjects in dynastic China to worship the emperor. This is in accordance with the first Arendtian characteristic of totalitarianism. A crucial piece of Maoism is endless class struggle and revolution. In 1957, more than 500,000 intellectuals were ruthlessly purged for their criticisms against the CPC ( MacFarquhar

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4 1974). Besi des the intellectuals, Mao, as Stalin and Hitler, repeatedly purged the CPC elites who lost his trust. The sufferers included Peng Dehuai, a senior CPC general who contributed his entire life to the communist revolution before 1949 and firmly supported Mao 's decision to fight the Korean War (1950 1953), Xi Zhongxun, the Vice Premier of the PRC State Council from 1959 to 1965 and the father of the current Chinese leader Xi Jinping, Liu Shaoqi, Mao ' s long time advocate and the President of the PRC from 1959 t o 1968, and Lin Biao, another senior CPC general who backed Mao's repression of Peng Dehuai and got appointed as Mao's successor in 1969. Therefore, in the Maoist period, no one dared to question Mao's words because Mao used terror as a means to punish and isolate dissidents both inside and outside of the Party. Genuinely or not, CPC officials, intellectuals, workers and peasants were all competing to demonstrate their loyalty to Chairman Mao. This corresponds to the second Arendtian characteristic of total itarianism. Mao launched two nationwide mass movements via ideology. The first movement was the Great Leap Forward (1958 1960), aiming to build communism in China rapidly. It forced peasants to give up their lands and join the People 's Commune s to farm a nd to eat collectively. This collectivist movement initiated the Great Chinese Famine (1958 1962), which is also the greatest famine in human history. In five years, roughly 36 million people died due to the shortage of food (Yang 2013). The Great Leap For ward and the Famine will be further discussed in Chapter IV. The second movement was the Cultural Revolution, calling for the Chinese people to exterminate capitalism and feudalism. Anyone labeled as capitalist or feudalist could be humiliated, beaten or m urdered by fanatical Red Guards the young believers of Maoism. This matches up with the third Arendtian characteristic of totalitarianism. The unusual deaths in the disastrous decade were estimated between 2 to 10 million (VOA 2016). Moreover, during t he Cultural Revolution, Chinese society, with its conventions, customs

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5 and traditions, was falling apart. A son or daughter could inform against his or her parents, for not being respectful to Mao or the CPC 's doctrine ( MacFarquhar 1999). In such an Orwell ian state, privacy could not be preserved; an individual's relationship with the Party was higher than his or her relationship with the family. This is consistent with the fourth Arendtian characteristic of totalitarianism. In comparison with totalitaria nism, authoritarianism is a soft form of dictatorship. In an authoritarian state, the political system is still monopolized by a single ruling party, but the party no longer relies on ideology, personality cult, secret police and mass movements as the prim ary ruling means, despite that they are still indispensable. Instead, an authoritarian regime tends to adopt pragmatic techniques to legitimate itself, including but not limited to, co optation, to absorb people from different backgrounds into the ruling p arty, and spoils sharing, to improve the living standard of the people ( Gerschewski 2013). For the most part, the people of an authoritarian state are left with a larger space for private life. It is possible for the rulers to conduct themselves, as Freder ick the Great once claimed in a more tolerant mode: "I have an agreement with my people. They can say what they like and I can do what I like" (McLean & McMillan 2009, 30). Mao governed China from 1949 to 1976. Deng Xiaoping, another CPC elite who rose to power in 1978, successfully ended the Maoist totalitarianism along with his colleagues (Vogel 2011). 1 The second generation rulers (Deng's words) relaxed the state control over the society, focused on economic building and encouraged entrepreneurship, dev eloped technocratic institutions, and opened the door to the world and placed China in the contemporary liberal 1 Hua Guofeng, the transitional CPC leader of 1976 1978, who was sidelined by Deng via an intra elite power struggle, should also be included in this group of colleagues. Accord ing to Vogel (2011), many reform and opening up policies were initiated by Hua, but Deng's leadership ensured the success of these policies later.

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6 international system. This historical turning point is named reform and opening up . Meanwhile, although accompanied by the economic and social l oosening, Deng never appeared to have the idea of democratization. For his whole life, he kept his appreciation of authoritarianism. In Deng's view, "only an authoritarian organization such as the CPC could implement the policies necessary for China's deve lopment" (Knight 2012). Deng wanted reforms directed by pragmatism and open mindedness, but he also held firm to his belief in the one party system. This is the reason why he clamped down on the Tiananmen Square movement with military force and he never do ubted the necessity of doing it (Vogel 2011). Since the year of 1978, the political system of China has been an authoritarian one shaped by Deng. In addition, some China experts might not agree with my discussion about the definitions. Tsou Tang (1993) p ut forward that Chinese politics, either in the Maoist or post Maoist period, should be categorized as totalism; totalitarianism and authoritarianism are not proper terms. He argues that totalitarianism and authoritarianism refer to regime types while tota lism focuses on state society relations. In a totalistic state, "there are no legal, moral or religious constraints preventing the state from intervening in any sphere of social and individual life. This does not mean that the totalistic state always penet rates into every sphere of social and individual life. Rather, the point is that the state can, when and where its leaders choose, intervene in society" (Cui 2000, 197). According to Tsou (1993), the Maoist government maintained an omnipresent control over Chinese society, and post 1978 government has never given up this penetrating power even after the reform and opening up. Thus, Tsou accentuates the political consistency between the Maoist and post Maoist period. From my perspective, on one hand, Tsou simplified the Arendtian theory of totalitarianism. To Arendt (1973), totalitarianism comprises both regime type and state society relations. In fact,

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7 astonishing parallels can be found in the state society relations of Nazi Germany and Maoist China. For i nstance, both governments shut down private schools for the purpose of thought control; both governments propagated a discriminatory division of its people and excluded the discriminated from humanity under the Nazis the victims were the Jews and Gypsies and under the Maoist the victims were the "capitalists", "anti revolutionaries" and "feudalists"; atomized people under both governments could inform on their relatives, friends and colleagues for political disloyalty. On the other hand, although Tsou is insightful to designate the post Mao government still possesses a formidable power to control Chinese society, it is evident that the capability, the scale, the frequency and the will of using this power have declined. Tsou's deliberation of totalism does not thoroughly specify this sharp difference. After the reform and opening up, the Party kept its communist name, but changed its governing guidelines. A detailed discussion about the governing guidelines will be unfolded in Chapter III. Another expert, Stein Ringen (2016) considers that authoritarianism is too soft to delineate the CPC's dictatorship in the post 1978 period. He indicates that the Chinese party state structure has its particularity: "The state controls society and the party controls the s tateÉcontrol is this state's nature" (Chapter 1). To Ringen, the term authoritarianism can mislead those who are interested in the Chinese affairs, harboring the illusion that the CPC may liberalize Chinese politics someday. Indeed, Ringen and Tsou share t he emphasis of the CPC's controlling power, which is a crucial point to understand Chinese politics. Compared to its current authoritarian counterparts in Latin America, the Chinese government is far more sophisticated by exerting its influence over societ y, with its branches in each community, each school and numerous companies. In my point of view, the CPC's adeptness at controlling does not differentiate itself from the authoritarian family. Actually, control is for stability and stability is the pursuit of authoritarian governments.

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8 With stability, authoritarian systems can be perpetuated and the vested interest of authoritarian rulers and their collaborators can be protected. All authoritarian governments want stability and the question is if they are c apable enough to realize what they want. Wang Shaoguang (2014) is also critical about the usage of totalitarianism and authoritarianism in his discussion of Chinese politics. In his opinion, Western intellectuals zoom in on the form of government, especia lly on the representativeness of government: A government is legitimate only when it is democratically elected. An undemocratic government is illegitimate. The undemocratic government must transform to democracy in order to get its legitimacy. With this paradigm, governments are categorized into two groups democratic and undemocratic, and the latter group is further divided into totalitarian and authoritarian. To Wang, neither totalitarianism nor authoritarianism is able to explain Chinese politics ; post 1978 China is not an authoritarian state. Alternatively, Wang asserts that current China is developing a new type of political system which serves people's needs better than liberal democracy. The Chinese style democracy, argued by Wang, is not repr esentative but representational: In Chinese language, democracy, minzhu, means that people own the country. This ownership does not mean universal suffrage since an elected politician may not be willing or able to govern the country in accordance with the people's interest and need. The measure of the ownership should be the responsiveness of government and the quality of national leaders (Lee 2015). Chinese leaders, mainly the members of the Politburo Standing Committee, are selected through a rigorous pro cess, from the lowest level to the highest and from the regional to the central, after proving their competence and sense of responsibility. Therefore, Chinese leaders are more reliable than their democratically elected equivalents who may lack political e xperience. Derived from this logic, Wang argues, Chinese

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9 people enjoy more democratic rights than the Westerners since their government is more proficient in addressing their issues and fulfilling their needs. To my mind, Wang 's narrative is accurate in terms of the effectiveness and efficiency of the Chinese government, but his assertion of a Chinese style democracy is open to doubt. The post 1978 government is authoritarian, not merely because of it prohibits true elections and party rotation, but also due to its repression of human rights. Without the safeguard of checks and balances of power and the rule of law, people are always under the threat of governmental misconduct. For example, Liu Xiaobo, the Nobel Peace Prizer of 2010, is still in jail, owi ng to his drafting of and his call for public signatures on Charter 08, a document which tries to persuade China ' s government to democratize itself; the Tiananmen Square Massacre of 1989, which will be further discussed in Chapter III, also remains a polit ical taboo in China. In short, I am aware of the reality that there exists disagreement and dissatisfaction about the application of totalitarianism and authoritarianism in the analysis of Chinese politics, but the terms are still widely accepted in tod ay 's academia. By and large, Maoist China is compatible with the Arendtian account of totalitarianism and post 1978 China is appropriate to my illustration of authoritarianism. It is very important to bear in mind that Chinese politics has its idiosyncrasy as well as commonality compared to other authoritarian states, as summarized by a well known scholar: "China is distinct but not unique" (Shambaugh 2016). Therefore, to discuss the idiosyncrasy and commonality with a fair mindedness, this qualitative stud y borrows insights from scholars of mainland China, Taiwan, and the West (mainly the U.S. and Britain), analyzing perspectives from inside and outside of China. The pursuit of an overall and correlative understanding of Chinese politics is the underlying v alue of my research.

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10 CHAPTER 3 T HE UNLIKELIHOOD OF THE REVIVAL OF MAOIST TOTALITARIANISM IN CONTEMPRARY CHINA No states, democratic or non democratic, are immune from the threat of totalitarianism forever. The danger of totalitarianism is always lurking in human societies because of our imperfect nature our ferocity, our fear of loneliness and our impulse to dominate others. As the British philosopher Bertrand Russell (2009) said half a century ago, "although our manner of life and our institutions and our knowledge have undergone profound changes, our instincts for both good and evil remain very much what they were when our ancestors' brains first grew to their present size" (26 27). Even in the U.S. today, there is a possibility that some of Mr. Donal d Trump's radical proposals against ethnic minorities and women may drive the American democracy on the way of populism and totalitarianism (L. McGuffey, personal communication, 2016). In the case of China, I cannot arbitrarily make a categorical judgeme nt about whether the country would be totalitarian or not in the following years. What I argue in this paper is the unlikelihood of the totalitarianization of Chinese politics. It is true that the CPC 's governance limits certain civil and political rights of the Chinese people, but there exists an immense gap between the current Chinese authoritarianism and Maoist totalitarianism. My study will show the difficulties for the return of the Maoist totalitarianism. In the first place, the CPC leaders do not h ave a rational motive to bring back totalitarianism. Chinese people suffered tremendously from Mao 's endless class struggles and political campaigns. On the one hand, the people's suffering is not wanted by the CPC since it

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11 undermines the regime's legitima cy. On the other hand, the CPC itself was a victim of totalitarianism. As pervasively mentioned, the CPC elites, such as Liu Shaoqi and Lin Biao, lost their lives under Mao's ruthless purges; Deng Xiaoping and Xi Zhongxun, were sidelined and removed from p ower. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of CPC officials were disgraced by the Red Guards. The government collapsed and the country was ensnared by chaos. Hence, totalitarianism was not only a disaster to the Chinese people, but also a nightmare for the CPC . It is irrational for the current Party leaders to re embrace totalitarianism. Next, although the current Chinese government refuses to accept the value of liberal democracy, it is alert to totalitarianism as well. What the CPC wants is the political and social stability on which the one party system is founded. In the social aspect, the Party does not tolerate any chaos that interrupts economic development. In the political aspect, the Party is sharp eyed for any risk that might diminish the solidity of its regime. Many China experts merely focus on the Party 's repression against political dissidents, like the case of Liu Xiaobo. Nevertheless, they may neglect the fact that the CPC's government also takes strict control over the followers of Maoism. Septe mber 09, 2016 was the 40th anniversary of the death of Mao. Chinese government did not organize any remembrance on that day; for the moment, it also forbade the advocates of Maoism to hold a public commemoration (VOA, 2016). Let me emphasize the theory of Hannah Arendt again: totalitarian leaders rely on mass movements to perpetuate their personality cult and popular support, like Mao did in the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. Stability cannot satisfy the ambition of totalitarian leaders nor meet the totalitarian ideology. Therefore, the stability maintenance principle of the CPC is incompatible with totalitarianism. Thirdly, the contemporary political and social context in China is not congruous with the growth of totalitarianism. Mao 's fo rmal and informal power grew out of wartime. He led the CPC

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12 to defeat the Japanese invaders and the Chinese Nationalist Party. 2 Mao was venerated as the savior of the Party and the visionary leader of the PRC. Thus, many of his orders, reasonable or unreas onable, were thoroughly carried out by his colleagues and followers. Those who did not agree with Mao were persecuted in their political lives. Today, however, no leaders in China today are able to grasp such formidable power. A peaceful time does not offe r them enough opportunities to build their charisma as Mao did, unless China was trapped in an international war or a catastrophic economic crisis. Furthermore, Chinese people are too much interconnected with the world today. Urban Chinese have gotten used to western technology, entertainment and to some extent, values. In addition, even most of the young Party members are not familiar with the Party's constitution. They joined the CPC because they think the identity can help them in job seeking. De facto, these Party members do not believe in the official ideology anymore (Dickson 2016) . In 2015, President Xi Jinping tried to encourage young Party members to study the creed of the CPC more often, but the social feedback was indifferent and perfunctory (Sham baugh 2016). In the time of globalization, the proliferation of the Internet and social media contributes to the rapid flow and diversification of information and the emergence of entertaining ethos. The former breaks the propaganda system of the CPC and enriches the people 's minds and the latter nurtures the prevailing political indifference. Current Chinese, including many of the Party members, are no longer as mobilizable as thirty or forty years ago. It is very difficult to deploy them, particularly t hose who were born after 1980, to devote themselves to political campaigns. The online censorship system, established by the CPC, is still working, but educated Chinese, such as businessmen, white collar workers, college professors and students, can overco me the censorship system by purchasing the Virtual Private Networks (VPN) from IT companies. Also, 2 Also known as Kuomintang (KMT) or Guomindang.

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13 the Internet of some governmental departments does not have the censorship system for the sake of searching information abroad. The censorship system is to k eep the majority of Chinese ignorant about certain information that may undermine the government's legitimacy, but the CPC wants to know about the outside criticism against itself. As an active participant in the global economy, China cannot sustain its de velopment if it does not understand what is going on in the world. The situation of current Chinese society will be further examined in Chapter VI. Fourthly, the government of China has a series of institutions and mechanisms to forestall the emergence of totalitarianism. The first institution is the term and age limits and collective leadership. Most top positions in the government, including the President and Premier of the PRC, are available for the same person for two 5 year terms. Meanwhile, the colle ctive leadership requires the CPC leaders to have thorough discussions and debates before a critical policy is made (Lampton 2014). The second institution is the selection and promotion system of CPC officials. The officials are trained to be well behaved authoritarian bureaucrats instead of erratic rule breakers. The institutionalization of the CPC will be elaborated in Chapter V.

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14 CHAPTER 4 THE GOVERNING GUIDELINES OF THE POST MAO CPC LEADERS , As mentioned previously, the political camp aigns and mass movements in Mao's time brought severe traumas to the Chinese people and the CPC's government. Do the post Mao leaders recognize that it is not in the interest of Chinese government and society to revive totalitarianism? From my perspective, they do understand the dangers of totalitarianism. My reasoning is based on an analysis of the governing guidelines put forward by the post Mao leaders. In China, every leader proposes a governing guideline to illustrate his grand plan of administration. These guidelines are meticulously studied by the Party members of all levels of government (Guo 2013). As the leaders of a pro active government, it is important to raise their guidelines concisely to let the government and society understand their ideas, values and ambitions. Therefore, the governing guidelines are decisive resources to analyze the conceptual world of the post Mao leaders, examining if they are vigilant to the precariousness of totalitarianism. After Mao 's death, Deng Xiaoping seized po wer in two years. Before the founding of the PRC, Deng was one of the military commissars and established his personal networks among the CPC generals. He further gained the experience of working in the State Council between 1949 and 1976 as the Vice Premi er. Therefore, when the Party oligarchs Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai passed away, Deng was the only CPC elite who had experience and authority both in administrative and military affairs (Vogel 2011) . This explains why he could become the de facto leader of the PRC without possess ing any official title, such as the President of PRC or the General Secretary of the CPC.

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15 To Mao, states are the instruments for class struggles and the communist state of China had to stimulate the proletarian class to relentlessly beat down the capitalist class, both spiritually (in terms of propaganda, literature and art) and physically (with violence). Hence, Mao 's governing guideline was summarized as "class struggle is the key link" (the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Comm ittee, 1962). 3 In contrast to Mao's emphasis on class struggle, Deng's pragmatism focuses on economic development. Deng thought that the Cultural Revolution disrupted China ' s modernizing process and the CPC's regime should make efforts to enhance the mater ialistic well being of its people. In order to achieve the modernization of industry, agriculture, national defense and science and technology, 4 Deng called for "taking economic construction as the central task" (Vogel, 2011). 5 It is evident that Deng's gu ideline is against the Maoist totalitarianism. In the 1980s, Deng prepared to raise his two proteges, Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang, to be his successors. However, both of them were removed from power later on. Until 1987, Hu Yaobang was the General Secretar y of the CPC, the de jure chief of the Party as well as the state, but he had no influence in military. Hu was respected as an open minded leader who endeavored to protect political dissidents from being purged by Deng and Deng 's colleagues. In 1986, Chine se college students began to protest for anti corruption and democratization. Deng considered this movement a threat to the stability of the regime, but Hu was tolerant to the students. In that case, Hu lost the trust of Deng and was forced to "voluntarily retire" from the Party's leadership (Yang 2004). 3 Yi Jieji Douzheng Weigang 4 Sige Xiandaih ua 5 Yi Jingji Jianshe Weizhongxin

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16 Zhao Ziyang replaced Hu in 1987. Hu ' s downfall did not scare the student protesters. Indeed, it strengthened their discontent. In the Summer of 1989, a social movement swept the whole country and students in Beijing chose to use hunger strike to force the CPC to accept their appeal for democratization. With the help of media, the hunger strike pressured and embarrassed the government in front of the world. Deng and several other CPC leaders decided to enac t martial law to crack down on the protestors, but Zhao firmly refused to maneuver tanks to kill civilians. Finally, Zhao could not prevent the massacre from happening on June 4th. Shortly after the Massacre, Zhao was imprisoned by Deng and spent the rest of his life under house arrest (Tsou 1993). Following the deposition of the two transitional CPC leaders, Jiang Zemin, who was selected by Deng as the successor, formally began his presidency in 1993. In 1993, Deng was 90 years old and his health worsen ed. On that account, he no longer acted as China's back stage ruler. Jiang consolidate d his power effectively and rose as the third generation leader of the PRC. He was entitled as the President of PRC (the head of state), the General Secretary of CPC (the head of the Party), and the Chairman of the Central Military Commission (the head of military). Jiang proposed the Three Represents 6 as his governing guideline: 1. The Party must represent the requirements for developing China's advanced productive forc es. 2. The Party must represent the orientation of China's advanced culture. 3. The Party must represent the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people. (People's Daily, 2002). 6 In Chinese, Sange Daibiao.

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17 The definition of the Three Represents is va gue and the vagueness was intentionally created by Jiang and his cabinet. The definition needs to be interpreted carefully. The "productive forces" is Marxist jargon for the economy. Hence, the First Represent, "the Party must represent the requirements fo r developing China's advanced productive forces", indicates that the CPC under Jiang's leadership would adhere to Deng's principle of economic development. In Mao 's time, traditional Chinese culture and western liberal thought were labeled as feudalism a nd capitalism; the study of feudalism and capitalism would lead to harsh punishment. According to Jiang, any school of thought, no matter whether it is from ancient China or the West, would be considered advanced , as long as it is constructive for the gove rnment and society to better the political and economic condition of China (Guan, 2003). Thus, the Second Represent, "the Party must represent the orientation of China ' s advanced culture", serves as an implicit criticism of Maoism and encourages Chinese pe ople to learn from the past and the West. The Third Represent, "the Party must represent the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people", seems like a cliche on the surface, whereas it has an unspoken meaning. E ntrepreneurs w ere victimized under Mao's government, since Mao claimed that the bourgeois were the enemies of the people. Deng allowed the Chinese to operate business and rehabilitated the entrepreneurs, but the entrepreneurs were still excluded from the Party's members hip. Contrary to Mao and Deng's policy, the Third Represent of Jiang invites the entrepreneurs and businessmen to join the Party, because they are included in the "overwhelming majority of Chinese people" (Su 2001) . When Jiang Zemin finished his two 5 ye ar terms as the President, Hu Jintao succeeded him in 2003. According to many commentators, Hu was a weak leader during his presidency, largely due to the fact that Jiang, through his personal connections, was exerting his durable influence on

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18 China 's poli tics after his retirement (Lampton 2003). However, Hu still proposed his own governing guideline as the Scientific Outlook on Development. In Hu's opinion, China's government should commit itself not only to promote the materialistic well being of the peop le, but also to foster the growth of education, healthcare and any other field regarding national happiness (People ' s Daily 2016). For instance, in 2006, China's government repealed the agricultural tax and invested to enhance the education standard in cou ntryside (Chamberlain, 2006). Therefore, Hu's guideline reveals that his governance was to promote some aspects of social justice in China, not to retrieve totalitarianism. Xi Jinping, the current President of the PRC, came to power in 2013. Mr. Xi's gov ernance is controversial and many of the controversies are still ongoing among politicians and scholars. Critics of Xi worry that his centralization of power in domestic politics and his assertiveness in foreign policy imply that he is moving toward the Ma oist totalitarianism (Yu, 2016). Xi's supporters claim that it is necessary for him to be rigorous, because his ambitious anti corruption campaign requires solid power. Moreover, many of these supporters believe that Xi will carry out groundbreaking reform s and liberalize the political system of China, after he knocks down all of his opponents within the Party. They think Xi will learn from Chiang Ching kuo, who ruled Taiwan during 1978 1987 and ended the dictatorship of the Chinese National Party with his absolute power (Xin 2016). Xi's governing guideline is known as the Chinese Dream . In his words, he wants to build a "strong (economically, politically, diplomatically, scientifically, militarily), civilized (equity and fairness, rich culture, high mora ls), harmonious (amity among social classes) and beautiful (healthy environment, low pollution)" China (Kuhn, 2013). The latter three pieces, regarding the civilization, harmony and beauty of China, are essentially to respond to the present symptoms of

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19 t he country income disparity, environmental pollution and intellectual emptiness. No one would deny the necessity of addressing these compelling issues. However, as brought up earlier, Xi's highlight on the strength of China's power, has triggered the int ernational concern. In terms of foreign policy, the pivot of concern is China 's military expansion in the South China Sea. Some commentators perceive the expansion as a threat of international security and a signpost of totalitarianism (Clark 2016). From my perspective, this consternation is overstated. On one hand, military expansion is not a criterion to judge whether a country is moving toward totalitarianism or not. Totalitarian regimes, like Hitler ' s Germany and Stalin ' s Soviet Union, were eager to c apture territories, whereas democratic states can be offensive as well, in the way of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. On the other hand, China certainly wants to assure its own interest and diminish the American influence in Asia, but it does not inte nd to kindle a war. Instead, China is open to the bilateral negotiation of territorial disputes. After the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte expressed his favor to China via media and visited Beijing in October 2016, China relaxed its control over the c ontested waters of the Scarborough Shoal and Philippine fishermen were allowed to return the region for operation (Rauhala 2016). As Robert Daly (2016) points out, historically, China is not a colonial and militarist power. China's show of muscle in the So uth China Sea is likely to gather more chips for itself on the negotiating table. With regard to domestic policy, international concern centers on Xi 's anti corruption campaign. The scale and degree of this campaign are unparalleled in the history of the PRC. By the end of 2015, over 100,000 cadres have been disciplined, among whom are Zhou Yongkang, a retired member of the 17th Politburo Standing Comm ittee (PSC), China's highest decision making body, and Xu Caihou, the former Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission (Leng &

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20 Wertime 2015). Zhou and Xu were top CPC elites who were capable of endangering Xi's political life and personal safety. T o knock them down, Xi must concentrate power in his hands, for himself as well as for realizing his governing guideline. Evidently, Xi is more powerful compared to his predecessors Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, but he cannot be the second Mao. A recent docume nt of the 6th Plenum of 18th Central Committee names Xi the core leader of the Party, but the principles of collective leadership and anti personality cult are also emphasized at the same time (China TV 2016). 7 In short, the post Mao leaders do not abide by Maoist totalitarianism. Mao was the founder of the PRC and his leadership was crucial for the CPC 's regime building. The successors of Mao profess their regards for Mao superficially because denying Mao would erode the legitimacy of the Party's dictato rship. However, their disagreements with Maoist totalitarianism are reflected in their governing guidelines. The guidelines of Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin focus on economic construction and development while Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping's guidelines underlin e social and political justice. None of them is in accordance with the Maoist principles of mass movements and class struggle. In the context of China, intentional neglect is the typical wisdom or strategy of implicit renunciation. 7 Core leader is a term raised by Deng. The term indicates the power of the CPC top ruler. Deng said that Mao was the first generation core leader, himself was the second gen eration core leader, and he further appointed Jiang as the third generation core leader. However, Hu Jintao did not possess such the core leader title since his power was limited by the retired Jiang. Then, Xi received this title after he defeated his riva ls with the ongoing anti corruption campaign.

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21 CHAPTER 5 THE CPC'S I DEOLOGICAL SHIFT Human activities are driven by ideas. A set of ideas which are mutually consistent can be defined as ideology. In a neutral sense, an ideology "needs to provide some explanation of how things have come to be as they are, some indication of where they are heading (to provide a guide to action), criteria for distinguishing truth from flashed and valid arguments" (McLean & McMillan 2009). Furthermore, political ideology is the sine qua non of totalitarianism, through which a totalitarian reg ime could claim that it grasps the ultimate and universal truth. As pointed out by Arendt (1973), "The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between true and false no lo nger exists." In China, the Maoist ideology was the keystone of the Maoist totalitarian regime. In present days, the revival of totalitarianism relies on two preconditions: On one hand, the CPC must re embrace the Maoist ideology; on the other hand, the Ch inese society must re believe in the Maoist ideology. This section aims to discuss the CPC's ambivalent attitude towards Maoism. The essence of the Maoist ideology is the mass line . To elaborate, firstly, Mao claimed that the Party committed itself to w orking for the interest of the masses, the majority of the Chinese common people. According to Mao (1945), " [A] hallmark distinguishing our Party from all other political parties is that we have very close ties with the broadest masses of the people. Our point of departure is to serve the people whole heartedly and never for a moment divorce ourselves from the masses, to proceed in all cases from the interests of the people and not from the interests of individuals or groups, and to understand the identit y of our responsibility to the people and our responsibility to the leading organs of the Party" (Section V).

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22 Secondly, Mao valued the masses as the means for seizing power. In the 1920s, when the CPC was young and weak, its labor upheavals were suppre ssed by the Chinese Nationalist Party (CNP), the temporary controlling authority of China, which had a vigilant eye regarding the diffusion of communism. It was Mao who raised the conception of peasant revolution , professing that peasants, the mass of Chin ese population could be educated, organized and then become the pivotal force of a Chinese revolution. Thereafter, the Communist triumph over the CNP was largely ascribed to this conception (Fairbank 1987). Thirdly, Mao encouraged and manipulated mass mo vements for his ruling. This point differentiates Mao from the rulers before him, such as Chiang Kai shek, the actual governor of mainland China from 1926 1949, Yuan Shikai, the first former president of the Republic of China (1911 1915), and even the empe rors of dynastic China. The mentioned authoritarian rulers wanted order and stability, but Mao desired continuous revolution via mobilizing the masses. As previously introduced, the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution were overwhelming mass move ments as well as unprecedented humanitarian tragedies in the history of China. In the opinion of Henry Kissinger (2012), "Mao's China was, by design, a country in permanent crisis; from the earliest days of Communist governance, Mao unleashed wave after wa ve of struggle. The Chinese people would not be permitted ever to rest on their achievements" (93). Herein, the precariousness of the Maoist ideology emerges. When Deng Xiaoping and his colleagues initiated political and economic reforms and opening u p policies in 1978, they definitely understood the danger and damage of the personality cult and the Maoist ideology. However, after a series of complicated discussions, Mao 's historical role was officially written as overall positive and Mao Zedong Though t remained as an ideological guideline of the CPC. According to the Resolution on C ertain Questions in the History of Our

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23 Party since the Founding of the PRC (1981), a principal document adopted by the Sixth Plenary Session of the Eleven th Central Committe e of the CPC: Comrade Mao Zedong was a great Marxist and a great proletarian revolutionary, strategist and theorist. It is true that he made gross mistakes during the Ôcultural revolution', but, if we judge his activities as a whole, his contributions to the Chinese revolution far outweigh his mistakes. His merits are p rimary and his errors secondary (Article 27). In reality, many of the post 1978 leaders, including Deng Xiaoping himself, were sidelined, punished and purged under Mao 's tyranny. It is r easonable to speculate that they did not have regard for Mao in private. But Mao's leadership was crucial for the CPC to take over China and build the party state of the PRC. The denial of Mao is equivalent to the invalidation of the regime's legacy. There fore, genuinely or not, Deng and his colleagues chose to pay respect to Mao and his thought, despite the fact that the 1981 Resolution also specifies that personality cult and the violation of collective leadership must be forbidden in the future. This a ppeasing evaluation of Mao has a hangover the Maoist ideology survived in the period of reformation and opening up and it still has a group of believers in China today. 8 The majority of them are lower class workers and labors, who do not receive fair ben efit s and care, or even political and social attention in the country of the Chinese "economic miracle". Also, some scholars and officials can be categorized in this extremist group. It is true that China became a middle income country and its GDP per capi tal was 7,590 US Dollars by the end of 2014 (Eckart 2016). Nonetheless, the data from the IMF also shows that China is in the club of the most unequal countries (Talley 2016). The gap between the rich and poor has been enlarging in the past forty years and many of the Chinese are facing unemployment. Ren Jiantao (2014), a political scientist 8 The believers are called the Maoist leftists. In Chinese , Mao Zuo.

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24 at the Remin University of China, points out that the recent development of Chinese Maoism is a facet of the world populist movement, which is a response to the growing economic inequality elicited by globalization. In the present climate, the CPC's attitude towards Maoism is subtle. Officially, the Maoist ideology is still preserved in the Constitution of the PRC and the 1981 Resolution, but post 1978 leaders chose t o oppose it secretly. As illustrated by the last section, the policy guidelines proposed by Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao and Xi Jinxing all eschew the Maoist heritage of mass movement and instead call for economic building and stability. Furthermo re, under Xi Jinping's leadership, the Party is seeking to use Confucianism as an ideological substitute to legitimize itself. A series of Confucian Institutes are founded all over the world, many public universities in China are financially supported by t he government, and President Xi publicly summoned the Party and the society to learn from Confucianism (People's Daily 2014). Compared to the totalitarian Maoism, the Confucian ideology favors a open minded style of governance. Confucianism was a school o f thought originally established in the 5th Century B.C. 9 Started from the Han Dynasty (202 B.C. 220 A.D.) till the end of Qing Dynasty (1644 1911), Confucianism had been politicized and enshrined as the official ideology of China. Dynastic changes took pl ace, but the position of Confucianism persisted, and even the Manchurian rulers of the Qing Dynasty exhibited their reverence to it. 10 In the dynastic age, Confucianism was the main part of the civil service examination system; officials, ministers and empe rors quoted Confucian texts to discuss political issues (Qian 2013). In spite of the fact that Confucianism has been 9 the Spring and Autumn Period. 10 During the two thousand years, only Yuan Dynasty (1271 1368), founded by Mongolians, did not respect Confucianism.

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25 continuously re interpreted, enriched and developed since its establishment, its nucleus is about political and moral philosophy, teaching people to cultivate their personality, to deal with interpersonal relationship and to govern a state. During the second half of the 19th century, China lost its sovereign integrity due to its failure in the wars with Western colonial powers and Japan. Ma ny visionary Chinese began to learn from the West, firstly for its technology and industry and later for its political and economic thoughts. In the early 20th century, some intellectuals, such as Chen Duxiu (1879 1942), the founder of the CPC, Hu Shi, a r enowned philosopher and essayist (1891 1962), and Lu Xun (1881 1936), a leading writer, were attempting to reform the traditional Chinese culture. They all agreed that China needed a diversified realm of thought and Confucian dominance should be broken apa rt. Therefore, Confucianism was removed from its spiritual sanctum. Nevertheless, it was still a powerful branch of thought in the 1911 1949 period. Even Chiang Kai Shek considered and portrayed himself as a Confucian believer (Hahn 2015). The situation wa s reversed when the CPC occupied the territory of China. Mao became the first ruler since the 2nd Century B.C. to "tear apart Chinese traditions as a deliberate act of state policy" (Kissinger 2012, 93). In the Cultural Revolution, Confucianism was defamed as the feudalist ashes which poisoned people's mind. Confucian classics were banned; Intellectuals were forced to criticize Confucianism and to confess if they had the "feudalist thought". Interestingly, history repeats itself. 40 years after Mao's death, the CPC re invited Confucianism to the house of Chinese politics, as the Manchurians did in the 17th century. 11 11 In the early time of the Manchurian conquest over China, the Manchurian rulers were antagonistic to the culture of Han nation, including Confucianism. Later, when they established the Qing Dynasty and consolidated their ruling, they started to honor Confucianism in order to get

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26 Confucianism is an evolving and complicated school of thought. Currently, scholars do not agree with each other on the relationship between Co nfucianism and politics. From a liberal perspective, Tu Weiming (1999) argues that Confucian classics, such as Great Learning, the Analects, Mencius, and Doctrine of the Mean , incorporate the essential notions of human rights the respect of human dignity , the value of reason and conscience, the freedom of thought and speech, equality before the law, the right to rebel against tyranny and oppression, and so on. Although the ancient Chinese philosophers did not use the vocabulary "human rights", the princip les and spirituality of Confucianism are absolutely compatible with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Based on this cultural compatibility, Tu further specifies that democracy is not impossible in China and Confucianism is an indispensable theoret ical resource for China's future democratic reforms. As a matter of fact, the Taiwanese democracy proves the validity of Tu's argument an Asian and Confucian society can build and maintain a political system of liberal democracy. From an illiberal pers pective, Jiang Qing (2008) contends that democratization should not be the future of Chinese politics. In his view, political reforms must be led by a powerful central authority dominated by elites. Elites, defined by Jiang, are not those who are born in u pper class families, but those who demonstrate their virtue and competitiveness in educational system and public affairs. Jiang does not deny that men are naturally equal with regard to human dignity and freedom, and a legitimate government must protect an d respect individual dignity and freedom. But he further points out that men are socially unequal in terms of morality, sense of responsibility, talent, experience, knowledge, and so on. Thus, to Jiang, one person one vote is unreliable and the support of the Han nation which consisted of more than 90% of Chinese population. See Jonathan Spence, the Search for Modern China.

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27 healthy politic s ought to be handled by elites who are responsible and capable and educated by Confucian doctrine. With his interpretation of Confucianism, Jiang constructs an image of open minded authoritarianism the rulers are accountable, responsive, and tolerant to dissents, but people should obey this patriarchal authority. The current leader Xi Jinxing often quotes from Confucian classics to explain his ruling philosophy. Through a series of speeches, Xi showed his loyalty to both the Party and the Chinese tradi tion and his interest to search for common ground between authoritarianism and Confucianism (Tatlow 2014). As he said, "Several thousand years ago, the Chinese nation trod a path that was different from other nations ' culture and development" (ibid.). This "Chinese exceptionalism" offers a justification for the one party system of China if China is such a culturally special country, it does not have to follow the liberal democratic model. In order to manifest the cultural specialness, the illiberal Confuc ianism is the best supportive theory. However, the illiberal Confucianism is fundamentally non totalitarian. Firstly, Maoism backs mass movements and continuous revolution, but illiberal Confucianism emphasizes stability and gradual reformation. Secondly, the Maoist government depended on terror and propaganda to maintain its legitimacy, whereas the illiberal Confucianism takes the quality of governance as the decisive criterion.. Thirdly, Mao was the absolute ruler of China who believed in "what I say goe s", yet the illiberal Confucianism asks rulers to be open minded and humble to criticisms. Finally, Maoism deprived basic rights of many Chinese people, conversely illiberal Confucianism esteems human dignity and freedom. Ezra Vogel characterizes Deng Xi aoping as "nationalistic, pragmatic and authoritarian" (Knight 2012). In my point of view, this is also the best depiction to the CPC's governance in the post 1978 period. Mao was ideological and the Maoist ideology pushed China to the brink of ruin;

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28 Deng was practical and he redirected the country on the way of modernization, but he did not raise any persuasive system of ideas to legitimize the Party's dictatorship. The Party relies on economic development and the living standard improvement to buy the sup port of Chinese people. This pattern is definitely unsustainable. Once the Party can no longer pay its bills, it might lose popular advocacy. Meanwhile, the recent slowdown of Chinese economy probably strengthened the legitimacy concern in the mind of the Party leaders. Therefore, in such a condition, it is a compelling task for the nationalistic, pragmatic and authoritarian Party to find a theoretical resource to justify its governance. Among different ideologies, the Marxist is not nationalistic, the Maoi st is not pragmatic, and the liberal democratic is neither nationalistic nor authoritarian. The choice left is Confucianism with the illiberal interpretation. For the evolution of Confucianism, it remains unclear whether the CPC's admiration is constructiv e or destructive. This is because, when a school of thought is politicized, it will inevitably face distortion and manipulation, as Lenin and Mao did to Marxism. However, to the political system of China, the restoration of Confucianism is unequivocally po sitive since it wards off the threat of totalitarianism.

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29 CHAPTER 6 THE INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF CHINESE POLITICS A prevailing standpoint about Chinese politics holds that few significant political reforms have been achieved since the Tiananmen Squ are Massacre of 1989, despite the fact that the country has experienced substantial socioeconomic transformations (Peng 2015). This standpoint is inaccurate since it views the CPC as a static power. Certainly, the post 1978 CPC leaders, from Deng Xiaoping to Xi Jinping, have no intention to democratize Chinese political system. 12 However, the Party's governance has been evolving. New institutions have been developed and adopted to improve the Party's ruling capacity, as stated by Zeng Jinghan (2014): In th e Chinese context, political reform represents a much broader spectrum Ð it refers to any kind of reform in the field of political systems, including administrative reforms and the institu tionalization of elite politics (297). While scholars argue if the CPC's institutionalization, in the name of authoritarian resilience (Nathan 2003) or authoritarian adaptability (Shambaugh 2008), can reinforce its legitimacy and consolidate the one party system, this chapter of my paper discusses how institutionalizatio n prevents the rise of totalitarian leaders. The first decisive institution is the term and age limits of national leaders. The current Constitution of the People 's Republic of China (RPC) states that the President and Vice President of the PRC, Chairman and Vice Chairman of the National People ' s Congress, and Premier and 12 Hu Yaobang was a liberal leader, but he did not clearly put forward that the C PC should give up the one party system. Zhao Ziyang, during his late years under house arrest, he said that democracy was the most practical and least evil political system in human history, but when he was in office, he was an advocate of Lee Kuan Yew's n eo authoritarianism. See Prisoner of the State: The Secret Journal of Premier Zhao Ziyang in the reference list.

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30 Vice Premier of the State Council can only serve for two 5 year terms. In comparison, Vladimir Putin has governed Russia since 1999, switching positions between Prime Minister and Presid ent. Bashar al Assad was "elected" three times as the President of Syria since 2000. The term limits institution is a crucial element which distinguishes Chinese political system from many other authoritarian states. It aims at forestalling Maoist leaders from dominating Chinese politics again. Totalitarian leaders, like Mao, Hitler and Stalin, all ruled their countries until death. In 1979, Deng Xiaoping visited the U.S. and expressed his amiability in front of American media. Three years after, he orches trated the term limits institution in China. It is reasonable to surmise that Deng learned the wisdom from American politics: the longer a person holds power, the more likely he would be corrupted by his power. There were guesses whether the term limits would be followed by Deng 's successors or not. Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao proved that they were loyal to this institution. Currently, some commentators are also doubting that Xi Jinping, the most powerful CPC leader after Deng, may break this institution an d seek for prolonged terms via amending the Constitution (BBC 2016). I do not buy this comment. My outlook is that Xi will imitate Jiang and Hu and hand over his power in 2022. His anti corruption campaign is a means not only to defeat his rivals within th e Party, but also to restore the Party's reputation in the mind of Chinese people, by wiping out "tigers" (a metaphor used to indicate the corrupt officials in the top level of government) and "flies" (a metaphor used to indicate the corrupt officials in t he lower level of government). The campaign suggests that Xi is deeply concerned with the Party's legitimacy. Therefore, he has no rationale to betray the term limits institution set by Deng, which wins applause for the CPC. Age limits is a supplementary institution to the term limits. The development of Mao 's ruthless personality was primarily due to his long lasting power, but age mattered as well.

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31 According to Mao's personal physician, Doctor Li Zhisui (1994), the older Mao became, the more paranoid he turned to be. Mao's paranoia largely led to his purge of his successors, Liu Shaoqi and Lin Biao, who had been his political allies over 30 years. Hence, Deng Xiaoping launched the age limits institution in the 1980s. In his words, young cadres are more op en minded, more flexible and more energetic than the elders. In order to "make way" for the youth, elder officials need to retire on schedule (Vogel 2011). Under Deng's leadership, With a few exceptions in the Politburo, all CPC officials must retire befor e 65 years old. Soon after, to the Standing Committee of the Politburo, the central decision making agency of Chinese government, Jiang Zemin put forward a custom of "67 stay and 68 retire". Those who are 68 must leave office and those who are 67 can serve for another 5 years term (Li 2012). There existed skepticism about the retirement age set by Jiang. Some scholars contend that Jiang set 68 as the retirement age because several of his rivals within the Party were above 68 and several of his supporters we re under 67. This custom was a product of political tactic and it had no ground for justification (Shirk 2012). However, In spite of a few exceptions, the institution and custom of retirement are effectively implemented so far. The second decisive instit ution is the meritocratic selection of the CPC officials. Kou Jianwen (2004), a Taiwanese scholar, specifies that the CPC officials are promoted gradually and cautiously in the post 1978 China, examined by opinion surveys, administrative evaluations, recom mendations from superiors and intra party elections. Although nepotism is still an important factor which influences political appointments in Chinese government today, promotion must follow a series of thorough evaluations. By contrast, before the reform and opening up, Mao's personal impression could determ ine an official's political life. Mao's wife, Jiang Qing, 13 who was 13 Different from Jiang Qing, The Chinese Confucian intellectual, Jiang Qing, , also translated as Chiang Ch'ing , was Mao's wife. The two names sound similar and share same pinyin alphabets, but their Chinese characters are different .

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32 inexperienced in politics, got enormous power in the 1960s and 1970s because of her marital relationship with Mao. An American author R oxane Witke (1977) wrote a biography of Jiang Qing, called her "the Queen of the Red Capital". Jiang's arrogance and high handedness left her a piece of negative fame. Moreover, she assisted Mao to persecute many CPC elites during the Cultural Revolution ( MacFarquhar 1999). When Mao was alive, no one dared to disobey Jiang, even Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping had to be appeasing to her request s . However, in 1976, one month after Mao's death, Jiang was arrested for her crimes made in the Cultural Revolution. H ua Guofeng , another example, was originally a county commissioner in Hunan Province. In eight years, he was elevated as the provincial leader because of Mao's appreciation. 14 His sudden climb caused doubtfulness and envy among the temporary provincial leade rs. In 1973, Hua was raised by Mao to the central government and succeeded Mao in 1976. Compare to Jiang Qing, Hua was a low profile leader and he joint ly initiate d policies for rehabilitation and economic reform. Nonetheless, as previously discussed, he c ould not keep his power after the demise of Mao, since he did not have his personal networks in the central government. As a result, his leadership was quickly replaced by Deng Xiaoping. The swift elevation of Jiang Qing and Hua Guofeng are impossible in post 1978 China. Today, exceptional promotion is rare and Chinese officials have to prove themselves level by level in government. The promotion and retirement institution s work effectively and efficiently in contemporary China. Zeng Jinghan (2014) compar es the turnover rate of the Chinese Central Committee (CCC) and Politburo with that of the U.S. Congress from 1973 to 2012. 15 His research 14 Usually, it takes 15 years or more for a county level leader to be promoted to the provincial level in the current political system of China. 15 In China, the top decision making agency is the PSC (7 11 members), then the Politburo (around 25 members), and then the CCC (200 250 members). The CCC functions similarly as the U.S Congress for debating about policies.

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33 shows that the turnover rate of the CCC and Politburo is at least 40% higher than that of the U.S. Congress. For examp le, in 2012, the starting year of Xi Jinping's Presidency, the turnover rate of the U.S. Congress was roughly 10% and the same index was 56% of the CCC and Politburo. In addition, analyzed by Zhang Weiwei (2012), a scholar at the Fudan University, the Stan ding Committee of the Politburo picks its members in the following criteria: Virtually all the candidates for the Standing Committee of the Party, China ' s highest decision making body, have served at least twice as a party secretary of a Chinese province or at similar managerial positions. It takes extraordinary talent and skills to govern a typical Chinese province, which is on average the size of four to five European statesÉ [For example], Xi Jinping served as the governor of Fujian Province, a region known for its dynamic economy, and as party secretary of Zhejiang province, which is renowned for its thriving private sector, and Shanghai, China ' s financial and business hub with a powerful state sector. In other words, prior to taking his current posi tion as the heir apparent to President Hu Jintao, Xi had in fact managed areas with total population of over 120 million and an economy larger than India ' s" (para.13 15). Evidently, the promotion and retirement institution diversifies Chinese politics an d adds fresh blood to the circle of CPC elites. However, there is a further point that Zhang and many other politic al scientists may not realize: t hrough the institutionalization of the promotion and retirement, the value of government officials is also sh aped; their mind is bound up with the Chinese political system. They are trained to be, as mentioned before, nationalistic, pragmatic and authoritarian bureaucrats, highlighting economic development and political and social stability. Their main concern is their careers in government and the continuation of the one party system. In Max Weber 's depiction (2013), they are self perpetuating. This characteristic is against the rise of totalitarian leaders like Mao. Totalitarian leaders function as the motors of political movements. They are "to drive the movement forward at any price and if anything to step up its speed" (Arendt 1973, 375). Their

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34 pursuit is instability since the stabilization and institutionalization of politics create normalized and plural wa ys of life and the normalized and plural ways of life "ipso facto refutes every contention that any specific form of government is absolutely valid" (391). In this case, the supremacy of political ideology can no longer be kept alive and totalitarian leade rs cannot maintain their charisma. This is why Hitler and Stalin relentlessly encouraged mass movements and launched party purges. In China, the failure of the Great Leap Forward demonstrated that Mao was not always correct and he was actually ignorant a bout economy. Mao felt that his words were not sincerely respected by his followers as before. Many of the CPC officials turned to ask Liu Shaoqi for pragmatic advice on state affairs. Mao decided to destroy this potential threat. Moreover, Mao 's paranoia made him believe that the whole bureaucratic system betrayed him and this betray meant that the Party was not revolutionary anymore. He wanted to prompt an unprecedented mass movement to wreck the corrupt Party in order to rebuild great harmony in China. H enry Kissinger (2012) and Roderick MacFarquhar (1999) both note that on the eve of Cultural Revolution, Mao held deep cynicism and disappointment towards the Party, which he spent most of his life lead ing . In contrast, a post 1978 CPC elite cannot have Mao 's charisma and paranoia. It is because his or her power is limited by term and age limits and his mind is tamed by the gradual and cautious promotion system.

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35 CHAPTER 7 THE CURRENT CHINESE SOCIETY IS NO LONGER MOBILIZABLE In the past four decades, the PRC has been one of the major participants and beneficiaries of globalization. Globalization refers to "the expansion and intensification of social relations and consciousness across world time and world space" (Steger 2013, 15). As a result, Chinese s ociety has also been influenced by globalization in a conspicuous way. To be specific, the Internet is a key driving force as well as prime trait of globalization. The proliferation of the Internet generates two effects on Chinese society: the rapid flow a nd diversification of information and political indifference. Both effects are incompatible with totalitarianism. In the Maoist age, the flow of information was completely handled by the government. As stated before, Mao highly rated the power of masses. In order to control the masses, one has to control their thought; in order to control their thought, one has to control the flow of information. The Maoist government monopolized all newspapers and broadcasts; people read and listened to homogenous propag anda day in and day out. Media was a window dressi ng agency, filled with fake information. For instance, the People's Daily , the largest newspaper in China, reported that the county's grain production was boosted 30 times after the application of collectiv ist farming policy in 1959. This exaggeration was to extol Mao's Great Leap Forward, intending to verify that Maoist communism was the best system in human history (Yang 2013). This flurry of falsification swiftly swept every corner of China. However, Inst ead of increasing agricultural output, the collectivist farming diminished the enthusiasm and efficiency of peasants since their fruits of labor only belonged to the state. Concurrently, another keystone of Mao's communist experiment, the Communal Kitchens , collected all agricultural products; peasants were forbidden to cook by themselves and they were forced to eat in the Kitchens.

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36 The food supply could not fulfill the demand of Mao 's communist experiment. When the Great Chinese Famine emerged , peasants were starving to death and yet the media was still fabricating illusive information of harvest. It was not just a crime of the Chinese media, but a crime of the Maoist totalitarianism. Yang Jisheng (2013), a Chinese intellectual who lost his father due to the Famine, received the Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism for his research about the disaster. In the year of 1999, nearly four decades after the tragedy, Yang interviewed a retired journalist who watched the miserable pictur e of the Famine: "One corpse after another in the ditches along the roadway" (38). Yang questioned the retired journalist: As a member of the Xinhua News Agency, which was directly responsible to the State Council of the PRC, why had he not informed the ce ntral government with honesty? The journalist replied, "After I personally witnessed how people who spoke the truth were brought to ruin, how could I dare to write an internal reference report? (39)" Given this answer, Yang writes his reflection in the To mbstone: the Great Chinese Famine, 1958 1962 : Dread and falsehood were thus both the result and the lifeblood of totalitarianism: the more a person possessed, the more he stood to lose. Possessing more than the average person, officials and intellectuals lived in that much greater fear, and demonstrated their "loyalty" to the system through virtuoso pandering and deceit. The lies they spun in official life, academia, and the arts and media enslaved China's people in falsehood and illusion (18). In juxta position, post 1978 China has a more loosened atmosphere for information flow, although traditional media is still publicly funded and operated. Today, Chinese media can somewhat criticize the government regarding corruption, administration and economy, as long as it does not question the one party system. Additionally, the scale of news reporting has also been expanded in the post 1978 era. In the Maoist time, the media focused on domestic news, propagandizing Beijing 's policy and mobilizing the masses. Fo reign affairs were seldom publicized and people did not know the truth about the world. For instance, before 1971, the U.S.

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37 was demonized and the media propagandized that the American people were living under the tyranny of capitalists (Tang 2005). On this account, the Chinese, like the people of the Oceania in George Orwell's 1984 , believed that they had a cheerful life. After the reform and opening up, the media was allowed to depict an authentic world. The Chinese got to know that they were the poor peop le under the Maoist totalitarianism: In 1978, China's economy was much more backward compared to the Four Asian Tigers South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, not to mention the Western countries such as the U.S. or UK. Today, despite the fact that China's freedom of press is ranked as 176 out of 180 countries by Reporters wi thout Boarders (2016), Chinese j ournalists and reporters are left with some space to speak and write based on evidence and rationality. In these days, many Chinese have gotten u sed to talk ing about American presidential elections, the Syrian refugee crisis , and Brexit. Younger Chinese generations born after 1980 rely on the Internet and social media to gather information. In 1998, there were only about 70,000 to 80,000 Interne t users in China, out of 1.2 billion population. Today, among its 1.4 billion population, China has more than 600 million netizens (Economist 2013). The prevalence of the Internet and social media facilitates the flow and diversification of information. Un like the Maoist period, the Chinese government can no longer dominate the interchange of information. Without the domination of information interchange, thought control is an impossible mission, and without thought control, totalitarianism does not have th e ideological soil to thrive. Someone may challenge my point by arguing that the online censorship system which blocks the sensitive information pertaining to the legitimacy of Chinese government, includes but not limited to, the calls for social movemen ts in China, the criticisms against the dictatorial one party system of China, scandals of the CPC leaders, and independent research on the dark pages

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38 of the PRC 's history. If a Chinese Internet user logs onto Baidu, the most popular search engine in the c ountry (China's Google), trying to find articles and videos about the Tiananmen Square Massacre, he would be informed that all related web pages "cannot be found" or "are in error" these pages are filtered by the censorship system and the censorship syst em is assisted by the Baidu Inc. Nonetheless, if these web pages are opened overseas, they are "correct" and can be found. This censorship system, called the Great Firewall, is truly powerful, whereas it is not a monolithic fortress. On one hand, compared to the Maoist media which aimed to brainwash Chinese people, the purpose of the Firewall is to keep them ignorant about certain information. The key difference is that the Maoist media creates illusions, but the Firewall deletes some facts. On the other h and, the Firewall has technological loopholes. Many information technology companies are providing Virtual Private Network (VPN) service in China. A person can pay roughly 40 50 USD a year to buy the VPN service. 16 To most of the urban Chinese, this is an affordable price. The VPN is a software that helps its users to cheat the Firewall, by changing their Internet Protocol Address (IP). Therefore, VPN users can pretend to be overseas netizens when they are using the Internet in China. Statistics shows that roughly 20% of the netizens in China have the experience of using the VPN software (Globalwebindex 2015). Even to the non VPN users, they may still have an opportunity to read some sensitive information since it takes time for the Firewall to respond. Befo re it is blocked, an article can be forwarded thousands of times among the 600 million netizens. Except with the abundance of information, our time has another feature the ethos of entertainment, which is probably more important to preclude the regener ation of totalitarianism in 16 There are also some free VPN softwares in China, but the quality is not as well as the paid ones.

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39 China. In Mao 's time, the artistic and recreational activities, such as music, drama, opera, and novels, were supervised by the government to praise the Chinese communist revolution and the Maoist mass movements, as indicated by Mao's words (1966): In the world today all culture, all literature and art belong to definite classes and are geared to definite political lines. There is in fact no such thing as art for art's sake, art that stands above classes, art that is detached f rom or independent of politics. Proletarian literature and art are part of the whole proletarian revolutionary cause; they are, as Lenin said, cogs and wheels in the whole revolutionary machine (86). In sharp contrast, the Internet age presents the Chines e with dazzling fashions of amusement: American movies and video games, Korean soap operas, Japanese animations, Taiwanese TV shows, and so on. Also, China itself is a productive country of recreation. The Maoist China was Orwellian, whereas the current Ch ina is Huxleyan. 17 The Huxleyan state, in the words of Neil Postman (1986), is where people "adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think" (39) and society "would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumble puppy" (40). According to Postman, from the seventeenth to the late nineteenth century, printed matter was the medium of communication and reading was the foremost leisure activity, people relied on their rationality to understand books without the assistance of image. However, as a new medium, television does not invite people to think. It provides redundant and irrelevant information based on image and its objective is to entertain audiences. It asks people to feel and accept, but not to reflect and contemplate. Postman was discussing the ascendency of the " television span " which has undermined the American people 's will and capability to think. From my perspective, the Internet age is an 17 Aldous Huxley , the author of Brave New World.

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40 extension of the " televis ion span " . The symptoms of television culture, pointed out by Postman, are more severe today. Presently, Chinese society is saturated with superficiality and people are fascinated by entertainment. This ethos of entertainment creates massive indifference t o politics . In the Fall semester of 2015, I sat in the class of Chinese Politics, instructed by my advisor Professor Steve Thomas. The majority of the class was American students but there were also several Chinese undergraduates who were born around 1995. One day, Prof. Thomas showed his students a video about the Tiananmen Square Massacre. T he Chinese undergraduates had never heard of this tragedy, because of the media control in China. My shock was not originated from their lack of information, but their disinterest to this video: The placards appealing for democracy, the agitated crowds, the anguished faces, the relentless tanks and the strident shout, scream and cry, did not evoke their emotion and reflection a bout Chinese politics. At least none of the m joined the class discussion after the video display. All comments and questions in that class came from the American students. I was sad about the fact that the young Chinese today were apathetic to the politics of their own country. Later, after I talke d to one of them after class, I realized that, although they were not concerned themselves with democratization and human rights, they were not interested in the Maoist ideology as well. They just do not care about politics . They are more excited to discus s entertainment rather than tedious politics. My observation is not an isolated case. Jiang Xueqin (2010) tells a similar story. One of Jiang 's students organized a discussion among his Chinese classmates at the University of Illinois, about the case of L iu Xiaobo. Nobody was willing to share his or her comments. After a long time of silence, one of the classmates replied, "I didn ' t come to America to learn their politics. I came here to get my diploma. Then I ' ll (go home, and) get a nice job" (para.14). I n 2009, the American news media CNN launched a series of interviews of the Chinese under the age of 30. It came to

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41 the same conclusion of political indifference. Both Jiang and CNN blame China's censorship system for erasing the sensitive topics in Chinese politics. In my point of view, the censorship system is more of a catalyst and the cardinal reason is the ethos of entertainment which I already identified. As demonstrated earlier, the Chinese censorship system is not invincible. The problem is that peop le do not want to look and think about the world outside of the Great Firewall any more, like Postman (1986) writes about the Huxleyan fear, "there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one" (36). Besides the etho s of entertainment, another important factor that can lead to political indifference is the lack of agency. Western political science already proves that people would feel powerless and apathetic when they cannot find appropriate agency to convey and expre ss their voice about politics (De Luca 1995, Snell 2010). In liberal democracies like the United States where people can vote, a large proportion of apathetic adults tend to think politics is the game o f powerful and wealthy elites: t he rules of the game w ill never be changed, and even if they could be changed, the apathetic do not believe themselves are the group of people who can bring the change. In the context of China, this atmosphere of powerlessness is prevailing and political indifference is worse c ompared to liberal democracies, because an authoritarian state does not have a de facto election . According to the Constitution of the PRC, Chinese people have the right to elect and be elected as members of the People 's Congress. The People's Congress f unctions similarly as the U.S. legislature on paper. However, three reasons make the Chinese elections insignificant. First, the People's Congress has five levels the national (central), the provincial, the prefectural, the county and the rural township. The national, the provincial and the prefectural levels apply indirect election , which means that the representatives of the NPC are voted on the representatives from

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42 the lower rank. For instance, the members of the Hunan Province People's Congress are "e lected" by the members from all prefectures. The Peoples' Congress of counties and rural towns take direct election, which means all adults with legal Chinese citizenship can directly vote and be voted as representatives. Nevertheless, most of the candidat es are recommended by the government and the counting of votes is nontransparent. In addition, some Chinese are trying to be independent candidates without the Party's recommendation, since the Constitution states that any Chinese citizen who is older than 18 with the endorsement from 10 other citizens can be a candidate in direct elections. The efforts are always bankrupt because of administrative intervention. They government would inform the independent can didate that his or her behavior is inappropriate . If the "persuasion" does not work, the government may tell the 10 supporters not to endorse the independent candidate or use some administrative means to harass the candidate (Sudworth 2016). Second, in order to be recommended as the candidates by the government, a person must have solid relations with the CPC. He or she needs to be a Party member, a government official, a successful entrepreneur, or an influential public figure such as a movie or athlete star. M ost of the representatives are not profes sional politicians, they therefore do not have enough time for law making and public hearing. What they usually do is to raise their hands to "approve" the bills drafted by the government and to discuss some issues which have triggered social concern, such as environmental protection, social welfare, medical care system, and school violence (Deng 2014). Nonetheless, because of its affiliation wit h the government, the proposals made by the People's Congress to address social concern s have to be compatible wi th the one party system. In short, the People Congress cannot check and balance the administrative power of government . It , along with the Political Consultative Conference, serves to communicate the government with the

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43 society, and the majority of Chinese do not ha ve the opportunity to join the communicators. They are "represented" but they cannot select their representatives. In the meantime, the CPC forbids NGOs to get involved in politics and the censorship system squeezes the space for political discourse onli ne. Consequently, Chinese do not have agencies to complain and criticize politics. For them, the helpless choice, or maybe the passive resistance, is to be apathetic to politics and "amuse themselves to death". 18 As indicated by an ancient maxim came from C onfucius: "Do not plan the policies of an office you do not hold" (Ames & Rosement Jr. 1998, 141 142). Political indifference is not a positive attribute. It decreases people 's inclination to think about politics. In China, political activists like Harry Wu, who wrote and compiled critical documents about the Chinese labor prison camp system , and Liu Xiaobo, who drafted and called for public sig nature of Cha r ter 08, have not received enough social attention and support. Meanwhile, Chinese society is experiencing the symptoms of intellectual emptiness and superficiali ty. Nevertheless, it is important to point out that a society that is cold to politics is difficult to mobilize as well. A Maoist mass movement is unlikely to rise in this context, because people are no longer politically enthusiastic. 18 Neil Postman's book is named Amuse Ourselves to Death .

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44 CHAPTER 8 WHERE IS CHINESE POLITICS HEADING? Conclusion In the beginning of this paper, I addressed Fukuyama's concern about Chinese politics. To many of the Western political scientists, the future return of Maoist totalitarianism in China is not unimaginable. Their apprehension is based on two reasons: First, the Maoist legacy has not been completely eliminated ; second, the Chinese political system is authoritarian. My paper is probably the one of the original research es which systematically discusses the unlikelihood of the re vival of totalitarianism in China. By examining the governing guidelines put forward by the CPC leaders, the ideological shift of the CPC, the institutionalization of Chinese politics, and the social condition in the age of Internet and entertainment, I su mmarize that Maoist totalitarianism does not have its breeding ground in current China. Mao mobilized the masses to achieve his ideal of great harmony while Taiwan 's social movements in the 1980s brought democracy to the Chinese society. The post 197 8 Chinese government does not want either of these movements. The Party regards stability as its ruling principle. Up to this point, under the one party system, China does not have another well organized political power that can challenge the CPC; the Part y is the synonym of Chinese government. In this case, democratization is difficult in the following decades. As Li Cheng (2012) and Yu Keping (2003) point out, the only predictable way of democratization in China is let the CPC establish its intra Party d emocracy first. Considering the political, economic and social condition of China today, a radical movement for democratization is not in accordance with the interest s of the Chinese people. The country may either get lost in chaos, as many of the Arabian countrie s are still struggling with, or face another humanitarian tragedy as the Tiananmen Square Massacre.

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45 However, the difficulty of democratization does not mean that China will return to the Maoist totalitarianism. Scholars like David Shambaugh (2015) and P ei Minxin (2015) state that the twilight of the CPC 's ruling is coming. They are using other Leninist states, most of which did not last more than 70 years, as references to analyze Chinese politics, so that they come to the conclusion that the CPC's regim e, which approaches its 70 years anniversary in 2019, is also on the way of gradual dec line. Nevertheless, I think their conclusions are inappropriate. From my perspective, the CPC's authoritarianism is more similar to the governments of dynastic China rat her than Leninist states . In general, the lifecycle of a normal China ' s dynasty is between 200 270 years and the regimes of these dynasties start to degenerate after a 100 years after their establi shments. For instance, the Tang Dynasty was built in 618 A.D. and its decline emerged 120 years later. The Qing Dynasty was built in 1644 and it took roughly 91 years for the decline to appear (When the Qianlong Emperor was in charge of the state). Moreove r, there is still a long distance between the decline and collapse of the two dynastic regimes (over 100 years). Therefore, if we view the CPC ' s regime as a "dynasty", its decline and collapse might not be imminent. In short, my speculation is that the CPC 's dynasty will last longer than expected as long as China does not encounter serious disasters such as international war or economic depression. To the CPC, both totalitarianism and democratization are the enemies of authoritarianism. F or the Chinese pe ople, they may live with authoritarianism, but I do not think they will endure totalitarianism again.

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