Saturday, May 5, 2018

  Governing 1.4+ billion people is a challenge that
  has no historical parallels; what Americans need
  to know about 21st Century China's government

For Americans in general, to understand a civics course about 21st Century Chinese government requires setting aside all those novels and movies about 20th Century East Germany, the Soviet Union of Stalin, and ...drumroll... the quarter century of China ruled by Chairman Mao.

Further it requires applying an equal amount of skepticism to the idea of a struggle between
  1. Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and
  2. Capitalism with American Characteristics for the Technology Era
Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era represents an organized and centralized attempt in the 21st Century of one group to adapt a 19th Century economic ideology to benefit 1.4 billion people living on 3.6 million square miles of land area (390± people per square mile).

Capitalism with American Characteristics for the Technology Era represents the ongoing decentralized response in the 21st Century of many groups to an 18th Century ideology as impacted by intermittent corporate distortions affecting 0.3 billion people living on 3.5 million square miles of land area (85± people per square mile).

The "State" is, of course, government. In addition to a dominant political party, China has government in which the participants have jobs to do, though they are also involved in party politics just as American government participants are involved in party politics. Just as we are taught in school about our governments, we need a basic understanding of Chinese government.

Government in China

The following is a Chinese governmental organization chart:

If you find this confusing, it doesn't really get any better when you get into the "Local People's" level which is represented in the following organizational chart:

 As one stares at those charts, one knows that "politics" underlie all of those boxes. The "Local People's" level will not be discussed further except to offer these excerpts from a long entry in Wikipedia which is worth a look:

    Due to China's large population and area, the administrative divisions of China have consisted of several levels since ancient times. The constitution of China provides for three de jure levels of government. Currently, however, there are five practical (de facto) levels of local government: the provincial (province, autonomous region, municipality, and special administrative region), prefecture, county, township, and village.
    Since the 17th century, provincial boundaries in China have remained largely static. Major changes since then have been the reorganization of provinces in the northeast after the establishment of the People's Republic of China and the formation of autonomous regions, based on Soviet ethnic policies. The provinces serve an important cultural role in China, as people tend to identify with their native province.
    The village level serves as an organizational division (census, mail system) and does not have much importance in political representative power. Basic local divisions like neighborhoods and communities are not informal like in America, but have defined boundaries and designated heads (one per area).
    In urban areas, every subdistrict of a district of a city administers many communities or neighborhoods. Each of them have a neighborhood committee to administer the dwellers of that neighborhood or community. Rural areas are organized into village committees or villager groups. A "village" in this case can either be a natural village, one that spontaneously and naturally exists, or an administrative village, which is a bureaucratic entity.

Chinese politics is much more of an art form than the politics of the U.S. or Russia, requiring careful observation and interpretive skills. In China, the government structure is more complex, less obvious, and reflective of the fact that China has 1.379 billion people, over 4 times as many as the U.S. It also is consistent with the fact that China historically - meaning over millenniums, not years or centuries - has had an autocratic centralized government except for periods of disarray during invasions from outside the "empire."

Like Russia and the U.S. there is the big picture of the whole nation and "provincial" governments with localities such as cities. You need not consider further than looking at this map which includes Hong Kong, Inner Mongolia, and Tibet to realize that in this country the size in area of the United States "it's not simple":

Across this geography live people of 56 recognized ethnic groups speaking 292 living languages. Contrary to what most Americans believe, freedom of religion is guaranteed by China's constitution but religious issues in the country are overseen by the State Administration for Religious Affairs. The nature of that oversight has not always been supportive.

Religion is a good subject to use to see why government is complicated. While the table at the left indicates numbers, the reliability of that information makes it more indicative than statistically accurate. Nonetheless, it does indicate that their are minority religions.

And the indicative nature has to be considered with the size of the population. For instance there are 22+ million Muslim citizens, most located in the northwest as indicated in the map on the right below. These are not immigrants from the Middle East, but rather are descendants of people who have lived in the area for centuries.

The majority of Han Chinese have something in common with the many American Christians. They have a problem with how the government deals with Muslims. Consider how difficult it is for the Chinese government to deal with a relatively small group of religious militants within a much larger Islamic population of 22+ million, all of whom are from families that have considered the area home since the time of the Roman Empire or earlier.

You must understand that within China the interplay of competing interests of all types is an undercurrent that usually cannot be seen in the familiar American forum of overblown news stories describing near shooting wars in the U.S. between ideologues steeped in bigotry nor in critical news stories of ham-fisted suppression by the autocratic Russian government of Putin which includes killing potentially effective political opponents.

To even begin to fathom what's going on in China requires understanding the structure of Chinese government. Because Americans and the American press are so enamored with celebrities, they are hampered when trying to discern what is going on in China. Confusion starts with the legislative branch.
Legislative Branch

In terms of government in China you must be aware of the existence of both the National People's Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC or PPC) which meet annually for just two weeks. [And you must remember that they are not the National Congress of the Communist Party of China (NCCPC) which meets every five years, anymore than the Democratic National Convention or the Republican National Convention which meet every four years are houses of Congress.]

Much like the Continental Congress functioned as the provisional government of the United States from September 5, 1774, to March 1, 1781, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC or PPC) was the de facto legislature of the People's Republic of China (PRC) after China's revolution from 1949 to 1954. In 1954, the Constitution transferred this function to the National People's Congress (NPC).

Today the role that CPPCC plays in the Chinese government is stated only in the preamble of the PRC Constitution:

    The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a broadly based representative organization of the united front which has played a significant historical role, will play a still more important role in the country’s political and social life, in promoting friendship with other countries and in the struggle for socialist modernization and for the reunification and unity of the country. The system of the multi-party cooperation and political consultation led by the Communist Party of China will exist and develop for a long time to come.

The CPPCC has been described as somewhat analogous to an advisory legislative upper house such as the British House of Lords and there have been occasional proposals to formalize this role in the PRC Constitution. We will explore further the CPPCC's role after considering the  National People's Congress (NPC).

The National People's Congress (usually abbreviated NPC) is the national legislature of the People's Republic of China. With 2,980 members in 2018, it is the largest parliamentary body in the world.

Under China's Constitution, the NPC is structured as a unicameral legislature, with the power to legislate, the power to oversee the operations of the government, and the power to elect the major officers of state. It holds annual sessions every spring, usually lasting from 10 to 14 days.

The electoral system is pyramidal. Delegates to the National People's Congress are elected for five-year terms by the provincial people's assemblies, who in turn are elected by lower level assemblies, and so on through a series of tiers to the local people's assemblies which are directly elected by the electorate.

There is a limit on the number of candidates in proportion to the number of seats available. At the national level, for example, a maximum of 110 candidates are allowed per 100 seats; at the provincial level, this ratio is 120 candidates per 100 seats. This ratio increases for each lower level of people's assemblies, until the lowest level, the village level, has no limit on the number of candidates for each seat.

The NPC meets for about two weeks each year at the same time as the CPPCC, usually in the Spring, called the "National Lianghui" (The National Two Meetings), making important national level political decisions. It can
  • amend the Constitution and oversee its enforcement;
  • enact and amend basic law governing criminal offences, civil affairs, state organs and other matters;
  • elect and appoint members to the central state organs; and
  • determine major state issues.
Which brings us back to the CPPCC.

The CPPCC, as noted above, functions as political advisory body consisting of delegates from a range of political parties and organizations, as well as independent members. It is intended to be more representative and be composed of a broader range of people than is typical of government office in the People's Republic of China.

Previously dominated by senior figures in real-estate, state-owned companies and the children of revolutionaries who helped the Communist Party gain power in 1949, this year more than half of the 2,158 delegates to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference attended the meeting at the Great Hall of the People for the first time.

The composition of the CPPCC changes according to national objectives and priorities. For instance, with traditional business sectors such as real estate and energy deemed to be too closely associated with corruption (more than 20 property tycoons "dropped out" in 2018), replacements this year came from technology companies.

Consider how the 2,200 positions on the CPPCC are currently allocated among source organizations and cultural/social/economic sectors:
Seats for Political Parties (536 in all)
  •      Communist Party of China (97)
  •      Revolutionary Committee of the Kuomintang (65)
  •      China Democratic League (65)
  •      China Democratic National Construction Association (64)
  •      China Association for Promoting Democracy (45)
  •      Chinese Peasants' and Workers' Democratic Party (45)
  •      China Party for Public Interest (29)
  •      September 3 Society (44)
  •      Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League (20)
  •      Independent (62)
Seats for People's organizations (307 in all)
  • Communist Youth League of China (9)
  • All-China Federation of Trade Unions (60)
  • All-China Women's Federation (64)
  • All-China Youth Federation (28)
  • All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (61)
  • China Association for Science and Technology (43)
  • All-China Federation of Taiwan Compatriots(15)
  • All-China Federation of Returned Overseas (27)
Seats for Sectors (1357 in all)
  • Sector of Literary and Art (142)
  • Sector of Science and Technology (110)
  • Sector of Social Science (71)
  • Sector of Economics (149)
  • Sector of Agriculture (67)
  • Sector of Education (113)
  • Sector of Sports (21)
  • Sector of Press and Publication (44)
  • Sector of Medicine and Health (88)
  • Sector of International Friendship Activists (42)
  • Sector of Social Welfare and Social Security (37)
  • Sector of the Ethnic Minorities (101)
  • Sector of Religion (65)
  • Specially Invited Hong Kong Dignitaries (124)
    •     Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (25)
    •     Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong (4)
    •     Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (2)
    •     Liberal Party (Hong Kong) (4)
    •     New Century Forum (1)
    •     New Territories Association of Societies (2)
  • Specially Invited Macao Dignitaries (29)
    •     Macau United Citizens Association (1)
    •     Macau Business Interest Union (1)
    •     Macau Union of Professional Interests (2)
    •     Progress Promotion Union/General Union of the Macao Residents' Associations (1)
    •     Union for Development/The Women's General Association of Macau (1)
  • Other Specially Invited Dignitaries (Including members of People’s Liberation Army and People's Armed Police) (154)

Of course, a majority of members in the CPPCC are among the 89.45 million members of the Communist Party of China. But one should not entirely dismiss the outreach effort and the fact that non-governmental members of the Communist Party of China are part of a broad spectrum of interests from within the Chinese population.

One must not minimize the ongoing interactions between NPC and CPPCC members that occurs between annual sessions. Nor should one minimize the ongoing interactions between NPC members and members of the provincial people's assemblies and lower level assemblies.

Between these sessions, power is exercised by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC) which contains about 150 members. It has the constitutional authority to modify legislation within limits set by the NPC, and thus acts as a de facto legislative body.  It also has the power to interpret the laws of the PRC, including its constitution, as constitutional and legal interpretation is considered to be a legislative activity rather than a judicial one. While the Supreme People's Court actually decides cases, an interpretation is of written laws and the Constitution is defined as legislative in nature and not judicial. It is led by a Chairman, currently Li Zhanshu, China's top legislator who is completely unknown to 99% of Americans.

In terms of officials in relation to the the legislative structure, the Presidium of the National People's Congress nominates the President and Vice President of China, the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and Secretary-General of the Standing Committee of the NPC, the Chairman of the Central Military Commission, and the President of the Supreme People's Court for election by the NPC.

The functions of the Presidium are defined in the Organic Law of the NPC, but not how it is composed. In practice its name list is raised by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of last term, and then revised and passed by the preparatory meeting of NPC, which is presided over by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. After the Presidium elected, the Session of NPC is presided over by the Presidium.

The 178-member Presidium is composed of senior officials of the Communist Party of China, the state, non-Communist parties and All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, those without party affiliation, heads of central government agencies and people's organizations, leading members of all the 35 delegations to the NPC session including those from Hong Kong and Macao and the People's Liberation Army.

The President conducts and hosts state visits on behalf of the People's Republic. Under the constitution the "state visit" clause is the only presidential power that does not stipulate any form of oversight from the National People's Congress.

Nonetheless, the President has the power to promulgate laws, select and dismiss the Premier (prime minister) as well as the ministers of the State Council, grant presidential pardons, declares a state of emergency, issue mass mobilization orders, and issue state honours. In addition, the President names and dismisses ambassadors to foreign countries, signs and annuls treaties with foreign entities. According to the Constitution, all of these powers require the approval or confirmation of the National People's Congress.

Executive Branch

The State Council, constitutionally synonymous with the Central People's Government (particularly in relation to local governments), is the chief administrative authority of the People's Republic of China. It is chaired by the Premier, currently economist Li Keqiang, and includes the heads of each governmental department and agency. (In the politics of the People's Republic of China, the Central People's Government forms one of three interlocking branches of power, the others being the Communist Party of China and the People's Liberation Army.)

As the chief administrative organ of government, the State Council's main functions are to formulate administrative measures, issue decisions and orders, and monitor their implementation; draft legislative bills for submission to the NPC or its Standing Committee; and prepare the economic plan and the state budget for deliberation and approval by the NPC. The State Council is the functional center of state power and clearinghouse for government initiatives at all levels. With the government's emphasis on economic modernization, the State Council clearly acquired additional importance and influence. (The State Council controls the Ministry for National Defense but does not control the People's Liberation Army, which is instead controlled by the Central Military Commission.)

The State Council meets every six months. Between meetings it is guided by a Standing Committee that meets weekly. The standing committee includes the premier, one executive vice premier, three vice premiers, and five other state councilors (one of whom serves as Secretary General of the State Council, and two of whom concurrently serve as ministers).

The Council has 35 members: the premier, one executive vice premier, three other vice premiers, five state councilors (of whom two are also ministers), and 25 additional ministers and chairs of major agencies. The State Council directly oversees the various subordinate People's Governments in the provinces, and in practice maintains membership with the top levels of the Communist Party of China.

The Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, sometimes also referred to informally as the "Prime Minister", is the Leader of the State Council of China), the head of government and holds the highest rank (Level 1) in the Civil Service. The Premier is formally approved by the National People's Congress upon the nomination of the President. Both the President and the Premier are selected once every five years.

The vice-premiers and state councilors are nominated by the premier, and appointed by the president with National People's Congress' (NPC) approval. Each vice premier oversees certain areas of administration. Each State Councilor performs duties as designated by the Premier. The secretary-general heads the General Office which handles the day-to-day work of the State Council.

There are 25 ministries each of which supervises one sector. Also there are 38 centrally administered government organizations that report directly to the state council. The heads of these organizations attend full meetings of the state committee on an irregular basis.  There are commissions which outrank ministries and set policies for and coordinate the related activities of different administrative organs. Offices deal with matters of ongoing concern. Bureaus and administrations rank below ministries.

The Judicial Branch

The judicial branch includes the National Supervisory Commission, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate. We must note here that the judicial branch is more complex than the U.S. federal justice system but less complex if one were to include the justice systems of the 50 states. If one were trying to compare it to another country, the French system might offer some parallels while the English/U.S. systems offer almost none. Use the links above to learn more

The Military Branch

Some might argue that the military is not a separate branch. But structurally within the government it has too many parallels to Judicial Branch to not treat it as such. The following is an organizational chart:

The military branch includes the People's Liberation Army, People's Armed Police and People's Liberation Army militia, all supervised by the Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of China, supervised by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.

The PLA consists of five professional service branches: the Ground Force, Navy, Air Force, Rocket Force, and the Strategic Support Force. It also has a militia service branch, the PLA Militia. The PLA is the world's largest military force, with a strength of approximately 2,285,000 personnel. It is the fastest modernizing military power in the world, with significant defense projection capabilities. Recently, it has been rapidly developing and commissioning new arsenals including stealth technology, directed energy weapons, hypersonic missiles, etc.

The Chinese People's Armed Police Force (PAP) is a Chinese paramilitary police force. It has statutory authority to:
  • respond to riots, terrorist attacks or other emergencies;
  • guard government buildings at all levels (including party and state organisations, foreign embassies and consulates);
  • provide security to public corporations and major public events; and 
  • fire rescue duties. 
It includes the China Coast Guard and provides support to the PLA Ground Force during wartime. The PAP has a commander, a political commissar and several deputy commanders and deputy political commissars.

[It should be noted that the PAP does not do routine policing. The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) in the Executive Branch is the principal police and security authority of the People's Republic of China and the government agency that exercises oversight over and is ultimately responsible for day-to-day law enforcement. It currently has 1.9 million officers. Before 2006 local municipal police under the MPS formally were usually unarmed with firearms routinely in contrast to the soldiers of the People's Armed Police (PAP), however they are armed with expandable batons and incapacitant sprays. Sometimes, multiple use tactical knives are issued to the policemen. Since2006 they have been trained in the use of and have been issued sidearms.]

Organizationally the People's Liberation Army is still carefully supervised by the Central Military Commission of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee. But today both the state and the party commissions are identical in membership, actually forming one identical institution under two different names.

The chairman of the Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of China, elected by the National People's Congress, is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.  The 11-man commission issues directives relating to the PLA, including senior appointments, troop deployments and arms spending. Almost all the members are senior generals, but the most important posts have always been held by the party's most senior leaders to ensure absolute loyalty of the armed forces which over the millennia has a history of challenging the emperor.

The one personage who, as we've discussed in a previous post, has a kind of celebrity status, Xi Jinping, is President of the People's Republic of China, Chairman of the Central Military Commission, and General Secretary of the Communist Party of China. When you understand the Chinese system, while you cannot call him a dictator, it is most certainly fair to note that he is "the first among the oligarchs."

The Communist Party of China

Within this 21st Century reality in both the United States and China the normal routines of life go on for most people.

Both countries have governments. And historically every few years (5 years in China and 4 years in the United States) dominant political parties (one in China, two in the United States) have met nationally for several days to determine how best to have government govern. (In both countries the participation of minor political parties occurs with various limited results.)

In the United States most of the participants in the national Democratic and Republican political party meetings are determined by the popularity of Presidential candidates which, more and more, is based upon the celebrity status of political personalities. With 1.4 billion people, China's system must be different.

The following is the organization chart for the Communist Party of China (CPC):

The membership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 2017 was 89.45 million. That is more people than the total population of the 32 smallest states in the United States. But it is only 6%+ of the 1.4 billion population of China.

Some Americans try to compare that Communist party membership number to party voter registration in the United States.  Golly gee whiz, the Democratic Party has about 44.7 million registered voters while the Republican Party has about 32.8 million.

But those U.S. numbers cannot even predict the approximate votes cast by Democratic registered voters and Republican Party registered voters for candidates from their own party, much less represent the number actually participating in party organization functions at the local level which is minimal. In contrast to the Communist Party of China, U.S. political party participation is minimal.

To join the Communist Party in China, an applicant must be approved. In 2014, only 2 million applications were accepted out of some 22 million applicants. Admitted members then spend a year as a probationary member. In contrast to the past, when emphasis was placed on the applicants' ideological criteria, the current CPC stresses technical and educational qualifications.

Members are expected to participate and work, not criticize and complain all the time. There are numerous party committees at all levels of government which are appointed by the party congresses at all those levels of government. It is in those committees and congresses that policy is created. Final control, however, tends to be top down. But even that is not simple.

The role of the Party is to make certain that the goals and policies for the people as formulated and framed within the Party are achieved in China by assuring that resources and human energy is directed to achieve those goals.

In fact, the CPC still embraces democratic centralism, a principle conceived by Russian Marxist theoretician Vladimir Lenin which entails democratic and open discussion within the Party on policy on the condition of unity in upholding the agreed upon policies within government. This isn't a state democracy any more than the U.S. government is a state democracy (think of gun control policy when in the U.S. it pretty clear that a substantial majority of the population supports regulation and Congress absolutely refuses to adopt regulation).

Perhaps the most difficult idea for Americans to understand is the deep belief of the Chinese in the one-party-dominant system of China which seemingly constitutes an institutionalized oligarchy, meaning a form of power structure in which ultimate power rests with a small number of people, officials of the Communist Party.

Before exploring the truth of that, one thing needs to be made clear. Despite what you may read elsewhere, the Chinese do not literally embrace Marxist theory. The current generation understands that men like Mao won the war ending the century of humiliation - that period of intervention, imperialism, and slaughter by Great Britain, Russia, France, Japan and the United States in China between 1839 and 1949.

But they also understand that Mao, who died in 1976, almost lost the peace at least partly because of ideology. As a result, the economic ideology of the CPC has been evolving beginning in 1978.

Within the framework of CPC democratic centralism, beginning in 1978 new economic thinking has been incorporated at various times known as socialism with Chinese characteristics, Deng Xiaoping Theory, Three Represents, the Scientific Outlook on Development and Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese characteristics for a New Era.

But that still doesn't explain away the institutionalized oligarchy which should be rejected by freedom loving people, like in America. Yeah, right. A response to that is offered in a footnote.1

Now that we've explored a "short" primer regarding the government of China, we need to consider the economic policy put in place in the March 2018 NPC and CPPCC session. Unfortunately we cannot depend upon the American press to give us a comprehensive picture even though it was a significant subject well discussed in a very important international conference this month, as we shall explain next.


1 Some American's get hung up on the issue of freedom. The goal of these posts is to discuss cultures and economies, but if "truth, justice, and the American way of freedom" are going to get in the way....

Pretend for a moment that you are a Chinese person who has received a decent education, perhaps even having spent some time in the United States. And you are fluent in reading English.

From your perspective the problem is that any ongoing news coverage of China caters to a knee-jerk reaction in too many Westerners, as we shall see. Americans start writing about the horrors of Marxist ideology because "proper" American thinking about freedom begins and ends with getting rich, with a side thought of being able to criticize others without retribution.

The American idea of a "big picture view" is a 72-inch TV screen. They freely express concerns about authoritarian rule in China while being ignorant of their own country which is built on the pain of native Americans - the largest population in world history to be subjected to government-sponsored genocide.

And it is as if they don't understand that Capitalism, which has an "-ism" at the end of the word. It is an economic ideology every bit as much as is Socialism and the evils of both ideologies when rigidly applied are real.

In much American writing, a government implementation of Socialism is an attack on freedom while the U..S. government's implementation of Capitalism is not even acknowledged despite the fact that it is much of the subject matter of the Constitution.

Most certainly most white Americans do not understand what "authoritarian" means or how it has been carefully implemented by governments in the U.S. to support Capitalism.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary authoritarian means "favoring or enforcing strict obedience to authority, especially that of the government, at the expense of personal freedom."

You know, of course, that the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world.

The reason for this most Americans understand clearly. The United States has a set of government implemented laws that are based on a very subjective morality that has deliberately selective racial and religious bigotry components that would have been unacceptable in all other countries of the West in 1999.

The "Black Lives Matter" movement didn't arise because the United States offers the most authoritarian-free government possible to its people. If you're a black American, you live in a fearful world created by a police state not unlike Nazi Germany. If you read that as an overstatement, you are an "in-denial probably-white American" or participant in the police state culture.

If the enforcement of strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom is what defines "authoritarian", then the United States is the most authoritarian country in the world. The People's Republic of China (PRC) doesn't even come close with an incarceration rate somewhere between Canada and Luxembourg.

Of course, in China the expression of opinion regarding political, economic, and social issues is subject to government restriction. And that includes a lack of freedom of the press. Whether within the United States today that is considered good or bad depends on

  1. whether people think that the press is an obstacle to their objectives and
  2. whether you believe the myth that entertainment can be defined as the press.
But one has to wonder about a people...

  1. that know their country has the highest incarceration rate in the world, 
  2. that know that most of the incarcerated are black and brown males, 
  3. that know that "a." and "b." were the result of a deliberate choice by white people, and
  4. that, without acting to stop it, know that their police are killing people (black and brown males) at a rate not seen in any other "first world" country but is frequently seen in the most backward of countries engaging in genocide,
...but who still think that the United States does not have authoritarian governments at all levels.

Pretend for a moment that you are a Chinese person who has received a decent education, perhaps even having spent some time in the United States. Would you think a system built on Capitalist ideology that imprisons many thousands of people - the highest per capita incarceration rate in the world - is much better than imprisoning a relative handful of people for being outspoken against the Communist Party? Would you think a system built on Capitalist ideology that has uniformed police killing more people in the street than any country in the world because of their race is much better than one built on Socialist ideology that kills people who engage in and advocate revolution?

But these posts are about the economic future of our children and grandchildren. So pretend for a moment that you are an American who knows practically nothing about the world's most populous nation which by many standards has the largest economy in the world. Since many understand that this nation, China, has already begun to replace the United States as the leader of the world, it is likely that it will be very important in the lives of your children and grandchildren.

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