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Zhang Wei-Wei delivers a robust defence of the Chinese political system

Zhang Wei-Wei, professor of international relations at Fudan University and senior fellow at Chunqiu Institute, recently sent us through one of his recent New York Times Op-Eds, in which he delivers a robust defence of the Chinese political system.

While it is far from perfect, he argues that the Chinese system is not a crude autocracy, but a system deeply rooted in the Confucian tradition of meritocracy. In recent years the Chinese Communist Party has developed a complex system of “selection plus election”, whereby “competent leaders are selected based on merit and popular support through a vigorous process of screening, opinion surveys, internal evaluations and various small-scale elections.”

The Party’s meritocratic credentials are safe-guarded through rigorous examination systems, and leaders are chosen only if they have proved their talents at political management through governing provinces. What’s more, reforms have limited the leadership’s term to a maximum  of ten years, which prevents the growth of personality cults and the entrenchment of power hierarchies.

You can read the full article here. Professor Zhang is the acclaimed author of The China Wave: Rise of a Civilizational State (2012).

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