The state structure

  • Tony Saich
Chapter
Part of the China in Focus series book series

Abstract

The 1954 constitution detailed the new state structure. This structure inevitably owed much to the Soviet system of government and paralleled that of the Party, with three levels of government below the centre — the province, the county or municipality, and the town or commune (see Figure 6.1). The structure has remained the same since. The role of the state is to implement Party policy although, on occasions, the implementation has been carried out by the Party itself, while at other times the state has distorted Party policy during the process of implementation. This has created problems and tensions between the two structures and to cope with them the Chinese have used the systems of Vertical’ and ‘dual rule’ outlined by Schurmann.1 The exception to this was during the early period of the Cultural Revolution, when Party and state were collapsed into the one body of the revolutionary committee. Vertical rule, as the name suggests, means that a ministry at the central level has control over all the units at the lower levels which come under the scope of its jurisdiction. As a result the flow of information and command runs vertically up and down the system.

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References

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Selected further reading

  1. S. Andors, China’s Industrial Revolution: Politics, Planning and Management 1949 to the Present (London: Martin Robertson, 1977).Google Scholar
  2. A. Doak Barnett, Cadres, Bureaucracy and Political Power in Communist China (New York: Columbia University Press, 1967).Google Scholar
  3. J. A. Cohen, The Criminal Process in the People’s Republic of China 1949–1963 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1968).Google Scholar
  4. J. A. Cohen, ‘The Party and the Courts 1949–1959’ in China Quarterly, no. 38, pp. 120–57.Google Scholar
  5. D. W. Klein, ‘The State Council and the Cultural Revolution in China Quarterly, no. 35, pp. 78–95.Google Scholar
  6. V. Li, ‘The Evolution and Development of the Chinese Legal System’ in J. M. Lindbeck (ed.), China: Management of a Revolutionary Society (Seattle, Wash.: Washington University Press, 1971), pp. 221–55.Google Scholar
  7. D. Perkins, Market Control and Planning in Communist China (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1966).Google Scholar
  8. J. Robinson, Economic Management in China (London: Anglo-Chinese Educational Institute, 1976).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Tony Saich 1981

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  • Tony Saich

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