Table of Contents

Handbook of the Politics of China

Handbook of the Politics of China

Handbooks of Research on Contemporary China series

Edited by David S.G. Goodman

The Handbook of the Politics of China is a comprehensive resource introducing readers to the very latest in research on Chinese politics. David Goodman provides an introduction to the key structures and issues, providing the foundations on which later learning can be built. It contains four sections of new and original research, dealing with leadership and institutions, public policy, political economy and social change, and international relations and includes a comprehensive bibliography. Each of the 26 chapters has been written by an established authority in the field and each reviews the literature on the topic, and presents the latest findings of research. An essential primer for the study of China’s politics.

Chapter 4: The central government

Yan Xu and Dali L. Yang

Subjects: asian studies, asian politics and policy, politics and public policy, asian politics


Whereas China is ruled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), it is the central government, or the State Council, that implements most Party policies, deals with the daunting task of running the day-to-day business of the gigantic Chinese state and, on many occasions, represents the country in its relations with the outside world. The government bureaucracy is arguably the most visible part of China’s political system and the cornerstone of the CCP’s rule. This chapter will first review the history and evolution of the central government since 1949, when Mao Zedong proudly pronounced the birth of the People’s Republic of China. It will then delineate the central government’s current structure and policy-making processes. This will be followed by discussion of the central government’s complicated relationship with the Party. The chapter then focuses on China’s efforts to streamline the central government’s structure and rationalize its administration.

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