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Zheng Yefu, January 25, 2019 “Now it’s time to lay it bare: You can’t fool the Party into starting this journey, nor can you allow the calls for political reform that lack a clear final goal to numb the minds of the people.”  I. Why Hasn’t Political Reform Happened? In the late 1970s, China undertook a reform; the main elements were the restoration of the household production system in rural China [that allowed individual families to take control of their farming], opening up the private economy, and allowing farmers to go into the cities to find work. In the early 1990s, seeing that it was likely that this reform would run aground, Deng Xiaoping once again pushed a reform agenda, which was known as “reform of […]


China Change, August 21, 2018       Yang Shaozheng (杨绍政), a couple of months shy of 49, was for 11 years a professor of good standing in the College of Economics at Guizhou University. He taught game theory and advanced microeconomics, focused his research on optimization theory and mechanism design theory, and managed numerous provincial- and state-funded research projects. On August 15, however, Guizhou University made a decision to expel him for “long-running publication and spreading online of politically mistaken speech, writing a large number of politically harmful articles, and creating a deleterious influence on campus and in society.” He was also guilty of “being unrepentant” and refusing to accept “educational help.” Prior to this, last November, Yang was suspended from teaching and banned […]


Sun Liping, January 21, 2018   This essay was published when I first launched a public WeChat column. Now, I’ve made some revisions, and am publishing it again as follows. I’m doing this because people have a hard time comprehending a few recent events because they were incredibly unreasonable. It’s hard to understand why people, who are clearly smart and have gone through great travails, are screwing things up so badly. This essay attempts to explain this phenomenon from the perspective of the thinking of the system. –– Sun Liping, December 14, 2017.   About 20 years ago, I once said: Sometimes the system is more stupid than individuals in the system. That is to say, people within the system may all appear to be […]


For over two years ocean rocks have dominated China’s foreign policy issues. So far the Party has managed to anger virtually all their neighbors and has left an opening for America’s pivot to Asia. In my opinion, regardless of whether or not China’s claims are valid, the gov’t seems to be losing the battle on the international stage. One afternoon when I was chatting with a typically soft-spoken co-worker about my future plans in the Pacific, she pointed out the Philippines on the map and said, “I hope the ocean swallows this country up so that China doesn’t have to destroy it.” As I picked my jaw up off the floor, she elaborated, “Since I was a little girl, these little islands have been a […]


Part of a continuing series of journal article summaries. You can also read my summaries on The regulation of religion in China and Reconsidering the campaign to suppress counter-revolutionaries.   Watchman Nee and the Little Flock Movement in Maoist China                         By: Joseph Tse-Hei Lee (full text PDF) Tom’s Summary: The Little Flock Movement or Christian Assembly, was a loosely connected church movement that was started by Watchman Nee in the 1920’s as a wholly Chinese form of Christianity. It strove to be self-supporting, self-propagating, and self-funded in accordance with three-“self” principles that were popular at the time, and quickly grew as the Chinese public turned more strongly against foreign imperialism. Fundamentally the Little Flock modeled itself after the church depicted […]


This week we’ve been looking at how the party relies on improving its citizens quality of life for its mandate to rule. We started by looking at how GDP is no longer enough to maintain that stability, and what changes will be coming in the next few decades. Today I want to focus on some ways the Party could eventually transform its system of rule. As you read remember that the Party will maintain absolute power until a majority of the population feels that their lives are no longer improving. The most important idea to understand, is that there is no action considered beyond the pale for maintaining their position of power. As Fei Xiaotong points out in his book, “From the Soil”, they would […]


China’s system of gov’t is based not on a mandate from the people, nor does it rely on a mandate from heaven (which was the Chinese version of a divine right to rule), instead the current system relies on quality of life improvement spurred by China’s growing GDP (my post on the problem with those numbers) for their mandate to rule. Over the last 60 years there have been fluctuations in the speed of growth, and its effect on stability. Let’s start by looking at each decade incredibly briefly: 1950’s Civil war ends and life expectancy increases as people finally have safety and regular access to food. China is able to launch massive infrastructure projects. 1960’s Great Leap Forward, followed by millions of deaths in […]


Continued from Yesterday The following post was written by one of my Chinese friends who is an active member of the Communist Party. What the Party Means to Me To me, any nation or ethnic group shares one common ideal so that they could be united, fighting for the same goal, such as racial superiority (Tom’s note: this is not a “loaded” term in Chinese), or the same religion. And in China, it has always been moralism. I don’t mean that Chinese people enjoy the noblest morals; it is just that we always try to act upon the unique moral standard which is widely-accepted in the country so that Chinese cultural has survived a long time. By the end of the Republic of China, the […]


Last week I posted a short piece by my friend who hadn’t joined the Party. Today brings us a post from his best friend who did join the Party. Again I have left it unedited, so I hope it is still understandable. His article was a bit longer, so I will be posting more of it over the next few days. Why I Joined the Communist Party I find that joining the party for me is quite a natural way during my personal development. Because when little, every kid was encouraged to join the Young Pioneer, and then when we reach our teens, it means that we are doing very well in every field if you could join the Communist Youth League earlier which is […]


This is Part Two of a Three part series. Part One. In the major cities of China, despite everything we’ve heard, it is not uncommon to see people with more than one child. In my classes in Guangxi I was shocked to find that maybe only 50 out of my 500 students were only children. When I asked them how many children they wanted to have, they would say, “I’ll have one, but I want two or three.” The other students giggle at the answer, and then quickly agree. So let’s look at two more examples of the One Child Policy in modern China from the perspective of my friends. Mary My friend Mary in Yizhou had just completed her entry to the Communist party, and as […]


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