Foreign Affairs The CCP and its ruling Politburo Standing Committee have always been the ones in charge, but they have been amassing greater control over policymaking and even implementation. By Christopher K. Johnson and Scott Kennedy
'It leaves one wondering: Does the Chinese government matter anymore?
the Chinese Communist Party’s more direct role in governance, China's
political system appears to have shifted from what experts have called
"fragmented authoritarianism" to just plain authoritarianism. This trend
is unmistakable, but there is still much to learn about how this
evolving system operates in practice across different policy spaces and
'The United States can respond in a number of ways. One option
is to nudge governance in China back toward the government. Washington
could warn Chinese officialdom of the dangers of hollowing out its
government institutions and inhibiting sufficient consultation across
the bureaucracy. And it could continue its old habit of engaging Chinese
officials only in their government capacity, although that may be
inadequate for learning about official policy.
would be to engage and promote the further development of nonstate
actors that deliver public goods and offer accountability, such as NGOs.
It is hard to see how China can avoid the middle-income trap and
achieve social stability without creating a favorable environment for
these groups to mature.'