天安門事件前後の人民代表大会:天安門事件後の中国 Signs of the Development of a Parliamentary System in Chinese Politics: Changes in the Relationship between the Communist Party and the People's Congress:China after the Tiananmen Incident

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During the Eighth Session of the Standing Committee of the Seventh National People's Congress (NPC) of China, which ended on 6th July 1989, the Committee adopted the Resolution of the Standing Committee of the NPC (NPCSC) on Checking the Turmoil and Quelling the Counter-revolutionary Rebellion. Under the terms of the Constitution of the PRC, the NPC is the supreme institution of state power in China and is the representative organization through which the people can exercise their sovereign will. The adoption of the Resolution by the NPCSC meant that the political decisions taken by the Party during this period were approved by the NPC and thereby acquired legitimacy. Of the numerous decisions made by the Party during the Tiananmen Square Incident period, the most important was that which was made by the Politburo Standing Committee of the CCP on 17th May 1989. The Party's declaration of martial law on the 17th May became the legal justification for the counterattack by the military against the demonstrators in Tiananmen Square before dawn on 4th June, on the grounds that the turmoil in Beijing had developed into a serious counter-revolutionary rebellion.<br>It is a well-known fact that the CPC has realized its leadership (<i>lingdao</i>) across the State. Nevertheless, the Party had to wait for a long time before receiving the approval of the decision taken on 17th May by the NPCSC. Most of the governmental organizations, excluding the NPC, declared their approval immediately after martial law had been imposed. The author believes that this delay in granting approval implies that there might have been changes in the relationship between the CCP and the PC in Chinese politics since the 1990s. The reason for this belief is that, within the framework of Chinese politics as defined by the Constitution, the legitimacy of the Party's leadership over the country is secured only because the will of the Party is deemed as that of the Country at the PC.<br>Since the 1980s, the Party has recognized that one of the factors lead to the Cultural Revolution is the ineffectiveness of the PC as an organ of State power, and has positioned the improvement of such functions of the PC as one of the most important subjects of political reform. Moreover, the Party has been struggling to improve the functioning of the PC, which has been ridiculed as a “rubber stamp” organization, and to increase its political authority. The Party has also tried to thoroughly lead the PC. Consequently, the aforementioned delay in securing the approval of the NPCSC would not have pleased the Party. Following the Tiananmen Square incident, the Party has continued to promote change in the functions of the PC as important measures of political reform and has endeavored more to bring about a more thorough enhancement of its leading of the PC than in the 1980s. However, as this paper indicates, it can hardly be said that the Party's efforts in this context have been successful.<br>In view of this understanding, this paper would like to explain how the Party has been able to exercise control of the PC, by reviewing the reform of the PC's functions in the context of continuity and discontinuity of the reform before and after the Tiananmen Square incident. By so doing, this paper will enable us to find important clues, by surveying the limit of the Party's leadership over the country. It will also examine how the PC, which has functioned as an organ that has given legitimacy to the Party's readership, acts as a representative organ through which the people can exercise their sovereign rights. In conclusion, the paper considers the potential for change in the functions of the NPC in Chinese politics and attempts to find signs of the advent, in the near future, of parliamentary politics in China.

Journal

  • International Relations

    International Relations 2006(145), 36-56,L7, 2006

    JAPAN ASSOCIATION OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

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