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(912 words)

Author(s): Scharping, Thomas
The Chinese concept of the cadre is rooted in Leninism and similarly refers to small elites of professional revolutionaries who operate in a partially conspiratorial fashion, who subject themselves to the principles of democratic centralism, and who possess the scientific world-view and knowledge of historical developmental principles that are required for leading the insufficiently politicized masses to revolutionary combat. The concept was adopted in China during the early 20th century, since …


(1,903 words)

Author(s): Scharping, Thomas
As early as the conquest of the Shang Empire by the succeeding Zhou dynasty in the mid-11th century BCE we have a sketchy impression of migration from northwest China into the North China Plain. After that, the wars of the Warring States and repeated incursions of nomads from the north from the 8th to the 3rd century BCE, led to further population shifts and competing repopulations. The first accurate records available are those dating from the unification of the empire by Qin Shihuang who reset…

Political Decision-Making Process

(2,788 words)

Author(s): Scharping, Thomas
1. Transformation of Formal and Informal Principles In its Constitution as well as in countless other normative regulations and political guidelines, the PRC acknowledges the leadership monopoly of the Communist Party in state, economy, and society. This leadership monopoly is realized through the cadre system (cadres), which is characterized by the frequent overlapping of positions and by the principle of democratic centralism, that is: strict discipline within the party hierarchy, elections that are …


(3,414 words)

Author(s): Scharping, Thomas
1. Data Situation The limits of the traditional census system and the micro-data handed down at the family level allow only for rough estimates of the development of the population during past centuries. Only from 1905 onwards, modern economic and social statistics with better demographic data developed, albeit slowly (statistics). More reliable data on the population of the whole of China has only been available since the 1953 census and very good data only since the 1982 census. Under the influen…

Population Policy

(2,693 words)

Author(s): Scharping, Thomas
1. Traditional Ideals In early Chinese texts on political philosophy, dating back to the 7th to 1st centuries BCE, population policy played an important role. A large population was generally considered a sign of good governance. Rulers were advised to promote population growth in order to be able to cultivate the land, enhance defensive powers, and increase tax revenues. The dominant pro-natalism found its expression in suggestions to promote marriages through state-administered match-making, whil…

Social-Science Research on China

(1,264 words)

Author(s): Scharping, Thomas
Social-science research on China applies the theories and methods of disciplines such as sociology, political system, psychology, ethnology, economics, and of their derivatives or related fields of knowledge. It is conducted either from the perspective of these subjects, or from within Sinology (Chinese studies in the West). In the latter case, the institutional demarcation has recently increased between Chinese studies with a focus on social science, on the one hand, and classical Sinology with…


(2,516 words)

Author(s): Scharping, Thomas
1. Historical Overview Ancient China created impressive foundations of economic and social statistics in the service of tax levies and state administration. There is evidence of this fact from before the Common Era. Population numbers and data on the area of arable land are available for many years following the year 2 and became more detailed over subsequent centuries. First tax rates and information on the number of state-owned granaries are available from the year 749 onwards. From ca. 960 there…