Chinese Political Reform and the Question of 'Deputy Quality'

China Information, Vol. 8, No. 3 , pp. 20-31, Winter 1993-1994

12 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2008

See all articles by Kevin J. O'Brien

Kevin J. O'Brien

University of California, Berkeley - Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science

Lianjiang Li

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Faculty of Social Science

Abstract

An ongoing debate over criteria for selecting Chinese people's congress deputies casts doubt on the democratic credentials of many reformers. Archival materials and interviews with Chinese legislative leaders, deputies, and staff demonstrate a range of views on how to improve "deputy quality." Some respondents emphasize deputy educational attainment and bureaucratizing congresses while others emphasize social diversity and popularizing congresses. "Democratic" pressures for legislative reform often mask efforts by intellectuals and middle class elements to press group interests at the expense of workers and peasants. Doubts about political equality exist among many intellectual deputies who focus on improving "deputy quality" to increase their representation in state affairs. But staff members and worker and peasant deputies often argue that the "quality" of China's population remains low and the less educated deserve representation, too.

Keywords: China, local people's congress, legislatures, elections

JEL Classification: O54, P20

Suggested Citation

O'Brien, Kevin J. and Li, Lianjiang, Chinese Political Reform and the Question of 'Deputy Quality'. China Information, Vol. 8, No. 3 , pp. 20-31, Winter 1993-1994, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1118846

Kevin J. O'Brien (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science ( email )

210 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Lianjiang Li

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Faculty of Social Science ( email )

Hong Kong

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