You are here


China's Path To Power: Party, Military and the Politics of State Transition


China's Path To Power: Party, Military and the Politics of State Transition

Publisher: Pentagon Security International(2010)
ISBN 978-81-8274-482-0
Rs. 695 [Order Now]

Book Review

About the Book

This book portrays how China's state transformation is taking place or moving without much notice through trial and error, which seems awfully cautious, balanced and systematic. Specially, it addresses the discourse of State transformation in China, contextualizing its progress and timely transformation in the military, civil-military, political and socio-economic terms. Scholars have tried to examine this discourse time and again. But again they have neglected to do that through “institutional” parameters. That means; literature is still lacking in identifying the changes in China’s systemic regime politics, particularly in military, civil-military ties, and economic terms at one place. Not many in India have tried to judge or identify China’s progress through its systemic transformation in institutional terms. Therefore, this study claims to be the opening of its kind from this region.

The bearings of this study are universal. It further intends to narrate how China’s systemic internal changes would manifest its external bearings and contribute to the discourse of the “rise of China”. China’s domestic conditions, it needs to be noted emphatically, contribute greatly to its external posture. This book has tried to highlight some of the emerging issues manifested in China’s overall State transformation. It has addressed the underlying factors of this change through military modernization, Party-military dynamics, regime politics, the regime’s process of taking decisions, and the complexity of the Chinese economic growth. How China is keeping a balance on many problematic fronts to pace its progress in a complex domestic order is in itself an interesting topic for study.

This year-long project in IDSA started as an attempt to examine the domestic order of China’s transitional politics. Separately, each chapter of this book has tried to offer a pragmatist assessment and granular insight into the particular issues they address in Chinese politics of State transformation, and identify numerous specific evolving dynamics worthy of policy relevance. The book seeks to argue about the emerging character of the regime and the nation-building approach through military and socio-economic means without upsetting China’s social stability. It is by no means an ultimate examination of all the transitional processes or discourses China is going through. But the analyses presented in this book reflect upon three broad, related themes in contemporary Chinese politics: political transition, nation building through military transformation and evolution of China as a State.

About the Author

Dr. Jagannath P. Panda is Associate Fellow at the China & South/East Asia cluster of the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi. This book is a research output of his year-long effort in the cluster. Prior to joining IDSA, Dr. Panda worked as Centrally Administered Fellow at the Indian Council for Social Science Research (ICSSR) of the Ministry of HRD, Govt. of India, New Delhi. He is a recipient of the V.K. Krishna Menon memorial Gold Medal for his excellent academic record in International law and diplomacy from the prestigious Indian Society of International Law (ISIL), New Delhi.

Dr. Panda was an institutional fellow at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies (SIIS), Shanghai from June 2009 to September 2009. He was also a visiting faculty at the National Chung-Hsing University (NCHU) in Taiwan from April 2010 to July 2010 under the NSC fellowship. As Associate Fellow at IDSA, he has worked as a lead member on various Task-Force projects from DRDO and Govt. of India on issues to China and Tibet.


Foreword by Prof. V.P. Dutt, Distinguished Fellow, IDSA
Preface and Acknowledgements
List of Tables and Charts
List of Abbreviations and Key Chinese Terminologies

Chapter I

I. The Dialogue on China’s Transition
II. ‘Systemic Incrementalism’
III. The Current Study

Chapter II

The Discourse of Regime Politics and its Character
I. The Core of the Argument
II. Framing the Dialogue of ‘Hybrid Regime’
III. Regime Categorization and China
IV. Election as a Factor
V. Extra-electoral Factors
VI. Adjusting to the Demand and Supply Mechanism
VII. The Complexity

Chapter III

The Course of Making Decisions and Strategy
I. The Complexity of the Decision-making Process
II. Leaders and their Decisions and Strategy
III. Current Structure and the Process of Decision-making
IV. New Actors and their Contributions
V. Mark of a ‘Great Power’?

Chapter IV

Politics Command the Economy
China’s Course of ‘Privatization’, Tryst with Globalization and Transition
I. The Core of China’s Economic Success
II. Crux of the Argument
III. Contextualizing the Case of Privatization
IV. Mao to Deng: The Nature of the Economy in the Early Years
V. 1992 and After
VI. Complexity of China’s Privatization Course

Chapter V

Revolution in Military Affairs
China’s Approach to Fortifying its Comprehensive National Power
I. The Core of the Debate
II. China as a Military Power: The Context
III. RMA: The Key to China’s Military Transformation
IV. A Continuing Dialogue
V. CNP as the National Goal
VI. RMA as a Political-Military Notion
VII. Non-military Connotation of RMA
VIII. Military Budget and Technological Drives
IX. National Security Objectives
X. RMA, the Monolithic Military and National Security Objectives
XI. What Could it Imply for India?

Chapter VI

Civil-Military Dynamics
I. The Historical Accounts
II. Framing the Discourse
III. The Military in Politics
IV. Beyond Symbiosis
V. Hu Jintao and Party-Military Politics
VI. Hu Jintao’s Military Thought and Fourth/Fifth-generation Leaders
VII. Waning of Military Representation
VIII. Increasing Importance of the State
IX. Future Power Politics: An Assessment

Chapter VII


A. China’s Current Top Leaders: A Backgrounder
B. Structure of the Chinese State: A Note
C. White Paper, China’s Political Party System, Information Office of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China; November 15, 2007, Beijing.
D. Influential (Select) Think-tanks in China Today: A Note
E. Recent Important Chinese writings and Views on India

Select Bibliography


How to order

Contact: Pentagon Press, 206, Peacock Lane, Shahpur Jat, New Delhi-110049
Phone : 64706243, 26491568 Fax: 91-11-26490600
E-Mail: Web: