China into the Hu-wen Era: Policy Initiatives And Challenges by John Wong, Lai Hongyi

By John Wong, Lai Hongyi

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Finally, it also needs to overcome structural flaws in its closed political system by introducing some form of election starting from the local level. Part II Strengthening Governance and Rule of Law Chapter Hu Jintaos Consolidation of Power and His Command of the Gun YouJi Hu Jintao's consolidation of power has been closely linked to the process of the transfer of power from the third generation leadership to the fourth. Since the transfer has been the smoothest in the history of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Hu's consolidation has also been the most uneventful.

The new leadership is clearly aware that an adequate social safety net can help to ease much of the discontent by groups that go under the market competition, ensure a secure life for citizens of all ages and maintain political stability. Edward Gu provides a comprehensive overview on various welfare regimes in China since the late 1970s and highlights the one under Hu. According to Gu, China's old social welfare regime was composed of workplace-based urban welfare and marginalizedgroups-oriented social welfare.

3 For more on China's two-tier leadership system, see Frederick Teiwes, "The Paradoxical Post-Mao Transition: From Obeying the Leader to "Normal Politics", The China Journal, No. 34 (July 1995), p. 82 and Ian Wilson and You Ji, "Leadership by Lines: China's Unresolved Succession", Problems of Communism, Vol. 39, No. 1 January 1990. Hu Jintao's Consolidation of Power and His Command of the Gun 37 Secondly, the termination of life-time tenure means that even the top leader has to quit while alive.

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