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Synopsis

This book grew out of a series of my doctoral essays and discussion with Fulbright scholar, Mr. Tasawar Baig and Professor David Earnest at Old Dominion University. Some ideas and thoughts were also inspired by Professor Robert Putnam at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government and Professor Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski (former US National Security Advisor) when they did lectures and special discussion with me at Old Dominion University in 2009 and 2012, respectively. In The Third Wave (1991), Samuel Huntington explains various sociopolitical factors caused radical political changes in developing countries. His analysis shows that for Africa, the main obstacle for building democracy is economy, While for East Asia and the Middle East, the major obstacle are culture and religion. Huntington’s analysis oversimplified the driving factors of democratization in specific case, such as China, a hybrid of Capitalist economy and communist politics. This paper measures the current democratization of Chinese politics from three perspectives: social capital, rapid economic development and radical social movement. Thus, the grand question is whether these factors can lead to a regime change in China? The author draws a conclusion that the radical political change is possible but not desirable in Chinese politics. In the eyes of rising Chinese middle Class, a Singaporean political transformation or South Korean democratization is more favored than radical democratization. Following the US Presidential election, China went through a one week meeting of the 18th National Congress starting on November 8, 2012. Without much surprise, Xi replaced Hu, becoming the core of Chinese communist power. The power transition seems to be smooth in Chinese media coverage. However, anecdotes, rumors, unofficial reports and foreign news exposed the political battle behind the stage. President Xi is now facing a stark different situation compared to Hu. Today, China is the world’s second largest economy. At the same time, China is experiencing rising mass disturbance every year. As a non-democracy, leaders’ past experience, network and personality can greatly influence state policies. With more people getting rich and educated, the mass claim the mismatch between Chinese politics and economy. Other than changing domestic Chinese politics, China has drawn much attention internationally. China’s presence in Africa and the Middle East tightens the nerves of U.S. policy makers. Is China a peaceful or benign riser? Where is China heading toward? What interests are Chinese companies pursuing and what strategies are they using globally? The book investigates these questions in different chapters. Globalization is the current trend. As a propeller, China’s participation in global trade greatly shapes world order. In return, global trade also produced effects on China’s domestic labor market, particularly on the traditional Chinese women labors. This book is a sound recipe integrating both faces of China domestically and internationally.

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