Redefining Power: How the Chinese Communist Party can adapt to a new reality and survive in the 21st Century

Zachary Ochoa, James Madison University

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Abstract:The Chinese Community Party has maintained a firm grip on Chinese Society for over half a century. Recently, it has overseen the dramatic rise of China in the realms of economics, military power, and international relations. However, these advances also come with risks, and the CCP may actually find itself in a more vulnerable position as time goes on. The author examines these risks and hypothesizes on how the CCP can adapt to meet these new challenges.

Introduction Nothing lasts forever. This phrase has come to define modern history when discussing great powers. It must be one that makes many politicians and leaders in the People’s Republic of China very nervous. The new century has seen the collapse of just about all of the world’s communist states. Of the ones that survive, all but China make up some of the globe’s weakest powers. China alone in the surviving communist world has managed to achieve the status of a rising power and is regarded by several to be an emerging superpower. However, the more power and wealth China accumulates for its leaders and people, the more vulnerable the communist party-state becomes. In a single party state, the only way to stay in power is for the party in power to prove itself an invaluable asset to its people. The Chinese Communist Party has done this by fostering the growth of a massive Chinese middle class and making China a global center for exports and manufacturing, boosting its economy. Under its leadership the people of China have seen years of above-average economic growth and a whole new world of opportunities. Without a doubt the CCP has brought prosperity to its people, but unfortunately this is a double-edged sword.

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