The Newsletter 53 Spring 2010

The future of village elections in China

Kerry Brown

China’s moves towards opening and modernising its economy which started in the late 1970s and early 1980s are well known. Less appreciated is that, at about the same time, the central leaders - under the newly reinstalled Deng Xiaoping - began looking at ways to restore stability and order in China’s rural areas. In 1988, provisions were made for 14 provinces to hold village elections. Within a decade the process had been rolled out across the whole country. Kerry Brown examines how far this experiment in ‘democracy’ has come and where it may be heading.

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