|Abstract: ||Despite the collapse of communist regimes in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) still maintains its control over mainland China. Economically, the CCP has opened up China to the outside world and is pushing the country toward market- oriented reform. National wealth and living standards have experienced impressive growth. Politically, although it claims to be a democratic organization that has been committed to democratic practices for years, the CCP and its government remain a dictatorship by the world standard. As the momentum toward a market economy increases, pressure for political reform and democratization will also build.|
This paper examines the rationale of CCP rule and its implications for political democratization in mainland China. The underlying assumptions and historical heritage of CCP power are first examined, followed by an analysis of Mao's concept of mass participation, Deng's collective leadership, and the emergent educated elites' claims of open competition for offices. The last Section is an objective assessment of historical and realistic as well as domestic and international forces for democratic changes in China. It is projected that the Chinese democratization process will likely be regime-initiated, but with strong inducement from economic, political, and social interests originating from economic development.