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China Scholarship Digest #14

A monthly list of new China-related academic research.

Articles published in August 2022

69 journals scanned

65 articles from 20 journals

Chinese Studies

Journal of Contemporary China

"China’s 40 million party and state cadres all matriculate through an elaborate system set of more than 7000 institutions for mid-career cadre training. These mid-career training institutions have long been an integral part of the Chinese party-state but have become even more important during Xi Jinping’s tenure. Drawing on unique Chinese published sources and interviews, the article examines the history and current organization of the five separate institutional systems involved in civilian cadre training, the evolving reforms in them, and their role in sustaining CCP rule. These training school systems in China are becoming more rather than less important for these reasons. Thus, the entire training system nationwide needs to be better understood by scholars and analysts of the Chinese political system."
"This article examines how resources were allocated from the central government to rural households through China’s targeted poverty alleviation program. The fieldwork in different regions from 2015 to 2019 revealed that local social rules and structures distorted the allocation of anti-poverty resources. In ‘solidarity’ villages, resources targeted disadvantaged groups recognized by local but not official rules. In ‘individualized’ villages without strong local rules, resources were given to ‘troublemakers.’ In ‘factional’ villages, a scramble for resources occurred. The anti-poverty resources activated the rural social structures and rules, which finally diversified the outcomes of resource flows. This study suggests that a deep understanding of local traditions is needed in policy design and implementation to tackle the existing social rules and achieve the original policy target."
"Between 2014 and 2019, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leaders conducted an internal debate over whether to continue prioritizing economic development as the Party’s most important policy priority or whether to consider security equally as important. The debate has concluded as of 2020, and the CCP has embraced a new guiding principle that elevates security alongside development as a key policy focus. The CCP appears to have determined it can assert itself on a broad range of issues beyond those permitted by the ‘development-first’ approach it maintained since 2002, even at cost to economic growth. Following its new policy determination, the Chinese government’s behavior will be harder to shape using only tools that primarily threaten Chinese economic performance."
"Based on a nine-city cell phone survey in 2019, this paper systematically examines which groups showed stronger support for armed unification with Taiwan and what factors and mechanisms might contribute to their support. The bivariate analysis shows the politically, economically, and socially privileged groups and those with stronger national pride and more understanding of Taiwan were more pro-armed unification, while residents of the two coastal cities, Xiamen and Guangzhou, were less supportive. Further analysis indicates education and unfavorable view of the Taiwanese government were the two most powerful factors contributing to the support. Possible contributing mechanisms might include both top-down mechanisms, such as political indoctrination and propaganda, and bottom-up ones, such as the respondents’ interest and identity considerations influenced by their city’s proximity to Taiwan."

China Quarterly

"This article investigates the recent proliferation of family-themed homosexual stories in China based on life-history interviews and participant observation conducted in Shenzhen. We develop the concept of “neo-Confucian homonormativity” – characterized by a harmonious relationship between gay men and their families of origin and their ability and aspiration to enter a monogamous relationship and become parents – to explain the production, circulation and consumption of these stories in the Chinese gay community. We argue that these stories are socially embedded actions enabled by the emerging neoliberal sexual politics in the Chinese gay community that influence the organization of the Chinese gay community and Chinese gay men's lived experiences. By analysing the emerging storytelling practices in the Chinese gay community, this article challenges the Western-centric way of theorizing homonormativity and opens up the possibility to conceptualize homonormativity from an Asian perspective."

Asian Studies

Journal of Contemporary Asia

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