China’s Foreign- and Security-policy Decision-making Processes under Hu Jintao

Jean-Pierre Cabestan

Abstract


Since 1979, foreign- and security-policy-making and implementation processes have gradually and substantially changed. New modes of operation that have consolidated under Hu Jintao, actually took shape under Jiang Zemin in the 1990s, and some, under Deng Xiaoping. While the military’s role has diminished, that of diplomats, experts, and bureaucracies dealing with trade, international economic relations, energy, propaganda and education has increased. Decision making in this area has remained highly centralized and concentrated in the supreme leading bodies of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). However, China’s globalization and decentralization, as well as the increasing complexity of its international interests, have intensified the need to better coordinate the activities of the various CCP and state organs involved in foreign and security policy; hence, the growing importance of the CCP leading small groups (foreign affairs, national security, Taiwan, etc.). But the rigidity of the current institutional pattern has so far foiled repeated attempts to establish a National Security Council.

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