Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Civics Lesson

During second semester each student signed up to present a topic of their own choosing for 3-4 minutes in English. I loved these Teach the Teacher presentations because I learned so much about so many different aspects of Chinese culture and current events. Here is one that really caught my attention.

     "A few months ago, we had our new leaders in our country. But have you wondered where do they dome from? They don't just appear out of nowhere. And its' not that if you do something great, you'll be the president. Today I'd like to briefly talk about something where our leaders come from.
     "Firstly, we need to know something about our country's political system. Our constitution says that our country' power belongs to the people, and National Peoples' Congress is the top power. But in most cases, the Politburo has the top power. There are 25 members in Politburo. On top of that, there is a standing committee, which includes only 7 members. Those 7 people are the post powerful officials in our country.
     "We can roughly divide these members of Politburo into 3 factions. The first faction is called "Shanghai Gang." Led by former party chief Jiang Zemin, this faction has some connections with our country's commercial capital.  The second faction is called "Tuanpai," led by former preside Hu Jintao. People in this faction usually cultivate their careers in the Communist Youth League. Besides, there is a third faction, which we usually don't talk about, called "Princelings."  Princelings refer to the privileged children of revolutionary leaders. They often start their careers in the military, including our president Xi.
     "Currently, "Shanghai Gang" is the main force in Politburo, and "Tuanpai" is becoming more and more powerful. We can get a lot of things from that.  There are many problems in our country's political system, as the economy is growing relatively slow, the problems are becoming more and more obvious. So some people are expecting China to have some big political reforms. But looking at that, it's not really possible. President Xi is the first leader to take power while his two predecessors are still alive,which it'd be very hard to get consensus in the Communist Party.
    "By comparison, we can look at the political changes in North Korea. Compared to them, we are very democratic."

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