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J.P. Cohan, Timothy Kelch, Jennifer Lechy, and Nick Stockero ACF Abstract FY10

Change in Economic System Leads to a New Hope

Conference Name: Globalization and the Challenge of the Humanities and Social Sciences

China has been in a state of reform and change since December 1978 when the Third Plenum of the Eleventh National Party’s Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) changed the main party focus from class struggle to economic development. In turn, this leads to a complex relationship between the private and the public sector. As a result, “The CCP is increasingly integrating itself with the private sector, both by co-opting entrepreneurs into the Party and encouraging current Party members to go into business” (Dickson 2007, 852). Therefore, a relationship is built between the wealthy class and the party as well as the private sector. With economic development, the middle class in China has just recently emerged. However, the creation of a middle class leaves the people wanting a greater involvement in their own government. Global organizations such as the World Bank and the World Trade Organization help China loosen its government’s control. Considering all points in mind with privatization, can China move forward with political reform? Or will the government command the economy with partnerships between private and public? My argument is that with the complex relationship between the public and private sector, the elite business owners and party members, a creation of the “new bourgeoisie class” or middle class, and the influence from the World Bank and the WTO; influences political change in China. It fits the entrepreneurs, party members, and the middle class growing into a more democratic China.