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Tony Saich & Xuedong Yang

In: Grass-Roots Democracy in India and China: The Right to Participate

Chapter 4: Selecting within the Rules: Institutional Innovation in China's Governance1

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Selecting within the Rules: Institutional Innovation in China's Governance1
Selecting within the rules: Institutional innovation in China's governance
TonySaich and XuedongYang

Following the Fifteenth Party Congress (1997), there was not only a consolidation of the villagers’ election programme but also an increased interest in reforming township government. A small number of localities took General Secretary Jiang Zemin's comments to extend the ‘scope of democracy’ at the grass-roots level and to establish a ‘sound system of democratic elections’ for grass-roots organs of power as a green light to experiment with township elections (Jiang, 1997). Subsequent reports of the first direct election of a township head in Buyun, Sichuan Province, stirred great interest within China and abroad that this might mark the extension of direct elections from the village ...

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