The PRC Decision-Making Process
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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This thesis examines the process by which decisions are made in the Peoples Republic of China during times of crisis. It explores who has the authority to make decisions in China today and who will have this authority as new leaders take control of the Politburo in 2002. The thesis also examines the role that the Peoples Liberation Army plays in national security and foreign policy decision- making during times of crisis. The April 2001 EP-3 incident is examined to assess high-level decision-making in the Communist Party, the level of military involvement, and the role of the media. This thesis concludes that decisions are made on a consensual basis by a nuclear circle of leaders consisting mainly of Politburo Standing Committee members and a few close advisors to the President. The thesis also concludes that the military plays a smaller role than is often presumed in the decision-making process during times of crisis. Decision-making in the PRC may be expected to become more decentralized in the future. Although no theoretical or legal framework exists to guide the current process, it is likely that the process will become more efficient and structured over time.
- Government and Political Science