On September 27, 2022, the Institute for Global Governance Research (GGR) hosted the 8th Brown Bag Lunch seminar titled “What Is ‘Chinese Style’: ‘Universal Values’ of the ‘New Era’” with Dr. Makoto Tajimi as the lecturer.
Professor Tajimi explained the meaning of “rule of law” and “democracy” under Chinese Communist Party rule based on the system of domestic governance in China since Mao Zedong, and discussed the prospects for a “new era” after the Xi Jinping administration. At the beginning of the seminar, Professor Tajimi touched on the muddled relationship between the Party and law, pointing out that “rule of law” means rule by the Party based on law, given that Chinese laws are published as Party documents. He explained that the concept of “democracy” in China has changed from “Great Democracy,” in which the people create their own movements to realize their own interests, to “Small Democracy,” in which power is effectively concentrated in the hands of the Party while elections are systematically held. He also pointed out that since the Xi Jinping administration in 2012, the concentration of power in the Party has deepened. He also explained that China’s authoritarian rule, which has been criticized by “Western” countries, is justified by the Party as “Chinese-style democracy” on the grounds that more than 95% of Chinese citizens are satisfied with the rule. Toward the end of the seminar, he discussed the future of Chinese governance, which is undergoing remarkable technological development. He pointed out the possibility that in the future China will use AI and big data to develop laws and rule of law in a way that is different from human thought and language, and expressed concern about this future.
In the Q&A session, attended by about 10 professors and students, there was a lively exchange of opinions, including questions on the scope of “the people” and the position of minorities in China, the difference between Mao Zedong’s and Xi Jinping’s views on domestic governance, and opinions on the aspect of rationalism common to both late Qing Dynasty and modern China. A lively exchange of opinions took place.
【Event Report prepared by】
Tomohito Nakano (Master’s student, School of International and Public Policy, Hitotsubashi University)