ComparativePolitics China and the USA
Withcivilization and the introduction of modern government systems,various nations have adopted different ways through which they runtheir affairs. For instance, the USA and China have a uniquegovernment and political structures in their countries. This hasbeen contributed by certain factors such as historical backgrounds,which made the countries adopt a political structure that would helpthem coexist peacefully. The USA has a very rich history in fightsfor equality, and as a result, there has been the adoption offederalism, which allows the country to have a national governmentand state ones that work independently (Zucker 5).
Beforethe U.S. came to exist, its constituent states operated independentlywith their respective leadership until the formation of the Union andits Constitution. However, some states ceased to be members of theUnion leading to ratification of the Constitution to accommodatedifferent state interests. On the other hand, China has adopted acommunist party system where a particular single party runs thegovernment. This can be equated to the traditional monarchy or theempire system. Therefore,the political systems that have been adopted by USA and China differssignificantly and are greatly influenced by historical background.
Tobegin with, China under its Constitution has been established as asocialist state. This came to be on October 1st,1949 and it states that "the People`s Republic of China (PRC) isa socialist state under the people`s democratic dictatorship led bythe working class and based on the alliance of workers and peasants.The socialist system is the basic system of the People`s Republic ofChina. Sabotage of the socialist system by any organization orindividual is prohibited." As a result, the government has beengiven the power to control a lot of property as state-owned.
Moreover,the PRC has been given power under its constitution to own andcontrol nation’s resources such as beaches, grasslands, forests,mineral resources, mountains, waters and unclaimed lands among others(Mahler 362). Furthermore, the central government has control overmajor industries and companies that provide social amenities such astransport, communication, or power supply.
Onthe contrary, the USA Constitution is liberal and does not mentionthe system that people will adopt in their governance or coexistence(Zucker 9). It leaves the freedom to the people to decide what isbest for them. Also, the people are encouraged to own privateproperty, and this privilege is protected under the Constitution. Toincrease the efficiency of the private sector and service delivery,the USA has adopted a capitalist system where private businesses areallowed to help in running national industries (Zucker 10).
Moreover,these two states differ greatly in their institutions. In the USA,powers of government have been distributed among the three arms,which are executive, judiciary and legislation. These powers areexercised by the president, Supreme Court, and the Congress,respectively. Among the branches, none can be said to be superior tothe other and thus, they act as watchdogs to each other. In the PRCstate, the powers of the judiciary, the legislature, and executiveoverlap with those of People’s Congress, the president and StateCouncil. The PRC Congress can be said to have more power, and intheir capacity, they act as a check on the other branches of stategovernance (Mahler 374).
Whenone breaks down the observation to individual arms of government,he/she will realize that in the USA, the powers to make federalregulation rest with Congress. However, the president can issueorders and also the executive agencies can make administrativeregulations within their jurisdiction under the Constitution(Ishiyama 40). The reason why Congress has the sole power to makelegislation, is to avoid a monarchy state. In the PRC, the StateCouncil and the National People’s Congress play a role in makinglaws (Mahler 374).
Furthermore,there are still differences between the United States and PRC in thecomposition of the executive and mode of coming into power. In theUSA, the president is elected through college vote system afterwinning party nomination primaries as the presidential candidate anddoes not share his powers with any arm of government (Clark 40).
Onthe contrary in the PRC, the executive powers are shared by the StateCouncil and the President (Mahler 372). The president is elected bythe People’s National Congress. The reason behind sharing of thepower of the President with the State Council in the PRC is to avoidthe reemergence of the feudal society. The State Council is headed bya Prime Minister, and it has powers to give directions to the lowerdivisions, and they can pass administrative laws (Mahler 373).
Additionally,these two states judiciary systems are quite different. For instance,in the USA, the Supreme Court interprets the Constitution in casethere are conflicting issues and vets whether the laws that have beenmade by Congress and actions of the executive are constitutional.
Therefore,the president and Congress commit their responsibilities under thewatch of the Supreme Court (Clark 46). “In the PRC, a civil lawsystem is employed. This system derives its reference of law fromstatutory code and case precedents are not legally or judiciarybinding.” (Mahler 376). Thus, in the PRC, the legislative body ispowerful as it elects the president and oversees the operations ofthe executive and judiciary.
Also,the government system differs greatly as the PRC has centralized itspowers in Beijing, its capital. The country is run through thecommunist party, through which the president and Congress give ordersto various provinces that should be followed to the later (Mahler363). On the other hand, in the USA, there is an adoption of afederalism system where the responsibilities and powers of thefederal and states’ governments are separated. The USA has onenational Constitution, but each state also has its constitution,which is applicable in that vicinity and their citizens (Ishiyama45).
Moreover,when one examines the party system, he/she will realize that PRC hasbeen dominated by the Communist party and to be elected as anofficial, many choose to be in that party because being a member isconsidered as an honor. As a consequence of this domination, thereare few members holding high positions in the government (Mahler363). No single party in the PRC can compete with the communist partyand interest groups only persuade them to change policies orpolitical decisions. In the USA, one can be president of any party aslong as it is registered per Constitution. However, the country’spolitics has been dominated by leadership from the Republican andDemocrat party members than any other.
Thus,the USA system can be termed as a two party system. As a result, itis easy to implement the policies of different government as poweralways alternates among these two parties. Moreover, the role ofinterest groups in the USA is undeniable as they influence manydomestic and foreign policies. This has been made possible by thelevel of democracy and ability to enjoy the freedom of expression inthe USA (Clark 78).
Furthermore,as a result of high population and reduction in resources in the PRC,the government has greatly intervened in formulating policies tointroduce new technologies in agriculture to alleviate poverty. Inthe USA, fewer efforts are dedicated to this sector as it is notconsidered important factor for the development of the nation. Thepowers to make agricultural reforms have been devolved to individualstates, except on scenarios where there is an issue between states.
Additionally,the USA and China also differ in their foreign policy. Previously,the PRC was less involved at the international stage, but currently,the nation is making inroads in various countries through loans,grants, trade and investment (Johnston 30). The USA, on the otherhand, has been international players for a quite long time. They havestamped their feet in the global sphere by offering aids, which mightbe in the form of food, personnel, and military. This has been donethrough an organization like USAID among others, which provideassistance to different states in trouble.
Furthermore,the USA has earned its place as a superpower due to its militaryinvolvement in foreign states in a mass campaign to eradicate tyrannyand terrorism (Clark 40). Moreover, it has been instrumental incontrolling those states that own some weapons of mass destruction.Compared to the PRC, the USA has remained very active at theinternational stage rebuking governments that mistreat their peopleand commit mass crimes against human rights.
Therefore,the political system of China and the USA greatly differ in thecapacity of foreign policies legislative, the judiciary andexecutive roles and composition. This is because while the USApresident is elected through the college vote and by the people andenjoy the executive powers with his administration, the PRC presidentis elected by the National People’s Congress and shares the powersof the executive with the State Council.
Moreover,the legislation is made up of Congress in the USA and makes laws,while in the PRC, the National People Congress represented by itscommittee makes laws, and acts as a watchdog of executive andjudiciary bodies. Thus, the Supreme Court in the USA is more power asneither executive, nor the legislature is bigger than it, but areequal parties of government with different roles. They have the powerto make laws through judicial proceedings and monitor the executiveand legislature through judicial review.
Onthe contrary, in the PRC the People’s Supreme Court cannot makelaws and its precedents are not binding. Additionally, the PRC hasadopted a communist party system approach with a concentration ofpower to the central government while the USA has assimilated a morelike two party system where power is rotated with government andfederal states having their responsibilities and powers. As a result,there is more active participation and influence of interest groupsin the USA than the PRC.
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Ishiyama,John T. ComparativePolitics: Principles of Democracy and Democratization.John Wiley & Sons, 2011.
Johnston,Alastair I. "How New and Assertive Is China`s NewAssertiveness?" InternationalSecurity,vol. 37, no. 4, 2013, pp. 7-48.
Mahler,Gregory S. Principlesof Comparative Politics.Pearson, 2013.
Zucker,Ross. "What type of political system is the US? Forthcoming inthe Journal of Political Power." Journalof Political Power,vol. 9, no. 1, 2016, pp. 5-44.