The Performance Criteria of Legitimacy：The Transformation of the Chinese Communist Party from Deng Xiaoping to Hu Jintao
This paper investigated the shift of criteria of legitimacy and the transformation of the CCP in the reform era by first analyzing Party decay and the erosion of social solidarity under Deng's“Party of Economics,” followed by a discussion of institution building under Jiang Zemin. The author then elaborated power transition from Jiang Zemin to Hu Jintao and the task of building a new political order in post-Jiang China.
Given the material, societal, and political changes in China, it is hard to see the new leadership's effort simply as a top-down process. Accordingly, the new leadership has to stay closely to public opinion, provide institutional petition accesses for the Chinese, and establish institutional channels of public participation for the sake of stability and the very survival of the CCP.
Hu's opportunity may very well lie in coalition building at the top and democratization within the Chinese political context at the grassroots. However, it remains to be seen whether the new leadership will be able to seize the historical opportunity. Ultimately, the policy outcome of the leadership change will be determined by the political skills of the new leaders in the short run and by their courage and willingness to meet the demands of citizen-masses in the long run.
Keywords: The legitimacy of the CCP,