United Front (People's Republic of China)
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United Front People's Republic of China
Socialist United Front
Simplified Chinese?
Traditional Chinese?
Patriotic United Front
Simplified Chinese()
Traditional Chinese()
People's Democratic United Front (1945-1966)[1]
Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese
Revolutionary United Front
(1966-1978)[2]
Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese
National Emblem of the People's Republic of China (2).svg

politics and government of
China
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg China portal

The United Front (simplified Chinese: ?; traditional Chinese: ?; pinyin: T?ngy? Zhànxiàn) is a strategy and a network of groups and key individuals that are influenced or controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and used to advance its interests. It has traditionally been a popular front that has included eight legally-permitted political parties, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, and other organizations.[3] Under Xi Jinping, the United Front and its targets of influence have expanded in size and scope.[4][5][6][7][8] The United Front is managed primarily by the United Front Work Department (UFWD) but is not limited solely to the UFWD. It encompasses numerous subservient front organizations and their affiliates within China and abroad.[6][9][10][11]

History

The CCP organized the "National Revolution United Front" (Chinese: ) with the Kuomintang during the Northern Expedition of 1926-1928 and then the "Workers' and Peasants' Democratic United Front" (Chinese: ) in the Chinese Soviet Republic era of 1931-1937. Mao Zedong originally promoted the "Anti-Japanese National United Front" (Chinese: ), with the name indicating that the proletarian Chinese Communists had united with the bourgeoisie against Imperial Japan[12] in the 1930s. It "assumed its current form" in 1946,[13] three years before the Chinese Communist Party defeated the authoritarian governing party Kuomintang's Nationalist government of Chiang Kai-shek. Mao credited the United Front as one of his "Three Magic Weapons" against the Kuomintang--alongside the Leninist Chinese Communist Party and the Red Army--and credited the Front with playing a part in his victory.[13][14]

Activities

The United Front is a strategy that the CCP has used to influence beyond its immediate circles while downplaying direct associations with the CCP.[15] In theory, the United Front existed to give front organizations and non-Communist forces a platform in society.[16] However, scholars describe the contemporary United Front as a network of organizations that engage in various types of political warfare for the CCP.[17] According to a 2018 report by the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission, "United Front work serves to promote Beijing's preferred global narrative, pressure individuals living in free and open societies to self-censor and avoid discussing issues unfavorable to the CCP, and harass or undermine groups critical of Beijing's policies."[18] Scholar Jeffrey Stoff also argues that the CPP's "influence apparatus intersects with or directly supports its global technology transfer apparatus."[19]

Leaders of formal United Front organizations are mostly selected by the CCP, or are themselves CCP members.[20] This process is institutionalized in the CPPCC.[21] In practice, United Front member parties and allied organizations are subservient to the CCP, and must accept the CCP's "leading role" as a condition of their continued existence. Historically, the CCP co-opted and re-purposed non-Communist organizations to become part of the United Front through tactics of entryism.[22]

In September 2020, the CCP announced that it would strengthen United Front work in the private sector by establishing more party committees in regional federations of industry and commerce (FIC), and by arranging a special liaison between FICs and the CCP.[23]

The United Front parties have nominal representation in the National People's Congress.

"In building socialism it is essential to rely on workers, peasants and intellectuals and to unite all forces that can be united. In the long years of revolution and construction, there has been formed under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party a broad patriotic united front which is composed of the democratic parties and people's organizations and which embraces all socialist working people, all builders of socialism, all patriots who support socialism, and all patriots who stand for the reunification of the motherland. This united front will continue to be consolidated and developed. The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, a broadly based representative organization of the united front which has played a significant historical role, will play a still more important role in the country's political and social life, in promoting friendship with other countries and in the struggle for socialist modernization and for the reunification and unity of the country. The system of the multi-party cooperation and political consultation led by the Communist Party of China will exist and develop for a long time to come."

--Preamble of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China[24]

According to the Taiwanese Mainland Affairs Council the United Front uses internet celebrities to carry out infiltration campaigns on social media.[25]

In 2019, the United Front's budget was estimated at $2.6 billion which was larger than the Chinese Foreign Ministry's budget.[26]

United Front members

The Chinese United Front also includes the following organisations:

Organs

The two organs traditionally affiliated with United Front are the United Front Work Department and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). According to Yi-Zheng Lian, the organs "are often poorly understood outside China because there are no equivalents for them in the West".[13] Scholar Jichang Lulu noted that United Front organizations abroad "re-purpose democratic governance structures to serve as tools of extraterritorial influence."[27]

United Front Work Department

The United Front Work Department is headed by the chief of the secretariat of the CCP's Central Committee. It oversees front organizations and their affiliates in multiple countries such as the Chinese Students and Scholars Association,[9][28] which helps Chinese students and academics studying or residing in the West, enjoining them to conduct "people-to-people diplomacy" on behalf of the People's Republic of China.[13]

Electoral history

National People's Congress elections

Election Seats +/- Position Government
1982-83
Steady Steady 1st Sole legal coalition
1987-88
Increase 1 Steady 1st Sole legal coalition
1993-94
Steady Steady 1st Sole legal coalition
1997-98
Steady Steady 1st Sole legal coalition
2002-03
Increase 5 Steady 1st Sole legal coalition
2007-08
Increase 3 Steady 1st Sole legal coalition
2012-13
Steady Steady 1st Sole legal coalition
2017-18
Decrease 7 Steady 1st Sole legal coalition

See also

References

  1. ^ 1954 Constitution, http://www.npc.gov.cn/wxzl/wxzl/2000-12/26/content_4264.htm Archived 2019-08-16 at the Wayback Machine Archived 2019-08-16 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ 1975 Constitution: http://www.npc.gov.cn/wxzl/wxzl/2000-12/06/content_4362.htm Archived 2018-07-05 at the Wayback Machine Archived 2018-07-05 at the Wayback Machine; 1978 Constitution: http://www.npc.gov.cn/wxzl/wxzl/2000-12/06/content_4365.htm Archived 2018-09-29 at the Wayback Machine Archived 2018-09-29 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "The United Front in Communist China" (PDF). Central Intelligence Agency. May 1957. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 23, 2017. Retrieved 2020.
  4. ^ Brady, Anne-Marie (2017). "Magic Weapons: China's political influence activities under Xi Jinping" (PDF). Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. S2CID 197812164. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ Groot, Gerry (2016-09-19), Davies, Gloria; Goldkorn, Jeremy; Tomba, Luigi (eds.), "The Expansion of the United Front Under Xi Jinping" (PDF), The China Story Yearbook 2015: Pollution (1st ed.), ANU Press, doi:10.22459/csy.09.2016.04a, ISBN 978-1-76046-068-6, retrieved
  6. ^ a b Joske, Alex (June 9, 2020). "The party speaks for you: Foreign interference and the Chinese Communist Party's united front system". Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Archived from the original on June 9, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  7. ^ Groot, Gerry (2019-09-24). "The CCP's Grand United Front abroad". Sinopsis. Retrieved .
  8. ^ Tatlow, Didi Kirsten (July 12, 2019). "The Chinese Influence Effort Hiding in Plain Sight". The Atlantic. ISSN 1072-7825. Retrieved .
  9. ^ a b Bowe, Alexander (August 24, 2018). "China's Overseas United Front Work: Background and Implications for the United States" (PDF). United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission. Archived (PDF) from the original on September 9, 2018. Retrieved 2019.
  10. ^ Joske, Alex (2019-07-22). "The Central United Front Work Leading Small Group: Institutionalising united front work". Sinopsis. Retrieved .
  11. ^ Hamilton, Clive; Ohlberg, Mareike (2020). Hidden Hand: Exposing How the Chinese Communist Party Is Reshaping the World. New York: Oneworld Publications. ISBN 978-1-78607-784-4. OCLC 1150166864.
  12. ^ Compare: "Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung. INTRODUCING THE COMMUNIST: October 4, 1939". Marxist.org. October 4, 1939. Archived from the original on 15 July 2018. Retrieved 2018. Although the united front was formed and has been maintained for three years now, the bourgeoisie, and especially the big bourgeoisie, has constantly been trying to destroy our Party, the big bourgeois capitulators and die-hards have been instigating serious friction throughout the country, and the anti-Communist clamour is incessant. All this is being used by the big bourgeois capitulators and die-hards to prepare the way for capitulating to Japanese imperialism, breaking up the united front and dragging China backwards. Ideologically, the big bourgeoisie is trying to "corrode" communism, whilst politically and organizationally it is trying to liquidate the Communist Party, the Border Region and the Party's armed forces.
  13. ^ a b c d Lian, Yi-Zheng (21 May 2018). "China Has a Vast Influence Machine, and You Don't Even Know It". New York Times. Archived from the original on 22 May 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  14. ^ Compare: "Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung. INTRODUCING THE COMMUNIST: October 4, 1939". Marxist.org. October 4, 1939. Archived from the original on 15 July 2018. Retrieved 2018. ... our eighteen years of experience have taught us that the united front, armed struggle and Party building are the Chinese Communist Party's three 'magic weapons', its three principal magic weapons for defeating the enemy in the Chinese revolution.
  15. ^ Slyke, Lyman P. Van (1967). Enemies and Friends: The United Front in Chinese Communist History. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-0618-6. LCCN 67026531. OCLC 1148955311. OL 5547801M.
  16. ^ Clarke, Donald C. (November 15, 2009). "New Approaches to the Study of Political Order in China". Modern China. 36 (1): 87-99. doi:10.1177/0097700409347982. ISSN 0097-7004.
  17. ^ deLisle, Jacques (2020). "Foreign Policy through Other Means: Hard Power, Soft Power, and China's Turn to Political Warfare to Influence the United States". Orbis. 64 (2): 174-206. doi:10.1016/j.orbis.2020.02.004. PMC 7102532. PMID 32292215.
  18. ^ Bowe, Alexander (August 24, 2018). "China's Overseas United Front Work: Background and Implications for the United States" (PDF). United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission. Archived (PDF) from the original on September 9, 2018. Retrieved 2020.
  19. ^ Stoff, Jeffrey (2020-08-03), Hannas, William C.; Tatlow, Didi Kirsten (eds.), "China's Talent Programs", China's Quest for Foreign Technology (1 ed.), Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY: Routledge, 2021.: Routledge, pp. 38-54, doi:10.4324/9781003035084-4, ISBN 978-1-003-03508-4, OCLC 1153338764CS1 maint: location (link)
  20. ^ Suli, Zhu (2009), Balme, Stéphanie; Dowdle, Michael W. (eds.), ""Judicial Politics" as State-Building", Building Constitutionalism in China, New York: Palgrave Macmillan US, pp. 23-36, doi:10.1057/9780230623958_2, ISBN 978-1-349-36978-2
  21. ^ "IV. The System of Multi-Party Cooperation and Political Consultation". China.org.cn. Archived from the original on 2019-06-01. Retrieved .
  22. ^ Leung, Edwin Pak-wah (2002-10-16). Historical Dictionary of the Chinese Civil War. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-6609-6.
  23. ^ General Office of the CCP Central Committee. "Opinions on Strengthening the United Front Work of Private Economy in the New Era". Xinhua net. Archived from the original on 18 October 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  24. ^ Constitution of the People's Republic of China Archived 2016-02-06 at the Wayback Machine Archived 2016-02-06 at the Wayback Machine. The National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China. Retrieved on 23 February 2018.
  25. ^ Li-hua, Chung. "China uses Web stars for infiltration". www.taipeitimes.com. Taipei Times. Retrieved 2020.
  26. ^ Tatlow, Didi Kirsten (October 26, 2020). "Exclusive: 600 U.S. Groups Linked to Chinese Communist Party Influence Effort with Ambition Beyond Election". Newsweek. Retrieved 2020.
  27. ^ Lulu, Jichang (2019-11-26). "Repurposing democracy: The European Parliament China Friendship Cluster". Sinopsis. Archived from the original on 2019-12-10. Retrieved .
  28. ^ Thorley, Martin (2019-07-05). "Huawei, the CSSA and beyond: "Latent networks" and Party influence within Chinese institutions". Asia Dialogue. Retrieved .

Further reading

External links


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