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《中國共產黨和中國政府各部門的關係》讀後
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0.  概要

霍絲莉博士這篇文章以「組織--功能」為論述基礎,分析中國共產黨和中國政府各部門之間權力運作、與功能的動態關係(請見本欄第二篇文章)。她的專業使得這一部分相當詳實;可以參考。

霍絲莉博士此文的重點在說明(從她的角度)

雖然習總書記提高了中國共產黨相對於政府的地位,強化了中國共產黨對政府各部門的控制但是,做為中國政府的國務院仍然是一個有效和多功能的組織機構和制度

1. 
實務盲點

但是,霍絲莉博士大作中下面這段話:

the Party Charter still stipulates that party organizations within state agencies should assist, but not direct, their work.”

讓我高度懷疑她對「組織」,尤其是中共和中國政府的實際操作情況到底了解多少。

首先,如我一再指出:「」、「政府」、和「部門」都是「集體名詞」;它們的運作以及彼此之間的關係由憲法、法律、或黨章規定。但實際上進行運作者,是一個一個的「」。在憲法、法律、或黨章等「明文」規定外,制約和指導他/她們運作以及彼此之間關係一個更重要的因素是「潛規則」。

官場和組織中的一個重要的「潛規則」是俗話說的:「不怕官,只怕管」;它顯示:「有指揮權者擁有話語權」。「潛規則」也是「貪腐反不盡,新官上又生」的原因。

其次,毛主席「黨指揮槍」這句名言,不是在強調:「軍隊必須服從國家政治領袖領導」這個原則,而是是在宣示:「一黨專政」的現實。在實際作中,中國政府各部門黨書記」就重大決策的「拍板定案」,絕對「指揮」多於「協助」。

2. 
實務盲點2

我不知道霍絲莉博士或任何專家學者為什麼會認為中國共產黨(或任何政黨)能夠取代「公務員」 -- 也就是英國政治理論中的「文官系統」或韋伯理論中的「僚屬體系」。或許政治學者毫無「數字」觀念套用一句電影對白「每個公務員吐口口水,就足以淹死任何一個政黨」。

黨書記」的功能在於「監督」和「決策;他/她們不可能去做規劃、研究、推動、執行這種需要不同知識、專長、和技能的工作

3結論

學者往往不了解實務,只能依樣畫葫蘆。紙上分析做得吓吓叫,碰到運作和操作層面,往往鬧大笑話。

本文於 修改第 3 次
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中國共產黨和中國政府各部門的關係 -- Jamie Horsley
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What Is the State of the Chinese State?

Pronouncements of its demise amid a strengthening of CCP control may be premature.

Jamie Horsley, 09/20/23

Despite successive rounds of restructuring by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 2018 and 2023 that led some analysts to proclaim the CCP’s absorption of the Chinese state, China’s government apparatus under the State Council survives and continues to strengthen important institutions.

Since becoming CCP General Secretary in November 2012, Xi Jinping has redefined the tenuous “separation of powers” between the CCP and the Chinese state by asserting CCP leadership more directly over everything. Nonetheless, while the latest reorganization does further strengthen party oversight of important, traditionally state functions through new CCP organizations, only one state institution was actually absorbed into a party entity. A nominally distinct state apparatus subject to generally enforceable legal requirements for transparency, public consultation, due process, and accountability continues (under CCP oversight) to provide a measure of responsiveness and innovation, as well as build good governance expectations and practices.

As predicted, the 20th Party Congress in October 2022 saw Xi Jinping unanimously voted into a third term as general secretary, after which he staffed the Politburo and its seven-person Standing Committee with loyalists. Some also predicted that Xi minions taking various reins of government meant a further decline in the State Council’s powers, following a 2018 reorganization that appeared to strengthen the CCP at the expense of the state.

After a February 2023 plenum of the CCP’s Central Committee announced the adoption of another, then undisclosed plan to further restructure party and state institutions, rumors swirled that the party would institutionally assume more direct command over sectors deemed particularly critical, while “further diluting the government’s role in policy-making.”

The restructuring plan was released in March. As it turned out, the only state agency moved directly under party control was the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, which maintains that state “nameplate” but was restructured, and politically upgraded, as a new Hong Kong and Macao Work Office under the CCP Central Committee. Nonetheless, the plan did introduce other forms of enhanced CCP leadership.

It streamlined the functions of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) to focus on policy and rule making and designated it to serve, in its entirety, as the administrative office of a new party Central Science and Technology Commission (CSTC). However, MOST retained its status as one of 26 State Council constituent institutions. Three other state agencies were upgraded and gained more administrative authority by becoming “institutions directly under the State Council”: the securities regulator, the national intellectual property administration, and the state petitions bureau.

In addition, the plan created two new state agencies. The National Administration of Financial Regulation (NAFR) took over the former China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission and expanded its functions to include protecting financial consumers and investors. Reforming the financial sector was a major target of the institutional restructuring, prompting overseas concerns that it would subject that sector to increased, direct CCP control. Instead, the plan established the NAFR as an institution directly under the State Council, with a higher administrative status than its predecessor, and a seasoned banker was named to be its initial party secretary and director.

To be sure, the NAFR and the financial sector generally will be overseen by a newly created party Central Finance Commission (CFC), one of five new CCP organizations, with a related new Central Financial Work Committee (CFWC) tasked with strengthening the CCP’s unified leadership of financial sector party work. Notably, the plan did not stipulate the relationship between the NAFR and the party’s CFC and CFWC.  This silence contrasts with the subordination of the MOST to the new CSTC and the plan’s explicit direction that a new party Central Social Work Department (CSWD) will exercise “unified leadership” over the state petitions bureau.

Nonetheless, concerns regarding the maintenance of the professional and technical expertise of China’s financial regulators, and the degree of autonomy the CCP will allow them, remain. The plan’s instructions to cut financial sector salaries, an ongoing party-led anti-corruption probe that has ensnared top-level bankers and insurance and securities officials, the replacement in July of the well-respected former central bank governor, and its announcement of plans to revise much banking legislation all contribute to such concerns.

The second new state agency is the National Data Bureau (NDB), established as a relatively autonomous regulator under the State Council economic coordinator, the National Development and Reform Commission. Given the importance to the CCP leadership of data as a valuable national resource, situating the NDB as a state institution is notable. In contrast, the 2018 restructuring plan placed the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), which oversees online data security, personal information protection, and cross-border data flows, directly under the CCP Central Committee.

The NDB’s first director, with extensive industry and regulatory experience including two years as a CAC vice director, has been announced, but not its structure and official opening. Thus, the exact relationship between the NDB and the CAC – some functions of which the NDB will assume – or other CCP institutions is not yet clear. One party publication suggested exploring merged party-state data administration offices at the municipal level to optimize data security and law enforcement.

The plan also introduced some novel arrangements to enhance CCP leadership. Designating MOST to serve in its entirety as the administrative office of the CSTC, rather than the CSTC establishing a separate office within the ministry, seems to be a first, the implications of which are not clear. More typical was installing relevant new CCP commission offices within the Ministry of Justice and National Audit Office under the 2018 plan. The plan explicitly subjects the state petitions bureau to the new CSWD’s unified leadership. Moreover, that bureau now implements a party, rather than a State Council, regulation, which covers the CCP and other state organs in addition to the government departments the State Council traditionally oversees.

Party leadership does not always mean party control. Indeed, the Party Charter still stipulates that party organizations within state agencies should assist, but not direct, their work. China’s legislature and State Council continue to actively produce and update laws and regulations that are published for comment.

In emerging areas, from the sharing economy and online bullying to data securityAI, and algorithmic regulation, the Chinese state is a regulatory first-mover, also evidencing its potential receptivity to public and industry concerns about the appropriate balance between innovation and security. Localities experiment with pilot programs like carbon emission trading and providing maternity benefits regardless of marital status. Scholars publish proposed legislative drafts to influence decision-makers. Rather than an immobilized bureaucracy overburdened by party control, the Chinese regulatory state still seems capable of fairly agile, if sometimes seemingly chaotic, governance.

Despite evidence that ideology is driving Chinese decision-making to unprecedented degrees, Chinese state officials are still expected to deliver economic growth and social stability. Bureaucratic imperatives and competition, and local pressures, inevitably impact policy implementation, even under party leadership.

While state entities are subject to direct oversight by party institutions through internal and external party committees and CCP reporting requirements, and typically led by party members that double as state officials, they are administrative institutions. China’s administrative law requires disclosure of government-held information, public input to rule-making, and accountability through appeals and lawsuits against state entities. These “good governance” institutions, even when imperfectly implemented, are promoting expectations and practices that bring present benefits, including a degree of responsiveness and innovation, and provide the Chinese people with tools to better handle whatever political changes the future may bring.

To be sure, the Chinese state continues to struggle with serious challenges, including some attributable to its own clumsy management. But for now, the Chinese state endures.

Jamie Horsley

Jamie Horsley is a senior fellow of the Paul Tsai China Center at Yale Law School and a nonresident senior fellow in the John L. Thornton China Center in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. Her project work and research revolve primarily around issues of administrative law, governance and regulatory reform, including promoting government transparency, public participation and government accountability.

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