Edited By Michael B. Hinner
An Analysis on the Relationship between the Contemporary Chinese Administrative Culture and Administrative Reforms
By Lisheng Dong
Lisheng Dong looks at Chinese administrative culture and how that culture affects the current and future administrative reforms in China. Traditional Chinese administrative culture is based on the natural economy, and Confucianism is the philosophical foundation while the feudal patriarchal system is the social foundation. It advocates, on the one hand, benevolence, a policy of putting people first, and cultivating the moral self while rulers should treat people like their sons. On the other hand, traditional Chinese administrative culture emphasizes the supremacy of power resulting in bureaucratic social custom teaching people to be obedient to their superiors, Dong notes.
Since the mid 19th century, Western administrative culture has gradually exerted its influence on Chinese culture. Starting in 1978, elements of Western administrative culture have been gradually applied to China’s administrative management. A third element of Chinese administrative culture is the centrally planned socialist administration modeled after the Soviet Union.
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