The 'Shequ Construction' Programme and the Chinese Communist Party
AbstractIn recent years, the community development programme called 'Shequ Construction' has been making rapid progress in China. The discussion surrounding the programme focuses on how to adjust the relationship between the street offices (which fall under the jurisdiction of the government) and the shequ residents' committees (defined as the people's self-governing entity). The programme has also led the debate over the position and role of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the newly reconstructed shequ. While the party's Organization Department proposes the unification of the shequ party branches and shequ residents' committees, others maintain that the shequ party branch should be differentiated from the shequ residents' committee, which is still viewed as an agent of government. They say 'the greatest advantage of the CCP is that it is the embodiment of social power and it is not a non-socialist external force like the administrative organ'. Their proposal raises further questions: How should the party change its direction and guidance within the framework of the separation of government and society? Will this affect the party's ability to continue to provide society with effective 'guidance' and become representative of society? This paper will provide some clues to help answer these questions.