Terms You May Have Heard
Authoritarianism: The denial of personal freedom in favor of strict obedience to an authority.
Chinese Communist Party (CCP): Founded in 1921, the Chinese Communist Party is the founding and only governing party of the People’s Republic of China. The party controls the People’s Liberation Army.
Communism: An extreme form of socialism derived from the writings of Karl Marx in which all property is publicly owned and economic decision-making power, including the allocation of all resources, is entirely controlled by a centralized government.
Liberal democracy: A form of representative democracy with free and fair elections, characterized by a competitive political process. All adult citizens are given the right to vote regardless of race, gender, or property ownership. A liberal democracy may take various constitutional forms such as constitutional republic, a federal republic, a constitutional monarchy, a presidential system, a parliamentary system, or a hybrid semi-presidential system. For example, the United States, India, Germany, and Brazil each take the form of a constitutional republic.
One Belt One Road Initiative: An infrastructure project started by the CCP that aims to create a network of railways, energy pipelines, and highways stretching from East Asia to Europe. The project involves more than 60 countries and would secure Chinese prominence across Asia. However, the project operates as a trap, promoting unaffordable construction projects to developing nations. When they cannot pay, China takes control of infrastructure in strategic locations.
People’s Republic of China (PRC): The current government of China, controlled by the Communist Chinese Party since 1949. China and its economy have changed considerably over the intervening decades. China’s economy was state run throughout Mao Zedong’s rule until 1976. Disasters like the Great Leap Forward demonstrated the failure of central planning. When Deng Xiaoping allowed market reforms to begin in the early 1980s, the economy began one of the largest expansions in the history of humanity. China’s current economy is often labeled as a version of “authoritarian capitalism.” Recently, increased governmental control of critical sectors of the economy and growing limits on the rule of law suggest stronger state control is being at least partly restored.
People’s Liberation Army (PLA): The armed forces of the People’s Republic of China.
Rule of Law: The rule of law is another way of saying that laws, as they are written, are applied equally to everyone without regard for wealth, political power, or status. If an individual or company breaks the law, they face the consequences. It is often taken for granted in countries with a strong rule of law that people respect the rules. But that isn’t the case everywhere. In countries where the rule of law is not as prevalent, the law as it is written is applied unequally.