Professor Xu Yi-chong and Emeritus Professor Patrick Weller
Since the mid-1980s, 'Chinese characteristics' has become a standard suffix, added to nearly all political, economic and social activities to demonstrate that everything in China is unique. One group of individuals, known as 'mishu' has also been considered as a unique property of Chinese politics.Professor Xu Yi-chong and Emeritus Professor Patrick Weller will examine those mishu working at the centre of government, by comparing their activities to those of ministerial advisers in parliamentary systems to provide an alternative explanation to those against which mishu's activities are often judged. It will focus on who they are, what they do, and how they operate to show: (a) the 'normal politics' in China, (b) all governments need people who provide both general and expert advice, and (c) the distinction of those providing political and those providing technical advice. It concludes with an assessment on some systemic and functional factors that make mishu similar or different from their counterparts elsewhere.
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