Dictatorship Defined

There is so much misleading information on the Internet and from the Western media regarding China that it boggles the mind. For example, China’s President is listed as a dictator but by definition, he cannot be a dictator.

Dictatorship: 1) government by a ruler who has complete power 2) a country that is ruled by one person who has complete power (source: Longman Advanced American Dictionary)

Chinese Constitution: Article 1

Article 1. The People’s Republic of China is a socialist state under the people’s democratic dictatorship led by the working class and based on the alliance of workers and peasants. The socialist system is the basic system of the People’s Republic of China. Sabotage of the socialist system by any organization or individual is prohibited. Source: Chinese Constitution

I asked my wife, “How can China use the term dictatorship in Article 1 if China isn’t ruled by a dictator?”

She replied, “In Chinese, ‘people’s democratic dictatorship‘ means the people have the power. It’s a translation error.”

I then Googled dictatorship and discovered Parade’s Annual list of…the World’s 10 Worst Dictators.

Parade’s definition of a dictator says, “A ‘dictator‘ is a head of state who exercises arbitrary authority over the lives of his citizens and who cannot be removed from power through legal means.” Hu Jintao, China’s president, was number six on Parade’s list, but the claims used to include Hu Jintao are wrong.

Presidents Hu Jintao and George Bush

For example, Parade claims that at least 400,000 residents of Beijing were forcibly evicted from their houses prior to the 2008 Olympics. That’s not true—the people sent from Beijing before the 2008 Olympics was transient labor and did not have residence cards and could not own property in Beijing. They were not legal residents and many transient laborers in China rent rooms shared with others in a communal environment crowded with bunk beds crammed in every possible space—like a military barracks. I know, because I’ve seen places like this in Shanghai. I also learned that the government paid for the transportation costs.

The reason Beijing sent those people away was because some were from Tibet and Xinjiang and may have been separatists, who might have staged protests to embarrass China—something the Chinese government avoids like the plague. The truth is, those people were sent home to their villages and were allowed to return to work after the Beijing Olympics. For them, it was like a vacation. Most also return to their villages during the Chinese New Year to be with their families because that’s where their homes are.

Since the Chinese Constitution rules China, Hu Jintao does not exercise arbitrary authority over the lives of his citizens. In fact, I doubt if he makes any legal decisions since the Chinese Constitution puts that power in the hands of China’s legal system. Discover more at China Law and Justice System

Parade is also wrong that China’s president cannot be removed from power through legal means.

Article 79 says, “The term of office of the President and Vice-President of the People’s Republic of China is the same as that of the National People’s Congress, and they shall serve no more than two consecutive terms.”

Article 59. The National People’s Congress is composed of deputies elected by the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government, and by the armed forces.

Article 63. The National People’s Congress has the power to recall or remove from office the following persons:

(1) The President and the Vice-President of the People’s Republic of China;

(2) The Premier, Vice-Premiers, State Councillors, Ministers in charge of Ministries or Commissions and the Auditor-General and the Secretary-General of the State Council;

(3) The Chairman of the Central Military Commission and others on the commission;

(4) The President of the Supreme People’s Court; and

(5) The Procurator-General of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.

Discover Stereotypes and/or The Failure of Multiculturalism in the United States


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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9 Responses to Dictatorship Defined

  1. soriana online says:

    Dictatorship Defined | iLook China

  2. Terry K Chen says:


    another leader that has been blatantly lied about by western media sources is gaddafi. Here are some facts that have been shared around facebook quite a lot in the past few days.

    1. There is no electricity bill in Libya; electricity is free
    for all its citizens.

    2. There is no interest on loans, banks in Libya are
    state-owned and loans given
    to all its citizens at 0% interest by law.

    3. Home considered a human right in Libya –
    Gaddafi vowed that his parents
    would not get a house until everyone in Libya had a
    home. Gaddafi’s father has
    died while him, his wife and his mother are still living
    in a tent.

    4. All newlyweds in Libya receive $60,000 Dinar (US$
    50,000 ) by the government
    to buy their first apartment so to help start up the

    5. Education and medical treatments are free in
    Libya. Before Gaddafi only 25%
    of Libyans are literate. Today the figure is 83%.

    6. Should Libyans want to take up farming career,
    they would receive farming
    land, a farming house, equipments, seeds and
    livestock to kick- start their farms
    – all for free.

    7. If Libyans cannot find the education or medical
    facilities they need in Libya,
    the government funds them to go abroad for it –
    not only free but they get US
    $2, 300/mth accommodation and car allowance.

    8. In Libyan, if a Libyan buys a car, the government
    subsidized 50% of the price.

    9. The price of petrol in Libya is $0. 14 per liter.

    10. Libya has no external debt and its reserves
    amount to $150 billion – now
    frozen globally.

    11. If a Libyan is unable to get employment after
    graduation the state would
    pay the average salary of the profession as if he or
    she is employed until
    employment is found.

    12. A portion of Libyan oil sale is, credited directly to
    the bank accounts of all
    Libyan citizens.

    13. A mother who gave birth to a child receive US
    $5 ,000

    14. 40 loaves of bread in Libya costs $ 0.15

    15. 25% of Libyans have a university degree

    16. Gaddafi carried out the world’s largest irrigation
    project, known as the Great
    Man-Made River project, to make water readily
    available throughout the desert

    Under gaddafi, libyans basically had everything they needed right at their doorstep. Now, libyans will have to put up with yet another western puppet regime.

    • Terry,

      Don’t jump to conclusions that Libya will turn out to be a “western puppet regime”. Yesterday, it was reported that the Libyan provisional government announced a return to conservative, fundamentalist Islamic Sharia law and women there started to protest immediately.

      Often, attempts by America to control the politics in other countries and cultures has backfired and one example is Iran, which once had a democratically elected government until the CIA went in and assassinated an elected president in Iran because he was too much of a socialist and the US feared he might side with the USSR during the cold war. We see the result of that today and there are other examples of US meddling in the national interest of America that backfired.

      We won’t know the results of the so-called “Arab Spring” for a few months or years and I doubt that what we will see will be Western Puppet governments. In fact, Egypt’s government could have been considered just that before the uprisings there and now the possibility of Islamic fundamentalism have more of a political presence in Egypt is real when it wasn’t before.

      Even the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan may not turn out as the US wants. Another example is Pakistan where the US spends tons of money to influence what goes on there but Islamic fundamentalist Taliban and Al Qaeda operate out of areas of Pakistan with support from elements of Pakistan’s military and government.

      In Saudi Arabia, one would think the US has much influence over its leaders, but the Saudi’s fund Islamic fundamentalist school throughout Islam, which has been linked to recruiting warriors that fight for Al Qaeda and other extremist Islamic groups that want to see the US destroyed.

  3. Terry K Chen says:

    The comment I’m about to make is a bit random but I’ll make it anyway. You label your blog as “Looking at China from an outsider’s point-of-view”. However, having read several of your posts I’ve noticed many of your moral values and way of thinking resembles that of Chinese people(e.g. your parental views). Apart from that, you know a hell lot about China, more than many Chinese know about their own country. Apart from that, you genuinely love the country and its people. I really don’t think you should consider yourself an outsider anymore. In the past century, any White person who truly loved and understood China would generally not be regarded by Chinese as an outsider(e.g. Sir Robert Hart). I know many ABC’s and BBC’s who hate their own country and have parents who deliberately forsake their learning of Chinese and Chinese culture for the sake of fitting into western society. If these ABC’s, BBC’s, and their parents can be considered Chinese, you can’t possibly be considered an outsider.

    • Terry,

      My wife is Chinese – born in Shanghai and grew up while Mao ruled China. She has said that I am more Chinese than most Chinese. I do not know exactly what to make of that.

      You mentioned Sir Robert Hart. In fact, my wife introduced me to Hart in 1999, and I ended up reading his letters and journals that were published by Harvard’s Councel on East Asian Studies. Because I read Hart’s journals and letters, I learned about the real China through his words so Hart was, in many ways, my first teacher of China. My second teacher may have been Lin Yutang when I read his “My Coutnry and My People” and the learning and discoveries haven’t stopped. Every day, I learn something new about China and my library on China keeps growing.

  4. Terry K Chen says:

    I don’t think the reason for Americans not knowing these facts is due to their laziness, but rather because they want to believe that it’s true. Everybody knows the problems with the governing system in China yet the problems with the democratic system in the United States is rarely(possibly never) mentioned. Ask any random person on the streets in China and they will probably be able to list out the problems of China’s governing system. However, if you ask an American the same question they’ll probably just look at you as if you’re a madman. In my opinion, these are the major problems with America’s principle beliefs.

    1. Presidents and Politicians alike only have short-term plans and act of their own interests: Every president will generally only look forward to the next four years and this can be hugely detrimental to continuity and progress. They will generally do everything they can to please the public so that they can get re-elected, which leads me to my next point.

    2. What the public wants is not necessarily whats best for the country: This point is so obvious that I won’t bother to elaborate, yet people rarely mention this.

    3. The average american does not know enough to decide which candidate is more fit to lead the country: I’m not saying americans are stupid, the typical citizen in ANY country doesn’t know enough to decide between two candidates. Just look at how an incompetent president like George.W.Bush was elected not once, but twice. I hear that the joke of a politician Sarah Palin also has quite a lot of support. So…

    4. In the end, the candidate is pretty much decided by how articulate he/she is. To tell the truth, when any two presidential candidates debate, there is much of the debate that I barely understand, so I can only use my gut feeling to decide who is the better candidate. Is it just me, or is the typical American just much smarter than I am?

    5. Freedom of speech is often abused by monetary interests: For any news agency like CNN or ABC news, their main purpose is to make money and not to report the truth or give unbiased reports. The best way to make money is to tell the public what they want to hear, which results in this news broadcasters constantly portraying western civilization as a paragon of virtue while continuously depicting China as a country where the government mistreats its own people and holds on to lands it doesn’t own. Truth is, most westerners(especially Americans) loathe the idea of China becoming no.1 in the world and they would much rather hear terrible things about China than hearing the truth.

    I believe that China’s one party system is much more appropriate for China, but that doesn’t mean that I’m saying that democracy in the US is an inferior governing system to the Chinese way of governing. I hate it that most Americans blatantly label China’s one party system as inferior to America’s democratic system. Students in America’s primary and secondary school’s are often taught that China should become a democratic state as its way of governing is that of a sick dictatorship that hungers for power and mistreats its people. In China, despite the fact that many of the people dislike America for what they have done, students are never taught about the ills of America’s democratic system, and their political studies focuses solely on China’s internal affairs. Why can’t Americans learn some respect and do the same? The Chinese government has never condemned Western governments for the way they run their countries and Western leaders should in turn stop attempting to influence China’s internal affairs.

    • Terry,

      The best answer to your questions comes from Henry Kissinger’s book, On China. In the Preface, he wrote, “American exceptionalism is missionary. It holds that the United States has an obligation to spread its values to every part of the world. China’s exceptionalism is cultural. China does not proselytize; it does not claim that its contempory institutions are relevant (or superior) outside China.”

      For most Americans to feel they are exceptional (and superior in all things) and that they have an obligation to spread those values means they must believe they are superior to all other cultures that are different. In addition, this makes them deaf, blind and mute to any truth that is out there so many avoid learning those truths be hiding behind opinions and treating them as facts. Consider how Christians and Muslims would react if a space ship from a superior intersteller traveling race of intellgient and friendly creatures visited the earth and said they had been traveling between the stars for thens of thousands of years and there was no evidence of the God these religions believed in.

      When the day comes that America is no longer number one in the world (economically, etc), that may be one of those days of facing the real truth for many of these blind, deaf and mute Americans. However, some Americans will never admit it. Abraham Lincoln said it best, “You can fool some of the people most of the time and most of the people some of the time but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”

  5. Thanks. It’s amazing how lazy so many Americans are. Then maybe the same number of people are as gullible from other countries and cultures too.

  6. Well said.
    Too many people are suspicious of countries that do not have a “Western style democracy”, but rather than get the true facts themselves they just believe what they hear in the (American) media and start crying “bogeyman”.

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