This paper deals with the political structural reform policies introduced or initiated by the reformists within the CCP starting in the late 1970s until the 4 June brutal crackdown in 1989. I shall discuss, first, the evolution of the notion of political structural reform in the first half of the 1980s. Second, I shall delineate the substance of the political reform policies and the implications of these policies. Third, the limitations of these reform measures will be analysed. The reform measures will be categorized into five areas that will become the focus of my study: a) democratizing the Party/state apparatus and political process; b) arranging for smooth succession; c) streamlining the Party/state bureaucracy; d) strengthening the NPC; e) liberalizing intellectual life.
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