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Your questions for Pan Wei

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13 July 2011 09:27

Peter Martin is a political consultant based in Beijing. Along with David Cohen, he is conducting a series of interviews on behalf of The Interpreter with Chinese academics and journalists.

Next week, we will be interviewing Professor Pan Wei about the 'China model'. As with our previous interview in this series, we'd like to ask your questions, which you can submit here: blogeditor@lowyinstitute.org.

Pan, a professor at Peking University's School of International Studies and director of its Center for Chinese and Global Affairs, is one of China's most controversial – and international – public intellectuals, freshly returned from England, where he has been meeting with members of parliament. A leading member of China's 'new left', he has come to international prominence by arguing that China should create its own model of political development instead of moving towards democracy.

Deeply suspicious of importing Western political traditions to China, Pan is one of the best-known advocates of the 'China Model'. In an article translated into English in 2003, Pan argued China should adopt what he called a 'consultative rule of law regime', a system resembling Singapore's which enjoys the rule of law under the continued leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, and without democratisation. It began an ongoing discussion among Chinese and Western policy communities, challenging widespread assumptions about reform.

In recent years, he has focused on a search for the historic roots of China's indigenous political tradition, drawing links between modern government and the independent imperial bureaucracy, and calling for a revival of Mao Zedong's political theory. He has recently made provocative calls for China to move past the reform and opening era, restoring Maoist political techniques like the 'mass line' and a renewed focus on creating equality rather than rapid growth.

Pan has lived the last three decades of Chinese history. The son of a professor at Beijing's Geosciences University, as a young man he was sent to the countryside for re-education during the Cultural Revolution. When he returned to Beijing, he studied for his undergraduate degree at Peking University before going to work as a Research Assistant at the Institute of World Economics and Politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing. He then left to study for a PhD in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, from which he graduated in 1996.

Please send your questions for Pan Wei to blogeditor@lowyinstitute.org.

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