From E-Government to E-Democracy in China

From E-Government to E-Democracy in China

L. Lan (Tianjin University of Finance and Economics, PR China)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 7
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-789-8.ch128
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Abstract

Endowed with 5,000 years of ancient tradition and heritage, China is reputed as the single oldest uninterrupted civilization in the world. Ancient Chinese made great contributions to mankind by the invention of the compass, gunpowder, papermaking, and printing, which are recorded in history as the Four Great Inventions. For centuries, China has been one of the world’s most technologically advanced civilizations and the most dominant cultural influence to the East Asia region. In the 21st century, China’s resurgence as one of the preeminent powers brings worldwide attention. With its population of nearly 1.3 billion, its expansive territory, and its huge market potentials, China’s modern development will continue to benefit the world, just as it did in ancient history. Today, science and technology long have preoccupied China’s policymakers, and there is an urgent need for China to wield modern information and communication technology (ICT) in order to reinvent government regime. However, the legacies of thousands of years of feudalistic tradition and the ideological control over the Mao era, which lasted for nearly three decades, make it difficult to revolutionize the country’s governance system promptly. Therefore, the Chinese government had to adopt a gradual and steady approach toward social democratic reform. Through this process, e-government projects play an important role; for example, a national electronic audit network has given impetus to China’s fiscal transparency and public expenditure management. This article is organized as follows: First, there is a brief historical retrospect of China’s cultural background; second, there is an introduction of current main e-government projects in China; finally, upon the analysis of the progression of fiscal transparency in China, an optimistic expectation of China’s future e-government and e-democracy is given.

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