一国两制 One Country, Two Systems
An idea formally put forward by Deng Xiaoping, then leader of China, in the early 1980s to reunify the country.
Deng suggested that there should only be one China, but the regions of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, once reunified with the rest of the country, could retain their original economic and political systems while other parts keep pursuing socialism.
This arrangement was observed when the country resumed sovereignty over Hong Kong and Macao in 1997 and 1999 respectively. The two cities are now the special administrative regions of the country with a high degree of autonomy.
The central government has also proposed the idea to the Taiwan authorities to speed up the reunification of China.
三通Three Direct Links
Shorthand for direct links in post, transportation and trade between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan. Direct communication across the Taiwan Straits in most social and economical terms virtually stopped after the Kuomintang forces retreated to Taiwan in 1949. And the contacts, if any, were routed through intermediate places, mainly Hong Kong and Macao.
In the early 1980s, the central government appealed to the Taiwan authorities for opening "three links". The latter has consistently refused, but had to make concessions in the face of growing cross-Straits exchanges. "Three mini-links" was opened in 2001 between Fujian Province and the islands of Jinmen and Matsu in Taiwan. Cross-Straits charter flights were approved in 2003 for the Lunar New Year and the flights were arranged in 2006 for three other traditional Chinese festivals.
和谐社会A Harmonious society
A blueprint for social development featuring decent living standards for the majority of people, a tolerant society and peaceful coexistence between the human society and nature.
The concept was first floated in 2004 and then amplified in October 2006, when the Party set specific goals for building a harmonious society by 2020. The goals range from fostering the rule of law, substantial protection for private property, developed public services to foster creativity and more efficient use of resources.
Stemming from ancient Chinese ideas about harmony, the blueprint underlines the need to fine tune relations between different social entities. The idea also appears in the country's foreign policy, particularly its call for "a harmonious world".
大部制 Super-Ministry System
A very recent idea to restructure central government offices so that ministries, commissions and departments of the State Council with similar or overlapping functions can be merged into super-ministries. This scheme has been introduced in a reshuffle of the State Council approved by the National People's Congress in March to improve efficiency, reduce the cost of policy making and its execution, and straighten out problematic chains of command. Five super-ministries respectively overseeing industry, transport, housing and construction, human resources and the environment were established.
Based upon the current changes, the central government vowed to undertake further administrative reforms in the future.
三个代表 Three Represents
Shorthand for the call that the Communist Party of China (CPC) provides insight and leadership for economic and cultural progress, and commit itself to public good.
Former CPC General Secretary Jiang Zemin, who was credited with its creation, literally admonished his comrades to "represent the development trend of China's most advanced productive forces, the orientation of China's most advanced culture, and the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people".
The theory is the result of deliberations of the CPC's third-generation leaders on legitimacy and Party-building. At the 16th CPC National Congress in 2002, it was formally written into the Party Constitution.