Local Elites in Post-Mao China
© 2018 Yingjie Guo. As China rebuilds its charity and philanthropy sectors, examining the rationale behind the current push by both the Party-state and a range of societal actors for promoting private and corporate charitable giving became an important task to help understand its potential impacts on inequality and redistribution. Even though the practice of charity is largely universal across countries and cultures, localised practices of charity and philanthropy have been grounded on specific moral and ideological traditions, as well as in particular historical socio-economic contexts. In its broader conception, charity has generally been viewed as a positive force for social change; however, it has also been subjected to strong criticisms. Marxists have presented the strongest critique against charity, which, they argue, cannot challenge the fundamental injustice of the structured inequality of power between the rich and the poor (Cohen 2000, p. 19). In part, it was this rationale that led the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to abolish all charitable organisations after its ascension to power in 1949 (Yan et al. 2007).