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19 January 2023

Winner of writing competition on China announced

The winning essay details how a digital depository of crowdsourced policymaking could transform China’s political ecosystem.

China flag with digital overlay

Luke Cavanaugh has been awarded first prize in the 2022 ‘Young China Watchers and Lau China Institute’ writing competition. His essay explores China’s digital transformation, in particular the adaption of an online ‘mass-line’ based on existing examples of crowdsourced policymaking around the world.

A form of public consultation created by Mao Zedong, the ‘mass-line’ allows CCP officials to proactively consult the masses. Digitalising this platform could allow Chinese policymakers to canvass citizen’s priorities at speed and scale.

An online mass-line platform would widen participation within policymaking processes in China.

Luke Cavanaugh

In the essay, titled ‘How Online Mass-Lune Could Transform China’s Political Ecosystem’, Cavanaugh explores various platforms used by other countries to allow the public to collaborate on and influence policy priorities. He discusses the benefits of these platforms and how something similar could be adapted by the Chinese government.

An online mass-line platform for gathering public opinion could prove crucial for informing the central government about competing policy priorities in a number of regions.

Luke Cavanaugh

The theme of the 2022 essay competition was ‘China’s Digital Transformation’. The annual competition hosted by Young China Watchers and the Lau China Institute aims to discover and showcase the newest young writing on China in the UK. It also helps foster the next generation of expertise on China.

Young China scholars residing in the UK, under the age of 35, were invited to apply. This includes students, members of academic, the media, government and the private sector.