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Words and Phrases for Discussing Politics in Chinese

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When it comes to discussing politics in a new language, it’s important to have a strong grasp of relevant vocabulary. Here are some essential Chinese words and phrases that will help you engage in political conversations with greater ease and understanding. Remember that Chinese is a tonal language, so the pronunciation of each word is as important as the word itself.

政治 (zhèngzhì) – Politics
This term is used to describe activities associated with the governance of a country or area, especially the debate between parties having power.
Translation: The political impact of this election is tremendous.

政党 (zhèngdǎng) – Political party
A political party is an organized group of people with at least roughly similar political aims and opinions.
Translation: He is a member of a major political party.

民主 (mínzhǔ) – Democracy
This term refers to a system of government by the whole population, typically through elected representatives.
Translation: Democracy is the fundamental political system of many countries.

选举 (xuǎnjǔ) – Election
An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office.
Translation: Tomorrow is the day of the national election.

公投 (gōngtóu) – Referendum
A referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal.
Translation: The referendum on the new law will be held next week.

议会 (yìhuì) – Parliament/Congress
The term for a body of representatives that makes laws for a nation.
Translation: The parliament will discuss the upcoming economic bill.

宪法 (xiànfǎ) – Constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state is acknowledged to be governed.
Translation: The constitution is the fundamental law of the country.

法律 (fǎlǜ) – Law
Law encompasses the system of rules that are created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior.
Translation: He studies law at the university.

政策 (zhèngcè) – Policy
A policy is a course or principle of action adopted or proposed by an organization or individual.
Translation: The government has recently launched a new economic policy.

执政 (zhízhèng) – To govern / In power
This verb indicates the act of governing or the state of being in power.
Translation: This political party has been in power for many years.

反对党 (fǎnduìdǎng) – Opposition party
The opposition party is the political party or parties in a democratic legislature that are opposed to the party or parties that form the government.
Translation: The opposition party is challenging the government’s new tax law proposal.

独裁 (dúcái) – Dictatorship
A dictatorship is a form of government characterized by a single leader or group of leaders and little or no toleration for political pluralism.
Translation: Historically, dictatorships often face resistance from the people.

Learning these words and phrases will provide a foundation to engage with political topics in Chinese. Practice using them in sentences, and you’ll be well on your way to having informed discussions about political issues with native Chinese speakers.

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