With the case study of the local elections in a poverty-stricken, largely illiterate and isolated village in the remote and mountainous Yi minority village, this article is intended to address the so-called “three disconnects” phenomenon in the development of China’s rural election. They refer to the disconnect between economic development and democratic elections, the disconnect between democratic elections and democratic consciousness, and the disconnect between direct local elections in the rural areas and the higher level elections in urban regions. The article examines the political reasons and institutional logic behind this unique development of rural democracy in China as well as the existential value of the three “disconnects.”

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