GOOD MORNING FROM LONDON
Why is China receiving such negative attention? Because it is a Challenge that will not Go Away. China is new, different, significant + successful. China today is not the USSR of yesterday. How to Respond?
This is the dominant international political question. How to prevent China from making further progress? Many will say this is not possible + that China’s future development is independent of any restraining action that the West can take – short of War. War cannot be dismissed and flashpoints/ skirmishes/incidents will occur.
One line of attack on China is that it is a dictatorship, authoritarian, secretive, unaccountable. China will disagree + point to its prosperity; to the number of Chinese overseas travellers who return home after foreign visits; and cite Western PR companies who confirm the people’s contentment with the Party.
But China could tell us more about the Chinese system. What happens if people in the local area oppose a motorway development? How are leaders appointed? What is the procedure for admission to the Party? How does the Party detect people discontent? What action does it take? How does the Court system work?
The prosperity of the people is a powerful vindication of the Chinese Party system of government but is it enough? People in the West need to make one-to-one comparisons so they can understand how China works.
Opening up can be uncomfortable. It means a change in norms + reactions. But today is not yesterday. The day-to-day working of Chinese democracy needs more exposure, more information so people can understand the confidence of the Country + the People.