China hand

Political scientist Bruce Gilley waxes optimistic about the future of democracy in China. Writing in the Asian Wall Street Journal, he argues that the crackdown in Tiananmen Square 19 years ago today was actually the beginning of the end of the Chinese Communist Party.

Since 1989, the CCP has been engaged in a constant struggle for legitimacy in the eyes of China's people. That dynamic is the most important one in the politics of China.


It is a relatively legitimate state that is not under immediate pressure to introduce democratic reforms. But does this imply democracy is not in the offing? Absolutely not, and for two related reasons.

His conclusion is the most rousing I've read. 


1 Comment

Filed under Readings in Politics

One response to “China hand

  1. Jeg

    Optimistic indeed.

    “This is how this Golden Shield will work: Chinese citizens will be watched around the clock through networked CCTV cameras and remote monitoring of computers. They will be listened to on their phone calls, monitored by digital voice-recognition technologies. Their Internet access will be aggressively limited through the country’s notorious system of online controls known as the “Great Firewall.” Their movements will be tracked through national ID cards with scannable computer chips and photos that are instantly uploaded to police databases and linked to their holder’s personal data. This is the most important element of all: linking all these tools together in a massive, searchable database of names, photos, residency information, work history and biometric data. When Golden Shield is finished, there will be a photo in those databases for every person in China: 1.3 billion faces.”


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