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.