Exclusive: China leaders consider internal democratic reform

Comments (13)
americanguy wrote:

A democratic China would be a good thing for everyone, especially the great people of China, who deserve to be free.

Nov 06, 2012 7:26am EST  --  Report as abuse
ncshu2 wrote:

Though oligarchy is different from government of personal dictatorship. It could never substitute or spur democracy. It would be naive to think by replacing a government of personal dictatorship with oligarchy, the communist dictatorship government could solve the problem of legitimacy. If someone thinks out of the oligarchy democracy grows, it’s self-deceiving.

Nov 06, 2012 8:33am EST  --  Report as abuse
Yesyes wrote:

@ncshu2 Not necessarily. Britain is one example of an oligarchy that developed gradually into a democracy by extending the franchise over the space of a century until eventually it included everyone. It’s a bit of a tightrope; reform too slow and people will lose faith that any real reform will happen; reform too fast and you’re inviting the possibility of a conservative backlash, followed by a backlash from the other side whose raised expectations have been dashed. I think most dictators and oligarchs are smart enough to realise this, but some don’t manage to get the balancing act quite right, while others are so insulated from their own people that they have no sense of the realities on the ground and view any kind of dissent as a threat to them. As for the CCP, only time will tell what category they fall into

Nov 06, 2012 10:18am EST  --  Report as abuse
dae wrote:

The Chinese government is really a coalition government members of which are ideologically as distinct as Republicans and Democrats in the US. In actuality the various ideological factions are organized into a government of national unity.

Nov 06, 2012 12:22pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Gordon2352 wrote:

This is nothing but a “pat your tummy while rubbing head” feel good story.

For the REAL truth, try this unbiased view of what is really happening in China.

“China seeks role as second superpower”


Nov 06, 2012 12:32pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Gordon2352 wrote:

Sorry, but your definition of Britain as a democracy doesn’t fit with the facts.

Contrary to popular belief, BOTH Britain and US are plutocracies:

   [ploo-tok-ruh-see] Show IPA
noun, plural plu·toc·ra·cies.
the rule or power of wealth or of the wealthy.
a government or state in which the wealthy class rules.
a class or group ruling, or exercising power or influence, by virtue of its wealth.

Nov 06, 2012 12:41pm EST  --  Report as abuse
nkirv wrote:

China is an odd country: the “Father of the country” is Sun Yat-Sen, a Christian, whose wife went over to the Communists after he died (cancer), and one of her sisters married Chiang Kai-Shek, head of the opposition, the Kuomintang. Sun Yat-Sen’s goal was primarily to oust the deteriorating Qing Dynasty. When the communists won, the emperor was allowed to live out his days in humble obscurity. Taiwan under Chiang Kai-Shek’s party, the Kuomintang, was under military rule to get the economy going, and then with the economy strong, they introduced democracy, which was considered consistent with Sun Yat-Sen’s Three Principles of the People. No coup, no violence. Don’t be surprised if the Communist Party in China introduces democracy in its own odd way. They’ve been experimenting with town halls already. China is a gigantic country, and universal public education was made available only a little over a decade ago. The system continues to evolve. The Chinese brand of democracy will likely have some mix of the European parliamentary system and the Chinese Imperial civil servant system.

Nov 06, 2012 2:14pm EST  --  Report as abuse
nkirv wrote:

By the way, Sun Yat-Sen, in the early days, was famously known during a discussion on the future of China to have gotten up and written all the “-isms” on the board: capitalism, communism, socialism, etc. And then he stated, China would not subscribe to any single one of those, but would adopt a mix according to Chinese characteristics. The current head of the World Bank is a Chinese economist who is similarly non-ideological but adopts approaches according to the situation. The Western fallacy is to adopt attitudes and isms that are exclusive of others, thinking that one can cover everything.

Nov 06, 2012 2:40pm EST  --  Report as abuse
fred5407 wrote:

Gordon 2352. You are correct by my reasoning. Thinking that we have a democracy or Britain has one is wishful thinking. Oh we get a chance to vote, but the wealthy run the elections, and buy influence, be it good or bad. I do not think I will be part of a democracy or a free country in my lifetime.

Nov 06, 2012 2:48pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Yesyes wrote:

@Gordon2352 I get your point, although I was simply referring to the structural system that most people refer to as “democracy”, where there are elctions, referenda, multiple political parties etc. I’m not arguing against your point that the wealthy still end up with most of the power, although I would put much of the blame on ordinary people who allow themselves to be manipulated time and again by people they know to be liars. A truly democratic system would involve people making all the governmental decisions, rather than simply choosing who they want to make their decisions for them. Unfortunately the level of ignorance most people seem to have when it comes to government would currently make such a system unworkable. Looking at how people vote should be clear evidence of that. Maybe one day when educational standards have reached a certain level then true democracy can emerge. Until then, the system that currently exists is the most democratic one the world has. It’s certainly more democratic than what China currently has.

My original point is that it’s not totally inconceivable that a country such as China could become more democratic over time through a gradual series of reforms. Britain is certainly more democratic today than it was 200 years ago when only the very rich were allowed to vote. The British government today certainly wouldn’t get away with what it was able to back then

Nov 06, 2012 4:47pm EST  --  Report as abuse
godfree wrote:

The CCP is introducing more voting “in an attempt to boost its flagging legitimacy in the eyes of the public”.
Really? Since its legitimacy is currently 85% – 95% (depending on whether you listen to Pew or Harvard) boosting it further would be a truly remarkable feat. Especially since our own vote-prone system’s legitimacy is around 18%.

Nov 06, 2012 8:48pm EST  --  Report as abuse
ncshu2 wrote:

Regarding to the comment by @yesyes about the gradual change to democracy in Britain, I think nobody could deny the role of the Civil War in shaping the historical trend of the next 100 years after it. The Statue of Cronwell in the parliment court is a good reminder of that history.

The 200-year window regarding the road to democracy in Britain was set just too narrow. If a wider historical perspective is considered about whole process leading to the destiny, you’ll find in Britain though the process is not as violent as the French revolution, it is still bloody.

Nov 07, 2012 1:22am EST  --  Report as abuse
Yesyes wrote:

@ncshu2 Cromwell was a religiously fanatic military dicator guilty of genocide. He did nothing to advance democracy and the fact he is revered in such a way in Britain only shows an extreme ignorance of history

Nov 11, 2012 2:20pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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