week the Chinese Communist Party celebrates yet another year in
power. The Party has evolved since its inception, it claims, into
the benevolent, progressive Party we see today: capable of discussing
such radical concepts as "intra-party democracy."
yes, the CPC’s idea of democracy differs a little from what, say,
Europeans are used to. But this is democracy with Chinese characteristics
(i.e. human rights with Chinese characteristics, mutual benefit
with Chinese characteristics etc.)
Democracy basically means certain positions which were once appointed
by the next level up, are now open for debate. No, "the people"
will have nothing to do with that debate.
is where I have to mention that China is proceeding according to
a plan which envisions economic prosperity ushering in freedom over
an extended period of time, therefore true elections will have to
the Chinese auto industry can handle itself vis à vis Ford.
coming debate over "democracy with CPC characteristics"
will presumably be held within the context of President Hu’s speech
on July 1st, which will be studied vigorously by cadres
searching for a rationally numbered (Three Represents, Five Principles
of Peaceful Coexistence) philosophy. The speech should also answer
all those questions posed by irritating Chinese journalists who
took the inch and ran a mile with it during the SARS breakout. Southern
Weekend and Caijing had to pay
their journalistic fervor, but again, this is all according to the
CPC’s master plan.
China does within its borders is of course an internal matter and
therefore not open for debate. No matter how many activists,
jailed and harassed; no matter how many newspapers are forced to
close, the situation is one the Chinese themselves should find a
the Chinese notions of democracy that get exported with Chinese
goods that draw the attention of outsiders.
Is a Sucker
Chinese troops swept Indian forces away from the contentious China-India
border in 1962, India has backpedaled its way into the current dilemma:
engage China economically or watch as Chinese merchants and goods
cross the border and finish what the PLA started. Doing business
with China, as many now know, means acquiescing to a vast array
of political demands.
and China have a few (hundred thousand miles of) territorial questions
that need answering. The India-Tibet border is not clear (although
the annexation of Tibet by China sure is) and the status of
Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh remains unclear (until
the Chinese say otherwise).
opaque is the future of Nepal. And Tibetans in Nepal. The "revolutionaries"
who are killing
Royal Nepalese Army troops under the name of Mao seem pleased
that India and China are coming together, but the glory of Indian
entrepreneurs and Nepalese Cultural Revolutionaries is the bane
of Tibetan exiles. Dharamsala is a small Tibetan haven in northern
India and its status received a chin-check after Nepalese authorities
a time-honored, verbally agreed-upon tradition of handing any stray
Tibetans over to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
is more important to the Indians? Sikkim or the Dalai Lama? Catching
up with Chinese manufacturers or chasing them out of Pakistan?
has been helping Pakistan consolidate various claims by exporting
missile technology and scientists and by helping to improve Pakistan’s
infrastructure. This is generally considered detrimental to Indian
interests. So what do the Chinese have to say
India's relations with Pakistan become normal, India will stop feeling
so concerned about China's relations with Pakistan."
If that isn’t some pressure to comply with a certain worldview,
I am not sure what is.
also likes to pressure India into brutally oppressing any forms
of Tibetan expression while Chinese officials visit. "We’d
do it for you" they say. "We are a democracy" say
the Indians. The Chinese also have enough clout, it seems, to influence
matters that should only concern India and Pakistan. Why is that?
Chinese don’t buy it. When it comes to "separatist movements"
and central control of All Under Heaven, the Chinese government
has one perspective, and one perspective only.
views on democracy (as
well as the views of a certain US administration) become clearer
day approaches when *gasp* Taiwan will hold two referenda on
WHO membership and nuclear power.
Chinese are scared too much freedom of choice for the Taiwanese,
and they’ll actually decide for themselves what to do about reunification.
The US is scared that all those weapons they sell to the Taiwanese
might actually be put to use if those crazy islanders start practicing
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is a teacher living and working in China. His articles have appeared
in the South China Morning Post, the Minnesota Daily,
and elsewhere. His exclusive Antiwar.com column (usually) appears
with Chinese Characteristics
Sex in China
Behind the Thrones
When to Lie, Know When to Shoot Straight
Like War, Huh?'
Beautiful Morning for a War
Power Moves Abroad
Safest Place in the World
off the Fence
and Nods and Handouts
Straddling the Fence Just Right
Count on China
Christmas from China
Believe the Hype
Incoming Hu Era
Theory Is a Smokescreen
Make You Play Bad Card'
Future of East-West Rapprochement
Legacy: The Forgotten Rebellion
the Chinese Smile
China Can Disregard US Anger
the World: What the US Fears
Billion Problems For China
New Post-9/11 Status
Room for Growth
Back in the USA
Missing the Boat?
Sweep 'Em Off the Streets
Chinese Embrace Progress
War May Reveal New Superpower, Part II
War May Reveal New Superpower
Chance for a New Friendship?
as a Way of Life
Markets or Supermarkets
Towards World Significance
on the Road to Capitalism
American in China
the Street in China: A Report