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The Forum > Article Comments > Watching China > Comments

Watching China : Comments

By Brian Hennessy, published 24/8/2010

A Chinese General has openly warned the Communist Party that China must embrace democracy or else collapse. What is going on?

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If this century is to be the Chinese century, then China will have to reinvent itself.

Material wealth can satisfy only for so long.

Leadership is not the outstanding hallmark of a mob of sheep, and if originality and inventiveness and ingenuity are to flourish a thousand, nay, a million times over, then a certain measure of autonomy and freedom must be allowed for. Committees have little to offer that's original.

"For things to stay the same, things just have to change." - Lampedusa
Posted by SHRODE, Tuesday, 24 August 2010 9:52:58 AM
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Classified Ads.

Gentleman, military, oriental, 5'2", seeks interesting times w/ American lady. No time wasters. Must like grayhounds.
Posted by Amfortas, Tuesday, 24 August 2010 11:08:23 AM
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Classified Ads.

Woman,Military,American,6'6"Obese,living in Interesting times, now looking to waste time.

Wouldn't know a Greyhound if it bit me.

Also,where is the Orient? Have I had a war there yet ( How else do I know Geography ?)
Posted by Aspley, Tuesday, 24 August 2010 11:18:01 AM
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Re My Classified Ad.

I have just been told that the Orient is to the North of Austria.

Silly me, I knew that all along!
Posted by Aspley, Tuesday, 24 August 2010 11:35:10 AM
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I'm not too sure you will find them, Mr Hennessy.

"Old China hands like me will be looking for signs of heat and smoke"

Personally, I suspect that the changes that are occurring may be evidenced in a different form to that which an "old China hand" might be watching for.

It is true, historically, that "heat and smoke" have been the signals of change. But maybe that is another thing that has changed.

"Young Chinese people are similar to young people everywhere. They are honest and idealistic. The saddest thing to observe, however, is how quickly their own society corrupts them after they leave university. Itís the only way for them to succeed or survive. All the fight was knocked out of them at Tiananmen Square."

Tianenmen Square was more than eleven years ago.

What has struck me most forcibly with the vast majority of young Chinese I have met over the past five years, is how proud they are of their country. In particular, they have the strangest (to me, that is) feeling of gratitude to the system that created their new prosperity.

This is to a considerable extent exacerbated by their observations on the system that, they assess, has massively failed the rest of the world.

That is, democracy.

Democracy, as seen through their eyes, is not a particularly attractive process. And given the results it has delivered recently, not especially worth standing in front of tanks for.

And you might also, if you think it through objectively, be able to see where they get this notion...
Posted by Pericles, Tuesday, 24 August 2010 1:14:26 PM
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Brian, I hope your article is proven correct.
Posted by Chris Lewis, Tuesday, 24 August 2010 1:23:52 PM
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