Why Hasn't Democracy Come to China Yet

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Yesterday in China, the People’s Daily, also regarded as the Party’s Daily, published an article claiming that communism is superior to capitalism even if China benefits from the the free markets borrowing from capitalism. Decades ago, when the tight atmosphere of communism extremity covered China, it might have seemed reasonable at the time, but now it is ridiculous to those who have obtained sufficient knowledge about the whole world. Even though most textbooks before university teach us Marxism, Maoism, the theory of class struggle and the capitalism enemies.

In China, a little of people indeed believe in Communism. Most of my friends who want to join the Party do not believe in communism but just want to clear future obstacles. For example, since the Party permeates everywhere, new companies have to establish a subordinate of the Party or else it can not be registered legally. We known we are being told lies from the governors and there are many problems under the autocracy. Corruptions happen a lot, but it hasn’t been until recent years that they are disclosed relatively more. The government works ineffectively and errs repeatedly because the governors are not elected by the people or for the people but are appointed by their bosses and get promoted to other places after their few years of superficial achievements. To summarise, this means that they are not responsible for the local people, but are responsible for fulfilling their bosses. Consequently, as reported, many governors adopted polices such as building a new chemical plants, that seemingly benefited the economy, but would harm the health and life of the local people in the long run. Local people are not informed most of the time and thus can not get involved in the final decision. The freedom of speech and press are limited in China, which many governors take advantage of. That’s why so many government officials misbehave ludicrously, ignoring the urges for free media.

Things have gotten better in the past decade, but the unchanged political system still hinders the development of China and the pursuit of the population’s happiness. For example, there still are secret groups subordinating to the National Security, similar to the secret institution in the movie The Lives of Others, censoring the public in universities. Many people, even professors, do not know of such groups. I happened to know this because one of my friends was in it, and it wasn’t until then that I figured out why the censoring worked so well in such populous country. In the universities of China, it is the administrators who are in charge of the admission, promotion and funds; not the professors. The situation is that those who know less lead the professionals. Taking above representative problems into considerations, the democratic system overwhelms the current one a lot.

However, why do our leaders, the brightest minds of this country, not adopt democracy immediately?

An increasing number of people in China, especially intellectuals, having observed the increasing evil behaviour by local governments on the population during the recent decades, now expect political reforms from the government. Not only that, many years ago the Party itself declared it would reform this country into a democratic one, but we barely saw traces of any reforms. Then I researched and assembled large amounts of information in order to figure out the reasonS why democracy hasn’t come to China yet.

From my perspective, the first reason is that the reform would decrease the benefits of many officials who comprise the biggest obstacles on the way to democracy. For instance, legally land is owned by the country, but in reality it is owned by local officials. They usually raise the land price and get lucrative rebates from the estate developers who in turn have no other land sources except those from the the local government. These developers have to compete with each other, and thus bribing the officials is an effective way for them to win the game. This leads to a situation, whereby the extra monies paid by the developers dramatically hike housing prices. That’s why so many people can not even afford housing.

Furthermore, the “89 Event” unexpectedly halted the process of democratisation unexpectedly. Before 1989, liberalisation in China was promisingly on its way. However, the fall of the Soviet Union severely struck Deng Xiaoping who was indeed in charge of the country even though he was not the official leader in name at the time. Deng ordered the army and the Party to stabilise the country by any means necessary to prevent its collapse. Since then stability and suppression have been twins, and are the first priority for dealing with any remonstrations, which are usually are called “riots” by the police. Liberalisation unfortunately fell back to a halt after 1989. The next leader of China, Jiang Zemin, was promoted by Deng because of his achievement of stabilising Shanghai through an overwhelming suppression during 1989. His ruthlessness was later known by what he had done to members of the Falun Gong. The following leader , Hu Jintao, was a mediocre one. He was also chosen by Deng for having stabilised the country , but he had no courage to introduce any remarkable reforms.

In additional, the various minorities within China tremendously hinder the advent of democracy. What happened to Rwanda alarms China. The political situation to China is akin to that of the Roman Empire. Tibetans , Mongolians, and Uighur have different languages, cultures and customs from the Han Chinese, who make up the majority of China — which is why the minorities have wanted to be independent for about half a century — just like within the Roman Empire, where the Arabians and Turkish populations had different languages and beliefs, and most importantly they lived separate regions. Similarly, after the introduction of democracy, China could possibly be divided, a result most Chinese do not expect and is what the current governors do not look forward to.

However, since Mr. Xi Jinping became the new Chairman, democracy looks more hopeful again and may be arriving within a few decades. The public media, especially the Internet, are freer than a few years ago. Corruption is being disclosed more frequently. Even though there are many challenges on the way to democracy in China, the velvet revolution will bring less damage.

Original post: http://blog.josephjctang.com/2013-08/why-hasnt-democracy-come-to-china-yet/


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Published on February 23, 2019


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