posted on Dec, 9 2004 @ 09:56 PM
speaking at the national people's congress meeting in september, president hu jin tao said "blindly following western political systems will lead
china to a dead-end."
in the same speech, hu called for greater "socialist democracy" and said there were increasing cases of multi-candidate elections for people's
congress representatives at the county level.
hu cited china's experience in the early 20th century when sun yat-sen established a modern government to replace the old qing dynasty. the
"bourgeois republic system" could not change the situation of the chinese people, he said. basically, he gave the party line on why the ccp is the
only solution for china. without the ccp, hostile foreign forces would split china and make it a weak country again, just like what happened under
republican and kmt rule.
the message is clear: even if china has "democracy," the ccp must remain in ultimate control. thus, chinese "socialist democracy" means there can
be no political opposition or threat to the ccp.
but ... is it true that "western-style" democracy would be a disaster for china?
there are many examples of successful new democracies, and many of them are not "western" countries.
1. south africa. this racially and religiously diverse country has about 40 million people. until 1994, the modern south africa was ruled by whites
under an apartheid government. for the last 10 years, south africa has enjoyed increasing prosperity under a government that was peacefully elected by
the people. south africa's leadership is not considered a u.s. puppet government.
2. indonesia and malaysia. these countries have had nominative democracies for some time, but were in fact ruled by strongmen who stifled dissent. in
recent years, free elections have been held in both countries. while both countries, especially indonesia, face serious challenges, no one suggests a
return to one-party rule. in fact, indonesia and malaysia are the most progressive and successful of all muslim countries ... along with turkey,
another democracy. and no one accuses elected governments in indonesia and malaysia of being u.s. puppet governments.
3. brazil, argentina, and venezula. these countries have been democracies for a longer time than the ones previously mentioned, but they have all
recently elected leaders who are definitely not u.s. puppets. lula da silva in brazil, kirschner in argentina, and chavez in venezula are all their
4. india. with a population of nearly 1 billion people, including about 230 million muslims, india is a great success in democracy. it's people are
even poorer than chinese, on average. it recently conducted a peaceful change of government where the ruling party was displaced for not adequately
addressing the needs of poor rural voters.
none of these countries are ruled by imperialist powers. none of them have been split and subverted because of democracy. and while they all still
face serious challenges, as does every country, hardly anyone says they should go back to one-party rule. in most cases, these non-western countries
have benefited and become stronger from "western-style" democracy.
Is China ready for democracy right now?