Dr Sun Yat-Sen (Sun Zhong Shan), revered by all Chinese as the "Father of Modern China", envisioned a democratic China based on the "principles of
nationalism, democracy and equalization". He established the Chinese Republic in 1912, only to have it degrade into anarchy and be eventually
succeeded by the semi-fascist government of Chang Kai-Shek's Nationalists, whose transgressions against the Chinese people eventually culminated in
the communist revolution of 1949. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) then ironically proceeded to become the very monster that it had fought so hard
against, until the mid 1980's when Deng Xiao Ping instigated reforms and opened up China's doors to the outside world.
Today, China's government is an anomaly in the political spectrum; not traditionally communist but certainly not democratic, not entirely
capatilistic yet possessing one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Calls for true democracy in China can be heard from outside of the
motherland, and sometimes from within by those brave enough to speak out. So the question must be asked: Is Mainland China ready for democracy?
The CCP continues to slowly
reform, advancing the development of the country, and cleaning up the corruption within its ranks; but not quickly
enough for some, and many doubt that the CCP will ever relinquish power to a multi-party system. The CCP claims that the Chinese people are 'not
intellectually capable' of democracy and that China would degrade into anarchy if it were instituted. The party calls the current system "socialist
democracy" and claims that people under this system have it better off than those in the West.
www.atimes.com - China ready for democracy in 1940s, not today
In an interview in September 2000 with CBS' Mike Wallace, China's then-president Jiang Zemin explained why Chinese people can't be allowed to have
universal suffrage at this time: "The quality of our people is too low." There, in a simple statement, the people - supposed masters of the country
- were deemed not fit for democracy, because once the ignorant, the unqualified, acquire the right to choose their government, "chaos will ensue,"
Jiang predicted. So the people are too stupid to know what is good for them. Only Papa, the Communist Party of China, knows best.
This is a strange view to take of a country that has produced eight Nobel Peace Prize winners to date. However, the argument does hold some validity
when one considers that the China we see on television and in the newspapers does not constitute the true 'meat' of China. The steel and glass
buildings of bustling Shanghai and Beijing are like diamond rings on a beggar. The majority of China's population lives in the country's interior
where standards of living and education levels could definitely see some much-needed improvement.
But on the whole, China's education levels are reasonable, and the argument could also be made that the ability to choose one's government is a
right, not a privelage given based on one's ability to read and write. Even the most uneducated farmer understands the decisions that will affect his
particular piece of the world and can still make a valid choice as to which party will benefit his livelihood and his family the most.
So, a few questions:
If Chinese government were to become a democratic, multi-party system, then how would it be achieved? One thing China doesn't need is another violent
Would economic collapse incite another revolution, or change of government? The Chinese people are usually fairly happy as long as they have enough
food to eat and a reasonably comfortable life, but deny them those and they rise up like an bear roused from its slumber by a kid with a
Can the CCP truly be trusted to one day institute democracy? Or are they too addicted to the power, and yes, the personal benefits that come with
If democratic elections were instituted in China, would it result in anarchy? The organisation of 1.3 billion people to vote would be an absolute
nightmare. The Chinese love to protest, to argue and to revolt. Would they ever be able to accept the results of an election peacefully?
Accusations of incompetence and unfitness to rule have been levelled at Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Iraq's newly formed
government. Would a new party, with no experience at controlling the powerful yet lumbering beast that is the Chinese economy, be qualified to run the
[edit on 2005/4/12 by wecomeinpeace]