Chinas democratic deficit – Church of England Newspaper
From the ChurchNewspaper:
THE ARRIVAL of Chinese president Hu Jintao in Britain next week is set to heap more pressure on Tony Blair, who has set himself on a collision course with human rights campaigners angry at the visit. Hu, General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, can expect to be greeted by protests from human rights campaigners following the tough handling of recent protests in Taishi, southern Guangdong province, and ongoing alleged human rights abuses. China’s tough handling of recent protests by villagers there has thrown into doubt its claims to be introducing genuine democracy “from the bottom up”. Many commentators had heralded the advent of direct elections in almost a million villages across the country a first step towards a multi-party state. But the whole process has been tainted by the arrests of dozens of villagers and their legal advisers since the launch of a petition in July to dismiss the director of the Taishi village committee Chen Jingshen ” who they accuse of corruption ” and hold new elections.