When Will the Chinese People Be Free? – Henry S. Rowen, Minxin Pei and Dali L. Yang

In the latest (July 2007) issue of Journal of Democracy, Henry S. Rowen of the Hoover Institution, Minxin Pei (Ë£¥Êïèʨ£) of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Dali L. Yang (Êù®Â§ßÂà©) of the East Asian Institute at the National University of Singapore debate the topic, “When Will the Chinese People Be Free?” Rowen who predicted that China would become a democratic country around the year 2015 in The Short March: China’s Road to Democracy begins the discussion:

… As China’s economy was growing at a rate that promised to carry it to a level near or beyond that GDPpc benchmark by 2015, I reasoned that this, the world’s largest country, was a good bet to move into the Partly Free category as well. Since then, China has remained deep in Not Free territory even though its civil-liberties score has improved a bit”from an absolutely abysmal 7 to a still-sorry 6 on the 7-point FH scale”while its political-rights score has remained stuck at the worst level.

Yet today, as I survey matters from a point slightly more than midway between 1996 and 2015, I stand by my main conclusion: China will in the short term continue to warrant a Not Free classification, but by 2015 it should edge into the Partly Free category. Indeed, I will go further and predict that, should China’s economy and the educational attainments of its population continue to grow as they have in recent years, the more than one-sixth of the world’s people who live in China will by 2025 be citizens of a country correctly classed as belonging to the Free nations of the earth. [Full Text]

July 16, 2007 3:03 AM
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Categories: Politics