With Transition, New Uncertainty for China’s Authoritarian System

Philip Pan has written a good analysis of the leadership change in Beijing in today’s Washington Post: “Jiang’s departure might prompt new demands for political liberalization from a society that already enjoys the fruits of economic freedom. The banned Falun Gong spiritual movement, crushed by Jiang, might try to test his successors with a comeback, and there will almost certainly be fresh calls for the party to admit it erred by ordering the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, which Jiang has steadfastly defended… ‘In the end, Jiang must have understood that party stability depends on Hu emerging as a strong leader with real power,’ said [a] critic, who spoke on condition of anonymity. ‘He bought some time for the party. But how much is still hard to say.'”

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