Hello Mr Democracy? Prospects for political reform

The Economist Intelligence Unit has published a country briefing analyzing the prospects for in China: “The CCP regime proved surprisingly durable as fraternal Communist regimes fell like ninepins in the 1990s, and the current party leadership under Mr Hu has committed itself only to the most incremental moves in the direction of political liberalisation. This should not obscure the fact, however, that prospects for democratic change perhaps as early as the second or third decades of this century are good and becoming better. This is because the prospects for a democratic transition do not depend on CCP policy or the intentions of state-level leaders as such, but on the playing out of tensions already visible in Chinese society, between town and countryside, the prosperous eastern seaboard and the less favoured interior, and between corrupt bureaucrats and the Chinese people… The question is, therefore, not really ‘Will China become a ?’ It is, rather, ‘How long can central government leaders hope to forestall the creation of a national protest movement?'” The full report is here.

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