In China, Change Could Be Coming – Barry Petersen

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From CBS News:

Is the Party over?

In China, the Communist Party was once everything. Today, it is still the main and only political apparatus, and it punishes, jails, beats and kills those who oppose it.

But the reality is that many Chinese are losing interest in it.
Lieberthal points out that the Party still controls the bureaucracy, which means jobs, right down to who will run the local village library. “That still gives the party enormous clout.” But he adds:

“The issue is whether the Party will develop ways to reduce the alienation that so many feel — over corruption, illegal land takings, environmental insults, social and economic inequality — or whether social unrest will grow to the point that the Party can no longer monopolize power.”

Can such a change happen in so vast a country as China? For this, we remember the former Soviet Union, once dominated by the Communist Party. When change came, it happened quickly and decisively. The Communist Party vanished so completely it was actually outlawed.

The Party in China is a creaking structure, pockmarked with corruption, increasingly irrelevant, and, in some cases, actually counter-productive to most daily lives. It is dogged by a loss of faith and growing lack of faithful.

Is the Party over? The proper answer may well be, not if – – but when.

September 4, 2005, 12:43 PM
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Categories: Politics
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