China’s Rise Goes Beyond Gold Medals

Nicholas D. Kristof writes in the New York Times:

We also must recognize that informal pressures are becoming increasingly important. The most important figure in - today isn’t the ambassador for either country, but , the player — and David Stern, the commissioner of the N.B.A., is second. The biggest force for democratization isn’t the Group of 7 governments but the millions of Chinese who study in the West and return — sometimes with green cards or blue passports, but always with greater expectations of . China’s rise is sustained in part by the way the Communist has grudgingly, sometimes incompetently, adapted to these pressures for change.

… That flexibility is one of China’s great strengths, and it’s one reason that the most important thing going on in the world today is the rise of China — in the Olympics and in almost every other facet of life.

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