China’s New Cultural Revolution

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair writes in the Wall Street Journal about China’s great strides in recent history:

A few weeks ago, when I was in Guizhou province outside Guiyang city, standing in a small village to see a pilot project in solar lighting, I reflected on what I had seen. I had seen the city center, with its fashion shops like Christian Dior and its bustling nightlife, but also housing tenements urgently in need of renovation. I had witnessed a stunning music and dance show celebrating the region’s indigenous heritage. I met the Muslim governor. And in the village, I saw newer homes, but also many that were as poor as some in Africa.

As I walked around, the local people at first hung back. But then as I reached out, they reached back. Within minutes, we were taking photos and speaking freely. OK, it wasn’t like my old constituency in Sedgefield in the northeast of England. But it wasn’t North Korea either. The relationship between government and governed in China is changing, and for the better.

So when we reflect on China’s last 60 years, reflect by all means on how far they have to go. But spare a thought for how far they have come. And then figure out how we can help.

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