BEIJING – Let’s imagine that China were not ruled by a communist party. Let’s think of it as a fully fledged democracy, just like the United States or similar to a European model. Let’s think that by some strange historical accident, China had been marginal in global economic development until 30 years ago, when some strange economic experiment started and growth exploded to the present rate.
Would ties between China and the US, between China and its neighbors, or with Europe be any different? Probably not, because with China’s development and its impact on the world, there is much more at stake than simply communism.