Eric X. Li on China’s Ideological Rift

Venture capitalist, frequent English language op-ed writer and rising public intellectual Eric X. Li warns us that a constant focus on the sacking of Bo Xilai is distracting from a much more menacing problem – China’s widening ideological division. From the South China Morning Post via Huff Post:

[…S]peculating about Bo’s downfall or future is less productive than understanding the two ideological forces that form the political context in which the Bo incident could be at risk of becoming a perfect storm. So far, neither has gained dominance. But if one of them should occupy the center stage of Chinese politics, the consequences for China and the world would be disastrous.

Two extreme ideological forces have been dismayed by China’s tremendous achievements since Deng Xiaoping launched his reform. On one side are the leftists who believe China has lost its socialist way in its head-long pursuit of market economics and want the nation to go back to its past of a completely state-owned economy and dogmatic Leninist rule. On the other side are the liberals who just cannot live with the fact that China is succeeding without multi-party elections and a Bill of Rights. The noises they are amplifying seem, at the moment, to be deflecting our attention from the extraordinary progress China has gained in the last three decades and the underlying consensus that made it possible[…]

For prior coverage of China’s ideological poles, see Cake Theory: Ideological Divisions and the Future of the CCP via CDT.

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