In an Intelligence Squared debate, two sides faced off over the following statement:
Western liberal democracy would be wrong for China.
From the introduction:
People everywhere are better off living in liberal democracy: that has been the reigning assumption of the western world. But could it be we’ve got it wrong? If you were one of the world’s billions of poor peasants might you not be better off under a system dedicated to political stability and economic growth – one that has lifted 400 million out of poverty – rather than one preoccupied with human rights, the rule of law, and the chance to vote out unpopular rulers? Thanks to the Chinese model of government life expectancy in Shanghai is now higher than in New York.
So is China better off without democracy? Or is that just the age-old mantra of the tyrant?
The side arguing for the motion included Martin Jacques, author of “When China Rules the World,” and Zhang Weiwei, Senior Fellow at the Chunqiu Institute. Arguing against the motion was Anson Chan, Former Chief Secretary of Hong Kong, and historian and journalist Jonathan Mirsky. Watch the debate here: