Sunday, February 16, 2014

Peh Shing Huei: When the Party Ends.

This book is not due till the 27th and I have surprised myself by finishing it. Well this isn't exactly correct as I had skipped the chapter on Bo Xilai.

Everyone is fond of telling the Chinese how to solve their problems. The loudest call is to become more democratic. However everywhere I have observed this: people can't helped being themselves and who they are is defined by their history and culture.

The Chinese do not have the habit of tolerance and compromise, so how can democracy work? In fact this is true as a matter of degree almost everywhere. That is why many people aren't happy with democracy either. At least they recognize it is the least worst system and so they stick with it.

What China need to solve her problems are capable leaders and you cannot always count on having them at the reins when you need them. Peh Shing Huei wrote about Xi Jinping reprising on Deng what Deng had done to Mao. This is impossible. Mao and Deng are products of their time. Xi will have to find another way. At least China's problems are well defined and there exists a broad consensus on them: tackling corruption, pollution, food safety and narrow the wealth and income gap.

The surer the Chinese are of their rise, the more likely they are to trip themselves up. They ought to be worried about being overly confident and starting to throw their weight around. All these are premature because they aren't a great nation yet.

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