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China's right to self-determination Print E-mail
by Tom McGregor    Sun, Sep 25, 2011, 07:58 am
Many people who live under a democratic government that champions multiparty elections and free speech assume all nations should accept a similar form of government. Americans, Europeans, Koreans, Japanese and so many others love democracy and everything it stands for. But should they conclude that China has erred by not fully implementing democratic ideals?

For supporters of democracies, they may answer with a resounding “yes.” Yet, perhaps their preconceived notions have blinded them from the reality that China has enjoyed remarkable economic growth over the past few decades and many Chinese feel optimistic about the country’s direction, despite Beijing’s stranglehold on one-party rule.

Since I arrived in Beijing one year ago, the biggest surprise has been discovering how many Chinese openly criticize many aspects of their country and how few of them believe the solution would be to usher in an era of a full-fledged democracy. They maintain hope the Chinese government can effectively resolve problems.

One should note they are sincere since they will tell a foreign-born reporter their long list of grievances. They complain about entrenched corruption, high real-estate prices, surging inflation, improper oversight of food and drug safety, along with many other societal ills. Yet, they believe the government can fix these problems as well.

That’s the paradox many foreign residents of mainland China struggle to comprehend. But to find an answer, one should ask ordinary Chinese, without a political agenda, to explain. Here’s what some are saying: They contend that no government can create a utopian society, so why should they expect miracle cures from any government?

To read the entire article from the JoongAng Ilbo, link here:

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