Archive for the ‘Western’ Category

“Erroneous” Western democracy not for China

January 18, 2009

China must build defenses against “erroneous” ideas involving Western-style democracy, a top government official said in comments published on Sunday, shooting down recent calls by dissidents for political reform.

China’s ruling Communist Party has stepped up efforts to stifle dissent and protest ahead of politically sensitive anniversaries this year, and amid concerns that rising unemployment in a slowing economy could fuel broad social unrest.

Jia Qinglin, China’s fourth-most senior official, demanded officials throw their weight behind the one-party state in an essay in the Party’s main ideological journal “Seeking Truth” (Qiushi), which was reproduced on major web portals on Sunday.

A Chinese soldier looks into the camera at the India-China trade ... 
A Chinese soldier looks into the camera at the India-China trade route at Nathu-La, 55 km (34 miles) north of Gangtok, capital of India’s northeastern state of Sikkim, January 17, 2009.(Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters)

“Build a line of defense to resist Western two-party and multi-party systems, bicameral legislature, the separation of powers and other kinds of erroneous ideological interferences,” said Jia, who is also head of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), a largely toothless parliamentary advisory body.

“Consciously abide by the Party’s political discipline and resolutely safeguard the Party’s centralized unity,” Jia said, calling on CPPCC members to strengthen “ideological unity.”

The essay comes weeks after hundreds of scholars, dissidents and former Party officials signed “Charter 08,” a petition campaign calling for open democratic elections and an independent judiciary.

Authorities have since detained prominent Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo and other rights activists over the manifesto, and earlier this month launched a crackdown on Internet pornography and other “vulgar” online content.

China’s Communist Party leadership faces a number of politically sensitive anniversaries this year, including the 20th anniversary of the brutal crushing of student-led pro-democracy protests centered on Tiananmen Square in June, 1989.


(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Valerie Lee at Reuters)

Will China Play By Global Rules? Maybe Not….

January 2, 2009

For years, western leaders have been trying to figure out how to integrate China into the international system. It turns out that the Western debate has paralleled one inside China itself.

By Minxin Pei

In 2005, when the West first started asking China to abide by international rules in Africa, take a lead in climate-change talks, contribute more to international security and abandon its mercantilist trade policy, Beijing didn’t respond well. Who could blame it? Until recently, Chinese leaders had been obsessed with domestic priorities and rarely considered the foreign ramifications. When they did, they figured their greatest international contribution would be to feed and house 1.3 billion Chinese.

A conspiracy-minded minority in Beijing still views the West’s requests with suspicion. This group is best represented by Jiang Yong, director of the Center of Economic Security at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations (an affiliate of the Ministry of State Security). Writing in mid-2007, Jiang warned that Washington’s calls for China to accept more international responsibility were really just a way to frustrate China’s rise. Because the existing global economic order and its rules were established by the West, Jiang argued, they serve the West’s interests, not China’s. Were China to comply with the WTO’s intellectual-property protections, for example, it would trap China in its role as a low-tech, low-cost manufacturer. Rules on environmental protection and resource conservation, similarly, would hurt Chinese economic development. To Jiang, it all amounted to a subtle strategy of keeping China down.

Few prominent thinkers publicly embrace such theories. That said, none believe Beijing does things purely on the West’s terms, either. The furthest moderates are ready to go is to accept China’s new obligations as a reality and argue that China should honor them the best it can.

As Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Beijing’s Renmin University, wrote in a People’s Daily online forum at the end of 2007, while China need not dance to the West’s tune, it risks alienating other countries—even in the developing world—if it keeps refusing to become a “responsible stakeholder.”

Read the rest:

China: Dead Children, Kangaroo Court, Punishment for the Innocent