Sunday, June 29, 2008

What If China Just Turned Democratic Overnight?

Pioneering Chinese City Offers a Peek at Political Ferment:
Local Communist Party leaders have drafted a reform plan that would soften key aspects of China's Leninist political system, authorizing expanded powers for the local legislature, direct elections for some local officials, a more independent judiciary, and greater openness and accountability within the party.

The changes advocated by Shenzhen's municipal party committee, published last Tuesday in its official newspaper, show that beneath the ice cap of Communist rule in China, debate about democratization is quietly bubbling. Even if they are never put into practice, the suggested reforms also provide insight into the kinds of changes that China is likely to adopt nationwide if the party ever decides to liberalize politics the way it decided in 1978 to liberalize the economy.
Is this just a trick to make people shut up till the Olympics are over? Is the CPA ready to disband now that the Cold War is over? Or are Chinese politicians just embracing clever Western media spin tactics?
"Do you think anyone in the party really wants to reform?" a local retired official said. "Of course not. They are making a lot of money. They don't want to change."
Hmmn. That sure sounds familiar...