Posts Tagged ‘democracy in China’

Labour can help with Chinese democracy

07/11/2010, 10:30:41 AM

by James Watkins

THE FEAR of China continues to dominate debate in Britain – from its portrayal as a fire-breathing dragon on the cover of this week’s Spectator to David Cameron’s bizarre claim during the election campaign that Britain may need nuclear weapons because of China. This is not the ideal backdrop for the prime minister’s forthcoming visit to Beijing.

The list of worries laid at China’s door is manifold: from human rights abuses to currency manipulation and from poor working conditions to obstructing climate change talks. At the heart of them all is the fear that a lack of political reform in China will make things even worse.

But if the British government were to take a new approach to China, the prime minister’s visit could be the start of a new direction for Chinese democracy.
At first glance, such a view may seem overly rosy. Since the dissident, Lin Xioabo, won the Nobel peace prize in October, a crackdown on dissidents has been reported. But there are also signs that the Chinese political elite now recognise that political reform is needed. In early October, prime minister Wen Jiabao told CNN that “the people’s will for, and need for, democracy and freedom is irresistible”. (more…)

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