It is up to the West, from where China has got most of its stimulus for its economic growth, to decide on the rate of decline that China will suffer.
But decline they will.
Russia is holding up a mirror for them as their invasion of Ukraine exposes their flaws.
Repressive systems that blunt the development of human beings achieve only short lived victories. And so it will be with China.
There’s a lot of talent in that country, and my take is that the political docility they have shown toward the Communist party won’t last forever.
Eventually, they will start to buck the system. They will say something like, ‘our political development is as important as our technological and industrial growth, so let’s start to let up on the restraints you have on us. How about letting us run for office?’
Of course, those who dare say that will be sent to a reeducation camp, to rewire their brains and relearn how to bow to Xi Jinping, kiss his feet and venerate his image.
But the more people object, the more likely the dissident movement will grow.
Hong Kong may end up playing a leading role in that process.
When that starts to happen, the likelihood of an invasion of Taiwan will grow, so as to keep people distracted with outside matters.
China will have to be very careful with that move because I suspect America and the West won’t let Taiwan be trampled on and be stripped of its remarkable achievements in manufacturing.
Again, the mirror of Russia will do wonders for China’s political evolution.
It is very hard to persuade smart people that life is better without freedom.
Russia has nowhere to go but down with their invasion of Ukraine.
And the Chinese will pay close attention. They will ask themselves, ‘do we want that to happen to us?’
The mirror of Russia stands to be very important for China’s future. Whether Russia declines and retrenches into greater cultural isolation or whether it shakes itself up and dares to unseat Putin.
So Xi Jinping and his select group of power holders are watching very carefully.
They are tempted to help Putin massacre more Ukrainians, but they know their image will suffer even more than it has already.
They don’t want to anger Putin either, since the man has more nuclear weapons than they do, so they’re probably assisting him in some covert manner.
China does not represent an alternative political system, just like Russia’s doesn’t either.
There’s only one political system that is viable, and that is the one that respects human beings’ right to speak their minds and exercise their freedom while respecting that of others.
Democracy, with all its flaws, is the only system that sees that as its core belief.
Any other system to govern people is a pretext to preserve the benefits of an elite at the expense of the rest.
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