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China has to pursue gradual political reform
2010-10-16
 

The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize last week to Liu Xiaobo triggered a wave of rebuke toward China's political system from Westerners. In the Western sense, China urgently needs to overhaul its political system.

Days before the Fifth Plenary Session of the 17th CPC Central Committee, which begins today, Western scholars and politicians hasted to provide advice, claiming that China would not continue to achieve substantial economic progress if it still delay reforming its political system in a Western way.

Such an attitude reveals an ignorance of basic facts in China. Walking through China, one rarely meets a Chinese citizen who is against political reform.

China no longer has life tenures for official posts and now promotes the principle of an accountability system, as well as the practice of making government affairs more public. Aren't these all part of reform?

Westerner's attitudes toward China's political reform reflect a wide gap between how China is developing and how they expect China to develop.

Numerous scholars point out that most countries with successful electoral policies and competitive democracy exist in Europe and North America. Countries from the Third World, where such systems were enforced, largely suffer from severe poverty, social turmoil and even war.

Politics is never isolated from public life. China's economy and society is witnessing dramatic changes.

Take a close look at the life of an ordinary Chinese official. His origins, way of rising to political office, daily work, and potential consequences of making a severe mistake are quite different from those of 30 years ago.

In the case of an ordinary Chinese, his way of acquiring information, freedom of speech, right to decide his own life and protect individual property are drastically different from those of 30 years as well.

China has changed a lot. In the future it will continue to adopt gradualism to bring about changes. No force can compel the nation to change what cannot be changed at the moment. This is the true political narrative of a large country with more than 1.3 billion people.

China has to continue its political reforms in the future, including drawing beneficial experiences from Western democratic politics.

However, China will never be a sub-civilization, and it will only follow its roadmap in a gradual manner.

The Chinese cherish stability. They don't want to let a radical revolution overwhelm current reforms.

In respect to reforming the political system, China needs political wisdom and constant drive. It doesn't need to rush its fences.

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