Democracy with Chinese Characteristics

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Democracy with Chinese Characteristics
11.01.2010
โ€œโ€ฆ the peopleโ€™s wishes for and needs for democracy and freedom are irresistible.โ€ Premiere Wen Jia-Bao,
interview with CNN, September 23, 2010
CHINA IN THE MODERN ERA
๎€End of the Qing Dynasty (lost wars against England, Japan, Russia; population increases 6 fold
but economy does not grow)
๎€Republican revolution (1912)
๎€Sun Yat-Sen (elected leader) โ€“ โ€œThree Principle of the Peopleโ€
oNation โ€“ China as a unified nation
oDemocracy โ€“ and of dynastic rule replaced by peopleโ€™s republic
oWelfare โ€“ livelihood of the people
NON-DEMOCRATIC MODERN CHINA
๎€2nd largest economy in the world
๎€Tremendous economic growth
๎€Not a democracy as political theory depicts
๎€No polyarchy, no meaningful votes, freedoms are extremely limited, no separation of the
executive, legislative branches
๎€No alternative to the Chinese Communist Party
๎€China turns theory on its head.
๎€China should be a democracy or should seriously lean towards democracy.
1. DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION?
๎€High tide of Maoist socialism (1949-56)
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oa self-reliant China closed off from the rest of the world by harenessing the energy of the
masses
oaimed at increasing agricultural production by 170%
๎€100 Flowers Movement (1956)
oAllowed people to criticise the government
oMao was expecting praises for his government but instead was faced with negative
remarks
๎€Anti-rightist Campaign (1957)
oAll who criticize the government/socialism are labeled counter-revolutionary
๎€Great Leap Forward (1958-62)
oCreate a commune system
oAn economic and socialist system
oWork was done collectively
oMaoโ€™s plan was to drastically increase production of steel (5.4t to 700 million tonnes) in a
matter of 10 years
oNo private enterprises, everything owned and controlled by the state
oThe โ€œGreat Leap Forwardโ€ turned out to be an unmitigated economic disaster
oThis development plan was reliant on the revolutionary spirit of the people
oIt is estimated that 30 million people died in the โ€œGreat Leap Forwardโ€
oScepticism grew as a result
๎€Cultural Revolution (1966-76)
oA split occurred in the leadership between those that were increasingly sceptical of the
Great Leap Forward and those that still supported Mao
oMaoโ€™s response by trying to re-energize the people
oHe also calls for young people to be red guards โ€“ the mobilization of the masses
oAimed at destroying old customs, thinking โ€ฆ etc.
oThe result was anarchy
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