Monday, February 21, 2011

China Blooms, warding off Jasmine Revolution

Plum flowers which thrive in harsh winter conditions are blossoming during the spring festival which coincides with the celebration of the lunar new year.

There is no sign or potential for a Jasmine Revlution. The bottomline is that China is not Egypt, or any of the self-enriching and uncaring Middle Eastern autocratic regimes.

While China continues to be plague by social problems of the old as well as effects from economic development, the leadership is making effort albeit with mixed success in resolving them. Not many countries in the advanced economies could claim credit for good economic management.  The Chinese leadership is disciplined in esnsuring a balanced budge and keep unemployment and inflation down. Corrupt officials are investigated and meted with harsh penalties if found guilty. Policies have been geared towards institutionisation and legal framework that is clear and consistent.  Of course, like most developing countries, China is still finding its way to leapfrog in the least painful means possible.

The bottomline is : the vast majority of the Chinese people do not want to see turbulent, turmoil and bloodshed. Personal and community interests rank higher than democratic ideals. Most of the complaints involve land disputes, unequal contracts, corrupt provincial officials, labour compensation and environmental issues.  The Chinese people know too well from past revolutions that they could first and foremost be empowered with economic wealth and education.

Say what you may about information restrictions. Control of the internet, checks on dissidents, university students and workers have stemmed the sparks of discontent from turning into flames. The Chinese media including private organisations are self discipline and impose self censorship to avoid getting into trouble with the law, but more importantly, to exercise discretion, objectivity and responsibility in reporting. Chinese people know too well that political instability will return them to the dark ages, living in fear of political extremism, stagnation and decline.

The Tiananmen generation are now middle age and have become part of the bourgeois class. Many are living overseas, not precluding those who remain, have successful businesses, careers or earning good royalty incomes from publications. Some among the Tiananmen heroes are disillusioned and circumspect with politics.

Gone are the days of a single dictator or all mighty party.  The Chinese Communist Party is a collective leadership and consolidating grassroots support is the key to the party's legitimacy. As long as it endeavours to ensure food security, respect for laws, implement social reforms and safety net, address environmental issues, and work towards equal opportunities and equity, revolutions are probably a thing of the past. Sorry to disappoint democracy advocates and fighters.

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