What Does China Thinks?

A new intersting book about china politics by Mark Leonard, the author says in ECFR:

I am trying to show how experiments with focus groups and opinion polls are changing China from a traditional authoritarian state to a new ‘deliberative dictatorship’, and reveal how Beijing hopes to use a “China Dream” to challenge the US’ military power.

The book charts the development of a new Chinese world view and identifies the following different factions battling for influence:

  • The “New Left” who want a gentler form of capitalism with a social safety net that could reduce inequality and protect the environment;
  • The “New Right” who think that freedom will only come when the public sector is dismantled and sold off, and a new, politically active “propertied class” emerges;
  • The “Neo-Comms”, cousins of American neo-cons, want to use military modernisation, cultural diplomacy and international law to assert China’s power in the world.

I argue that in the future, the West willl be just as interested in the Chinese “Neo-Comms” plans for Asia as it is now in the “Neo-Cons” attempts to reshape the Middle East. Soon, the political struggle in the Communist Party will be seen as vital as the battle between the US presidential contenders; and protesters outside the World Bank will complain as much about the “Beijing Consensus” as they do about the “Washington Consensus”.

I have not read the book yet, but it looks like for Leonard there are no “technocrats” anymore… or maybe their views are shared for all three currents. If its a comparison with the US could be very interesting: how similar are the “great powers”?

At the ECFR webpage we also find another interesting article by F. Godement about the geopolitical consequences of the political change in Australia, Japan, Taiwan and SKorea:

These changes have powerful implications which Asia’s partners should consider. First, if there was a dream by conservative Republicans in Washington, and advocates of a strong Japan in Tokyo, to create an alliance of Asian democracies as a counterweight to China’s rise, that dream is over for the time being. (…)

Will China seize the opportunity and pursue key compromises on sensitive issues – Taiwan, maritime borders, divided Korea? Will it relax its political controls which stem from regime insecurity? Or will it merely use the moderation of its partners and the evident absence of any strategy of encirclement to further advance narrowly defined interests?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s