Random Pondering on the NPC...

March 15, 2007 - by Juan

Stan's post on the comparison between Chinese and US-style politics is something that I would have thought perplexing 6 months ago when I first set foot in China.

Life in this country has, however, proven that the rapprochement of the two cultures is not only happening, but you can also publicly talk about it (special thanks to Yao Ming).

A couple of days ago, CCTV9 held a televised debate on the Rule of Law (YES, on THE RULE OF LAW) in China. Yang Rui, CCTV9's "Dialogue" (he often forgets that a dialogue needs to have more than one person, and it's not about preaching overcooked pseudo philosophical statements) presenter, decided to close his program with JFK's "It's not about what your country can do for you, but...blah blah blah".

Minutes before, an NPC deputy had contended that the roots of socialism are now suitably established in China. That probably explains why China's Communist Youth League, the "helping hand and reserve army" of the ruling party, is setting up a joint venture with foreign investors to offer online poker to the nation's young people. (Here's the FT Story)

The official language is in accordance with their international "intentions". An example of this is Bo Xilai's recent contention: "what China has done for Africa is out of a sincere feeling, out of friendship from the bottom of the heart forged in past decades".

What Stan has highlighted is that in China, at least, the official rhetoric is still well-intentioned, talking about issues such as education, health, helping rural residents, and improving the environment - all the elements of a "harmonious society".

Having said this, I'd only like to quote a great article on Thailand's recent military coup:

"When rising income inequality is unmatched by economic opportunity and rich-poor divides widen in cities, as well as between them and the countryside, resentment and envy can fester.

Those conditions are evident in many parts of Asia. They are fertile soil for demagogues who pose as champions of the poor, who skillfully manipulate mass opinion, and who claim that their popular mandate and political mission put them above the law
."

Feel free to make your own conclusions.



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