Why the world may face a Long March
CHINA’s dizzying climb to superpower status is heading for trouble. At least, that seems to be the gloomy verdict of Carl Minzner, an American Professor of Law.
In End of an Era: How China’s Authoritarian Revival Is Undermining Its Rise (Oxford University Press, 2018) Minzner analyses the key challenges facing China today — mounting socio-economic problems, worsening governance difficulties, rising social unrest, and increasing social polarisation.
Cynics might point out that many of these problems are confronted by virtually every civilised society.
But Minzner sets out to explain why these shortcomings may be leading to China’s social and political collapse, and why China is looming as a perceived threat to the current world order.
He points out that China’s 1.4 billion people have never had a chance to benefit from the centuries-old Western democratic tradition of state-society relations.
From dynastic Qing rule, they have lurched from Republicanism to Communism, from Five-Year Plans to Cultural Revolution, before morphing - after three decades of severe ideological and economic reform - into “red capitalism”.
According to the Professor, there are now unmistakable signs of the nation’s immanent dysfunction.
He nominates a lack of political opposition as China’s greatest weakness … moderate voices and independent civil society organisations committed to gradual institutional reform — these China sorely lacks.