Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Sino-US Relationship

Foreign Policy is running an article about the Sino-US relationship, notably where there are disagreements and the likelihood of them being resolved. I think they did an excellent job listing them and providing explanations.

However, I disagree with them on their last point: that more American trade with China will make it a freer society, therefore Google should stay. Truth be told, I'm in disbelief that such a publication would actually say that (even scarier if they believe it). Increased economic engagement with China will not open their society. If we look back to the reforms first initiated by Deng Xiaoping, he purposely withdrew government and party from the daily lives of the Chinese people because of the mistakes made by Mao during the Cultural Revolution and figured out that the key to a stronger China lay in modernization through economic development driven by demand, not the government. Moreover, as a victim of the persecution under Mao's China, Deng had strong motivations for making sure it never happened again. Economic trade has not liberalized China - the CCP has made the decision to let the market function (to an extent) and is allowing its citizenry to become wealthier. As such, any increased freedom for the Chinese will come as a result of a conscious decision by the CCP or revolution, not economic engagement.

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